The world is changing fast, and global challenges require global solutions. Countries need to work together to tackle issues like climate change, equality, sustainability and prosperity, and providing for a skilled working population into healthy old age. As many of these challenges are fundamentally human in nature, social science and humanities-led research has a key part to play - policymakers need the best evidence, gathered from researchers around the world to help them make informed decisions.

This is the message behind EqUIP's 'Research with Impact' event, which will highlight the impact and value that can be achieved by Indian and European social scientists and humanities researchers working together. This event follows a parallel event which took place in Delhi on 8-9 March 2017. At the event, which will take place at the Science Europe headquarters in Brussels on 24-25 April 2017, EqUIP will announce a new research call inviting scientists from European countries to collaborate with Indian partners to conduct research that addresses key global societal challenges.

The 'Sustainability, equity, wellbeing and cultural connections' call will build on the strong links and relationships that have been developed throughout the three year EqUIP project between European and Indian funding agencies. This will be the first initiative of its kind between Indian funding partners and a number of European countries.

With a total funding of €5.5 million, it is expected that six projects will be funded in total, with a start date of 2019. Researchers from India, Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, and the UK are invited to apply. Further European countries may also be announced shortly. Research proposals should focus on societal challenges facing both India and the respective European countries, with suggested themes including, but not limited to, sustainability, equity, wellbeing and cultural connections.

The two day 'Research with Impact' event is being organised by the EU-India Social Sciences and Humanities Platform (EqUIP), a €1.5 million project, funded by the European Commission, which aims to foster and strengthen relationships between social sciences and humanities research funding agencies in Europe and India. EqUIP is the first ever international research collaboration network between India and Europe that has been specifically dedicated to social science and humanities.

The event brings together research funders, academia and policymakers to discuss the demand for, and potential impact of research collaboration between India and Europe to inform policy, practice and decision-making. Topics discussed will include the opportunities and possibilities presented by Europe-India social sciences and humanities collaborations, and how and why research in this area is relevant to policymakers and other users of research.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Supriya Chaudhuri from Jadavpur University, India
  • Dr Ajay Bailey from the University of Groningen
  • Professor VK Malhotra, who is member-secretary of the Indian Council of Social Science Research
  • Dr Sanjay Kumar from the United Nations Population Fund India.

There will also be a broader panel discussion, chaired by Professor Tony McEnery who is the Research Director at ESRC, which in addition to the above speakers will include:

  • Professor Kia Lindroos from University of Jyvaskyla
  • Dr Shekar Shah who is the Director General at the National Council of Applied Economic Research
  • Thomas Jacobsson who is Program Director at FORTE (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare)
  • Elisabeth Lipiatou who is the Head of Open and Inclusive Societies at DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission.

"India is an increasingly important research performing nation, with world renowned social science and humanities researchers, writers and artists," says Dr Jacqui Karn, Senior International Policy Manager at the ESRC. "The historical and cultural links between India and Europe mean that there is a great appetite for working together more, which is what this event is all about."

Further information about the call will be announced shortly.