The Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) is a leading Research Center and Graduate School in the Social Sciences in the Netherlands.
The ICS was founded in 1986 and accredited by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 1993, 1998, 2003 and most recently in 2012. In 2009, the ICS has been selected by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) as one of only nine schools at all Dutch Universities for the NWO Graduate Programme.
The ICS is a joint effort of four Dutch universities. It is located at the University of Groningen (RUG), the University of Utrecht (UU), the Radboud University of Nijmegen (RU), and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
ICS faculty is selected mainly from the Departments of Sociology of these four universities. Currently, nearly 70 faculty members and postdocs, and over 60 PhD students participate in the ICS research program and the ICS Training Program.
In addition, all four ICS departments offer a two year Research Master Program integrated with the PhD Training Program.
Each year in Spring, the ICS selects promising 10-12 PhD students (Dutch and foreign), educated in sociology, economics, and other social sciences, and furnishes them with full scholarships that cover tuition, research and living expenses.
Research by faculty, postdocs and PhD students takes place within a common research program that stresses the importance of deductive theory formation (based on the principles of structural individualism), integration of theory and empirical research, and an interdisciplinary orientation.
Training of PhD students takes place within a highly structured three- or four-year program in theory construction and research methods in the social sciences. Its aim is to meet the demand for highly qualified social researchers in universities, various levels of government, industry, trade and other service-providing organizations.
The ICS attaches great value to international contacts in the fields of sociology, political sciences, economics, psychology, history, and applied mathematics. Each year a number of well-known international scientists are invited to give seminars and a number of PhD students and postdocs visit research centers abroad.
Since 1986, over 200 PhD graduates have defended their theses at the ICS.