The Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS) is a research centre from the University of Lisbon. Its mission is to study contemporary societies through basic and innovative research, graduate teaching, and outreach activities, mainly the transfer and dissemination of knowledge to the wider community. These activities result from collaboration from different disciplinary areas in the domain of Social Sciences. ICS was created in 1962 and has always been rated by the National Science Foundation (FCT) as an institution of excellence.
From 2015 to 2020, the strategic programme of ICS intends to contribute to the study of Changing Societies: Legacies and Challenges. This strategic programme is shaped by the need to respond to emerging societal trends and social issues in a changing and unstable world (namely those concerning Inequality, Citizenship and Sustainability), taking into account both its structural underpinnings and short-term dynamics. To achieve this programme, ICS relies on more than 80 full time researchers, 23 of whom are tenured.
The ICS-UL is one of the most internationally oriented Portuguese research institutions in the field of the social sciences. ICS is also oriented to outreach activities, mainly through its Observatories on Ageing, Family and Family Policies, Youth, Environmental issues and Quality of Democracy.