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.