SRP 22-27

Strategic Research Project

Demographic and Societal Challenges of the 21st Century

2022-2027 | Research Council VUB funding

Partner institutions

Brussels Centre for Urban Studies
Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research

Research objectives

The SRP Demographic and Societal Challenges of the 21st Century is located at the research group Interface Demography (ID). ID is the multidisciplinary unit for social demography and population studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Following the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, the main objective of this SRP is to address socio-demographic challenges related to social sustainability from a multidimensional perspective revolving around the notion of equity as a ‘crosscutting theme’. The research program gravitates around six mutually interconnected research lines:

  1. sustainable work and employment
  2. sustainable living environments
  3. equitable and nondiscriminatory social relations
  4. global population issues and migration
  5. inequality in health and mortality
  6. data and research infrastructure

These research lines relate intrinsically to several of the UN’s sustainable development goals. The central strategic goal of the current SRP application is to strengthen the critical context and infrastructure required to consolidate and further develop ID as a social-demographic research centre. In the light of this ambition, the SRP will first of all, ensure a stable and stimulating research environment facilitating the attraction of external research funding and generating excellent research output by each of ID’s members. This ambition will be pursued by investing in data infrastructure, coaching and support of our predocs and postdocs and developing our outreach strategy. Secondly, the SRP-funding will be used to initiate new research actions in each of the six research lines using ‘seed money’. Also a new data collection project on the living and working conditions of current major migrant groups in Belgium will be initiated. Based on the prior achievements and the accumulated scientific expertise, the solid experience and growing international and national networks of ID, the forthcoming SRP period aims to nurture its ambitious goals and support the further development.