June 2013 | Issue 01

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is nearly over and Horizon 2020 - the next framework programme for research and innovation - is expected to start in January 2014. However, the final calls of Marie Curie Individual Fellowship grants are open now for researchers in general and in SSH in particular.
Marie Curie individual fellowships support the mobility of researchers within and beyond Europe, as well as help attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU.
Around 1,000 experienced researchers are expected to benefit from these calls which enjoy a budget of €227 million - the highest single amount made available through the Marie Curie Actions fund. Current calls
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for the Marie Curie fund, said: "Our Marie Curie fellowship grants ensure support for excellent … which can result in breakthroughs that transform the lives of millions. Recent Marie Curie beneficiaries have carried out ground-breaking research…”
Three types of individual fellowships are available:

  • Intra-European Fellowships (IEF) support researchers acquiring knowledge and new skills in another country within Europe. This scheme supports career development or restart of experienced researchers at different stages of their careers, and seeks to broaden their skill acquisition at multi- or interdisciplinary level and/or by undertaking inter-sectoral experiences.
  • International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF) offer researchers the chance to acquire new knowledge in a high-level organisation outside Europe. As part of the grant agreement, the researchers have to return to Europe and share this knowledge.
  • International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) enables researchers from outside Europe to be trained within a European institution. Thus, they are enhancing the possibility of future collaborative research links with European researchers and organisations active in research in their future research career.

 

The application process runs until 14 August 2013. To apply please visit http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/funding

How do the individual fellowships work?
The researcher and the host organisation submit jointly a proposal for a research project. Applications are evaluated and selected by independent experts once a year. Excellence, innovative research and training approach, as well as the support offered by the host organisation and the researcher's future career prospects are the key elements of the proposal. If the proposal is ranked for funding, the European Commission will sign a grant agreement (contract) with the host institution in Europe. The host institution must then provide the researcher with an employment contract for the duration of the Individual Fellowship grant.

Individual fellowships in Horizon 2020
Individual Fellowships will continue to be provided under the new Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, which starts in 2014. The main novelty will be the option to spend a period in another type of organisation (e.g. a company). The details of the programme are still under discussion by the Member States and the European Parliament. The European Commission expects to publish the first new call for individual fellowship applications by the end of 2013.

Sharing the Experience
Two Marie Curie IIF fellows shared their experience during the March 2013 webinar “Do Research in Europe”.  You can always re-watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E13L2nLuT00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbyarK9pv9o

Expand your research connections
Upcoming events to widen your research possibilities
Here are a collection of events that will take place over the next few months in the Socio-Economic Sciences & Humanities field. The events are arranged in chronological order, and organized by a variety of bodies, in numerous venues around the world.
For more events please visit the events’ page on Net4Society’s website: http://www.net4society.eu/public/events.php
 



Sixth International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development
20-21 June 2013, ISTANBUL, TURKEY
The objective of the conference is to gather decision makers (government, ministries and state agencies), innovation experts (universities, research and development centers, technology transfer centers and start-up centers) and practitioners (SMEs, business incubators and business support organizations) to generate discussion and exchange on the potential of entrepreneurship promotion and innovation to national and regional competitiveness.​
For more information and registration:
http://www.iceird2013.org/scope.asp


Citizenship in the European Union: Twenty years after Maastricht
27-28 June 2013, Budapest and Koszeg, Hungary
This conference contributes to the European Year of Citizens 2013 by stimulating debates about the promises and challenges of EU citizenship, notably in a Central and Eastern European context.
On the first day the conference will be held at the Corvinus University of Budapest. In-depth debates will be pursued on the second day at the Institute for Social and European Studies in Koszeg.
For more information and registration:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/events-241_en.html


Social innovation Conference: Creating Value With and For People
28 June, 2013, Bilbao, Spain
This event will give the opportunity to learn how other European regions have included social innovation in their smart specialization strategies. In addition to this, several social innovation good practices will be presented together with a Basque cooperation platform to connect regional social innovation with European networks. At the end of the session, the regional index of social innovation (Resindex) will be presented: this is a pioneer pilot project in Europe promoted by Innobasque in collaboration with Sinnergiak Social Innovation (UPV/EHU), which measures and assesses the state of social innovation.
For more information and registration:
http://www.innobasque.com/home.aspx?tabid=1546


Two events under The International Academic Forum (IAFOR):
4-7 July 2013, Brighton, UK
Inaugural European Conference on the Social Sciences
With the launch of the European Conference on the Social Sciences in 2013, the organizer "International Academic Forum - iafor" hopes to build on the conversations and partnerships that have nurtured over the past three years with the Asian Conference on the Social Sciences, and to forge new relationships as academics and scholars are encouraged to meet and exchange ideas and views in an international academic forum.
This year's conference will include a variety of presenters representing a wide range of social science disciplines, expressing divergent views, searching for common ground, and creating the synergies that can inspire multi-disciplinary collaborations.
For more information and registration:
http://ecss.iafor.org/

