30 million euros for research into social cohesion

The SOCION consortium, which includes social and humanities scientists from five different knowledge institutions who will research social cohesion, has acquired a 30 million euro NWO Summit Grant.

The Summit Grant is intended for research consortia that have proven to belong to the absolute world top. According to NWO, the SOCION consortium, which builds on the current Gravitation programme  SCOOP , has proven its value by developing a working method for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences and humanities. The interdisciplinary team can now appoint new cohorts of PhDs and Postdocs to successfully continue the project, with which the researchers make an important contribution to new knowledge for society.

  • The Researcher from Radboud University who was involved in the application is Prof. Dr. Ellen Verbakel (Sociology).
  • Researchers from Groningen University involved in the application are Prof. Dr Rafael Wittek, Prof. Dr Basak Bileçen, and Dr Liesbet Heyse (Sociology), Prof. Dr Lisa Herzog, Prof. Dr Pauline Kleingeld, and Dr Leah Henderson (Philosophy), Prof. Dr. Helga de Valk, Prof. Dr Kene Henkens, and Prof. Dr Matthijs Kalmijn (NIDI), Prof. Dr Russell Spears, Prof. Dr Nina Hansen, and Dr Yasin Koc (Social Psychology). 
  • Researchers from Utrecht University involved in the application were Prof. Dr Tanja van der Lippe, Prof. Dr Vincent Buskens, Prof. Dr Eva Jaspers (Sociology), Prof. Dr Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, Dr Maanik Nath, and Dr Selin Dilli (Economic and Social History), Prof. Dr Jojanneke van der Toorn, Prof. Dr Belle Derks, and Prof. Dr Naomi Ellemers (Psychology). 
  • Researchers from VU Amsterdam who were involved in the application were Prof. Dr Martin van Hees, Dr Phil Robichaud, and Dr Justin Bernstein (Philosophy). 

The fabric of society

The consortium will investigate social cohesion, 'the fabric of society', which is 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, psychologists, historians, demographers, philosophers and sociologists join forces with societal partners to gain insight into how connections between individuals, groups and institutions may contribute to new pathways to and forms of social cohesion. 

Ranked first

Of the 55 partnerships nominated by the boards of Dutch knowledge institutions, 15 were selected to develop a complete application and present it. Ultimately, five consortia received funding. SOCION's proposal on social cohesion came first in the ranking.

The SOCION consortium comprises the University of Groningen (coordinator), Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam, Radboud University and the NIDI.