This course with the scientific internship addresses the following questions: How is the accumulation of knowledge in the social sciences organized? How is the quality of social scientific knowledge ensured, how does it become known and applicable? We address these questions theoretically, and provide an overview of how sociology and other social sciences organize. The lecturers enable students to follow through the whole procedure of the idea, proposal and how it came that an international conference will take place in Fribourg August 25-27, 2021. The conference is titled “Drivers and challenges of social policies: Global, regional, national and local perspectives” and is the annual conference of RC19. The RC 19 addresses core topics that are taught in the (German-language) programs in Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Fribourg on the BA and MA-level. The course also addresses which organizational issues are relevant and why, which has become particularly important with new formats (in presence, online or hybrid formats). Moreover, the course contains a scientific internship where students acquire hands on insight with their active participation at the RC19 annual conference, both on the level of contents as on the level of organizational issues. The Research Committee 19 (RC19) – Poverty, Welfare and Social Policy – is a sub-committee of the International Sociological Association. RC 19 was founded in 1968, mainly by Nordic Researchers. The committee’s purpose is “to encourage high quality research” with which “theoretically grounded empirical research is meant. The topics of research are defined as «the sources and character of social problems; the planning and administration of social programs; and more generally, public policies and intervention strategies aimed at alleviating social problems and influencing the society in that regard» (Statutes of RC 19). Since 1968, the RC19 has evolved and become more globally integrated. It now strongly encourages comparative and transnational research.

The course is open to students of the Department of Social Work, Social Policy and Global Development enrolled in a 120 ECTS-BA- or the 90-ECTS MA-program. The number of participants is limited. Block 1 of the course is taught in German; the Conference is in English. Good English is required; participation for the preparation of and participation at the conference is required (19 or 20, 23-27 August 2021).