Understanding Society

As specialists in people and society, we are concerned about the world around us. We aim to use our research to contribute to a better understanding of society, on the basis of which we can seek solutions to social problems.

Research into people and society

Innovative and committed

Scientific research is the foundation of Tilburg University. Our mission is to hold a critical and independent mirror up to society, but also to contribute to society for the benefit of all.

Our research into people and society is firmly anchored in the fields of economics, law, humanities (including philosophy, religious studies, communication sciences) and social sciences (sociology and psychology).

Studying social problems such as an aging population, religious differences, and financing health care on the basis of a single expertise is, however, no longer sufficient. Our researchers increasingly face complex themes which require an innovative approach employing several disciplines. Tilburg University has about twenty centers in which academics with all kinds of expertise can work together. These partnerships are innovative and inspiring: new insights and questions often arise precisely at the point where scientific disciplines meet.

High quality

National assessments and international reviews prove time and again that we achieve good or very good scores in all our fields. Several research programs belong to the best in Europe. To maintain this level of research, it is periodically reviewed by (inter)national committees, comprised of outstanding scientists in their field. An external evaluation is carried out once every six years, and an internal assessment (mid-term review) is carried out every three years.

A number of multidisciplinary research centers receive additional support from Tilburg University's Executive Board to develop into an academic Center of Excellence, which will allow them to remain leading in their (international) field of research. An independent committee determines whether these institutes live up to high standards.

The International Victimology Institute INTERVICT and Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, have acquired the status of Center of Excellence. INTERVICT conducts interdisciplinary research that contributes to a comprehensive, evidence-based body of knowledge on the empowerment and support of victims of crime and abuse of power. Netspar is a network of Dutch and international pension researchers and Dutch universities on the one hand, and government ministries, supervising agencies and other civil service institutions, pension funds, pension providers, insurance companies, banks, and asset liability management companies on the other. Together they contribute to the ongoing improvement of financing opportunities for the 'old age' of Dutch and European citizens.

International

On the international front, we  participate in various research networks and share many alliances with foreign universities, primarily in Europe, although we maintain contact in all parts of the world. As the initiator and coordinator of the RISE European network (Raising the Impact of the Socio-Economic sciences), we are committed to raising the impact of socio-economic research. Eight renowned universities belong to the network.

Sharing knowledge

Tilburg University attaches great importance to the transfer of knowledge to society and the application of knowledge and expertise. Many of our researchers work together with industry and other social organizations. In addition, Tilburg University develops networks of students interested in being entrepreneurs and it provides education for senior levels in industry and the non-profit sector at TIAS School for Business and Society. The university expressly supports start-up companies. Tilburg University reaches an even wider audience via the Children's University and Academic Forum symposia. The Tilburg Social Innovation Lab (TiSIL) contributes to solving societal issues by means of creation, dissemination, and application of interdisciplinairy knowledge. In TiSIL we cooperate with four higher education organizations in the region of Midden-Brabant.

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