About the Centre

The Centre for Social Sciences was founded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences with its founding charter guaranteeing that its research is carried out without political influence. The Centre comprises four institutes: Institute for Political Science, Institute for Minority Studies, Institute for Legal Studies, Institute for Sociology, and other research units, with scientific staff of about 200 Hungarian and foreign researchers.

The research activities of the Centre are concentrated on sociology, political science, computational social science, network science, minority studies, and law. Besides fostering explorative and innovative international research, the Centre addresses vital questions that pertain to Hungarian society. The Centre's aims include increasing international visibility, playing a prominent role in regional social science research and being a point of reference in Hungary.

The Centre publishes six journals, two of them ranked by SCOPUS, and has an expanding international publication portfolio in highly ranked international journals and publishing companies with a 50% increase in the number of publications compared to the previous year. A rigorous research performance evaluating system was launched in 2013 with a focus on international publications.

The Centre is active in applying to and managing European research projects, with special attention to the H2020 framework. In 2018, the H2020 RIA project DEMOS, led by the Centre as a Coordinator, won a EUR 3 million grant from the European Commission. The Centre hosts one of the few ERC Consolidator Grants in social sciences awarded to research institutions in the CEE region in the past five years (EVILTONGUE). Additionally, the Centre participates in H2020 projects as a WP leader, a variety of FP7 projects, COST actions, and Visegrad grants. CSS HAS is part of the European Social Survey (ESS) as Europe-wide research infrastructures. Currently the Centre operates 74 international and national research projects.

Special emphasis is given to developing a professional research administration team competent in proposal writing and management of international grants. The members of the Centre’s administration receive domestic and international training and play active roles in international research management networks, such as EARMA and BESTPRAC.

In January 2017, the Centre moved into brand new research premises, close to the centre of Budapest, which provide excellent technical and administrative infrastructure. The Centre operates an open access repository for research data and provides consultations for its researchers on GDPR and data management.

 

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Project DEMOS led by the Centre for Social Sciences wins HUF 1 billion grant from the EU

The project Democracy Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe (DEMOS), led by the Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences with the budget of HUF 1 billion successfully reached the grant agreement preparation phase within the H2020 European research support scheme, that funds outstanding research projects evaluated according to their professional excellence, societal impacts, expected level of implementation.  The evaluators of the proposal emphasized among others the proposal's excellent interdisciplinary approach and its ability to re-frame populism in a new way. The principal investigator of the three-year research program is Zsolt Boda, Director of the Institute for Political Science Centre for Social Sciences, the consortium consists of 15 European partners. Besides the scientific excellence the  impact, communication and implementation part of the project proposal  prepared by the Centre's Research Support Team led by Borbala Schenk contributed to its success, earning 4,5 and 5 points out of the 5 score maximum by the evaluators.

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Featured news

Statement

Institute for Sociology

Some recently published articles contain false statements to deceive public opinion and undermine the reputation of our colleagues and institution, degrading scientific research conducted at the Institute for Sociology of HAS Center for Social Sciences and defaming its publications and their authors. Research activities undertaken by the Institute are widely recognized by the national and international scientific communities, and a significant part of our results are openly accessible. Anyone may verify the fact that research work at our Institute concerns a wide range of acute problems faced by the Hungarian society.

The Institute for Sociology of HAS CS joins the initiative of the Center for Social Sciences (https://tk.mta.hu/tisztelt-olvaso), standing up for our colleagues named in the articles who work at the Center for Social Sciences, in particular, at our Institute, and expressing its solidarity with them.

Furthermore, we fully identify with the statement issued by the Presidency of HAS on 15 June 2018 (http://mta.hu/mta_hirei/az-akademia-ragaszkodik-a-fuggetlensegehez-es-a-kutatas-szabadsagahoz-108811), and support all efforts promoting the freedom in the choice of topics and the publishing of academic research as well as the sustenance of the network of research institutes of HAS.

We would like to thank the supportive statements released by various operators of scientific life.

Statement from the Institute of Political Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences

Institute for Political Science

Statement from the Institute of Political Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences

An article, making false assertions with the potential to mislead the public and damage the reputation of our colleagues and our institute, has been anonymously published in Figyelő weekly magazine on June 19, 2018. The article is about the research taking place at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences and lists seven of the Institute for Political Science’s researchers by name.

The article claims that among the researchers at our institute "many colleagues have not been too active in producing academic articles in recent years". The Figyelő reported these claims without any context and without any prior inquiry into specific details. Most of the seven researchers publicly scorned in the article are early career researchers, many of who have tasks other than publishing. Others began research at the Institute in the fall of 2017, but there are even others who were on long-term unpaid or parental leave and were taking care of their young children. They can hardly publish at same level as their colleagues. The list of researchers targeted by Figyelő even includes the researcher who was possibly the most successful colleague in international publications, which is also apparent from the online Library of Hungarian Academic Work, a public publication database.

We are delighted if the media writes about the Institute of Political Science’s research findings, the publications of its researchers, and even about specific research colleagues. But perhaps it is worthwhile to get in touch with the relevant institution, to become acquainted with the nature of academic research, including both findings and limitations. Of course, research output and its assessment is important and our “parent institution”, the Centre for Social Sciences at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (and thereby the Institute of Political Science as well) is among the strictest in this regard (actually a few years ago this was raised as a concern by the media). Related to this, the Institute for Political Science’s performance is outstanding in both research and publications: the Institute’s researchers published a total of 143 publications in 2017, of which 38 were in foreign languages, and made 40 Hungarian conference presentations and 70 international conference presentations. For those who are interested, there is information about our major research projects and publications on the Institute for Political Science’s website.