For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Priority areas and research centres

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Priority areas and research centres bring together researchers on specific themes transcending disciplinary and faculty boundaries. Priority areas are financially supported by faculty or university programmes, while research centres typically result from bottom up initiatives. Below we list the priority areas and centres at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Artificial Intelligence & Politics

As artificial intelligence (AI) diffuses through our lives, it reconfigures central aspects of politics and society as we know it. The research priority area in Artificial Intelligence & Politics will combine research at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences into the interaction between AI and politics (in broad terms) with research into the social consequences of this interaction.

Brain and Cognition 

The Amsterdam Brain and Cognition research priority area studies how people's brains facilitate their mental capacity and therefore enable individuals to adequately respond to their environment, as well as how they learn to improve themselves.

Children, Adolescents and the Media

The Centre for research on Children, Adolescents and the Media (CcaM) strives to further understanding of the role media plays in the daily lives of children and adolescents, both in terms of the consequences of media and the causes underlying its use and effects.


The Communication research priority area explores the content, use and effects of media and communication. This interdisciplinary research centres on the establishment and testing of theories regarding media effects, underlying processes and relevant conditions.

Conflict Studies

The Amsterdam Centre for Conflict Studies (ACCS) provides a platform for knowledge exchange between researchers who study conflict and policymakers and professionals who specialise in conflict resolution.

Contemporary European Studies 

The mutual dependency between the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world confronts us with challenges we must learn to understand and to which we must formulate solutions. The research priority area Amsterdam Centre for European Studies focuses on research, education, public events and debates concerning the European Union and its member states.

Gender and Sexuality

The Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) offers an interdisciplinary forum for scientists and students to explore the themes of gender and sexuality in the social sciences. 

Global Health 

Along with the rise in international travel and globalisation, illnesses have become global as well. While increasing migration of medical staff and widespread distribution of medical technology can be observed, we can – paradoxically enough – also see a rise in the inequality in healthcare between countries. The Social Science and Global Health research priority area (SSGH) focuses on how to tackle these problems and organise adequate healthcare.

Health Communication

The Amsterdam Center for Health Communication (ACHC) strives to promote good health by conducting scientific research into effective communication.

Human(e) AI

The Human(e) AI research priority area stimulates and connects research to the legal, ethical and social consequences of AI and automated decision-making (ADM). How can we stimulate the development of AI that pays attention to cultural and socio-economic equality and fundamental civil rights?

Institutions and Inequality 

In recent decades, inequality in income and wealth has risen in many countries, the number of people living in poverty has increased and unequal access to educational opportunities has persisted. The Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) looks at the role institutions play in these inequality issues, specifically when factors such as socio-economic background, education, gender and ethnicity are considered.


The Amsterdam Research Centre for Migration (ARC-M) is a multidisciplinary and interfaculty centre that conducts international comparative research into international migration and the integration of migrants and their children. 

Personalised Communication

This priority area explores the fundamental changes in and challenges of communication today, with specific attention devoted to user-oriented communication, the users’ short attention span and the online competition for that attention.


Polarisation can be a significant barrier to harmonious and productive societies. The Polarisation research priority area aims to develop a comprehensive model of polarisation that advances the most pressing and complex ongoing debates in the social and behavioral sciences.

Political Communication

The Centre for Politics and Communication (CPC) offers a place for scientists, journalists, politicians and others interested in political communication to come together. It provides a forum for research and education relating to political communication, and for the exchange of theories and ideas concerning media, politics and public opinion. 

Real Emotion 

Over the past few decades, major advances have been made in research on emotions and how they influence daily life, but researchers face several obstacles now. The Real Emotion research priority area advances the state-of-the-art by promoting interdisciplinary research to study emotions as they occur in real life. 

Social and Behavioural Data Science Cente

The SoBe DSC is the social and behavioural sciences hub of the university’s central Data Science Centre. The SoBe DSC covers all activities at the intersection of computer science, mathematics and statistics, and at least one of the substantive disciplines of the social and behavioural sciences.

Sustainable Development

The Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) brings together expertise for the purpose of analysing urgent environmental issues, with specific attention paid to inequality, poverty and human dignity.

Urban Mental Health

The Urban Mental Health research priority area aims to unravel new pathways to improve Urban Mental Health that takes into account the complexities and dynamics of mental health problems and mental health disorders in an urban environment.

Urban Studies

For more than half the world's population, urban areas are their ‘natural’ living environment. There is no way to achieve a more fair, just and sustainable society without these cities and urban dwellers. The Centre for Urban Studies promotes interdisciplinary, international and societal collaboration in research focusing on cities.

Youth Digitality

Technology and digital media are changing young people’s lives, with an exponential increase in use and access among this group. The aim of the Youth Digitality research priority area is to understand how, why and when digital environments influence the development of youths and young adults, and how young people can use digital environments in an optimal and healthy manner to develop resilience and ultimately to thrive.

Youth, Education and Development

In the research priority area Yield, participants conduct multidisciplinary research into the bio-ecology of human development, from childhood to young adulthood. It brings together perspectives from medicine, child development, psychology, educational sciences, communication studies, economics and psychometrics.