The key research areas of the Faculty of Social Sciences set out strategic orientations. They are in line with VMU Strategic plan (objective on “International research”), national strategic documents in higher education and research and Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Program goals and destinations and formulated on the basis of expected impacts for society, politics and economy. The Faculty key research areas are strongly committed to meet VMU priority research goals and key topics in the field of “SOCIAL TRANSFORMATIONS: INDIVIDUAL, GROUP AND SOCIETY” on responding to and shaping multifaceted micro and macro level social transformations and enhancing democratic governance, social cohesion, and citizens participation. Research organized in the Faculty mobilizes multidisciplinary expertise of social sciences for understanding contemporary transformations of society, cultures, organizations, and individuals. It also aims to provide evidence-based social policy options for higher social cohesion, social justice and well-being in the society.
Research areas in the Faculty have been developed following the key principles of 1. Interdisciplinarity and development of cross-cutting horizontal and vertical research areas and topics that can link few research fields (development of cross- cutting topics). 2. The impact of the topics for societal transformations. The expertise of the research teams allows them to go beyond regional national boundaries and generate themes that are relevant in a broader societal context. 3. Consolidation of existing international research experience based on international research networking, professional contacts, international projects experience and competences in collaboration with foreign partners in European countries and beyond. 4. Consolidation of capacities based on international research infrastructures, such as participation in the Gender & Generations Program (GGP) infrastructure (https://www.ggp-i.org/), the European Social Survey (ESS) infrastructure (https://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/), researchers’ experience in international research consortiums and European research programs. 5. Consistency with the strategic objectives and research priorities defined in the European Commission’s Program for Research and Innovation “European Horizon”, as outlined in Strategic pillar 2 “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive society”. The Strategic Priority highlights the multiple and multilevel social, economic, technological and cultural transformations that require newly formulated inclusiveness policies and higher societal impact. 6. Outsourcing capacities. Availability of funding mechanisms and financial sustainability of activities, combining university funding and external sources (national and international programs and grants).
Picture 1. Links between the main Unit’s research areas and VMU priority research fields, as well as global social challenges