Social science research is key to tackle societal challenges such as ageing societies, growing populism or radicalisation, as well as informing design approaches and technical solutions to address these developments. The interdisciplinary research team of SYNYO combines expertise from sociology, communication science, political science, and anthropology. This interdisciplinary focus allows us to address diverse topics from various angles. Furthermore, it allows us to apply social-scientific methods in different areas of application, from literature reviews to requirements analyses.
Applying social research, the SYNYO team is conducting research in a variety of topics and areas of applications. These include, among others, migration research, education, citizen science and participatory research, ageing and care, security and radicalisation, mobility and transport, sustainability and energy. Within these topics, our team conducts a broad range of research activities, reaching from literature review to data collection, development of a study design to the analyses and the production of meaningful outcomes.
Social sciences are crucial in the development of innovative technology including information and communication technologies (ICT), as they provide the much-needed research to unveil the societal challenges to that novel ICT solutions should address. Additionally, it provides an in-depth understanding of the users’ needs and requirements which enables the development of better and more easily accepted technical solutions. This ensures the uptake of the solutions, as well as user satisfaction.
Literature review & desk-based research
Gaining an in-depth insight in the scientific state of the art and defining a theoretically sound basis is key for any research project. (Systematic) literature review and desk-based research allow to gain the necessary understanding before any empirical research starts. SYNYO’s team has broad experience with different forms of literature review, as well as desk-based research.
Study design & approaches
Depending on the research questions of the project at hand, we apply a suitable approach of qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods and elaborate an appropriate study design. This includes not only the selection of appropriate methods, but also sampling, the definition of methods, approaches for analysis, as well as the coordination among partners.
Qualitative and quantitative empirical research
Social sciences offer a broad range of methods to analyse the variety of topics addressed by SYNYO. Our team is experienced with qualitative as well as quantitative methods, ranging from quantitative surveys and statistical analyses to different forms of in-depth qualitative interviews, focus groups, workshops, case studies, discourse and content analysis, social media analysis, and ethnographic research. Our team is also experienced with creative methods and co-creation.
Requirement Analyses & Piloting
SYNYO has vast experience in carrying out requirements analyses, use-case design, end-user testing and piloting. In all of these activities, we put the user at centre, aiming to understand different needs and requirements to design User Interfaces that provide the optimal user experience. The team is experienced to define user stories, scenarios, use cases and personas to inform the development of technical solutions in an agile way. Furthermore, the team is experienced in planning, conducting and evaluating pilot studies and user tests.
Stakeholder Studies & Policy Analysis
Understanding the stakeholder ecosystem is key for every research project. The SYNYO team is experienced in stakeholder mapping, applying different mapping techniques and methods. Policy analysis allows to gain an in-depth understanding of the existing policy landscape, enabling a precise understanding of gaps which need to be addressed. To ensure high impact of project insights, policy recommendations, briefs, and whitepapers produced by SYNYO allow to inform policy makers and political decisionmakers.
Responsible Research and Innovation
With vast experience in international research projects, the SYNYO team has expertise in developing ethics guidelines addressing the main questions and requirements related to particular research and development projects. Such guidelines may include aspects of gender equality and diversity, social inclusion, research with vulnerable populations such as migrants or children. Continuous monitoring of privacy, ethical and societal impacts guarantee the compliance with ethics guidelines.
SYNYO is deeply involved with the Horizon Europe Programme