One of DIFIS’s central objectives is to identify previously unanswered questions in social policy research and to work on existing research gaps. To this end, a research programme is being developed that structures work at DIFIS into six research fields and is able to react flexibly to new challenges and questions in social policy. The research programme will be implemented by funding (small) projects conducted by external researchers and, from 2023 onwards, DIFIS will also conduct its own research in six flexible research teams with changing compositions.

Research programme

The DIFIS research programme is being designed and developed in collaboration with a large number of relevant actors from research and practice. Taking the six basic research fields as a starting point, interviews and workshops with experts from politics, academia, public administration and civil society are being conducted and short expert reports are being commissioned in order to identify existing knowledge gaps and research needs. In the sense of a holistic understanding of social policy, the perspectives of different disciplines and groups of actors will thus be incorporated into the DIFIS research programme.

Research fields

DIFIS’s six research fields are multi-topical and interdisciplinary. Consequently, it will be possible to address both current and future research gaps within the framework of the DIFIS research programme. The questions of how social policy can contribute to making society more resilient and of how it can be designed in a sustainable way are considered, as are questions of migration and gender equality, the role of the labour market and the shaping of life courses in social protection, or the governance and organization of social policy as well as its political and social consequences.

Research field 1: Sustainability and social policy
Research field 2: How the modern world of work is challenging the design of social protection
Research field 3: Transnational social protection in a migration society
Research field 4: Shaping life courses between gender, family, education and labour market policies
Research field 5: Formulating, organizing and implementing social policy
Research Field 6: Social conflicts and social policy

Fellows Programme and Guest Researchers

The work on DIFIS’s six research fields will be conducted by flexible research teams. In order to promote scientific exchange and to constantly receive new impulses, fellows and guest researchers will be integrated into the research work. To this end, DIFIS will launch a fellowship programme in 2023 and support visiting researchers from Germany and abroad. Further information will follow.