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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 4 | 15. Januar 2016
NORFACE Transnational Research Programme on Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course

The NORFACE network invites proposals for innovative research addressing the theme “Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: Structures and Processes” that involve researchers from at least three different eligible countries. Projects with duration of up to three years can be proposed.

Applications to the NORFACE research programme will be processed in two stages. In the first stage, project outline proposals are invited with a deadline of 30 March 2016, 1 pm Central European Time. Applicants invited to the second stage will receive a notification by late June 2016 inviting them to submit a full proposal before 12 October 2016.

The programme is funded by the seventeen NORFACE partners, including the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The available funding of this major transnational programme now stands at a minimum of €15 million. EU support may also be available for this programme. More information about this additional funding will be available before the evaluation of the full proposals.

For programme details please refer to the NORFACE research programme specifications and call for proposals. For any question regarding the national eligibility rules, please contact the national funding agency. For national contacts in the NORFACE countries, see the call for proposals.

Themes and objectives of the programme

Existing and rising inequalities pose fundamental challenges to European societies and economies. The increasing gulf between rich and poor, exacerbated by the recent financial and economic crises, is a key concern. The sources of inequalities in contemporary societies are complex and highly intertwined and they and their consequences can only be understood through comprehensive and innovative research activities. Given our relatively mature understanding of life course inequalities, it is time to focus on the dynamics of inequalities – across different life stages, across different dimensions of inequality, and across different dimensions of identity – and to identify opportunities to reduce them.

Consequently, this NORFACE programme is focussed on understanding the dynamics of inequalities as they unfold over the life course, causal processes and drivers in relation to these inequalities, the impact of these inequalities on social cohesion, and the identification of opportunities for policy intervention to increase possibilities for social mobility and to reduce inequalities. The concern is to move beyond description and on to understanding underlying mechanisms and processes in order to identify these opportunities for intervention. This will be achieved through innovative, curiosity driven research that builds on extensive current knowledge on life course inequalities, and is focussed on gaps in our understanding of dynamics and underlying causal processes and drivers.

NORFACE is a network of social sciences research-funding organisations and has been active since 2004. Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course is the fourth joint research programme that NORFACE will fund. Previous programmes have been about “Welfare State Futures”, “Migration in Europe – Social, Economic, Cultural and Policy Dynamics”, and the “Re-emergence of Religion as a Social Force in Europe”. Partners from the following countries have committed to the NORFACE Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course programme: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Please note: The participation of Czech Republic and France in this call is to be confirmed. More information will be posted on the NORFACE website as soon as possible.

Further information

All relevant documents are provided at:

NORFACE Coordination Office please contact at:

Contact persons at the DFG:

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