 

Sustainability, Society and the Environment: Searching for Synergies
ECSEE 2013 will address the various dimensions of human sustainability as scholars from around the world will address questions and search for synergies and solutions to the complex issues surrounding sustainability in a forum encouraging serious and thoughtful exchange between academics, members of the global business community, and practitioners in the fields of human endeavour that link these. Scientists from around the globe are invited to meet and share respective outlooks and collective wisdom on a critical issue of common concern: the pursuit of a sustainable world.
For more information and registration:
http://ecss.iafor.org/


Crossing Borders - Human Rights Education and Historical Learning

4-6 September 2013, Trondheim, Norway
The main topic of the conference is history and human rights education at historical sites and museums.
The focus will be on examining how historical learning processes, informed by human rights principles and values, can contribute to solidarity, mutual respect and the protection of human dignity.
By combining relevant theory with tangible examples, the organizers wish to contribute to the development of educational theory, policy and practice in the service of sustainable democratic development and intercultural understanding.
For more information and registration:
http://www.theewc.org/calendar/view/crossing.borders/
 

Eighth European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE2013)
19-20 September 2013, Brussels, Belgium
The conference will be an opportunity for scientific discussion and collaboration on a broad range of relevant fertile areas associated to recent trends in innovation.
For more information and registration:
http://academic-conferences.org/ecie/ecie2013/ecie13-call-papers.htm
 

Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities
23-24 September 2013, Vilnius, Lithuania
With the implementation of “Horizon 2020”, the time has come to jointly define the common ground that constitutes the diverse areas of social sciences and humanities throughout Europe and prepare for the opportunities offered by “Horizon 2020”. This conference, initiated and organized by the EU Lithuanian, invites elaboration of the potential that SSH can bring to the goals defined in “Horizon 2020” and how best to integrate the knowledge, methods and experience the SSH have to offer over a wide range of phenomena and problem spaces. The conference follows a bottom-up approach: Putting SSH researchers and scholars at the centre.
For more information and registration:
http://horizons.mruni.eu/


 

 



In March 2013, the European Commission has published an update of the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues that is available on the Participant Portal.
The principal modifications and clarifications concern the following issues:

  • The reduction of the period of pre-financing payment to 30 days from the date of entry into force of the grant agreement
  • The reduction of the period of interim and final payments to 90 days from the date of receipt of the reports
  • The end of the obligation for the coordinator to open and manage an interest-bearing bank account
  • The end of the obligation for the coordinator to declare and reimburse the interest generated by pre-financing payments
  • These changes apply from 1 January 2013, both to future projects and to current ones.

In addition to FP7 - or in the future Horizon 2020 - a number of European research funding initiatives provide further opportunities for Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH). To help researchers with identifying these opportunities, the NET4SOCIETY website lists open calls of SSH relevance in ERA-Nets, Joint Programming Initiatives, Joint Technology Initiatives or Article 185-Initiatives.

  • Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) aim to tackle common European grand societal challenges. They develop strategic research agendas but also pool national research efforts. A number of JPIs publish joint calls for research proposals. One example is the Joint Programming Initiative on “Cultural Heritage” that aims at the protection of cultural heritage. Topics within the JPI are e.g. the development of protective technologies, but also questions of cultural value, use and identity.
  • ERA-Nets are networks of research funding and research managing organisations. They aim at developing and strengthening the coordination of national and regional research programmes. They also publish joint calls to fund collaborative research projects. The HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) and NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe) ERA-Nets have a specific focus on the humanities and the social sciences respectively. Other ERA-Nets like SUSFOOD (Sustainable food production and consumption) include opportunities for SSH while also addressing technical and natural sciences.
  • Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) evolved out of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) that bring together industry and other stakeholders on specific topics to define research priorities. JTIs are a means to implement the Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs) of some of these European Technology Platforms by publishing joint calls. The major focus of JTIs is on technology development. However, some JTIs also include SSH aspects. An example is the “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking” on transportation that also called for proposals with a focus on social acceptance and public awareness. 
  • Article 185-Initiatives are based on Article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (= TFEU). They foresee the participation of the EU in the joint implementation of national research and development programmes. The “AAL – Ambient Assistant Living” Initiative for example aims to create better living conditions for the elderly based on ICT solutions.

