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In view of its multidisciplinary character, research in the Social Sciences and Humanities can play a vital role in tackling Europe’s economically and socially relevant "Grand Challenges" and in implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy as well as the European Research Area (ERA).

In the debate on Horizon 2020, the SSH community has therefore made the claim for more visibility of their domains within the Framework Programme. Their fight for a separate Societal Challenge and the embedding of topics from the Social Sciences and Humanities into all other areas of Horizon 2020 was successful. The European Commission as well as most of the stakeholders now acknowledge the multidisciplinarity of SSH research and stress the fact that the Social Sciences and Humanities can find funding opportunities across the whole Framework Programme, beyond Challenge 6.

Important stakeholders in this field are the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and Science Europe (Association of European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations). Both organisations have published position papers on the role of the Social Sciences and Humanities within European research. Other important players are the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities - All European Academies (ALLEA), the International Network of National Contact Points for Socioeconomic Sciences and Humanities (NET4SOCIETY) and the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities (EASSH). These organisations have enhanced the visibility of the SSH domains and actively support networking in the SSH research community. Moreover, the networking platform Social Innovation Europe, funded by Directorate-General (DG) Enterprise and Industry, offers the possibility to discuss focus areas of SSH research in an international network of stakeholders.

Within the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation is in charge of the drafts of  the Work Programmes for the SSH disciplines. However, due to the multidisciplinary character of the domains, the other DGs are also involved in the process and contribute to the setting of research agendas.

Besides DG Research and Innovation, the following DGs are also relevant for the SSH domains:

  • DG Education and Culture
  • DG Enterprise and Industry