View this newsletter in your browser
  Living Knowledge Logo    

Newsletter 62, May 2019




Multiple definitions, specific explanations and interpretations of participatory ways of knowledge creation have emerged in the last 50 years, based on specific research contexts and experiences. As one of these the Oxford Dictionary defines Knowledge as “Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education”. Taking this seriously the sole focus on the academic as an ‘expert producer of knowledge’ has already moved to a stronger focus on ‘collaborative knowledge creation processes’, which actively intended to involve diverse knowledge systems including individual local knowledge, collective cultural knowledge, political knowledge and scientific or expert knowledge, this being the peer reviewed knowledge produced through scientific research. Responsible Research and Innovation was the magic word for many support activities in society-science relations and projects in the last couple of years.
It makes me happy to see Science Shops at every stage and in many decades of science-society interactions: 40 years anniversary of the Science Shop at the University of Groningen, 35 years for Bonn Science Shop, 30 years for the Science Shop in Northern Ireland, 10 years for Students Learning with Communities and the Research Shop in Guelph, ‘birth notices’ from Germany and Hungary – and many, many in between. Congratulations!
Although being able to highlight many success stories it is still a long way to go until we will fully ‘embrace’ co-designing and co-development of open research agenda’s or open collaboration and collective-co responsibility. Therefore next steps in our own responsibility will be to give our votes for a strong European Parliament by the end of this month but also to develop approaches to use the upcoming Horizon Europe framework programme for bringing life to our visions and the design of future change processes and cooperation strategies.

Norbert Steinhaus


Europe defies climate change: Kick-off meeting of the TeRRIFICA project

  • Eight European institutions start to work together to foster competence for climate change adaptation in different European regions with a specific focus on Responsible Research and Innovation
  • The project embeds the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, a landmark achievement that provides a shared global vision towards sustainable development.

Still, after years of tackling urgent issues of climate change, the adaptation to its consequences and impacts is a less considered topic. This comes along as a serious context for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) tools reaching out to the issue of climate action. Climate change and RRI are a crosscutting issue, playing on the same ground as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. TeRRIFICA (Territorial Responsible Research and Innovation Fostering Innovative Climate Action) will focus its territorial RRI approach on climate change adaptation and will seek for best practice and identify the approaches that are already in place to adapt to climate change effects. In a trans-disciplinary partnership, TeRRIFICA involves six European countries, bringing together three research institutions, three non-profit organisations, one public association of universities and one public institution for science promotion. TeRRIFICA is led by Bonn Science Shop (Germany) and the TeRRIFICA consortium is built by the Rhine-Waal University (Kleve, Germany), the Education for Sustainable Development Association (Minsk, Belarus), the Center for the Promotion of Science (Belgrade, Serbia), the University of Vechta (Germany), the Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland), Sciences Citoyennes (Paris, France) and the Catalan Association of Public Universities (Barcelona, Spain). The project is funded by the Horizon2020 programme of the European Commission.

A first reflective workshop in Bonn, attended by 22 representatives of regional and national administration and policy, research institutes, companies, NGOs, universities and CSOs currently involved in climate change related topics in their countries, addressed RRI and its meaning for climate action and adaptation and contributed to the identification of regional needs and priorities and the co-design of the climate change adaptation plans of TeRRIFICA. The 2nd TeRRIFICA Reflective Workshop, which will focus on key indicators and will be hosted in July 2019 in Belgrade (Serbia).

Follow @TeRRIFICA_ on Twitter and get updates and more information about the project. The website and other means of communication will be launched in the coming months:

ENtRANCE: Community partner organisations value CBR student projects and Science Shops

Studies on Impact and CSO needs
How do partner organisations evaluate community based research (CBR) student projects they were involved in? Within the ENtRANCE project (co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the EU) Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Wageningen University & Research (WU) and Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LUAS) surveyed (72) and interviewed (23 of) their partner organisations in autumn 2018. While CBR projects at VUB and WU are supported by Science Shops, in LUAS they take place through direct contacts of lecturers – without Science Shop support.
Following organisations, project results increase their understanding of the societal topic and are useful for internal communication/use. They appreciate the projects because it’s offering free research and time, it’s based on a (sometimes not earlier researched) topic originating in their practice and it’s scientifically valid. Most ones are pleased with the general research process, while others reported on a lack of student communication. They do appreciate student collaborations because of their fresh ideas & energy, intrinsic motivation and topic commitment and proactive and autonomous work. Most valued student skills are General research skills, Collaboration skills, Situational awareness and Openness & transparency. They value project flexibility and welcome new insights and developments along the way but combined with academic time schedules this also implies the danger of project delay in their opinion.

