Project Information

German Institute for Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (DIFIS)


High-quality social policy research provides knowledge for the general public, politicians and public administration on the history, significance and future development of the welfare state. Furthermore, it identifies societal challenges and issues requiring political intervention as well as suggesting options for action. To achieve all this, social policy research needs to be firmly established in research and teaching with dedicated faculties and staff at universities and universities of applied sciences. The Support Network for Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (FIS) of the German Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) has been supporting broad, independent social policy research since 2017.


DIFIS focuses and amplifies existing initiatives and programmes for promoting high-quality social policy research. The objective is to establish a research institute for social policy in Germany that will develop its own profile in research, networking and transfer. As a think tank it will anticipate future developments and it will act as a focal point, motor and service facility for social policy research and teaching as well as policy advice in Germany.


Since May 2021, the German Institute for Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research (DIFIS) is being run jointly as a scientific institute by the Institute for Work, Skills and Training (IAQ) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and the Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy SOCIUM at the University of Bremen (UB). By anchoring DIFIS at these two nationally and internationally renowned institutes for social policy research, their expertise in research, teaching, transfer and policy advice can be easily tapped into. At the end of the initial project period (05/2021 – 4/2026), DIFIS is expected to be transformed into an independent Institute for Interdisciplinary Social Policy Research.

The organizational structure of the DIFIS consists of a supervisory board, an operative board, a general assembly and a scientific advisory council. This structure meets the challenge of being open to social, political and scientific developments while at the same time ensuring clarity of responsibilities as well as providing strategic and decision-making capacities.



DIFIS’s core tasks are:

  • Networking
  • Communicating scientific findings
  • Transfer
  • Critically examining the infrastructure for social policy research and data
  • Promoting teaching, training and professional development
  • Collaboratively developing and implementing a social policy research programme.

These tasks are agreed upon and divided up centrally by the IAQ and SOCIUM and are then worked on collaboratively with a broad range of pertinent experts from inside and outside of academia. DIFIS is developing the infrastructure and communication formats that make it possible to harness the evaluations and expertise from politics, public administration and other practice fields as well as from national and international research in order to facilitate the future development of high-quality social policy research. DIFIS is helping to make these research results visible to society as a whole and helping to improve the political handling of the challenges facing society.



Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Input zum Thema "Rente und Alterssicherung im Koalitionsvertrag". Rente und Alterssicherung im Koalitionsvertrag, digital, 06.12.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Begrüßung und Einführung Kooperationstagung "Sozialpolitik in der Post-Pandemie: Die Corona-Krise als Impuls für Soziale Innovationen". Kooperationstagung "Sozialpolitik in der Post-Pandemie: Die Corona-Krise als Impuls für Soziale Innovationen", digital, Gesellschaft für Sozialen Fortschritt - TH Köln, 26.11.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer, Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier, Universität Bremen: Begrüßung und Einführung sowie Vortrag zur Strktur und Arbeitsinhalten des DIFIS. FIS-Forum am 18. und 19. November 2021, Duisburg + digital, DIFIS + Universität Bremen, 18.11.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Eröffnung und Einführung ins Thema. Sozialpolitik in der Pandemie, DIFIS, digital, 08.10.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Präsentation des DIFIS. 13. Sitzung des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats des Fördernetzwerks Interdisziplinäres Sozialpolitikforschung (FIS), digital, 17.09.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Das DIFIS. Workshop und Austausch zwischen der Geschäftsführung der Regionaldirektion NRW und dem IAQ, digital, 20.07.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Kurzvorstellung des DIFIS. Versammlung der DGS-Sektion Sozialpolitik, digital, 11.06.2021

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer: Podiumsdiskussion: Corona and beyond. Diskussionsveranstaltung „Corona and beyond“ mit Minister Hubertus Heil und Prof. Frank Nullmeier zur Eröffnung des Deutschen Instituts für Interdisziplinäre Sozialpolitikforschung (DIFIS), Berlin/BMAS und digital, 08.06.2021

Project data

Term of the project:
01.05.2021 - 30.04.2026

Reseach department:
Executive Director

Project management:
Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer

Project team:
Tom Heilmann, Philipp Langer,Dr. Nicole Vetter,Dr. Rebecca Schrader,Dr. Miruna Bacali, Carolin Abd El-Aziz (Inst. f. Soziologie),

Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (BMAS)

Project website: