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Commission tries to allay fears over Horizon 2020

The European Commission’s director-general for research, Robert-Jan Smits, has said that researchers should not be concerned for the fate of the social sciences and humanities under Horizon 2020.

In a letter dated 29 November, Smits says that SSH research is an important part of the solution to the problems that will be tackled by the EU research programme. SSH will be incorporated “not only to examine, interpret and understand the big societal challenges, but also to point us towards the answers,” he says.

Smits’ statement follows concerns from several groups, including the federation of All European Academies and the League of European Research Universities, about the place of SSH in Horizon 2020. The groups have said they believe SSH will remain a peripheral part of the programme, with little funding available.

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