CSOs want to be involved in research to address societal challenges

In order to gain more insight and better understand the current and desired collaboration between Civil society organiztions (CSOs) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in terms of research, a CSOs needs study was conducted by higher education institutions in 5 countries (VUB in Belgium, LUAS in Finland, VTDK in Lithuania, WU in the Netherlands, ISMAI in Portugal). CSOs that participated in the survey are mainly working in the fields of societal challenges related to Health & wellbeing, Innovative & reflective societies, Secure societies, Climate & resources. CSOs stated they mainly carry out educational activities, support people and submit suggestions on regulatory documents or policies, but they rarely or never take judicial actions, protest or start debates.
68% of the participating CSOs think they need to conduct research in order to address societal challenges. However, in different countries, different trends could be observed. In Belgium and Portugal, the vast majority of CSOs believe they need research for their work, whereas in Finland, Lithuania and the Netherlands only half of the respondents indicated they deal with research activities addressing societal challenges. The same situation was observed when examining CSOs willingness to collaborate with HEIs in terms of research. 84,6% Belgian and 84,3% Portuguese respondents were very enthusiastic regarding possible collaboration, whereas, in Lithuania, Finland and Netherland near half of the respondents expressed their doubts about such collaboration. The reasons for doubting about collaboration vary from time management issues to past experiences and also not being sure if students could handle the issues in a sensitive and discreet manner.
Due to a lack of previous collaboration experiences in the countries where the Science Shop model is relatively new (e.g. Lithuania, Portugal, Finland), it is less likely that CSOs will ask HEIs for help, so HEIs should be proactive by establishing cooperation.
According to the Needs Study findings, CSOs are more likely to expect not only some research but rather a solution to some particular problem they face – a suggestion for a new model, a creative solution, etc. Thus HEIs could think about embedding educational models allowing to combine research and action resulting in a solution of societal problems.
The full reports & executive summaries are published on the Entrance Website

HEIRRI Training Programmes - teaching and learning Responsible Research and Innovation!

The HEIRRI Training Programmes and formative materials designed for different educational levels (bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, MOOC, Summer schools, train-the-trainer, secondary school teachers), mainly based on innovative and participative methodologies (following a “Problem-based learning” approach) and presented in multimedia formats are available at GUNi website.

Professors, university authorities, researchers, managers, politicians and all other people interested in higher education are encouraged to explore the HEIRRI resources, adapt them to their contexts, edit them freely, try them out and integrate them in their teaching practices.

These resources give higher education institutions the tools to strengthen their researchers’ and innovators’ capacity for anticipation, reflexivity and engagement; aiming to train citizens and not just only highly skilled workers.

The Booklet “Teaching and learning RRI” presents the HEIRRI teaching resources and explains how to use them in the endeavour of teaching Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in universities and higher education institutions (HEI).

The SciShops project builds an extensive knowledge base by analysing the practices of the existing European and International Science Shops. The developed strategies and novel tools and resources provided by the project, including a knowledge hub, a SciShops navigator, twinning and matchmaking platform, seek to provide guidelines for different types of organizations on how to establish and run a Science Shop.can be found under “Resources” on the SciShops web platform at or via the links below:

Their resources to help establish and run Science Shops are now also included in the RRITools toolkit! Check them out here,

Pilot activity at Bay Zoltán Science Shop – teaching kids to avoid food waste

Within the SciShops project the Hungarian Bay Zoltán Science Shop started its activities in 2019. The Science Shop is based within its mother organisation Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research (BZN) and works in very close collaboration with their research divisions. The first pilot action was carried out in collaboration with the Smart System Division of BZN. Team members have been participating in a project, STREFOWA- Strategies to Reduce Food Waste in Central Europe, with the aim of finding and designing new ideas dealing with food waste. Their findings provided the idea for an educational activity, which could be carried out by Bay Zoltán Science Shop in collaboration with local schools.

Read more here.


The main goal of the 4-year InSPIRES project is to build effective cooperation between science and society by supporting the growth of Science Shops and enabling the expansion of responsible participatory research and innovation in Europe and abroad, in order to tackle key societal challenges that affect the world population. 

Giving back to the community
The story of the three master students that performed the first Science Shop studies in Bolivia is told in this video
. The studies try to answer social demands related to Chagas Disease, brought forward by civil society in Punata. The video is made by CEADES, a partner of the InSPIRES Project

Spring School – École de printemps
From 22-23 April 2019 The
Institut Pasteur de Tunis and the Direction of Culture, Science and Society of the University of Lyon as partners of the consortium of the H2020 InSPIRES project, were organising a French speaking spring school around Science Shops in Tunis, Tunisia, which attracted 50 participants and 10 speakers. The aim was to stimulate the Science Shop system on the African continent as well as in the French-speaking countries around the world. Participants came from different countries (Tunisia, Morocco, France, Canada, Burkina-Faso, Senegal, Benin, Guinea, Niger, Ivory Coast). The Summer School’s ambition was to create and strengthen links between the research community and civil society (represented by organizations, associations or communities working on societal issues). It also offered a platform for training, exchange and networking with experts in participatory research to develop new Science Shops or similar devices.

New in Barcelona – "la Caixa" Living Lab

Picture credit: Pexels en Pixabay

The Barcelona City Council and ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation have signed a partnership agreement to advance and strengthen the City Council’s plan for science Barcelona Ciència. The aim: to make the city an important European hub of excellence in responsible research and innovation. The experience and current activity of the two Spanish partners of InSPIRES project, IrsiCaixa and ISGlobal, will serve as a starting point. The agreement is focused on two main lines of action: the creation of the Barcelona – ”la Caixa” Living Lab and a municipal call for applications for research grants to be funded jointly by the City Council and ”la Caixa”.


