SSH Integration in Horizon 2020

“Social sciences and humanities research will be fully integrated into each of the priorities of Horizon 2020 and each of the specific objectives and will contribute to the evidence base for policy making at international, Union, national, regional and local level. In relation to societal challenges, social sciences and humanities will be mainstreamed as an essential element of the activities needed to tackle each of the societal challenges to enhance their impact.” - Horizon 2020 Framework Regulation

Horizon 2020 aims at including the SSH as a cross-cutting issue and consequently it is embedded into each pillar and objective of Horizon 2020. The idea is to fully integrate the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines together with the SSH tackling the complex societal issues of European societies. The Socio-economic sciences and Humanities include a wide range of disciplines, encompassing sociology and economics, psychology and political science, history and cultural sciences, law and ethics.

Keys to successful integration of social sciences and humanities (SSH) in H2020
Net4Society created a factsheet on successful SSH Integration which highlights key issues and good practices to successfully integrate the social sciences and humanities in research Projects funded under Horizon 2020.

Success stories in SSH integration
Net4Society developed a compilation of factsheets on SSH integration. The series contains illustrations of all Societal Challenges throughout Horizon 2020 presenting best practice examples of successful SSH integration.



The European Commission has "flagged" topics in Horizon 2020 calls that require the inclusion of SSH research. This includes:

Topics dedicated to SSH Research
- The solutions to the challenge and problems that the topic presents are connected only to the SSH disciplines.
- Consortium composed by researchers coming from the SSH disciplines

Topics with a significant SSH component
- SSH researchers must be part of the consortium.
- Solutions must be the result of integration between STEM and SSH disciplines

How to find the SSH-flagged Topics?
On the Participant Portal there is a full list with all the topics considered as dedicated or relevant for SSH .
Net4Society publishes a document entitled “Opportunities for Researchers from the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH)”with relevant topics for SSH under each Horizon 2020 area.

How to find partners for interdisciplinary calls?
For topics under the 6th Societal Challenge "Europe in a changing world: inclusive, innovative and reflective societies":
Net4Society Partner Search Service
Net4Society Research Directory

Topics under other Horizon 2020 programmes: 
Partner Search Service for the 1st Societal Challenge, Health, demographic chance and wellbeing, provided by the Fit4Health2 project
Partner Search Service for the 4th Societal Challenge, Smart, green and integrated transport, provided by the ETNA Plus project
Partner Search for the 1st LEIT, ICT, provided by the IDEALIST project
Partner Search for the 2nd LEIT, Nanotechnologies, Advanced materials, Biotechnology, Advanced manufacturing and processing, provided by the NMP Team project


- SSH experts are fully involved in definition of the framework of questions and issues to be tackled in Horizon 2020.
- 37% of topics in the calls 2014-2015 are “flagged” for SSH. This means that SSH research must be integral part of the proposals.
- Evaluation panels include SSH experts

Report by the European Commission on the "Integration of social sciences and humanities in Horizon 2020: participants, budget and disciplines"


  • Success stories in SSH integration

    [PDF - 4.82 MB]

    A compilation of factsheets on SSH integration, focusing on different Societal Challenges, and presenting success stories. (URL:

  • Successful integration of SSH in Horizon2020

    [PDF - 1.03 MB]

    Keys to successful integration of social sciences and humanities (SSH) in H2020 (URL:


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