Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities in SwafS calls 2017


Which topics in the Science with and for Society work programme for 2017 require the integration of Social Sciences and Humanities? The NCP network, Net4Society, has defined the issue in the following article.

Social sciences and humanities – an added value for your project

For decades, European research was primarily based on the expertise of researchers specialised in life and physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Now, the new Horizon 2020 policy looks further – it is based on a premise that integration of social sciences and humanities (SSH) aspects into European research projects is indispensible to generate new knowledge and innovation.

SSH encompasses various disciplines – from sociology, psychology, communication and political science to economics, history , culture, law and ethics. It is evident that the knowledge for solving different societal challenges, including those related to the science with and for society fields, is spread across STEM and SSH disciplines. SSH integration in Horizon 2020 projects can yield innovative solutions and products that are socially acceptable, directly applicable, marketable and cost-effective. In addition, SSH integration can substantially enhance the impact of the project and support effective dissemination of results and communication with the target group and the wider public.

What does SSH integration mean in practice?

SSH experts contribute to framing Horizon 2020 topics and, consequently, the SSH aspects determined by them must be adequately addressed in Horizon 2020 proposals. In addition, evaluation panels include SSH expertise and the evaluators are trained on how to identify and evaluate SSH aspects. Given the above, inclusion of SSH expertise in project proposals can substantially increase evaluation scores and consequently raise a chance for a grant.

Do all Horizon 2020 projects require SSH integration?

The topics that require SSH integration are called “flagged for SSH” topics. There are two types of them:

  • Topics dedicated to SSH research: issues are framed mainly from the SSH perspective and most project partners come from SSH disciplines;
  • Topics with significant SSH component: SSH expertise is an integral, though not exclusive, part of the research design of topics, and solutions to the problem are to be generated by integrating knowledge stemming from both SSH disciplines and non-SSH disciplines such as natural sciences, medicine, engineering and technology

Which topics in 2017 Work Programme for SwafS require SSH integration?

Topics dedicated to SSH research SwafS-03-2016-2017 Support to research organisations to implement gender equality plans
SwafS-05-2017: New constellations of Changing Institutions and Actors
SwafS-06-2017 Engaging industry – Champions for RRI in Industrial Sectors
SwafS-08-2017: European Community of Practice to support institutional change
SwafS-10-2017: Putting Open Science into action
SwafS-11-2017 Science education outside the classroom
SwafS-12-2017 Webs of Innovation Value Chains and Openings for RRI
SwafS-13-2017 Integrating Society in Science and Innovation – An approach to co-creation
SwafS-14-2017 A Linked-up Global World of RRI
SwafS-22-2017 The ethical dimensions of IT technologies: a European perspective focusing on security and human rights aspects
SwafS-23-2017 Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in support of sustainability and governance, taking account of the international context
Topics with significant SSH component SwafS-21-2017 Promoting integrity in the use of research results in evidence based policy: a focus on non-medical research
SwafS-26-2017 Science4Refugees - Support to highly skilled refugee scientists
SwafS-27-2017 Implementing a European Train-the-trainers initiative with regard to Ethics and Research Integrity


In order to see in detail which are the specific SSH aspects included in the above-mentioned topics, please see a document entitled: Opportunities for Researchers from the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Horizon2020.

Where in the proposal should SSH aspects be included?

SSH aspects should be included in all three parts of a Horizon 2020 proposal, i.e. Excellence, Impact and Implementation, as required by the evaluation criteria.

What do SSH aspects include?

In general, SSH aspects refer to the expertise in the following fields:

  • Behavioural aspects,
  • Consumption and lifestyles,
  • Management, governance,
  • Public awareness & acceptance,
  • Policy support / assessment,
  • Social innovation,
  • Markets, business development,
  • Economic systems and instruments.

With a specific regard to the SwafS theme, SSH involves matters such as Responsible research and innovation, integrating society in science and innovation, making science education and careers attractive, promoting gender equality in research and innovation, improve knowledge on science communication, etc.

For more detailed information about SSH aspects in Science with and for Society, please see the the document entitled: Report on the Integration of Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities(SSH) in Horizon 2020 .

More information

For more information about SSH integration in Horizon 2020 projects you can visit the website of Net4Society (the international network of National Contact Points for the Societal Challenge 6 "Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies"). The website contains numerous documents and publications on SSH integration.

You can also contact your National Contact Point (NCP) for Societal Challenge 6 for further information.