RPA Polarisation

The Research Priority Area Polarisation

Polarisation – the development or existence of a persisting, extreme, multi-modal divide in attitudes, identities, and behaviors – can be a significant impediment to harmonious and productive societies. Newly emergent patterns of polarisation with respect to topics like COVID-19 policies and climate change interlock with existing cultural and political divides and identities, undermining society’s capacity for taking concerted collective action. Polarisation is a complex phenomenon which is linked to processes at all levels of societal life, including, but not limited to, individual cognitive biases, social group dynamics and larger educational, cultural, and political structures. Interdisciplinary research is key to understanding the interdependencies between (de)polarisation processes across these levels and to building a comprehensive understanding of polarisation.

The University of Amsterdam’s Faculty for Behavioral and Social Sciences (FMG) has created the Research Priority Area (RPA) Polarisation to facilitate interdisciplinary scientific research on (de)polarization. Specifically, the RPA fosters interdisciplinary (i.e. cross-department) examination of causes, consequences, mechanisms, and potential interventions targeting (de)polarization at the cognitive/individual, social/group, and societal levels. To this end, the RPA organizes a seed grant program available to FMG researchers as well as a variety of knowledge exchange events accessible to interested researchers and the wider community.

Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on RPA activities and opportunities: https://list.uva.nl/mailman/listinfo/Polarisation

For questions about the RPA Polarisation, please contact: polarisation-fmg@uva.nl. The current board of the RPA Polarisation consists of Drs. Christin Scholz, Marte Otten, and Remmert Daas.

Seed Funding Program

The RPA Polarisation offers a seed funding program to all researchers at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty for Behavioral and Social Sciences (FMG).

Seed grants will be made available in two steps:

  1. 2023 Pilot Grants & Matchmaking: In a set-up phase lasting until the end of 2023, the RPA aims to foster the formation of interdisciplinary teams and support the development of new research lines around polarisation, possibly including initial empirical tests or exploration.Individual researchers or collaborating researchers can apply for the 2023 pilot seed grant round, to start working towards impactful project ideas and broader interdisciplinary collaboration. The RPA provides approximately 10 small pilot grants (max. 5.000 Euros per project) to support this phase. In addition, to foster the formation of interdisciplinary collaborations, the RPA will organize at least one match making event in 2023, where the recipients of the pilot seed grants and other interested parties can present their research ideas to the wider RPA community and find interdisciplinary collaborators to further enrichen their polarisation-related research lines.
  2. 2024 Interdisciplinary Project Grants: In 2024, larger project grants of approximately 20.000 Euros will be made available for interdisciplinary research on (de)polarisation through a new call for applications. Details will be announced in the course of 2023.

Apply for the 2023 Pilot Grants

To apply for the 2023 pilot grants, please send an e-mail with the completed application form to polarisation-fmg@uva.nl by April 1, 2023 (end of day). The timeline for application, funding, and execution of pilot grants is as follows:

The Call for Applications and the application form can be downloaded below.

Call for Applications


Application Form