League of European Research Universities
Social Sciences and Humanities research is of vital importance to the future of Europe and should therefore be supported by the European Union (EU), as it can be read in a new advice paper
published by the League of European Research Universities (LERU), in which lecturers from the UB Carles Mancho, Susana Narotzky and José Ramón Flecha and the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business, Elisenda Paluzie, have taken part.
According to LERU, the challenges Europe faces are fundamentally human in nature, therefore, understanding individual and collective human behaviour is necessary. With this new document, LERU provides recommendations for the new European Union research and innovation programme for the period 2014-2020, Horizon 2020, in which the European Commission is currently working. This new programme identifies six societal challenges that need funding: health, demographic change and well-being; food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and bio-economy; secure, clean and efficient energy; smart, green and integrated transport; climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials, and inclusive, innovative and secure societies.
LERU considers that Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research is essential to face all six challenges, not only the Inclusive, innovative and secure societies challenge. The League is also convinced that the full participation of SSH researchers in all fields of research will be particularly valuable and will generate important new knowledge which has a deep and intrinsic value, Therefore, LERU wants the European Research Council (ERC) to increase funding in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities and argues that Marie Curie programmes should remain available for SSH researchers. Furthermore, LERU proposes the establishment of a European Social Sciencess and Humanities Platform, made up of leading researchers in these fields, to develop and update research priorities agendas of SSH research.
The League of European Research Universities
LERU is an association of twenty-one leading research intensive universities that share the values of highly-quality teaching within an environment of internationally competitive research. Founded in 2002, LERU advocates education through an awareness of the frontiers of human understanding; the creation of new knowledge through basic research, which is the ultimate source of innovation in society, and the promotion of research across a broad front in partnership with industry and society at large. The UB, which became a member of LERU in January 2010, is the only Spanish university that belongs to the league.