Answers to frequently asked questions

Finding the right information on a large website can sometimes be difficult. This page was created to answer some of the questions that we hear on a regular basis. If you still have not found what you are looking for, please contact us in person, by telephone or by e-mail!

About the center

What is the C-SEB?

The Center for Social and Economic Behavior (C-SEB) is an Excellence Center in Behavioral Sciences at the University of Cologne (UoC). It brings together researchers from economics, management science, and psychology with renowned scientists from Europe and the USA to investigate the mechanisms that affect social and economic behavior.

What are the C-SEB’s aims?

The C-SEB was founded to further expand the excellent research conducted at the UoC. The aim of the center is to contribute to a better understanding of social and economic behavior through empirical research. C-SEB’s tasks in particular are to foster scientific exchange, to fund research projects, and to complement the university’s efforts in promoting junior scientists and in improving gender equality.

How is the C-SEB organized?

The center’s governance structure is formed by the executive board, the speakers, the PI board, the external scientific advisory board, and the central office. More information regarding C-SEB’s organizational structure is available on the respective information page.

Who evaluates the C-SEB’s research?

The C-SEB has many internal evaluation procedures regarding its aims, its attainment, and use of ressources. Additionally, the external scientific advisory board – an independent body of international scholars from fields related to the center’s research – evaluates the research projects and their results every two years and advises the C-SEB in all scientific and strategic matters. The current members of the board are Dan Ariely, Susan Fiske, and Uri Gneezy.

How do individuals become C-SEB members?

The C-SEB has three member categories: members eligible to vote and apply (principal investigators), eligible members (research group members) and affiliate members (former C-SEB members and external scientists) who are not entitled to vote or to apply. Principal investigators are appointed by the Executive Board, while the research group members are nominated by the principal investigators, provided that their work has a substantive relation to the research focus of the C-SEB. Upon termination of employment at the University of Cologne, C-SEB members lose their voting and application rights and automatically become affiliate members. In addition, external scientists may be appointed as affiliate members by the Executive Board on the proposal of the principal investigators.

About the research agenda

What research is conducted at the C-SEB?

The research agenda of the C-SEB covers three separate yet interconnected fields of study which address different aspects of human behavior: Behavioral Economic Engineering, Social and Economic Cognition, and Behavioral Management Science.

Who chooses the questions that guide the C-SEB’s research?

Research questions are chosen by the center’s principal investigators together with the relevant project members. The C-SEB does not conduct contract research.

How is research conducted at the C-SEB?

At the C-SEB, research is conducted in projects. Some of these projects are carried out by individual researchers, others are conducted by international as well as interdisciplinary research groups. Research teams regularly meet for exchange and discussion in order to align their work steps. Data is mainly collected through experiments conducted with voluntary test persons. The research projects of the C-SEB are on this page.

Where does the C-SEB publish its research?

The research results of the C-SEB projects are published regularly in well-known scientific journals and book series. Moreover, many study results are discussed in public debates and appear in the media.

About the research funding

What funding lines are available?

Twice a year, the C-SEB awards research grants to outstanding scientists at the UoC who work in the field of behavioral economics and social cognition research. The C-SEB currently offers seven funding lines aimed at different beneficiary groups. More information about research grants and other funding opportunities can be found here.

How can I apply for research funding?

Calls for application are announced two months before the application closing date via the e-mail distribution list of the Faculty of Economics & Social Sciences and the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Cologne. Formal application prerequisites and application forms for the individual grants can be found on our webpage about research grants and other funding opportunities.

When are the application deadlines?

The application closing dates are 30 April and 31 October of each year.

How are the candidates for funding selected?

Grant awards are decided upon by the C-SEB Executive Board on the basis of an internal evaluation of the applications received, taking into account external opinions if necessary. Decision criteria are the scientific quality and originality as well as the cost efficiency of the proposed projects.

Does the C-SEB fund subprojects or projects that have already started?

The C-SEB does not offer funds for projects that have already started or that are part of a larger project. Funds are exclusively granted to new projects that have not yet started.

About the disbursement of funds

How do I account for my expenses?

Depending on demand and purpose, granted funds can be drawn in different ways. Generally, requests to draw funds and to get reimbursed have to be approved by the C-SEB’s central office. For an overview of the available drawing options and links to our accounting forms, please refer to our “Disbursement and billing information for C-SEB grant recipients”.

Do I have to use granted funds for the purposes stated in the project application?

On principle, funds are exclusively granted for the project specified in the application. Therefore, it is not possible to use such funds for other purposes. In justified exceptional cases, funds may be reallocated to different financial categories of a project. If you wish to reallocate funds within a project, please send an informal request to the C-SEB Central Office stating the reason for the changes and the new use of the granted funds.

Can I use remaining money for other research projects?

On principle, granted funds are bound to the project specified in the funding application. Therefore, it is not possible to use such funds for other projects.

What is the deadline for spending my granted funds?

Funds may be spent within one year from the time they have been granted. This applies to all funding except for the bridging grants. Irrespective of this, funding is tied to the grantee’s employment at the University of Cologne.

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