The five partners on this Erasmus+ funded project are: Queen’s University Belfast (QUB – lead partner), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB), Technological University of Dublin (TU Dublin) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Four of the five partners were previously involved in the H2020 EnRRICH project (2015-2018).
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The Science Shop at Queen’s University Belfast is co-ordinating the CIRCLET project. Queen’s University Belfast was founded in 1845 and is an international centre of research and education and a major part of the fabric of Northern Ireland (NI). Queen’s is one of the top 25 most international universities in the world according to Times Higher Education and is a member of the Russell Group of 24 leading UK research-intensive universities.
The Science Shop at Queen’s was established in 1989 and is based in the Centre for Educational Development. It works with community organisations across NI to develop research projects suitable for students to carry out as part of their degrees. It has a particular strength in social and environmental sciences, working with students across a wide range of academic departments including Management, Engineering, Architecture, Geography, Sociology and Social Policy. In 2018-19, they engaged 270 students in completing 64 projects for 40 different community organisations across NI, and worked across 7 Schools and 18 academic pathways to deliver these projects at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. QUB Science Shop was a founding member of the Living Knowledge Network and has been involved in several European Commission funded Science Shop Networking projects. Website: www.qub.ac.uk/scishop
Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) is Ireland’s first Technological University, offering a unique range of programmes and disciplines, with pathways to graduation from foundation and apprenticeship to undergraduate and doctoral levels. TU Dublin is the Irish university where the arts, business, sciences, engineering and technology converge and its 28,500 students and researchers come from all over Ireland and from all parts of the globe. TU Dublin was formally established on January 1st 2019, the culmination of more than seven years of collaboration between the three partner Institutes – Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, Dublin Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tallaght. The new University has well-developed campuses in Dublin City and in the two largest areas of population growth in the Greater Dublin Region – Blanchardstown and Tallaght. With a history stretching back over one hundred and thirty years, TU Dublin is a pioneer of technological higher education with our alumni playing important roles in innovation, economic and social development and culture and education both in Ireland and internationally. TU Dublin continues to build on those solid foundations and to respond to the social, cultural and educational needs of Ireland in the 21st century.
TU Dublin’s award-winning Programme for Students Learning With Communities supports staff, students and community partners to engage in community-engaged learning and research (also known as service-learning, community-based research, or Science Shop). The Programme has supported projects involving over 11,000 students in collaboration with more than 110 Community Partners, since it started in 2008. Approximately 1 in 3 TU Dublin City Centre full-time undergraduate programmes offer students opportunities to become involved in collaborative projects with communities.
Individual website page for the CIRCLET project: https://tudublin.ie/connect/communities/slwc/circlet/
Corvinus Science Shop (CSS) promotes dialogue collaboration between science and society. It was established in 2017 by lecturers of Corvinus. Its immediate precedent was EnRRICH (Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education) a Horizon 2020 project, in which, in cooperation with renowned science shops, we looked at our university courses through the eyes of the society. CSS’s other forerunner was the Social Entrepreneurship and Social Economy Master course, where, since 2006, we have been organizing course projects with social entrepreneurs building on the philosophy of service-learning.
In the first two academic years of Corvinus Science Shop 765 students worked on research questions of 40 community partners in 76 projects in courses of 29 lecturers. Besides course projects our activity incorporates science shop research including thesis work and student research, workshops and mutual learning opportunities for lecturers and community partners as well as the organisation of science society events. Website: www.uni-corvinus.hu/fooldal/kutatas/corvinus-science-shop/
The UOC is an innovative, fully online university that is rooted in Catalonia and open to the world. It offers people lifelong learning to help them and society advance, while carrying out research into the knowledge society. Its educational model is based on personalization and accompanying students using e-learning.
Responding to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and inspired by the RRI framework and the Science Shops movement, the UOC is in the process of creating an online-based science shop. The objective is twofold: forming socially engaged, global citizens, on the one hand, and contributing to the everyday work of CSOs and to their social transformation tasks, on the other hand. Since 2018, the UOC offers its students the possibility of doing their final research paper and their master’s thesis together with a civic society organization, to give answer to pressing social issues. This Participatory Final Project initiative is included in UOC’s Open Knowledge Action Plan to open the university to society and to promote the co-creation of knowledge.
Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a medium-sized university with some 16.500 students and 3.300 staff memebers on 3 green campuses in the capital of Europe. VUB has a long-standing reputation of academic excellence and is a player of major importance in Brussels, Flanders and beyond. The 3.300 staff members include around 2.200 academic staff members and 770 professors.
For more than 180 years VUB has helped build a better society as an innovative, free inquiring and critical thinking university. A never-ending quest for knowledge, insights and enlightenment form the golden thread in all we do in education, research and social commitment. VUB has been a pioneer in public engagement and science outreach for over 25 years. In 1988 it was the first Flemish university to initiate an on-campus Science Week and in 2002 it has founded the Science Shop initiative in Flanders. Currently, VUB is coordinating the Brussels Science Shop and so far has worked with over 300 civil society organisations, delivering around 250 research reports. The Brussels Science Shop – located in the Public Engagement Unit of R&D – has been involved in previous EC Projects: “Training and Mentoring of Science Shops” (TRAMS – FP6), “Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society” (PERARES – FP7), “Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education” (EnRRICH) and “ENgaged ReseArch coNnecting Community with higher Education” (ENtRANCE). The Brussels Science Shop is also closely involved in the VUB’s own CERL learning circle project, UNIVER.CITY.
Individual website page for the CIRCLET project: http://community.wtnschp.be/project/circlet/ (in Dutch)