Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, will fully integrate social sciences and humanities research into each of its priorities. This new policy priority is based on the insight that European social sciences and humanities (SSH), with all their diversity, are world class and that they are essential to ensure that Horizon 2020 delivers value and benefits to society. Implementing this priority requires an entirely novel way of cross-disciplinary cooperation.
The SSH encompass a wide range of disciplines such as sociology and economics, psychology and political science, history and cultural sciences, law and ethics. Contributions from these research and activity fields are needed under Horizon 2020 to generate new knowledge, support evidencebased policymaking, develop key competences and produce interdisciplinary solutions to both societal and technological issues.
This unprecedented systematic and strategic integration of SSH in the calls of Horizon 2020 comes with opportunities and challenges. On one hand, it provides more scope for contributions from the SSH under more thematic areas and more topics than ever before. On the other hand, it marks a clear departure from the approach under the Seventh Framework Programme where the SSH had their own dedicated programme and budget line.
This first round of Horizon 2020 calls challenged the Commission services involved in the preparation of the 2014-15 Work Programme to embrace a more interdisciplinary and integrative mindset. At the same time, it required applicants to submit proposals and build consortia that transcend disciplinary and sectorial boundaries, bringing together scholars from SSH and from life and physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as researchers and practitioners across these fields.
The goal of this monitoring report is to assess to what extent the 2014 calls for proposals under the Societal Challenges and the Industrial Leadership priorities have delivered on the integration of SSH as a cross-cutting issue.1 The report provides data on the budget dedicated to SSH activities, the share of SSH partners as well as their country affiliation and type of activity, the prevalence of various disciplines, and the overall quality of integration.
As data collection for the report progressed, the lessons learned have been gradually fed into the preparation of the 2016-17 Work Programme. In particular, evidence-based corrective measures have been identified and implemented that are expected to improve significantly the qualitative integration of SSH in upcoming and future Horizon 2020 calls.
The report also provides a baseline against which performance in terms of quantitative integration of SSH can be benchmarked in the upcoming years of Horizon 2020.