Lens looking at society, credit: Arthimedes, Shutterstock

Winners of CIVICA research call announced


Eleven cutting-edge projects selected for funding to address major societal challenges and deepen ties within CIVICA.

Eleven projects have been selected for funding in CIVICA’s first call for collaborative research proposals, from a total of 27 applications. Open from 1 February to 23 March 2021, the call marked the launch of CIVICA Research, the alliance’s long-term research and innovation agenda. The aim of such research calls is to foster new, innovative research and deepen cooperation between CIVICA’s eight member universities.

“We were impressed by the number of outstanding proposals we have received,” said Carsten Q. Schneider, Professor in the Political Science Department at Central European University (coordinating institution for CIVICA Research) and chair of the evaluation committee. “In light of the high-quality research plans, CIVICA members have jointly agreed to increase the available funding to approx. 400,000 EUR.” The financing comes from CIVICA’s Horizon 2020 funds, national funding sources and partners’ own resources. 

The evaluation committee consisted of the vice-presidents for research (or equivalent) of the eight member universities and the leaders of CIVICA’s four thematic groups. The twelve evaluators reviewed the research proposals based on the originality and novelty of the research plan, the potential to foster new networks across the alliance, and the disciplinary diversity, aiming to achieve an overall balance of topics. The call prioritised research in one or more of CIVICA’s four focus areas: Societies in Transition and Crises of Earth; Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century; Europe Revisited; and Data Driven Technologies for the Social Sciences. Cross-disciplinary proposals were particularly welcome.

Although thematically diverse, the winning projects share the common goal to shed new light on major social, economic or political phenomena. “By focusing on urgent issues such as inequality, democracy, populism or sustainable transitions, these projects will work on the cutting edge of social science to provide new perspectives on the present and future of our societies,” said Mark Hallerberg, Acting President at the Hertie School and member of the evaluation committee.

The call encouraged applications from teams of three or more CIVICA institutions. Most of the winning projects bring together three or four CIVICA universities, with the biggest project involving six partners.

The projects will showcase their first results in early 2022 and will run until the beginning of 2023. Reflecting on the project outputs, Guillaume Plantin, Vice President for Research at Sciences Po and member of the evaluation committee, said: “The first round of funded projects ushers in a new level of research collaboration in our alliance. I’m convinced this is a stepping stone towards establishing CIVICA as a leader in the social sciences in Europe and the world.”

CIVICA congratulates the winning projects and the researchers involved:

  • Attitudes to Inequalities: Perceptions, Judgments, Justifications (ATI) – lead institution: CEU
  • Contesting the Court: Examining Judicial Politics in the European Union – lead institutions: Hertie School & EUI
  • Democracy and Its Discontents. A Historical Examination of the Current Predicament of Democracy (DEMOS) – lead institution: Sciences Po
  • Digital Trade Integration - Dataset & Index (DTII) – lead institution: EUI
  • Mapping Emotions during COVID-19 Pandemic Using Twitter Data (EmoMap) – lead institution: Bocconi University
  • European Polarisation Observatory: Measuring Positions of Users, Medias, Polarisation, and the Role of Algorithms and AI Systems (EPO) – lead institutions: Sciences Po & CEU
  • Migration, Terrorism, and Democracy – lead institution: Hertie School
  • When the Law is Silent: Hate Crime Prosecution and Implicit Bias in Law Enforcement Agencies  (SILAW) – lead institution: SNSPA
  • Sustainable Energy and Food Transitions (STEADFAST) – lead institution: Bocconi University
  • The Long Shadow of Educational, Skills, and Professional Inequities in Time and in Space: Implications for Polarization and Support for Populism in Europe – lead institution: LSE
  • Welfare, Democracy, and Populism under the COVID-19 Crisis (WELDECO) – lead institution: CEU

CIVICA’s next call for collaborative research proposals will be open in 2022. To stay up to date, subscribe to the CIVICA newsletter.

For more information, visit the CIVICA Research webpage.

View below a network graph of the winning projects.

Header photo: Arthimedes Shutterstock

Visualisation network links, CIVICA Research call 2021