Funding of social sciences and humanities in Horizon Europe

Opening up new fields of research, building networks, broadening horizons and advancing research careers: EU funding programmes make it possible. Potential applicants from the social sciences and humanities can make use of the support services provided by the National Contact Point Society (“Nationale Kontaktstelle Gesellschaft” or “NKS Gesellschaft”).

Horizon Europe – the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2021-2027)

Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation is the largest research and innovation support programme in the world. There is one area which is specifically dedicated to the humanities and social sciences. This is the Cluster “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society" with three areas of intervention: democracy and governance; culture, cultural heritage and creativity; social and economic transformations. However, almost all areas of Horizon Europe invite humanities and social sciences researchers to participate in proposals.

Topics such as cohesion, wellbeing, democracy, identities, digital and economic transformations, as well as sustainable development need the expertise of the humanities and social sciences. They provide a better understanding of societal crises and transformations and the research results can feed into evidence-based policy-making. For the duration of Horizon Europe (2021 – 2027), funding in the range of 2.3 billion euro is available for the cluster “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society”.

National Contact Points (NCPs):  A Support System for Applicants

National Contact Points (NCPs) exist in all European Member States, in the countries associated to Horizon Europe and in many non-associated countries.  This support structure aims at facilitating researchers' access to EU funds: NCPs provide advice on all aspects of the European Research and Innovation Framework Programme.

The NCP Society

Logo NCP Society

NCP Society

The Cluster “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society” has its own dedicated NCP: in Germany this is the National Contact Point Society (Nationale Kontaktstelle Gesellschaft), in short NCP Society (NKS Gesellschaft). It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is part of the project management organisation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR Projektträger). The experts in the NCP Society help researchers from the social sciences and humanities, public administrations, civil society, as well as culture and creative industries to identify funding opportunities in the “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society” cluster, to set up consortia, and to formulate their applications. In addition, the NCP Society provides information about further funding possibilities for the humanities and social sciences in Horizon Europe, since participation by the humanities and social sciences is possible and desired in almost all areas of Horizon Europe!

The services of the NCP Society in brief:

  • Information on current calls for proposals and participation criteria
  • Advice on individual proposals
  • Organisation of events for specific target groups, specific topics (impact, proposal writing) and brokerage events
  • Support in the search for European/international project partners

Networking in Europe and the World – Net4Society

To ensure that networking at European and international level can succeed, the NCP Society coordinates the network Net4Society. Since 2008, Net4Society connects the National Contact Points for the Social Sciences and Humanities worldwide. In Horizon Europe, Net4Society (under the name Net4SocietyHE) provides information on EU calls for proposals and EU events via its platform. The network supports the search for partners by organizing international information, brokerage and proposal check events. To make more visible the variety of topics to which the humanities and social sciences can actively apply in all areas of Horizon Europe, Net4Society regularly compiles suitable calls under the title "Opportunities for Researchers from the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)", identifies success stories and provides practical assistance.

With the seed funding call "Guideline for the funding of projects for cross-border networking and development of project proposals for collaborative projects of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe", the BMBF offers support for the preparation of EU applications - among others in Cluster 2 "Culture, Creativity and Society". Before you apply for this BMBF call, please contact the NCP Society for to find out whether future Cluster 2 Work Programmes are likely to contain suitable topics for your project.