The mission of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) is
to stimulate the achievement of excellence in scholarly research in the social
sciences, to build interdisciplinary and international research collaboration
and to promote academic freedom. General objectives of the AISSR are:
1. To provide talented social scientists with an inspiring intellectual
AISSR stimulates researchers to develop research programmes and outcomes that
are at the forefront of scholarly endeavour. These should be relevant and able
to contribute to a better practical understanding of both past and contemporary
social and policy issues. This pursuit of scholarly excellence and societal
relevance must also contribute to the training and emergence of a future
generation of researchers. Hence, the AISSR’s committment to:
- Academic relevance: the institute will facilitate and stimulate
social scientists to engage in state-of-the-art research on key social and
policy issues, to generate and publish new research findings and to contribute
new insights and perspectives to social science theory.
- Methodological excellence: the institute builds upon and promotes
interaction across a variety of methodological traditions and expertise. By
developing a methods lab, the AISSR aims to ensure that scholars conduct
empirical research that is grounded in valid and relevant methodologies and
fosters methodological innovation.
- Social relevance: AISSR research themes are highly pertinent to a
rapidly changing society. The AISSR therefore contributes to public debates on
key issues – to interventions that address pressing social problems – and
engages with relevant stakeholders (government agencies, NGOs and the private
sector), at local, national and global levels.
- Educational relevance: AISSR researchers teach in high-quality,
research-driven PhD, research Master’s and Master’s programmes that attract
students both nationally and globally. The AISSR ensures high-quality,
stimulating post-graduate supervision and the timely completion of PhD projects.
It fosters the careers of its graduates by providing a strong PhD Community
including coaching and training, and encouraging PhD students to publish early
in their career.
- Leadership and the research environment: the AISSR Academic
Director and the Programme Directors are committed to good governance and human
resource management, through well-defined workplace policies and transparent
2. To foster theoretical and methodological pluralism and innovation
- The AISSR integrates scholars from sociology, anthropology, political
science, geography, planning and development studies who accept and apply
theoretical and methodological diversity in their research and publications. The
AISSR maintains and preserves this theoretical and methodological pluralism
through annual internal evaluations and by devoting explicit attention to such
pluralism in its hiring and promotion policies.
- The AISSR supports and stimulates interaction and exchange across this
theoretical and methodological diversity.
- The AISSR provides time, space and facilities to promote scholars who pursue
and develop innovation in terms of theory, research themes and methodologies.
3. To promote a culture of multidisciplinary and international collaboration
- The AISSR fosters and supports the emergence of multidisciplinary research
programmes and centres that promote cross-disciplinary cooperation among the
disciplines represented in the institute, to better address key problems in
social science research and in society.
- The AISSR promotes the widespread dissemination of research findings in a
variety of venues so as to enhance the impact of research output, emphasising,
in particular, the importance of high-impact journals and books published by
reputable academic publishing houses.
- The AISSR promotes the development of European, international and
comparative research partnerships, promoting both national-level and
cross-border exchange with networks and centres of excellence in Europe and
- The AISSR encourages interaction with internationally recognised scholars
through invitational lectures, seminars and conferences and by funding research
fellowships and visiting professorships, thus facilitating intellectual