February 22, 2019

Social Lab 3: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Excellent Science

Social Lab 3 on the “Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions” brings together stakeholders from research – including current and former MSCA fellows, representatives from the Marie Curie Alumni Association, National Contact Points, principal investigators, project coordinators, evaluators, and RRI related experts – to develop pilot activities which might help to implement elements of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the practices and policies related to MSCA.

Social Lab Workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 8-9 June 2018

Place: University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

21 participants:

  • 6 MSCA fellows;
  • 5 MSCA project coordinators/supervisors;
  • 4 MSCA alumni;
  • 5 funding brokers (National Contact Points; private consultant; home organization);
  • 2 RRI related experts

Presentation of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 10 & 11 May 2019

Venue: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Presentation of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: Q4 2019/ Q1 2020

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: Research Kiosk

This pilot action is intended to contribute to bridge the communication gap between research and innovation communities and society at large. For this purpose, it focuses particularly on one of the 6 RRI key elements, public engagement, without neglecting the others, to develop an original, effective dialogue system between citizens and researchers called Research Kiosk (RK).

The RK will be designed through a co-creation process involving citizens in 3 countries (Italy, Portugal and Spain). It started with the delivery of questionnaires during the European Researchers’ Night (NIGHT MSCA action), to gather feedback on preferences for interaction. On the basis of this feedback the idea has been developed further and a first poster has been prepared by the group to be presented at the Marie Curie Alumni Association GA and conference (February 25th 2019 in Vienna) to gather more feedback and invite others to cooperate. This process will continue with the implementation of live co-creation workshops in which citizens are invited to think about new ways to interact with scientists. Depending on the workshops’ outcome, the RK might combine a live and online conversation dimension to allow the interaction with researchers at the two levels.

Protagonists: Alessia Dino, University of Turin (UNITO) Italy; Anna Olsson, Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S), Portugal; Cristina Luis, CIUHCT-FCUL; MUHNAC-ULisboa; CIES-ISCTE-IUL, Portugal; Jonas Krebs, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Spain,Rui Guimarães, University of Porto (FEUP), Portugal

Pilot Action 2: RRI Career Assessment Matrix

To facilitate and incentivize broad usage of responsible research and innovation (RRI) approaches it is important to formally recognize and reward good practice in areas such as public engagement, open access, gender equality, ethics, science education and governance. This includes in hiring and promotion decisions made by research-performing organizations, and in funding decisions made by research-funding organizations. Inspired by efforts such as the Open Science Career Assessment Matrix (OS-CAM), the RRI-CAM Pilot Action of NewHoRRIzon aims to explore if OS-CAM can be further developed to fully incorporate responsible research and innovation.

After a first round of analysis, as a first big step the group has organized both a plenary session and participatory workshop on the relationship between RRI and Career Assessment at the Marie Curie Alumni Association Conference in Vienna (February 25th 2019) to gather feedback and viewpoints from selected speakers and Marie Curie alumni. The goal is to solicit the input of MSCA researchers, alumni, evaluators, and administrators to co-produce research quality criteria that may be eventually implemented within the MSCA framework. The belief is that the RRI-CAM will reach far beyond the specifications of this MSCA funding program pilot, however, as it seeks to facilitate assessments of research quality inclusive of RRI in hiring, promotion, and funding decisions made by research-performing and -granting organizations.

Protagonists: Fernanda Bajanca, Chair MCAA Policy Working Group and Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, France. Mimi E. Lam, Marie Curie Fellow, University of Bergen, Norway. Alexandra Dubini, MSCA Evaluator, University of Cordoba, Spain. Mattias Björnmalm, Vice-chair MCAA Policy Working Group and Marie Curie Fellow, Imperial College London, UK. Peter Novitzky, Ethicist, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.

Pilot Action 3: RRI Training

Recognizing the need for increased knowledge and skills when it comes to (elements of) RRI like public engagement, gender equality, science communication, ethics and open access, this Pilot Action aims to develop and implement trainings for several target audiences like ECRs, coordinators, administrative staff and/or NCPs.

As a first concrete action, on the 26th of February 2019, the Social Lab/RRI researcher will give an interactive full day training to the MSCA NCP Net4Mobility+-network on the academic and policy background of RRI, how it has been operationalized in Horizon2020 and MSCA specifically and how it can play a role in their own funding advice and clients’ project practice.

Pilot Action 4: RRI Manifesto

This Pilot Action is focused on the creation of an RRI Manifesto to create awareness amongst MSCA related actors on the importance of RRI. Currently, early-career researchers are often not aware of the existence and meaning of the RRI-concept, and if they do, they often take it to be a mere tick-box exercise, that is of relevance only when providing required information on the social validations of one’ proposal.

The design focuses on both the production of a small video clip as well as a written manifesto. The clip will be produced by conducting interviews with MSCA related actors about why RRI can be informative in thinking about one’s research proposal and implementation. The resulting product may help make early-career researchers and others familiar with RRI and its relevance in an engaging and concise manner. The written manifesto will reflect in a more profound manner on the notion of RRI and how it may be reformulated and implemented in the future.

Protagonists: Brian Cahill, Research Programme Manager COFUND project and former Chair MCAA, University of Edinburgh, UK. Asun López-Varela, Member of MCAA Working groups and MSCA Evaluator, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. Ivo Grigorov, Research Coordination/Fundraising and FOSTER Open Science, DTU, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Anne Loeber, associate professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Social Lab RRI Researcher/Assistant: Joshua Cohen, PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Social Lab Facilitator: Martien Kuitenbrouwer, Co-founder/director Public Mediation and PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Interested in cooperation?
You can reach us through msca@newhorrizon.eu!