November 16, 2018

Social Lab 1: European Research Council

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Excellent Science

Social Lab 1 “European Research Council” brings together stakeholders from research including ERC grantees, team members and applicants, research funding organizations and Civil Society Organization – to develop pilot activities which might help to implement elements of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the ERC and, more generally, in research funding organizations focusing on basic research.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 22-23 May 2018

Place: Vienna, Austria

18 participants:

  • 7 ERC grant holders (natural and social sciences) or working with an IP in an ERC project
  • 3 ERC grant applicants
  • 2 National Contact Points
  • 2 members of Civil Society Organisation in the area of research
  • 2 employees of Research Funding Organisations
  • 1 former ERC panel member (evaluator)

Presentation of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 10 & 11 April 2019

Place: Vienna, Austria

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3: Q2 2020

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: Excellent Research – Excellent Impact

The pilot action focuses on public engagement in research. Its objective is dissemination of science to the general public and to generate more acceptance of RRI among scientists. The pilot activity addresses the current constraints of time and resources researchers and research institutions are increasingly experiencing today and the fact that there is skepticism amongst researchers about disseminating their findings. The group suggested earmarking a certain amount to dissemination activities.

Pilot Action 2: COR! – collaborative Open Research

The pilot action suggests providing secondments to ERC projects from institution that would be potentially affected by and could be users of research results, e.g. policy makers, CSOs. Bringing together researchers with potential users could lead to co-production of knowledge. This could help seeding research in institutions which deal with a problem that is being studied (e.g., the EU or the Organisation of African Unity). The objective and shared intention and aspiration of the pilot action is to break down barriers and open up research via multiple pathways between user/CSO, scientists/researcher and different disciplines and to add reflexivity to project life-cycles. The pilot action addresses the vision of co-production, dissemination, cross-fertilization, against linear/closed model of knowledge production.

Pilot Action 3: RRI to improve excellence of ERC

The pilot action aims to improve excellence by looking for ways to implement elements of RRI in the ERC. A prerequisite for this endeavor is to enter into a dialogue with ERC and to assemble scattered evidence and practices of RRI (inside/outside the ERC).

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Erich Griessler, head of Techno-Science and Societal Transformation research group, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria – NewHoRRIzon coordinator

Social Lab Manager Assistant: Tamara Brandstätter, junior researcher at Techno-Science and Societal Transformation research group, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria

Social Lab Facilitator: Christoph Mandl,  Senior Academic Lecturer at School of Business, Economics and Statistics, University of Vienna