Research teams

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The research culture of our department has been shaped to meet the new challenges social workers face in contemporary Hungarian society and facilitate participation in international research projects. Our works are rooted mainly in the social constructionist tradition, emphasizing responsibility, multiple perspectives and dialogue in the service of human development, as main resources for scientific research.

There are several collaborating research teams within the department:


The department is a major centre of addiction research in Hungary. The team, led by professor Gabor Kelemen, has conducted several research projects on the process of recovery since its formation in 2001.

In 2014-15 the team conducted an evaluation on residential treatment programs (therapeutic communities) for clients with substance use disorder in Hungary and proposed a new model for short and mid-term evaluation. Our main results are summarized in Hungarian Social Review (2015) The research wassupported by the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources (project no. 19487-2/2014.) Team leaders: Prof. Dr. Gabor Kelemen and dr. Marta B. Erdos.

In a previous project „Psychosocial change and the rhetoric of transformation in Twelve Steps movements" the team studied the social role, specific culture and psychosocial effects of Hungarian twelve-step movements and the process of recovery as a learning process of the sober culture. The project was funded by the National Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) and was a continuation of a previous research on the power of reintegration rituals ("The Role of Ruptures, Mismatches, Microdissynchronisms in the Reintegration Rituals of Addicts", 2002-2006, also funded by OTKA). The team explored the sober speech code ("code of grace") of recovering addicts and could identify verbal markers of continuing recovery vs. relapse. Recovery was conceived as a successful rite of passage, a major life transition where the addict is re-born as a sober person.

In 2006-2007 the team participated in an international network studying various methods of theatre therapy to help improve the efficiency of clinical work with addicts. The research was supported by EQUAL, EU.

In 2002-2003 we participated in several national and international projects such as "The Message of Sobriety" (Matra-Kap); "Self-Help and Self-Care in the Context of Recovery" (Phare Network, a project evaluation); Social Construction of Addictions" (Hungarian Ministry of Youth and Sports).

The team has several collaborating members in Norway, in the United Kingdom and in Iceland.



Social Innovation, Evaluation and Research Centre

The Social Innovation, Evaluation and Research Centre (Szociális Innovációs-, Értékelő- és Kutatóközpont, SZINEK) was established in 2008 to improve social research and development in the Southern Transdanubian Region. The aim of the centre is to promote dignity, social justice, equality of chances and social solidarity in the transforming Hungarian society. In the Hungarian acronym of the unit (SZINEK, meaning „colours") the philosophy of the staff is reflected. We believe that cultural diversity is an important resource for social development within the European Union.

In EU-funded social projects evaluation, innovation and dissemination of results are considered core issues. SIERC supports project owners by meeting the demands in social research and development. Researchers lay emphasis on knowledge transfer into the immediate and wider community. We are keen to form an international collaborating network of social researchers who would be interested in working on international projects with us.

We have conducted a number of pilot projects, such as evaluation of social worker students’ competencies and future career in health settings (2012); evaluation of a school mentoring programme (2013-5); and on residential treatment programs (therapeutic communities) for clients with substance use disorder, working together with 4 Dimension Foundation for Sociological Research (2014-5). We are in close collaboration with professionals from Identity Exploration Limited/Social and Health Evaluation Unit International who support our endeavours to introduce evaluation research in Hungary.


Research Centre for Social Inclusion and Social Economy

The research centre was founded to plan and carry out professional and scientific activities on the correlated research areas of social inclusion and social economy. This activity is realized through cooperations in social sciences, human research-development and innovation. The research centre intends to contribute to the efforts of the University of Pécs to broaden the scope of its research-development-innovation services, as well as the development of the university’s national and international relations. This can be achieved by the discovery of new research fields in accordance with social and economic needs, as well as by organizing a network of cooperation on professional and scientific bases. These will provide further opportunities for university students to acquire knowledge and experience to develop their expertise and enhance their performance.


International Research Network on Child and Youth Protection

The network was founded by prof. Arpad Barath, a retired member of our academic community. Co-founders were Madeline Aksich from Canada, Branka Bukoves and Dr. Anica- Mikus-Kos from Slovenia, Dr. Rune Stuvland from Norway, Dr. Ljiljana Sabljak form Croatia, Beata Kovacsne Batho and Judit Vastag from Hungary.

The aim of the international team of scholars is to work out innovative methods of child protection and provide traumatized children with adequate psychosocial support to facilitate rehabilitation. Various methods of community work and art therapy have been adapted and evaluated to reach this goal.

Major projects of the network:

"Promoting self-help and voluntary work with children and young people in Slovenia and Europe"(International action research, „Drusto za razvijanje prostovoljnog dela", Novo mesto, Slovenia. The project was started in 1993.

Mental health support and training for teachers working in child and youth protection in the states of former Yugoslavia. (International action research, "Together" - Slovenian Foundation, Ljubljana, 2002-

Building bridges: Children and young persons with war traumas in states of former Yugolavia. Psychosocial rehabilitation. International Children's Institute - ICI BiH, Montreal - Sarajevo, Canada, 1993-

Health education and health promotion in Kosovo. (International action research and training, International Organization for Migration, Budapest, 2003 -

Social exclusion and steps to inclusion in the social care of small village population in Baranya County. Családsegítő és Gyermekjóléti Társulás - Villány. Ifjúsági, Családügyi, Szociális és Esélyegyenlőségi Minisztérium Pályázati Programja. Hungarian Ministry of Family, Child Welfare and Equal Chances. 2003-2005.



The Carpathian Network of Social Professionals

The network has been initiated by Margit Molnar in 2008. CNSP is a think tank for social professionals who are interested in common traditions of our profession as well as current social problems and workable solutions in the region. CNSP considers the ethnic diversity and rich cultural heritage of the peoples living in the Carpathian Basin a major resource of social development. First steps of collaboration with Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) and Partium Christian University (Romania) have already been taken. Future members who wish to join our work are most welcome.


Regional Development

The problem of regional inequality is a major social political issue within the European Union. It is an area of active and developing research where the establishment of international collaborating networks will enhance the relevance of the research. The team was formed in 2007 and is led by Gabor Szollosi.



Individual research

In addition to the above themes, individual research projects are also encouraged. For further information on these please see staff members' CVs.