Institute of Empirical Studies
The specific feature of our Faculty’s programmes (in comparison with other institutions in our country, as well as in international comparison) is that it’s based firmly on empirical research. One of the characteristic educational profiles of the Institute of Empirical Studies is supporting the former’s methodological groundedness. The Institute was founded in 2003 by Tamás Rudas, a Professor of our Institute, who is an Affiliate Professor at the Washington University (Seattle), Former Director of the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, President of the Raymond Boudon Award Committee (European Academy of Sociology), Former President of the European Association of Methodology and currently a member of its Advisory Board.
The Institute’s two departments are the Department of Statistics and the Department of Social Research Methodology. We provide courses on the whole higher education spectrum, from Bachelor’s to Doctoral Programmes. The Institute tends two Master’s Programmes of its own, the Survey Statistics and Data Analytics MSc and the Human Ecology MA, which are amongst the Faculty’s most popular Master’s Programmes, attracting most of the first place applicants. Our Institute’s research profile primarily concentrates on these two areas: social research methodology (incorporating innovative approaches, based on Big Data as well) and the social context of the ecological crisis.
The RC2S2 (Research Center for Computational Social Science) was founded in 2018 in our Institute by expanding the former Methodological Research Center. The Research Group’s leaders are our Institute’s Departments’ Heads, Ildikó Barna and Renáta Németh.
Our other active research group is the New Vision Lendület Research Group. Their five-year research programme started in 2019, its financier is the MTA Lendület Programme, its recipient institution is our Faculty and our Institute. The goal of the research is to project a positive future by examining the options of worktime reduction which will help answer the current problems of sustainability and wellbeing. The principal investigator is Miklós Antal, is a former lecturer of our Human Ecology Programme, a Postdoctoral Researcher of our Institute between 2015 and 2017 supported by OTKA(The political economy of energy transitions in Eastern Europe).
Many researches were realised by the lecturers of the Human Ecology Programme and its Director, András Takács-Sánta. A currently active programme is the Small Communities Programme which supports the formation of small local ecological communities.
An emerging new initiative of our Institute is to establish a research group focusing on rural society and - in particular - on agricultural society. The initiator, Béla Bartók, former manager of the Hungarian and Romanian offices of a global agricultural market research company for fifteen years, developing several methodological innovations and managing global process development projects. He coordinates the establishment of the research group in intensive consortium collaboration with business actors, in line with the university's third mission development plans and in cooperation with the university's Innovation Center, Tendering Center, Third Mission Strategy Office, as well as several institutes, departments and research groups of the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Informatics. The initiative won the support of the Proof of Concept tender of the Eötvös Loránd University Innovation Center in 2021.
Approximately a thousand scientific publications are connected to our Institute, amongst them many featured by international top rank papers, with approximately 3500 citations altogether. We practice active talent management, there are dozens of interns continuously working in our researches. We include students from every level of education: besides thesis and doctoral topics connected to our researches, we announce topics regularly for Scientific Student Conferences and the New National Notability Programme which our students usually apply for successfully. We also hold our students’ research socialisation important in the area of dissemination, many publications were born from these surveys, some also in international Q1 papers.