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Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

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.

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. This interdisciplinary platform focuses on research, education, public events and debates concerning the European Union and its member states.
Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES)website

Brain and Cognition 

The 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.
Brain & Cognition (ABC) website


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.
Communication website

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.
Personalised Communication website

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 challenge will be to determine how to tackle these problems and organise adequate healthcare.
Global Health (SSGH) website

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. This priority area looks at the role institutions play in these inequality issues, specifically when factors such as socio-economic background, education, gender and ethnicity are considered.
Institutions and Inequality (AMCIS) website

Youth, Education and Development

In this priority area, 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.
Youth, Education en Development (Yield) website

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. This research priority area promotes interdisciplinary, international and societal collaboration in research focusing on cities.
Urban Studies (CUS) website

Research Centres

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.
ACCS website

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.
CSDS website

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. 
ARC-GS website

Health Communication

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

Children, Adolescents and the Media

The Center 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.
CcaM website

Migration and Ethnicity

The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) is a multidisciplinary and interfaculty centre that conducts international comparative research into international migration and the integration of migrants and their children. 
IMES website

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. 
CPC website