Living Lab

The Barcelona – ”la Caixa” Living Lab will serve as a meeting point for many different actors, such civil society organizations, non-organized citizens, academic institutions and researchers. At the same time, it will be a place where public opinion on current scientific issues can be expressed and gathered. The new platform will host initiatives seeking public participation in research projects or collaborative alliances in the design of research and innovation agendas. InSPIRES members Mª Jesús Pinazo, Project principal investigator and ISGlobal researcher, and Rosina Malagrida -Head of the Living Lab of Health of IrsiCaixa- will be the technical referents of Barcelona – “la Caixa” Living Lab. Mª Jesús Pinazo stressed that “the involvement of citizens and civil society in research and innovation is essential if we are to achieve solutions that can transform society and improve people’s lives.”

“The creation of this Lab with the support of these two institutions is a proof of concept of the increasing tendency to promote the establishment of new partnerships among different research fields and stakeholders in order to find better solutions to our complex and persistent problems”, explainned Rosina Malagrida.

Read more about Inspire’s living labs, urban gardening projects, new Science Shops, webinars … here. 

News from Science Shops in sub-Saharan French-speaking Africa and Haiti

Florence Piron, Université Laval,

At the LK8 Budapest symposium in May 2018, I had the pleasure of organizing a workshop on the first Science Shops in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. These shops were born out of the SOHA action research project on cognitive justice and open science (, which proposed the Science Shop concept to transform postcolonial universities into tools for sustainable local development. Over the past year or so, a few of these initiatives have progressed towards a very encouraging institutional recognition. Some of the pioneers of these Science Shops had the opportunity to meet in Dakar in December 2018, as part of an international seminar on the 3rd mission of universities, with the support of the University of Montpellier. Others will meet very soon at the Tunis Spring School organized by the INSPIRES project.
My research team supports them and accompanies them in various training, empowerment, advocacy and fundraising activities. To this end, we have undertaken to create a web page of information and resources on Science Shops in Africa and Haiti. Located at, this page will centralize information on the various initiatives and allow you to follow their adventures.
If you wish to support these Global South Science Shops financially, for example to help them carry out their first activities with CSOs in their region, the page offers you various ways to do so. This fundraising is managed by the Science and Common Good Association, a founding partner of scienceafrique.

Theater-based Professional Development at Corvinus Science Shop - Staging our Practices

Reflections on Science Shop course projects with drama techniques were facilitated by our community partner. Lecturers staged their experiences in an independent theater, Studio K in the close vicinity of Corvinus University of Budapest. Studio K Theater and Foundation and Corvinus Science Shop already had a multi-faceted collaboration. number of course projects looked into, for example, the theater's brand or its communication needs in fundraising with the contribution of lecturers and students of Corvinus Business School. Now the two organisations take a step closer to explore the potential that a co-creation process can offer.
This January the theatre staff, including a drama instructor, facilitated a Science Shop workshop, where university colleagues explored their course project practices in which they interact with civil society organisations. A role play and other drama techniques helped to discover how lecturers perceive their contribution as well as for what, and most importantly, for whom they feel responsible when working with community partners.
This activity shifted roles and spaces of the partners. Fundamentally, it is the community partner who brings its questions to the Science Shop. In these workshops it happens the other way around. It is the Science Shop that takes its questions to the community partner – both physically and in a more abstract term. Physically, meaning it moves from the classroom to the theater stage, thus, from the university space to the space of the community partner. In addition to that, the facilitation of Science Shop workshops is shifted from the Science Shop team to the community partner

Campus Engage new website is now live!

Campus Engage are delighted to launch our new website -
The website is equipped with practical ‘how-to guides’, training videos, databases, a methods catalogue, and case studies across Engaged Research for Societal Impact, Community Based Learning and Teaching, Planning for Impact and Student Volunteering. Their aim is to support higher education staff, policy makers, funding agencies, and civic and civil society organisations to maximise their activities in the field. Please follow on Twitter - @campus_engage

Collaborative webinars and local anniversary celebrations in Europe and Canada

A series of webinars is launched collaboratively by five Science Shop structures to engage newcomers to community based research and learning projects in the curriculum. This – as well as ongoing evaluation and impact assessment projects being done by these Science Shops – comes in addition to the local celebrations of their Science Shop anniversaries, ranging from 2 to 30 years.As highlighted in an earlier newsletter, after the Living Knowledge conference in 2018, five Science Shops in higher education institutions decided to collaborate on small projects to celebrate upcoming anniversaries. The first webinar organised by the group was delivered in collaboration with the InSPIRES project and the Living Knowledge Network on 1 April, with case studies on curriculum-based community engaged research projects in the area of spatial planning, from Technological University Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast (the recording will be made available in due course on the InSPIRES website). There will be more webinars to follow, involving the other partners in the group (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Corvinus University Budapest, and University of Guelph). Do read on for updates on the birthday celebrations!

And now on to great news - Science Shop Anniversaries

WILA Bonn turns 35 this year

Since 1984, WILA Bonn (Bonn Science Shop) has dedicated its work to addressing key social challenges; the enormous amount of land use, climate change adaption, the energy transition, sustainable work, social justice, just to name a few. With over 35 employees and it runs projects which are funded, amongst others, by the European Commission, German Federal and State Ministries, Federal Offices, funding networks, foundations and single local authorities.
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and celebrations:

