NORFACE and HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) present a joint paper on the value of international networks of research funding agencies for social sciences and humanities in the European Research Area. The joint paper Research Beyond Borders shares their vision for transnational research collaboration, achievements and ambitions for their research communities and their outlook to the future.
Europe and the world are facing complex societal and cultural challenges to which the social sciences and humanities both need to make essential contributions. By working across countries and disciplines, valuable contributions can be made on a far wider scale. Both HERA and NORFACE are committed to building strong European social science and humanities research communities and to contributing to the establishment of a European Research Area. Therefore, they have joint forces in developing this paper.
The efforts of the partners involved since the networks’ establishment in 2004 have led to funding opportunities for excellent and innovative research in dozens of transnational projects for a combined total of more than € 160 million, including funding from the European Commission. Over the years, barriers have been removed to enable large scale international research collaboration and capacity building is being facilitated across all regions of Europe, including the newer Member States. The networks are highly valued by researchers, policy makers, funding organisations and wider stakeholders.
The Chairs of the NORFACE and HERA networks, Kerstin Sahlin and Wojciech Sowa, state the following on this value: “The impact on the research communities is clear – the projects funded under the joint research programmes have not only produced innovative research, they have also built new networks for future projects, trained new researchers, and promoted knowledge exchange.”