The pillars of the Centre for 20th Century Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Coimbra (CEIS20/UC) were founded, from the outset, on a strong component associated with historiography and Memory studies. The first Research Groups indeed defined it as its strategic priority: draw on multidisciplinarity to make CEIS20 an R&D unit of reference in Portugal in late modern history and contemporary history.
Due to the multidisciplinary drive achieved in the first decade in the life of CEIS20 and the research results, the Centre was very sought after by national and international researchers, many of whom from academic backgrounds other than History. During the second phase of its existence, CEIS20 became a multidisciplinary research unit dedicated to Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences and Social Technologies. This development is evidenced by the two interdisciplinary Lines of Research then created: “Two centuries of Liberalism, 1820-2020: forms of State, social movements and subjectivation devices” and “Mobilities: people and ideas between places”.
At this stage, CEIS20 aims to evolve towards becoming an interdisciplinary scientific unit dedicated to research and post-graduate training, to scientific dissemination and the transfer of knowledge, to consultancy and applied research. In 2019, the Centre is home to 115 Integrated Researchers under employment contracts with Portuguese institutions, 50 Integrated Researchers from foreign institutions or in a precarious employment situation, and 119 Collaborating Researchers, many of whom teach or study in several 3rd Cycle courses in Portugal.
CEIS20 is divided into seven Research Groups and two Interdisciplinary Research Units that work on more than two dozen lines of research (some of which clearly interdisciplinary), and is now ready to embrace its third decade of existence with an entirely defined strategy. It seeks to increase in numbers in a controlled and consistent manner and continued to be a research unit of reference, in both Portugal and abroad, in the field of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Social Technologies.
Following internal brainwork done with the help of external evaluators, CEIS20 realised that in addition to the disciplinary research carried out it should also expand its internationalisation (especially to other European countries and Latin America), increase the offer of post-graduate courses and the number of applications for competitive research funding, expand interdisciplinary research, and provide applied research services. These growth approaches are achieved through the hiring of Assistant Researchers with the support of FCT.
CEIS20 has three scientific journals, the CEIS20 Collections, and more than ten monograph collections and collective works. Every year the Centre organises and co-organises a large number of national and international events. With regard to post-graduate training, it offers the 3rd Cycle Course in Contemporary Studies and non-degree awarding courses (some of which meant to address social needs). The “Project Office” was recently set up to facilitate the increase in the number of applications to competitive funding. The negotiation of strategies and participation in networks were also strengthened.
CEIS20 is very proud of its journey over time and intends to congregate all researchers and the civil society to discuss the strategy for the near future.