The Science Shop in Northern Ireland Turns 30

The Science Shop in Northern Ireland, which is is a joint collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, celebrated its 30th anniversary on 20th February 2019. Pictured are Claire Mulrone from Ulster University Science Shop, Eileen Martin and Emma McKenna from Queen’s University Science Shop, and Prof Budd Hall, UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. Vice Chancellors for both universities hosted the celebration and the event also was joined by Catherine Bates of Technical University for Dublin. Over the past 5 years the Science Shop in Northern Ireland has delivered 1,314 projects to community partners, with 4,894 students and 366 community organisations taking part. These groups have included sports clubs, youth groups and environmental organisations. The Science Shops at Queen’s University and the Ulster University is a joint community resource and funded by the Department for Employment and Learning through their Higher Education Innovation Fund. For more information on the Science Shop, please visit: and

Technological University Dublin - Programme for Students Learning With Communities turns 10

The Technological University Dublin (formerly Dublin Institute of Technology) community engagement Programme, Students Learning with Communities, has celebrated 10 years working with underserved communities both in Ireland and abroad. Since 2008, over 10,000 students and 170 staff have collaborated on over 500 projects with more than 100 community partners to develop real-life projects supporting development in communities while enhancing student learning.
The celebration took place on 26 November 2018. DIT President Professor Brian Norton presented certificates recognising the 170 academic staff who have worked with students on curriculum based community engaged projects with community partners, since the Programme began. Speeches on the value and impact of working with students on community engagement projects were given by the President and Director of Student Development as well as Assistant Head of School Dr Claire McDonnell; graduate and now lecturer Dr Pearl O Rourke; long term community partner Garda Derek Cloughley (Garda [police] Road Safety Unit); and Coordinator of the Queen’s University Belfast Science Shop, Ms Eileen Martin. The event finished with the President cutting the Students Learning with Communities 10th birthday cake (pictured). For more information on the Programme for Students Learning With Communities, please visit

The Research Shop at the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (University of Guelph) turns 10.

On November 7th and 8th, the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) at the University of Guelph will convene a group of regional and international community engaged scholars, practitioners, students, and community collaborators to mark 10 years of the Research Shop and share research findings about community-university research practices and impacts. Though it has been operating since 2009, there have been no substantive studies on its impacts, practices, and methodologies to date. Further, the majority of the existing literature is focused on Europe, where Science Shops have been integrated into many higher education institutions since the 1970’s. Through a pre-workshop for our colleagues and counterparts and the following full-day symposium, this collaborative event will address these gaps by sharing findings of ongoing research into the Research Shop's impacts for community collaborators and student researchers, bringing these discussions into dialogue with practitioners from other regional and national locations. Together, attendees will explore impacts of their work, lessons learned, and potential directions for the future, while encouraging intersectoral exchange between academic researchers and practitioners.
For more information on the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, and its Research Shop, please visit

Corvinus Science Shop in Budapest turns 2

The Science Shop – established in Corvinus Business School at Corvinus University of Budapest – celebrated its first anniversary with organising and hosting the 8th Living Knowledge Conference last year. Since then, in its first full year of operation (2018), 31 academic partners, 23 lecturers and 510 students worked on 48 course research projects. This year, the 2nd-anniversary celebration provides a perfect opportunity to launch our Science Shop awards to acknowledge the high-quality contribution and engagement of our community partners, students and lecturers. For more information on Corvinus Science Shop please visit and

The Social Science Shop – using participatory research to promote inclusion and participation

How can homeless people establish a sustainable and effective lobby? What will help institutions to provide adequate care for traumatized refugees? How can youth with learning difficulties benefit from vocational training programs? These are only some of the questions that reach the Social Science Shop (Sozial-Wissenschaftsladen) which was founded in 2018 in Cologne and Bochum and promotes research on processes of social exclusion and inclusion.
The Social Science Shop brings together civil society and social work practice as well as students, scholars at two universities of applied sciences that conduct courses and research in Social Work, Health Care and Innovation Management. Especially marginalized groups and other civil society organizations are encouraged to raise pressing questions and concerns and to get involved in the research process.
The Social Science Shop reviews and analyses requests from civil society and social work practice, and passes their enquiries to the universities. In other words, we seek to find professors and students who want to conduct research (together) with practitioners or civil society, for example in the context of teaching research or bachelor or master thesis. Hereof, we are also committed to an appropriate and expedient transfer of results.
The main goal is to incorporate research towards social change and inclusion. For further information and updates on our projects, please visit our website (in German).

Citizen science experiment to investigate light pollution

Picture Credit: Lena Söderström, VA (Public & Science)

Each year the Swedish civil society organisation Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA (Public & Science), organises a mass experiment involving thousands of pupils and members of the public. This year’s Star-Spotting Experiment, run in partnership with researchers at Lund University, is investigating light pollution. Using a cardboard tube and a special app, members of the public, school pupils, scout groups and other outdoor associations, are invited to look to the night skies and count the stars that they see. VA is now inviting international partners to run the experiment in their countries too. Interested? Please get in touch with Lena Söderstrom, or visit


Big Questions: Engaging the public with Responsible Research and Innovation on Food Security

How do we ensure our growing population has access to sufficient safe and nutritious food? Will we have fertile enough land to grow food in the future? Is it possible to adapt food production to climate change?

The BigPicnic project aimed at generating debate on all these topics by bringing together the public, scientists, policy-makers and industry to help address the global challenge of food security. The BigPicnic team involved nineteen partner organisations, including botanic gardens, universities, a Science Shop, an institute for art, science and technology, and an international NGO. Co-ordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), BigPicnic partners span twelve countries across Europe and one in Uganda. These partners used a range of travelling exhibitions, activities, science cafés and participatory events, co-created with local people, to generate dialogue and build greater understanding of food security issues. Using the BigPicnic project data, a series of policy briefs have been developed. Food production, sustainability and the climate, participation, education and organisational development were all shown to be important in the context of the project and food security. The common thread that unites all of these individual areas is heritage and the role that food plays in our individual lives. To address food security, heritage and its overarching influence in all aspects of the debate must be acknowledged.

