EU-India partnership strengthens research in social sciences and humanities – Economic and Social Research Council
The world is changing fast, and global issues require global solutions. Countries need to work together to tackle issues like climate change, promoting equality, sustainability and prosperity, and providing for a skilled working population and a healthy old age. Many of these challenges are fundamentally human in nature and social science and humanities-led research is vital to understanding these challenges and informing policy.
This is the big message behind the ‘Collaborative Research with Impact’ event, which is being organised by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) with Research Councils UK (RCUK) India, in New Delhi, 8-9 March 2017.
The purpose of the event is to showcase the achievements of the three year EU-India Social Sciences and Humanities Platform (EqUIP), a €1.5 million project, funded by the European Commission, which aimed to foster and strengthen relationships between social sciences and humanities research funding agencies in Europe and India. EqUIP is the first ever international research collaboration network between India and the European Union that has been specifically dedicated to social science and humanities.
The event brings together research funders, academia and policy makers to discuss the demand for, and potential impact of research collaboration between India and Europe to inform policy, practice and decision-making. Topics discussed will include the opportunities, barriers and current best practice in using research to inform decision-making. Speakers include Professor Ravinder Kaur from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi; Dr Tom Wakeford from Coventry University, UK; Professor Martin Fuchs, from the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Germany; and Professor Maja Bucar, from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
“India is an increasingly important research performing nation, with world renowned social science and humanities researchers, writers and artists,” said Dr Jacqui Karn, Senior International Policy Manager, ESRC. “The historical and cultural links between India and Europe mean that there is a great appetite for working together more, which is what this event is all about”.
At the event ICSSR announced its intention to join EqUIP’s first joint initiative to fund research activity which will build on the stronger links and relationships that have been developed throughout the three year EqUIP project between European and Indian funding agencies. This will be the first initiative of its kind between ICSSR and a number of European countries.
Professor Virendra Kumar Malhotra, Member Secretary, ICSSR said, “I’m pleased to announce that ICSSR is committed to participating in the EqUIP programme, in the future. With other EqUIP partners, we are now engaged in the process of designing the pilot call which will be launched soon in India and Europe”.
An EU-India joint research initiative will be announced shortly.
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Notes for editors
- The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) hosts the Coordinating Office of the EqUIP network of funders. It is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government.
- Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) is a council in India which promotes research in the field of social sciences. It was established in 1969 as an autonomous body under Government of India. The council supports a network of 29 research institutes, of which 24 are directly funded by ICSSR and 5 recognised by ICSSR.
- EU-India Social Science and Humanities Platform (EqUIP) is a €1.5 million project funded by the European Commission under its 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7) and brings together research funding and research support organisations in Europe and India in order to develop a stronger strategic partnership in the fields of social sciences and humanities.
The partner countries for this project are:
- Austria – Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI)
- Czech Republic (Czech Academy of Sciences)
- Finland – Academy of Finland (AKA)
- France – The French National Research Agency (opens in new window) (ANR)
- Germany -German Research Foundation (DFG), German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
- India – Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Indian Council for Philosophical Research and the Indian Council for Historical Research
- Italy -Agency for the Promotion of European Research (APRE)
- Netherlands – Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
- Norway – Research Council of Norway (RCN)
- Portugal – The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)
- Slovenia – Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (MIZS)
- UK – Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
This list does not reflect the countries engaged in the joint initiative which will be confirmed in the coming months.
- The ESRC leads the EqUIP platform, in close collaboration with ICSSR and European partners. The UK will continue to play this leadership role in this multi-lateral collaboration. This is unaffected by the UK leaving the European Union. The UK will be leaving the European Union and the formal process to negotiate the UK’s exit and future relationship will begin by the end of March 2017. The UK Government and Prime Minister have recognised the importance of the UK as one of the best places in the world for science and innovation and the importance of global engagement, partnership and collaboration. The continued success of UK research is dependent on our best researchers collaborating with partners and sharing facilities across international boundaries. The UK Research Councils will therefore continue to engage actively in EU funding programme and policy conversations.