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Grounding RRI in society with a focus on citizen science

Consortia are expected to implement institutional changes to promote citizens’ and their associations’ engagement in science, and possibly through an integrated approach covering some or all five fields. All scientific disciplines are covered. Consortia members should aim to ensure that the institutional changes are sustainable beyond the lifetime of the project funding. Consortia are expected to evaluate their activities and provide evidence of societal, democratic, economic and scientific impacts of institutional changes.

The action is addressed at organisations funding or performing activities in the field of R&I as one of their significant objectives or activities. All parts of the ""quadruple helix"" model, which sees close co-operation between industry, government, research (e.g. universities of applied sciences) and society (e.g. citizens and Civil Society Organisations) in R&I, are addressed – and it is encouraged that consortia ensure truly engaged roles for all organisation types. Consortia should be composed of organisations that already have some experience of processes of institutional change and beginners (i.e. organisations that have not worked before on implementing institutional changes for SWAFS), so as to encourage mutual learning. Moreover, proposals will be favoured that involve partners that have not worked together in SwafS before, so as to increase the reach and potential impact of the programme’s funding. Consortia should aim for broad geographical coverage (e.g. using the MoRRI study to involve partners from across different country clusters)[[ DOI: 10.2777/207020.]].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of €1.50 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Institutional changes are required to respond to the increased interactions between R&I stakeholders in society. Through institutional changes, research funding and performing organisations become more “porous” and accept inputs from citizens and organisations that used to be considered outsiders to the world of R&I. Examples include citizen science, extended peer review in funding agencies, co-creation of public policies, agenda setting in research and innovation programmes, co-production of research and innovation content, co-design of R&I programmes, and co-evaluation of proposals, activities or other R&I funding decisions.

Good practices are widespread in Europe in terms of citizens' and citizens' associations engagement in science; formal, informal and non-formal science education”; gender equality in science; Research ethics and integrity; Open access to research results including data.

The good practices in these five fields are much more easily, efficiently and sustainably implemented when the organisations funding, performing or associated to R&I have adapted significantly their governance frameworks to open up through a process of institutional change.

Results should contribute to a greater involvement of all stakeholders in R&I, a better and more sustainable engagement with citizens and society as a whole, and a more scientifically interested and literate society. Consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators, in particular PE5, PE7, PE8, GOV2 & GOV3[[ DOI: 10.2777/207020.]] and to the Sustainable Development Goals (for instance goals 4, 5, 9, 12, 16 or 17)[[]] . The expected number of institutional changes, including their quality and sustainability, will be taken into account in evaluation. As such, it is expected that the topic will support a significant number of impactful and sustainable institutional changes in partner organisations.