There are seven BigPicnic policy briefs. Four aim at supporting policy makers to shape future food policies and funding frameworks and two seek to support informal learning sites to apply the learning that occurred throughout the project. To highlight where BigPicnic findings link to existing frameworks and illuminate gaps in current policy, each policy brief maps the BigPicnic recommendations to the most relevant United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs) and the European Union’s Food 2030 Priorities.
You can download the recommendations here.

Co-creation Navigator - guiding you through the co-creative landscape
To facilitate co-creation, you need to understand the Process; what steps do you take to be co-creative throughout an entire project? The co-creation navigator guides you through the different stages of co-creation, from preparation to execution, and directs you to tools and methods that help you in each stage. You will learn how to build your project's foundation, how to get in the right frame of mind and how to remain innovative throughout the co-creation process.
The co-creation navigator helps people who wish to work with a diverse group of citizens, users and/or stakeholders to develop new products, experiences and/or services. First timers will learn about co-creation (methods and mindsets) and people more experienced in co-creation can explore new methods (and in the future, add and share their own preferred methods).
The co-creation navigator has been developed, and tested, with the support of BigPicnic.

Swedish VA Barometer 2018/19: Public’s attitudes to researchers and science

Every autumn since 2002, the civil society organisation Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA (Public & Science) has been measuring the Swedish public’s attitudes to researchers and science. Last year, 84 percent of Swedes said that they have fairly or very high confidence in researchers at Swedish universities. In addition, 78 percent believe that science has made life better for ordinary people. Three-quarters of the Swedes also believe it is important for the public to be involved in research. You can read the VA Barometer at

TEFCE project – towards a European Framework for Community Engagement of Higher Education

The project (entitled ‘TEFCE - Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement of Higher Education’) is developing tools to help universities to better interact with their communities at the local and regional level in order to address pressing social needs. The TEFCE project, which will last from 2018 to 2020 will gather leading researchers, universities, local authorities and university networks from seven EU Member States
The project first took stock of existing research and initiatives that have attempted to measure the community engagement of universities (see the publication Mapping and Critical Synthesis of Current State-of-the-Art on Community Engagement in Higher Education (2018)). The project has then developed a “toolbox” to assist universities and policymakers at the EU level in fostering greater community engagement and that could provide a meaningful measurement of an institution’s level of community engagement. This toolbox will be piloted in different institutions around Europe during 2019.
The project’s expert team includes researchers from the University of Twente (Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies), University of Ghent (Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent), Dublin Institute of Technology, University of Rijeka (Faculty of Philosophy) and the Institute for the Development of Education. Universities and local authorities from the cities of Dresden (Germany), Dublin (Ireland), Enschede (Netherlands) and Rijeka (Croatia) will be piloting the developed toolbox, and additional expertise will be provided by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, the Global University Network for Innovation (represented by the Catalan Association of Public Universities) and the Public Policy and Management Institute from Lithuania.
The TEFCE project is co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme through the Key Action 3: Forward Looking Cooperation Projects funding scheme, for which a call is published once every three years.

More information on the project and the publications can be found here.

Call for contributions for the 2nd GUNi International Conference on SDGs: Higher Education and Science take action!

After a successful first edition of the International Conference on SDGs: Actors and Implementation, GUNi will be holding the second edition of the GUNi International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals: Higher Education and Science Take Action on the 5th and 6th of March 2020 at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona.

For this 2nd GUNi International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contributions are welcome that present scientific research, innovative practices, projects, programmes and initiatives that demonstrate how higher education institutions are working towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, applications are invited that put the spotlight on activities designed to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals and their achievement in teaching, research, institutional policies, third mission and student initiatives at higher education institutions. Read the call for contributions here and submit your proposal!

To top


Research on RRI by Tampere University

This online questionnaire focuses on the perception of different aspects of RRI among various stakeholders. The aim of the survey is to provide data enabling to assess the awareness of addressed topics, and perceived enablers and obstacles for implementation of particular dimensions. The data will be used for scientific research by University of Tampere, Finland.

Le ColLaboratoire - Action-research, collaborative and participative

On January 1st, 2019, ColLaboratoire, a collaborative and participative Unit of Research-Action of the University of Lausanne has commenced its work. This unit will be the main Swiss speaker of ALLISS (Alliance Science Societé, and the university’s international network. Further information on ColLaboratoire's missions will be available at in the coming weeks (in French). 

