The VU-GSSS does not maintain its own research programme, but hosts the PhD candidates and supervisors who belong to the six discipline-based research programmes that are institutionally anchored in separate departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The leadership of the different research programmes has the task of creating a stimulating intellectual climate in which the affiliated PhD candidates thrive in terms of intellectual inspiration, theoretical depth and methodological rigour. The disciplines vary largely in scientific method and research domain. This heterogeneous research area enables the discussion of possible interdisciplinary themes that cut through the various disciplinary programmes. In addition to further improvement of individual research programmes and in order to stimulate cross-programme cooperation, research in specific niches of the social sciences is advanced: e.g. integration and diversity, religion and identity, security and conflict, media communication, societal participation and welfare. These domains bring together and attract new talented researchers with different disciplinary and departmental backgrounds and stimulate intra-faculty, interfaculty and interuniversity collaboration and attract talented researchers. Part of the interdisciplinary nature of social studies also shows in our participation in Interfaculty Research Institutes (IOzIs).
As part of the faculty policy, the Graduate School is the breeding place for talented students across the disciplines, departments and even faculties by supporting and hosting such intra- and inter-faculty activities by means of its seminar series (such as Key Thinkers and Concepts, Engaged Scholarship) and the activities of the Graduate Platform among which the annual Graduate Conference.
Research programmes and groups