Alerte sur le PCRD

Publié le : 28/09/2011

Objet : Against the Downsizing of Social Sciences in the EU

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to some alarming developments in thepreparations for the 8th Framework Programme. These include:

  • The downgrading of socio-economic and humanities research in DGResearch from a department to one single office (taking effect January 1, 2011).
  • 2. The plan to abolish broader, long-term integrated projects and thelike in social sciences and humanities in the 8th Framework Programme.

Instead, a focus on "grand challenges" with topics that are more appliedthan basic research and are supposed to foster European competitiveness onglobal markets (social science as an 'auxiliary' discipline to bemainstreamed into the other sciences) .

  • 3. The downsizing of funding for socio-economic and humanities

research projects in the 8th Framework Programme.
There is nothing we can do against the structural decision of DG Research to down-gradesocial science and humanities. There is still time to mobilize against its thematic and financialdownsizing. Given the decentralized structure of social sciences, concerted action is difficultto organize. However, we suggest that you use the connections and networks you have todisseminate the following demands, both to EU and national policy-makers:

  • No downsizing of socio-economic and humanities research;
  • Continuation of integrated projects and networks on both smaller

scale (1-3 Mio Euro) and larger scale (5-12 Mio Euro);

  • Strengthening of social sciences in the Marie Curie Programme;
  • If grand challenges, they should focus on "social and cultural

cohesion" of Europe instead only on innovation;

  • Less focus on partnering with industry, rather focusing on public

sector and civil society.
Please find attached a 'non-paper' on why it is important to strengthensocial science research beyond 2014.
Feel free to forward this email to other colleagues.

Thomas Risse, Carina Sprungk and Tanja A. Börzel

Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel
Research College "Transformative Power of Europe"
Berlin Center for European Studies
Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science
Freie Universität Berlin