Knowledge for Change Mentors meeting in Arusha, Tanzania

Rajesh Tandon and Budd Hall with the UNESCO Chair in CBR are pleased to share the news that the the third cohort of the K4C community based participatory research training of trainers’ mentor training program (MTP) met in Arusha, Tanzania March 31 – April 13 2019. Mentors from K4C hubs in Gulu, Uganda, Mzumbe, Tanzania, Arusha, Tanzania, Nilai, Malaysia, Surabaya, Indonesia and Limerick, Ireland met at the Training Centre for Development Cooperation under the Directorship of Ezra Mbogori. The Arusha residency is part of the 21 week on-line and face to face MTP designed for experienced CBPResearchers to create their own training hubs in their own locations with local languages and contexts. The K4C has a focus as well on the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Social Farming value-chain: Agro industrial agro poles in central Congo Province (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Gian Luca Bagnara – Cà Colonna soc.agricola
The grouping of Italian companies between the Italian Monitoring Society - SIM of Rome (dr. M. project director), SOVIMP of Padua (Ing.M.Bergamasco coordinates the technological design), and CRONO Servizi of Forlì (dr.GL Bagnara coordinates the design of the agri-food chain), was awarded the Développement de Pôles de Croissance Ouest (PDPC) project in the territory of Lukula, in the Bas Fleuve District, Kongo Central province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The project is funded by the World Bank (Project-PDPC DON N. H860-ZR) with a grant of 13 million dollars. The goal is to improve agro-industrial production in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country, while expressing great agricultural potential, is however decidedly lacking in the organization of the integrated supply chain between agriculture and the final market, that is the urban area.
The innovative aspect of the project is given by the fact that the group of Italian companies is responsible for the design of the plant, structural implementation but also management and organization of the entire food chain (organizing the agricultural producers and the logistics of supplying a sales network with the processed products). Furthermore, to strengthen the relationship with the social territory, the Catholic Diocese of Boma has been involved as an operating partner of the Company TexereCongo that is a public-private partnership. To this end, the group will act as a contracting entity delegated on behalf of the Cellule d'Exécution des Financements des États Fragiles - CFEF. The CFEF is an operational structure of the Ministry of Finance of the DRC.
Thus, the final strategy is to extend the Italian experience of social-farming and export to Africa agri-food markets.

Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization

How is your knowledge turned into decision-making? What tools and techniques can you use to increase your research impact? This year, complete your online Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization. Join researchers, policy-makers or knowledge translation professionals from around the world working to enhance the societal impact of science.

The program
The Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization is a professional development program that builds capacity for the implementation of knowledge into action. Participants will learn to identify and address barriers to knowledge mobilization, transfer or exchange, and use tools and techniques to facilitate the development of evidence-informed policy and practice.
The program consists of three online courses which are offered annually:

  1. Inform: Processes of knowledge translation and dissemination (next offering: Fall 2019)
  2. Engage: Building capacity to understand and use relevant evidence (next offering: Winter 2020)
  3. Act: Transforming knowledge into action (next offering: Spring 2020)

The certificate is targeted towards knowledge mobilization practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and other professionals working in the social sciences, human services and health sectors. We also welcome graduate students interested in building research impact skills or planning to work in one of these fields. For more information, visit

Is monitoring and evaluation worth the effort in a transdisciplinary research project?

by Marina Knickel

Recently we had a critical moment when launching monitoring and evaluation activities in an EU-funded multi-actor research project. The quality of research-practice collaboration plays a key role in such projects. For this very reason, monitoring and evaluation activities had been included in the project plan. For us, the basic idea was to keep an eye on the quality of collaboration processes from early on.
Rather unexpectedly, some teams started to doubt the value of the related activities and resisted participation in the baseline survey. Overall, colleagues expressed a concern that proposed questions are "too sensitive", as well as enquire about "processes" and "problems and challenges" instead of focussing on "measuring progress towards actual project goals". The colleagues also questioned the rationale for asking individual team members about their personal views.
This is a story with a happy ending: together with the project coordinator we reviewed the feedback from colleagues, explained more carefully the value of the exercise for everyone involved, as well as its importance for the project as a whole. Most importantly, we explained that it is not about the performance of individual teams or individuals. We eventually received more responses than what we had initially hoped for!
What we learnt from this situation is in line with the literature: effective collaboration is not a given and needs to be built. Evaluation understood in this way means above all joint reflection and learning; and the related monitoring activities provide only the basis. During the upcoming project meeting, we will present the results of the baseline survey, and discuss implications. The goal is to learn from inspiring examples, discuss common difficulties encountered and jointly develop ways to overcome them.
In my PhD at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the University of Pisa I focus on factors that shape successful transdisciplinary collaboration. I am currently finalising a methodological publication that will provide a comprehensive annotated overview of key aspects and indicators of transdisciplinary collaboration.

To top


An Evaluation of a Knowledge Partnership – A review of literature

Community interaction with universities forms part of the field of engaged scholarship, civic engagement or socially responsive interaction between universities and communities. This type of interaction yields a different form of knowledge production, as universities and communities engage at different levels and different projects develop out of this engagement. One such form of interaction is the Science Shop. The following literature review examines the theories of engaged scholarship and role of engagement between universities and communities, from an international and South African point of view. This will introduce the UCT Knowledge Partnership Pilot Project –UCT‟s first Science Shop –laying the foundations for a further evaluation of this project over the next two and a half years. Using a broad array of available literature, the following review will introduce a scholarly overview of the scholarship of engagement, community engagement and social responsiveness. In doing so, it will further lay the foundations for the investigation of the practical brokering model –a practical illustration and manifestation of the theories of engagement. One of the more popular forms of engagement in a university forum is the Science Shop. The core idea in writing this review is to explore the idea and principles of the Science Shop, in order to evaluate the creation of the UCT Knowledge Partnership Pilot Project. The review will identify the development of the Science Shop in Europe, North America and Australia, looking at how the shops operate, and how they have been successful or unsuccessful in past years. Having obtained this analysis, the Knowledge Partnership Pilot Project itself will be explained in broader terms, with added analysis and evaluation of Science Shops.

