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The ICS is a research center and graduate school in social science theory and methodology, and a joint effort of the universities of Groningen (RUG), Utrecht (UU) and Nijmegen (RU). It is located at the sociology departments of these four universities: the University of Groningen, Utrecht University, the Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Amsterdam.

In addition to the Sociology departments, the Utrecht research program ERCOMER and the Nijmegen Institute for Social Cultural Research of the Faculty of Social Sciences (NISCO) of the Radboud University Nijmegen participate in the ICS.

The ICS is is headed by a board and a scientific director, who represent the participating universities.

ICS Faculty are located at the four ICS/Sociology Departments at the universities of Groningen, Utrecht, Nijmegen and Amsterdam (UvA).

PhD students are located either in Groningen, Utrecht, Nijmegen or Amsterdam. The PhD Training Program takes place in all four locations: courses are given in Groningen, Utrecht and Nijmegen, and Amsterdam.