Over the past 4 ½ years, PERARES, an EU-funded project, has been looking at ways of informing research agendas in co-operation with researchers and civil society organisations. A number of resources and reports are now available
The focus of PERARES, Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society, is to use debate on scientific topics to stimulate research questions and requests from civil society that can then be forwarded onto research institutes. The project piloted a number of new formats for agenda-setting dialogue, including scenario workshops and long-term periodic meetings. It also started a transnational web portal to support online debates.
The project has also looked at the role of science shops, units that perform or broker research with and for civil society organisations, in a demand driven way. Based at universities, they provide a mutually beneficial way of strengthening public engagement in research. Ten new science shops were set up in different European countries and mentored during the project with a focus on developing strategies to ensure their relevance and sustainability by linking to policy priorities.
Resources produced by PERARES include:
- Sustainability for Science Shops – a Practical Guide to Developing and Policy and Strategy
- Handbook on “How to embed civil society driven research in curricula and Higher Education strategies”
- Report on the role of research funders in supporting civil society driven research
- Policy Brief on “Experiences and Attitudes of Research Funding Organisations towards Public Engagement with Research with and for Civil Society and its Organisations – A PERARES Report”
- How to use Scenario Workshops to co-construct strategies and research plans