Read the full paper here.

Presentation of the 7th Higher Education in the World Report HEIW7

There is a growing concern on the future of the humanities in the higher education system and in our societies at large. We are witnessing very deep changes and transformations in our societies such as environmental, scientific and technological transformations and cultural aspects of a global world. These transformations pose huge challenges that need to be addressed, and higher education has a key role to play in addressing them. Diagnosis, debate and proposal of actions on these issues is necessary if we want to be able to face current and future changes in a democratic and sustainable way. In relation to this topic, GUNi held the International Conference on Humanities an Higher Education, which counted on the participation of over 160 attendees from 22 countries around the world. The Conference was conceived as an integral part of the process of elaboration of the 7th GUNi Higher Education in the World Report, presented on the 10th December 2019 at CaixaForum Barcelona.

Higher Education in the World (HEIW) is a collective work published as part of the GUNi Series on the Social Commitment of Universities. With a specific subject chosen for each edition, the Report reflects on the key issues and challenges facing higher education and its institutions in the 21st century. More than 380 internationally renewed authors from 67 countries have contributed in the GUNi Reports. 19.000 copies have been distributed in 130 countries.

More information

To top


Launch of the publication "Approaches to SDG 17 Partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)"

This publication intends to offer a first approach to Sustainable Development Goal 17: “Partnerships for the Goals”. It includes the perspectives and views of different networks, organisations, geographical regions and working cultures on what “partnership” means, and how work should be done to implement SDG 17.

The 2030 Agenda requires effective collaborations between all stakeholders in order to achieve the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Only through close collaboration, can there be any possibility of finding global solutions to the world’s current and future challenges. Partnerships are included in the five dimensions of the 2030 Agenda, the so-called “5 P’s”: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships. Partnerships englobe the whole Agenda and are called upon as the essential tool for its advancement and accomplishment.

In response to the 2030 Agenda and to SDG 17, GUNi established a new strategic line around sustainable development. One of its main initiatives is the Group of Experts on SDGs and Higher Education, whose members are representatives of some of the most relevant networks and organisations of higher education and sustainable development. This document is its first publication, and on its pages you will find relevant examples, inspiration and recommendations for partnering for the goals.

Open-content version available here.

ECOLISE: an overview of community-led action on climate change & sustainability

Global Problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, ecological degradation, economic inequality, social divisions and natural resource depletion urgently require innovative and systemic responses across multiple levels. The Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demonstrate substantial political will at national and international levels to tackle these issues. However, implementation is difficult at these scales, and hindered by lock-in to inherently unsustainable and inequitable macro-economic models. At the local level, where the process of transformation is more manageable, many communities are already taking the initiative themselves, showing that they play an effective part in the solutions needed. Community-led initiatives (CLIs) are transformative social innovations that involve new ways of being, understanding, organising, negotiating and acting. There are thousands of such initiatives across Europe from community gardens to community energy cooperatives, social enterprises to zero-waste initiatives.

Continue reading here.

Bringing it home

Irish Science Shops - The Concept of a Science Shop may be well established in countries like the Netherlands, but in Ireland it's still a relative rarity. However, moves are afoot to change this. The most established Science Shop is at Queen's University Belfast (QUB). Their Science Shop was originally set up in the late 1980s, explains manager Eileen Martin. "The broad aim is to try and open up the knowledge and information resources of the university - in our case to community and voluntary organisations," she says.

Read the full article here.

Making the connection

Some science can seem far removed from our lives, but students in the Netherlands are applying their research in their communities, writes Claire O'Connell. What springs to mind when you hear the term "Science Shop"? It may sound like somewhere you go to buy test tubes, but Science Shops are agencies that link university research students with community-based organisations. So the student gets to develop their research skills in the real world, and the organisation gets to access data they may not otherwise have been able to afford. It builds links between educational institutions and local communities and gives students the satisfaction of watching their work in action.

Read the full article here.

Boutiques de sciences : La recherche à la rencontre de la demande sociale

By Glen Millot.

The study of relocation of electricity production, more sustainable food production or soft circulation devices are some of the topics that, although arising from needs expressed by the population, are often ignored by scientific research. To meet these needs and serve as an interface between civil society and research, Science Stores were established in the Netherlands in the 1970s. They are now operating in many countries and are organized citizens (associations, neighborhood councils, local authorities, etc.). Present in France in Lille, Grenoble, Lyon and Montpellier, how do these Boutiques work? What is their purpose? How do they fit into the dynamics of rapprochement between science and society? From the emergence of a certain form of participatory technical democracy to the development of the co-construction of knowledge, a convergent movement has taken place between science and society, whose Science Shops have today become an essential link.

The book is available in French and can be bought here.

Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement Vol 12

This volume of Gateways marks some important firsts for our journal. It is the first volume under our new partnership between UTS Shopfront Community Program at the Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University, USA; it is our first 'open' volume, to which new articles will be added over the coming months, as soon as they are ready for publication; and it is the first volume to feature a research article that has come through our Author+Editor mentoring program for engaged scholars from historically underrepresented countries. More on that in February! As ever, we thank you, our readers and authors, for your continued interest in our journal.

Access the latest volume here.

