Social Inclusion and Leadership Research Laboratory - MRU

Social Inclusion and Leadership Research Laboratory

In the words of Kendrick & Sullivan (2009), “social inclusion is neither the opposite of social exclusion nor synonymous with social participation”. Social inclusion is a phenomenon in its own right, referring to the empowerment of socially vulnerable groups to actively take on roles of value to society and to themselves, and to secure a status that would be inadequately difficult or impossible for some in society to achieve in the absence of equal opportunities in the socio-economic, cultural, political, etc. environment.


To contribute, through research, expertise and education, to improving the opportunities for people with individual needs and from socially vulnerable groups to study at higher education institutions, to acquire, strengthen and improve personal and professional knowledge and competences enabling them to choose their professional and self-expressive field, to set up a business independently, to develop their desired activities, and to participate fully in the labour market.


To strengthen the preconditions for education and leadership development in order to increase opportunities for social inclusion.


To improve, through interdisciplinary research, international and inter-institutional cooperation and education and development, the understanding of the preconditions, conditions and opportunities for social inclusion among society, its segments, academia, socially vulnerable groups and other stakeholders, and to foster positive change in order to achieve equal opportunities for everyone to fulfil their potential for leadership.


  • Interdisciplinary research to improve understanding of social inclusion of socially vulnerable groups;
  • To develop cooperation with Lithuanian and foreign partners, to initiate and implement joint research, exchange of experience, educational and other projects;
  • Strengthen the self-cultivation of people from socially vulnerable groups through education and cooperation – to provide them with knowledge and develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, encouraging them to fulfil their personal potential;
  • Provide evidence-based insights to improve public and other stakeholders’ understanding of the preconditions, conditions and opportunities for social inclusion;
  • To develop training and educational tools tailored to the needs of people with individual needs in knowledge areas relevant to social inclusion opportunities, such as leadership, entrepreneurship, professional and personal development, etc.

Priority research areas

  • Research on leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Research on access to higher education for people with individual needs
  • Modelling a system of services for parents of children with disabilities
  • Modelling the development of a universally designed city to strengthen the preconditions for social inclusion of persons with disabilities

Laboratory members

  • Prof. Dr. Agota Giedrė Raišienė from the Institute of Management and Political Science, Mykolas Romeris University, Head of the Laboratory;
  • Prof.dr. Aistė Dromantaitė from the Institute of Management and Political Science, Mykolas Romeris University;
  • Laura Gardziulevičienė, PhD student at Mykolas Romeris University, Head of the association “Let’s Help Children”;
  • Ana Staševičienė, PhD student at Mykolas Romeris University, specialist at the Agency for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Dr. Jolita Gečienė, Mykolas Romeris University Affiliated Lecturer, Head of the Association of Managers of Municipal Social Care Institutions;
  • Rasa Rudaitienė – dance and movement therapist, teacher of the dance studio “Ypatinga studija”;
  • Justina Budreikaitė – Member of the Western Union EUROC DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee) Committee.
  • Donatas Počešiūnas – architect, interned at Gallaudet University for the Deaf in Washington, DC (USA).



Order No V-355 of 1 July 2023 of the Chairman of the Lithuanian Science Council approved funding for the renewal of scientific infrastructure under application reg. No. P-IRA-23-13. With the help of dedicated technological tools, university researchers and research participants with hearing, vision, mobility or other impairments will be able to communicate and engage in scientific activities more effectively, regardless of the limitations imposed by their disabilities. In addition, the measures will enable the elimination of potential discrimination against persons with disabilities and the promotion of disability leadership in science and research.


Commission on Disability Rights of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, on the initiative of the Chairperson of the Commission, Monika Ošmianskienė, Member of the Seimas, and the MRU Social Inclusion and Leadership Research Laboratory, on the initiative of the Head of the Laboratory, Prof. Dr. Agota Giedra Raišienė, on October 3, 2023. The scientific and practical conference “The Role of Higher Education in Creating Leadership Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and Older People” will be held at the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on 20 October 2020.

Conference programme: Aukštojo mokslo vaidmuo kuriant negalią turinčių ir vyresnio amžiaus žmonių lyderystės galimybes

Video of the conference


Head of the Social Inclusion and Leadership Research Laboratory
Prof. dr. Agota Giedrė Raišienė