Research work at the University of Tartu Faculty of Social Sciences focuses on the broad study of topics that are of importance to society. The faculty does research in the fields of law, economics, educational science and educational management, psychology, sociology and politics, and media and communication studies. The faculty colleges in Narva and Pärnu are important regional higher education centres. A substantial research topic in Narva is multiculturalism in education and other spheres of society, Pärnu College focuses on improving Estonian service economy.
Researchers of the Faculty of Social Sciences are highly acknowledged in their field of research. In psychiatry and psychology, Risto-Kalervo Näätänen, Anu Realo and Jüri Allik rank among the top 1% of most cited researchers in the world. The faculty’s researchers participate in various international research groups and have been successful in applying for institutional and personal research grants which are intended for supporting high-level research activity.
Researchers of UT Faculty of Social Sciences have a say in the country’s legislation and policy making and they are influential opinion leaders in society. Our researchers contribute significantly to society also with applied research. For example, among other things, the Network of Innovation Schools coordinates the implementation of curricula development projects, the Centre for Applied Social Sciences (RAKE) includes representatives from various fields and their aim is to increase the relative importance of knowledge-based decision making in Estonian society.'
In addition, numerous spin-off companies have emerged from the faculty (Eesti Rakenduspsühholoogia Keskus OÜ, Statistikalabor OÜ, Keelekord OÜ). The students of the faculty are also active participants in various research projects, some student projects have developed into successful enterprises (PsychoBus). Through the Vega Fund, the Idea Lab of the School of Economics and Business Administration give up to 50 000 euros each year to fund students’ knowledge-intensive ideas. The students of the Faculty of Social Sciences have also successfully participated in various national student research contests.