The International Handbook of Responsible Innovation

A guidebook for a shift in stance toward collective accountability for the products and consequences of our own ingenuity.’ – Daniel Sarewitz, Arizona State University, US

The Handbook constitutes a global resource for the fast growing interdisciplinary research and policy communities addressing the challenge of driving innovation towards socially desirable outcomes. This book brings together well-known authors from the US, Europe and Asia who develop conceptual and regional perspectives on responsible innovation as well as exploring the prospects for further implementation of responsible innovation in emerging technological practices ranging from agriculture and medicine, to nanotechnology and robotics. The emphasis is on the socio-economic and normative dimensions of innovation including issues of social risk and sustainability.

2nd International Symposium “Education for Sustainable Development for All Generations As Social Agreement”, Minsk, Belarus, 6-7 December 2018, Book of Abstracts

With contributions from Nina Koshel, Republican Institute for Professional Education: “Capacities of Science Shops in Relation to the Management of Regional Sustainability Processes” and Norbert Steinhaus, Bonn Science Shop: “Democratising Knowledge. Science Shops and Broader Impacts”.

To top


ECCA 2019 - Working together to prepare for change

28th – 31st May 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal

The 4th ECCA builds on past conferences that took place in Hamburg (2013), Copenhagen (2015) and Glasgow (2017), and aims to:

  • Provide a space that facilitates a dialogue among a diverse range of actors from academia, government, business and community on the multiple aspects of climate change adaptation
  • Promote the communication and knowledge exchange between researchers, policymakers and practitioners
  • Find integrated solutions and inspire action
  • Support ongoing efforts to enhance the coherence and synergy between CCA and DRR research, policy and practice
  • Discuss key challenges and solutions in cities
  •  Provide a stage for presenting European’s excellence on Research & Innovation for CCA
  • Inform the next European funding framework for Research & Innovation

Read all about the conference here:

REKLIM - 2nd International Conference

23rd – 25th September 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

REKLIM warmly welcomes researchers over the globe to take part in the 2nd International Conference „Our Climate - Our Future: Regional Perspectives on a Global Challenge“.The conference’s main goal is to provide a forum where scientists from around the globe can present and discuss the latest findings on regional climate research in connection with REKLIM’s focus areas.

The scientific conference will be followed by a public engagement day on 26 September 2019, which will focus on promoting dialogue (in German) between scientists and decision-makers from the political and administrative sectors, and at professional associations.

Find out all the details here:

Ecsite Conference

6th – 8th June 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark

This year's theme is “Pushing Boundaries”. The Ecsite conference celebrates its 30th edition and we invite the science engagement community to build on three decades of science communication and look ahead, pushing the boundaries of our field and practices.
Online registration is open till 21 May:

Pathways to Transformation - Insights from global institutional experiments in Responsible Research and Innovation

20th-21st June 2019 in Brussels, Belgium

This joint conference by the EU-funded projects “NUCLEUS” and “RRI-Practice” explores the pathways that institutions may follow towards being more socially responsive: What can research-performing organizations learn from the projects’ institutional RRI experiments (‘Practical Pathways’)? And how can research policy incentivise stakeholders to contribute to more responsive science and innovation systems (‘Policy Pathways’)?

Registrations are free and now open at

Challenges for Responsible Research and Innovation

September 2019 - Leiden University and 3 October 2019 - DG Research and Innovation

On the occasion of the book launch of the International Handbook on Responsible Innovation. A global Resource. (René von Schomberg, Jonathan Hankins eds.) a series of international events (among other in Leiden, Brussels and Milan) will take place to discuss the challenges ahead of us for the further development and implementation of responsible innovation. Participation to these events are free but because of limited available seating, prior registration is necessary (email). We invite anyone who is not able to attend, to participate through submitting your question/comments on:

UCEC2019: 6th University-Community Engagement Conference

04th - 05th November 2019, in Brunei Darussalam

UCEC is the biennial conference promoted by the Asia-Pacific University-Community Engagement Network (APUCEN) and co-hosted by their members. The theme of this conference is: "Navigating Community Engagement: Charting The Course for 21st Century"


  1. To deepen critical discourse on the empowerment role of universities and their knowledge creation practice;
  2. To explore methods, strategies and experiences used in mutual community engagement and partnership among different sectors;
  3. To strengthen the capacity of universities in the process of social reform for social justice and sustainable development; and
  4. To enhance networking, and the sharing of experiences among educators, communities, as well as social development practitioners, and to highlight best-practice cases of various types of university-community engagement.

Find out more here.

CUExpo: Culture, Place, and Reslience

14th -16th May 2020, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada

Connecting community-based research with culture shifts, social innovation, community resilience in urban, rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.

9th Living Knowledge Conference 2020

24th – 26th June 2020 in Groningen, The Netherlands

The 9th Living Knowledge Conference will be organized by the six Science Shops of the University of Groningen. The theme of the conference will be “synergy” - among people, among approaches, and even among objectives, in order to have more and better collaboration between researchers and civil society. Pre-conference program (including Summer School) will be Monday 22 - Tuesday 23 June 2020. Further information will follow soon.


5th-9th July 2020 in Trieste, Italy

The 9th edition of ESOF will attract thousands of delegates to Trieste, the host city of ESOF2020 and the European City of Science 2020, during the week of the conference. Along side with the Forum, the Science in the City Festival will be held between 27 June and 11 July 2020.

Read more here:

To top