The faculty integrates a broad field of sociological, social science and political science research. At the same time, the large number of 31 professorships allows for broad engagement and cooperation with other academic disciplines. In addition to a large number of individual projects, most of which take place in the working areas and research groups, the faculty currently has two research foci in the field of global society research (IW) and in the field of inequality research (institutionalised as a network through SFB 882 until 2016).
In addition, the Niklas Luhmann Archive contains Luhmann's extensive scientific legacy, which the university acquired in 2011. In 2005, the university and faculty established the Niklas Luhmann Visiting Professorship, in which internationally renowned social theorists teach and conduct research in Bielefeld every one to two years. The Centre for German-European Studies in St. Petersburg, in which the faculty plays a leading role, has ensured the exchange of Russian, German and European academics since 2004 to enable very good interdisciplinary academic training and research. The Research Data Centre (FDZ-BO), whose aim is to archive research data from the field of organisational research and make it available for secondary analysis in the social sciences, is another major renowned research project of the faculty. All current and past third-party-funded research projects are compiled in a database, as are the publications.
Research at the faculty is also shaped by the training and socialisation of young academics. Thus, research already takes place at the level of the Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, especially in the teaching research or related event forms of research-based learning and project research. At the intersection of research and teaching, the faculty has been involved in structured doctoral training for years. Together with the Department of History, this doctoral training is institutionalised in the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS), in which a total of over 200 doctoral students undergo structured doctoral training. The BGHS has been funded since 2007 as part of the Excellence Initiative and forms an element of the interdisciplinary profile of the faculty. The doctoral and post-doctoral topics reflect the diversity of the faculty's broad research field. More than 100 scientists have habilitated at the faculty.