Our research should enrich the scientific discourse as well as provide evidence-based and action-oriented decision bases for policy and society. The focus is on cross-method research in the fields of public health, social integration and participation as well as behavioural research, digital technologies and communication.
Whether quantitative or qualitative, problem- or solution-oriented, theoretical or empirical approaches, the focus is on relational and processual dynamics in the social, economic and political spheres and the identification of potentials and conditions for enabling socially sustainable and future-oriented development of society. Central themes are changes in the welfare state or social system and in this sense the social participation of different (disadvantaged) groups of people, integration into the labor market, migration, individual life courses and also changes in the living and social space.
The health improvement of the population is an essential part of the Austrian health objectives. The aim is to strengthen the health competence of all age groups, to enable healthy growth and to create health-promoting living and working conditions with the aim of increasing the number of healthy years of life in the long term. Above all, research into behavioural patterns in an economic context and decisive influencing factors such as socio-economic status are the focus of attention.
Digital media create new information environments and new opportunities for health and society. They create new spaces for learning, promote social exchange and stimulate participation processes. At the same time, they can increase the dissemination of misinformation, social inequality and political polarisation. In order to promote the positive potential of social media, it is important to understand how citizens use social media and what effects the use of these technologies have on the individual and on the social and political system.
This research examines fields of action (including virtual social space), methods and theories (basic research), participation – digital media, innovative research methods, analysis of social space, shaping society – social planning, as well as evaluation – organizational analysis, practice research and participatory research.