The unit, 'Open and inclusive Societies' coordinates the integration of social sciences and humanities (SSH) across Horizon 2020, to ensure their contributions to the R&I activities and as such reinforce the delivery of the Europe 2020 objectives and EU policies.
The systematic and strategic integration (or "mainstreaming") of the SSH into each of the priorities of Horizon 2020 is one of the novelties of the Horizon 2020 programme, and entails that social sciences and humanities will be mainstreamed as an essential element of the activities needed to tackle each of the societal challenges to enhance their impact.
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 fields are needed to generate new knowledge, support evidence-based policymaking, develop key competences and produce interdisciplinary solutions to both societal and technological issues.
The Social Sciences and Humanities give EU citizens a unique opportunity to understand their past, current and future environment, and to propose answers to complex and challenging questions. At European level, SSH research contributes significantly to the Juncker Commission's agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change announced in 2014 by providing hard quantitative evidence, solid qualitative analyses and sound foresight scenarios.
Communication of SSH research results is crucial for ensuring impact on policy-making as well as for informing the broader public. Communication helps ensuring that SSH research not only has an academic outreach but reaches a wider audience and is communicated in ways that match the variety of audiences, needs and contexts. Translating research findings into clear recommendations to policy makers is thus an important part of EU funded social sciences and humanities projects.