Internationally high quality, societally significant, ethically sustainable

The research conducted by our faculty combines the observation and interpretation of human as well as societal phenomena in a wide range of contexts. With our internationally high-level research, we address questions related to humanity and society.

Multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaboration

Research in our faculty combines a range of disciplines, crossing the borders of many branches of science and subjects.

We examine, for example, questions regarding ethnicity, identity, international migration, poverty and crises. These questions are shared by the researchers of applied language studies (language education policies, social integration), history and ethnology.

Current matters

There are many critical issues concerning society that are challenging European democracies today. Multidisciplinary research into crises and changes in society is one of the growing fields at the University of Jyväskylä. The research aims to provide knowledge of both global and local issues.

The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Historical Research conducts critical research about the long-term development of Finnish society from the perspectives of structures, interactions, communities and identities.

Recent global political events have made Academy Research Fellow Jari Kaukua’s research on Islamic philosophy more relevant than ever. His research provides insight into the Islamic way of thinking from a historical perspective. Kaukua has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his research.

Applying research results

The research conducted at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences can be applied to many areas of our society.

For example, RECENART, the Tekes-funded Research Centre for Art, has studied works of fine art and archaeological objects, enhancing our knowledge of their authorship, dating and authenticity.

RECENART combined research methods of art history, chemistry and physics with optical applications to study works of art. It has since developed into a university-based, multidisciplinary and international enterprise.

Raine Koskimaa studies teenagers’ media skills in the international EU project Transmedia Literacy. The aim of the project is to find solutions to how these skills could be taken into account in teaching.

Academy Professors

Academy Professor Petri Toiviainen (term 2014–2018) and his research group are studying the effect of listening to music on brain activity. Read more about the Dynamics of Music Cognition research project.

Academy Professor Sara Heinämaa (term 2017–2021) is developing a philosophical approach to social exclusion and marginalisation.


The research cluster in applied language studies at the University of Jyväskylä is unique in Finland. The profiling project Applied Language Studies for the Changing Society has received significant funding from the Academy of Finland. Applied language studies examines language as a social and interactive phenomenon and focuses on more than just linguistic structures and grammar.

Furthermore, the University of Jyväskylä has now established a profiling measure called Research Collegium for Language in Changing Society (RECLAS).

Another profiling action funded by Academy of Finland is Crises Redefined: Historical Continuity and Societal Change (CRISES). CRISES introduces a new multidisciplinary research unit that is focused on study of crises, continuity and change. The Department of History and Ethnology, the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies and the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy are combining their forces to find a new profile for their research and to foster co-operation between these different fields of science.

Centres of Excellence

Finnish Centre of Excellence in Historical Research studies the history of Finland from the late middle ages to present day or more precisely: what is the history of Finland. The basic idea of all research in this CoE is that it is a history of an imagined nation, a critical approach to long a process, formations, interactions, structures, communities and identities, which later become known as the history of Finland.

Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare) studies the transformation of ageing and care using novel conceptual and interdisciplinary perspectives, conjoining the analysis of diversification of everyday life to that of ongoing profound societal and policy change. The CoE combines scholarship from social policy, sociology and gerontology, analysing older people’s care needs, agency and equality as well as the changing character of care work in the context of transnationalisation and digitalisation of the ageing society. 


The research project EUROHERIT by Academy Research Fellow Tuuli Lähdesmäki studies the cultural heritage policy of the European Union. The project has received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

FiDiPro Professor Niilo Kauppi (term 2015–2019) examines the development and integration of the European Union through the lens of European political concepts and the transformation of European institutions.

The EURECA JYU network brings together EU- and Europe-related research at the University of Jyväskylä.

Welfare & wellbeing

The unique cross-disciplinary collaboration in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enables the study of welfare and wellbeing from various perspectives.

  • Scientific questions of welfare and wellbeing, illness and health
  • Social questions
  • Structural and societal questions
  • Cultural and historical questions
  • Cognitive and neurological questions

Read more about the research conducted in the faculty on the departments’ websites