The areas of responsibility of the State Institute for Family Research at the University of Bamberg are varied and include both Basic and Applied Research, and scientific Policy Consultation.
Basic Research at the ifb not only provides comprehensive information on the development and structure of families, but also serves to further current scientific data, including the testing and further development of theories, empirical methods and data collection tools. Furthermore, Basic Research also offers a wide knowledge base for projects of Applied Research and the area of Policy Consultation.
Closely linked with Basic Research, the members of staff deal in the area of Applied Research with a broad range of assignments with a high practical relevance. This includes projects of scientific monitoring and the evaluation of model projects. In doing Applied Research, the results of Basic Research are taken into consideration and prepared to meet the needs of practice: the guidelines, handbooks and brochures which the ifb produces within the scope of such projects provide significant impulses for the practice experts.
In the face of social change, decision-makers and stakeholders – especially persons in charge in politics and family organisations – require reliable and up-to-date information about families. Hence, the data from empirical research is an important basis for socio-political discussions and decision-making. Therefore, alongside Basic Research and Applied Research, Policy Consultation regarding families is the ifb’s third area of responsibility. In this regard, an important work area is the provision of statements and assessments on questions of family development or the situation of families for the Bavarian State Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Family Affairs and Integration (StMAS). Moreover, the ifb organises family-related forums and initiatives, produces expert reports and makes information available for various groups. These include ministries, associations, local authorities, work groups, committees and many other organisations which concern themselves, either directly or indirectly, with the family on a state, federal, municipal and association level.
Alongside these areas of responsibility, the ifb is the publisher of the Journal of Family Research (JFR). The JFR is the leading bilingual scientific journal for family research in the social and human sciences in Germany and other European countries. It is published three times a year and edited by Dr. Kurt P. Bierschock.