30 million for research into social cohesion

The SOCION consortium, in which social and humanities scholars from five different research institutions, including Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, conduct research on social cohesion, has received a 30 million NWO Summit Grant.

Lead applicant sociologist Rafael Wittek of the University of Groningen: "The fabric of society is under pressure. Traditional forms of social cohesion are becoming less effective. Thanks to the grant, we can work in a new way, together with societal partners, to better understand how social cohesion can be achieved in these challenging times."

From VU Amsterdam, professors of moral and political philosophy Martin van Hees , philosopher Justin Bernstein , and moral and political philosopher Phil Robichaud are involved, all’affiliated with the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities. The contribution of the VU researchers focuses on ethical issues, particularly the relationship between social cohesion and individual values.

Fabric of Society

The consortium investigates social cohesion. Social cohesion is "the fabric of society," crucial for sustainable societies and the well-being of citizens. However, social cohesion is increasingly undermined by the erosion of communities and polarization between groups. Within the SOCION consortium (University of Groningen (lead institution), Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Radboud University, and NIDI), psychologists, historians, demographers, philosophers, and sociologists join forces with societal organizations to gain insight into how connections between individuals, groups, and institutions contribute to new routes to and forms of social cohesion.

The Summit Grant is intended for research consortia that have proven in existing collaborations that they belong to the absolute world top. According to NWO, the SOCION consortium, which builds on the ongoing Gravitation program SCOOP , has proven its value by developing a methodology for interdisciplinary research in the social and humanities sciences. The interdisciplinary team can now appoint new cohorts of PhDs and Postdocs to successfully continue the project, thereby making an important contribution to new knowledge for society. The University of Groningen is the lead institution for the SCOOP program. To date, nearly 80 PhD students and postdocs have completed their SCOOP training.

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