The research conducted at our faculty is multidisciplinary and internationally recognised.

It combines the analysis and interpretation of human and social phenomena in various contexts. Our research addresses human as well as societal questions and is related to the ongoing discussions in society.

Because the effect of research typically emerges only after a project has ended, it can result in societal discussion, innovations and start-ups.

A report on the past of child welfare

From 2014 to 2016, researchers in history, ethnology, and social work at the University of Jyväskylä conducted a study on foster care in Finland between 1937 and 1983. The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and it was the first of its kind in Finland. In discussions in the Finnish Parliament, the lack of previous research on the topic was stated to be a problem. The study’s unique research material included approximately 300 interviews.

One aim of the study was to establish practices to prevent grievances, violence, and maltreatment in present and future foster care. The study report contains several proposals on how previous mistakes in child welfare could be avoided in the future.

Since its inception, the report has provoked much debate. However, the real impact of such projects emerges only after they have been completed.

The report is available to read in the Institutional Repository for the Government (in Finnish). 

The musical glove

For a few years, a research team of ten people has been developing non-traditional, easy-to-use instruments at the Department of Music. One result is the musical glove, which will soon be ready for the market. The glove is suitable for entertainment, education, and professional use. It can even be used in nursing.

 From the start, the research team has aimed to develop a marketable product. A company for marketing the musical glove has been established, and it is registered in the United States. As for product development, a subsidiary that will cooperate with the University of Jyväskylä is to be established in Jyväskylä.

RECENART (Research Center for Art)

RECENART, an artwork research project funded by TEKES – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, studied works of art and archaeological objects which required additional examination to determine their authorship, authenticity or dating.  The project has been continued as an enterprise. RECENART operates internationally and combines high-level competence and technology from art history, chemistry, physics and IT with art research. The University’s Unifund is a stakeholder in the company, meaning that cooperation between the two will continue.


Special national responsibilities

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has two special national responsibilities assigned by the Ministry of Education and Culture. They are handled exclusively at the University of Jyväskylä.

 The special national responsibilities of the Centre for Applied Language Studies relate to evaluating language skills and language education policies. The centre’s activity is networked nationally as well as internationally and includes cooperation with researchers, decision-makers, teachers, and other parties central to language policies. The research aims to comprehensively develop language education by considering and anticipating societal needs and questions.

The Sign Language Centre has a special national responsibility to carry out, develop and coordinate sign language research and education in Finland. They work together with other actors in the field. The University of Jyväskylä is the only university that has an academic sign language community.