To get an overview on past and current funding opportunities in these initiatives, please visit http://www.net4society.eu/public/408.php

Expand your research sources
Latest publications from EU research in the Socio-Economic Sciences & Humanities field
Hereafter are the latest publications from the European Commission and leading institutions in the Socio-Economic Sciences & Humanities field.
 

Research on social innovation: Inventory of projects funded under the EU Research Framework Programmes Published by European Commission
This is an updated inventory of social innovation research projects funded under Framework Programmes 5, 6 and 7. The inventory now includes projects that started in 2013. It provides short descriptions of the projects, including information on the coordinating institutions and websites (if available).
For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/ssh-projects-fp7-5-6-social-innovation_en.pdf
 
Welfare and Values in Europe: Transitions related to Religion, Minorities and Gender in Eastern Europe
Published by: Uppsala University, Sweden
This book is the third in the series of three from the research project Welfare and Values in Europe: Transitions Related to Religion, Minorities and Gender, WaVE for short. The WaVE-project responded to a call by the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme for research on ‘values and religions in Europe’. The call invited studies aiming ‘to better understand the significance and impact of values and religions in societies across Europe and their roles in relation to changes in society and to the emergence of European identities’.
For more information:
http://www.iceird2013.org/scope.asp
 

Policy review of research results: Social inclusion of youth on the margins of society
Published by: European Commission
This policy review looks into the lives and aspirations of young people who face severe or multiple forms of social exclusion, such as young migrants, long-term unemployed, homeless youth and young people in public care. It analyses the causes and processes of their exclusion and focuses on policy solutions to break the individual and social glass-ceiling. This policy review summarises the evidence of a cluster of five youth-oriented research projects launched in 2008 and broadens the evidence basis for stimulating inclusive growth in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy and its flagship initiatives 'Youth on the move' and the 'European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion'.
For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/events-241_en.html
 

Climate Change – Flooding conflicts?
Spotlight on: The CLICO project– Climate change, hydro-conflicts and human security


What is the link between climate change and human security? Will an increased number of droughts and floods lead to an increased number of violent conflicts? To tackle these questions, climatologists, hydrologists, social environmental scientists, geographers, political scientists and economists joint forces in an international highly interdisciplinary initiative - the CLICO project. Focusing on the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Sahel regions – where droughts and floods threaten human security - eleven case studies were conducted.
Domestic water conflicts and their drivers were analysed, taking into account climatic, hydrological and socio-economic aspects. Trans-boundary treaties and their handling of climate change and uncertainty were analysed as well.

CLICO results did not find a direct link between climate change and water conflicts. Instead, water conflicts are rather driven by economic and political factors in combination with climatic and hydrological ones. CLICO’s researchers found that development reduces violent domestic conflicts over water, though in some cases, such as with the expansion of large-scale agriculture, it might also be a source of social tensions and conflicts. The vulnerability of populations stems from deeper causes which precede disaster events, such as poverty, lack of access to education or fair systems of governance, and corruption in political and administrative institutions. However vulnerability to climate stresses and human insecurity can be increased by poverty. Further, political stability and a welfare state reduce the likelihood of insecurity.

The policy analysis of CLICO highlights the need for institutional collaboration and integration of climate change adaptation policies into already existing structures, such as those related to human development and poverty reduction. A review of existing policies in a number of countries found that some good policies already exist, but are not implemented.

Moreover, in many cases the knowledge and experience of the populations affected by water phenomena is not taken adequately into account, and as a result government policies end up being counterproductive. More participation in policy-making would need to go hand-in-hand with social and economic policies to empower vulnerable groups to have a meaningful role in participatory processes.
CLICO also warns about the deterioration in social protection and support systems in cases of natural disasters in the northern Mediterranean due to the economic crisis, and strongly advices reversing this tendency in order to improve human security.
Taking into account the large scope of the project’s findings, a key conclusion is that political discourses must not reiterate simplistic models which link climate change directly to social conflict and insecurity: a better distribution of wealth, greater social protection, universal access to justice and higher levels of democracy can largely help improve human security and reduce outbreaks of social conflict.
The CLICO project is part of CLIWASEC, a cluster of FP7 research projects funded under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) as well as the Environment (ENV) theme. Participation in this cluster made possible and further promoted ambitious interdisciplinary exchanges.

At the same time the project illustrates how international cooperation can be achieved within the European Research Framework Programme. Not only did the project include partners from Spain, UK, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, and Cyprus, but also from Ethiopia, and the West Bank.

CLICO was funded under Theme 8 “Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities” in FP7, with a budget of approximately 3, 7 million €. It ran from January 2010 to December 2012 and was coordinated by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. More information on the project and its results are available here: http://www.clico.org/