Public Engagement from the research funders’ perspective

Public engagement is emerging – alongside other RRI dimensions – as a key component in how research funding organisations are working to ensure that research is societally relevant and impactful: an explicit evaluation criterion in the awarding of research funding, or included as a requirement for qualitative research, or incentivised through other schemes and awards. This webinar focuses on the perspective of research funders on public engagement, touching both on their responsibilities and initiatives in this area, and the expectations they have of the applicants and the research they fund.

Speakers

  • Rosa Arias, CEO and Founder of Science for Change, Spain. A chemical engineer by training, she has over 15 years of experience as an expert on odours, and working in European projects (FP7, H2020, LIFE+). She advises the initiative “Science in Parliament”, which seeks to create a science office to inform the Spanish Parliament, and is a member of the board of directors of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). Passionate about the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), citizen science and the role of women in science, Rosa coordinates the D-NOSES and NEWSERA projects and the Catalan cluster of the TRANSFORM project and acts as the main link between the different and powerful ‘Science for Change’ strategies to bring science closer to society and inform public policies.
  • Cédric Verstraete coordinates the Policy and Monitoring department of Innoviris, the Brussels Capital Region’s public RDI funding organization. Cédric holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and obtained a PhD in sociology. Working for Innoviris, in his department, since 2016, he supports the general direction in delineating and monitoring the institution’s strategy, identifying regional RDI priorities based on participatory methods and designing the instutional policies on, inter alia, gender, open science and ethics. He helps to put RRI into practice, for instance by representing Innoviris in the ProEthics project, where funding agencies across Europe test new, ethical ways to involve citizens in decision making processes.
  • Jean-Paul Bertemes, Head of Science in Society from the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and the chief editor of science.lu, the Luxembourgish webpage about research and science for the public. With a background as a journalist and science journalist, he joined FNR in 2011 as a Science Communicator and became Head of Science in Society in 2017. The Science and Society Team is stimulating and promoting the exchange between scientists and society by organising events such as Science Festivals and Researchers’ Days, publishing articles, videos and podcasts for TV, radio and internet, and offering training for researchers, educators and teachers, and funding (PSP programme – Promoting Science to the Public) in the domains of public engagement and science communication.

Moderator

  • Aïda Dias Saez from the funding organisation AGAUR, GRACE implementing partner

This event is part of the eight final webinars the GRACE project is holding every Tuesday from 26 October to 14 December, where project partners and external experts share their findings and provide useful knowledge to implement RRI in research performing and funding organisations

For almost three years, GRACE project partners have worked towards implementing fundamental institutional change in 6 research performing and funding organisations. With an intense mutual learning programme and a co-creation environment, six expert partners have supported six other partners in developing a set of specific RRI-orientated Grounding Actions in their organisation, paving the way for further institutional change.

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