The Centre for Social Sciences is a research institution where 200 Hungarian and international researchers engage in exploratory and innovative national and international research projects in the Social Sciences. Founded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Centre’s charter established its freedom to research without political influence. Comprising four institutes—Political Science, Minority Studies, Legal Studies, Sociology and other research units—, the Centre has greatly contributed to understanding and addressing far-reaching societal issues that pertain to Hungarian and European societies.
The Centre’s research activities focus on sociology, political science, computational social science, network science, minority studies, and law. Researchers take an interdisciplinary approach in their scientific work. The Centre’s main goals are to extend the quality of Hungarian research to Europe and beyond, to take a prominent regional lead in social science research, and to serve as a point of scientific reference in Hungary. The Centre currently operates over 70 local and international research projects.
Publishing six journals—two of them ranked by SCOPUS—, the Centre’s ambition has also been to expand its international publication portfolio in highly ranked international journals and publishing companies. A state-of-the-art research performance evaluating system has been used since 2013 with a focus on internal publications. Between 2017 and 2018, the efforts led to a 50% increase in the number of published works.
Moreover, researchers at the Centre have actively engaged in international projects with EU’s H2020 research funding scheme. And the Centre has worked on managing several of these projects. In 2018, the H2020 Research and Innovation Action project proposal DEMOS, which the Centre coordinates, won a €3 million grant from the European Commission. The Centre also hosts a European Research Council Consolidator Grant in social sciences: the EVILTONGUE project, one of the few Consolidator Grants awarded to research institutions in Central Europe in the past five years. The Centre also participates in many other H2020 projects as a Work Package leader (such as RURALIZATION, QUINNE, and COURAGE) and took part in a variety of FP7 projects (such as MIME, MOPACT, FAMILIES & SOCIETIES, FIDUCIA, and PROSUITE), COST actions, and Visegrad grants.
A professional research administration team constantly sharpens its expertise in proposal writing, research communication and impact, and management of international grants. Besides receiving domestic and international training, the members of the Centre’s administration play active roles in international research management networks, such as EARMA and BESTPRAC. Besides, the Centre operates an open access repository for research data and provides consultations for its researchers on GDPR and data management.
In January 2017, the Centre moved into brand new research premises, which provide excellent technical and administrative infrastructure, close to the heart of Budapest. The Centre is also a part of the European Social Survey (ESS) as a Europe-wide research infrastructure.