CORDIS - EU research results

Estonian Researchers' Nights 2014-2015

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RNEst14-15 (Estonian Researchers' Nights 2014-2015)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-11-30

The 2015 European Researchers’ Night in Estonia, RNest 2014-2015, actually consisted of the continuation of several events of which the success didn’t stop growing from the very start.
Beyond the enhancement of the researchers’ public recognition and the youth stimulation towards science careers, the project also aimed at highlighting the achievements of Estonian researchers and scientists in particular in the medicine field as well as in other areas linked to citizens’ health and well-being.
The cure of illnessess was one of the topics dealt with during the events (including diagnosis of potential illnesses and revolutionary methodology), building on the central theme of the 2014 edition of the ERN in Estonia, which was illness prevention. Science and scientists behind the technologies, methods and schools of thought influencing the health of the Estonian (and European) population were also illustrated.
International links were established with other European Researchers’ Nights events with a view to illustrating the main importance of international and European cooperation in research, manifested in harmonizing some impact assessment questionnaire questions with other ERN organizers.
The activities offered to the public at large in all its components, with a focus on kids and young people included a lot of hands-on experiments, science shows, demos, guided tours, stargazing, competitions, quizzes, games, visits to labs, simulations, dating with scientists, open-air events, lectures, joint events with other foreign partners…which took place in over 30 venues in Estonia, amongst which the capital Tallinn and Tartu, Pärnu and Haapsalu as well as smaller local municipalities.
As a rule, activities were held in shopping centres, museums, partners’ headquarters, schools, university premises as well as public spaces.

Tasks undertaken:

Target audiences:
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention paid to kids and young people, especially about making a career choice;
Messages conveyed
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Research constantly makes an effort to enhance illness prevention;
o Estonian researchers have come up with diagnostics that is revolutionary,;
o Estonian researchers have developed beneficial clinical equipment;
o The future of Estonian and European medicine is in the hands of researchers;
o The European Researchers’ Night celebrates its 10th anniversary

Main communication tools used:
Off line:
o Publication of articles, announcements, advertisements in written press: main newspapers, specialised ones, magazines distributed countrywide;
o Airing of promotional spots, announcements, advertisements, programmes, interviews on radio;
o Sending researchers to schools to speak about their area of research and promote the event as a great opportunity to meet many more of such specialists;
o Public advertising in cities and venues;
o Display of posters in schools (throughout September);
o Distribution of promotional written material in public spaces, such as university premises in Tartu, Tallinn, Pärnu, Viljandi, Haapsalu and Kohtla-Järve;

On line:
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles;
o Links of website with partners’ websites, institutional and popular websites and social media;
o Information about cooperation with other RN organisers all over Europe;
Promotional material
o Folders, programmes, posters. In addition, we also used science-themed souvenirs received from the European Commission before the event;
o Ads, banners, websites ; Mention of "This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions" on all promotional material displayed;
o Promotional gadgets (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at

Tasks undertaken
List of locations and venues involved
o Kohtla-Järve;
o Kohtla-Nõmme;
o Kunda;
o Kuressaare (on the island of Saaremaa);
o Pärnu: shopping centre Port Artur in cooperation with the University of Tartu Pärnu College;
o Rakvere;
o Viljandi;
o Jõgeva;
o Haapsalu;
o Viimsi;
o Võhma;
o Jõhvi;
o Tamsalu;
o Palamuse;
o Türi;
o Konguta;
o Kiviõli;
o Tõstamaa;
o Illuka;
o Kanepi;
o Tabasalu;
o Kuusalu;
o Metsküla;
o Parksepa;
o Virtsu;
o Eidapere;
o Haanja;
o Kaiu;
o Meremäe;
o Otepää;
o Räpina;
o Tallinn: museums, EAS headquarters, several schools, university premises, independent laboratories, the Energy Discovery Centre (a science centre);
o Tartu: AHHAA and industrial partners’ premises (such as the premises of metal processer Nordic Metal Works), popular meeting places (such as the Toome Hill park), university lecture halls, the Tartu Health Care College, different buildings belonging to the University of Tartu and its museums (such as the freshly opened Insitute of Physics or PHYSICUM and its ever-popular neighbour, the Institute of Chemistry or CHEMICUM), shopping centre Lõunakeskus, the Estonian Sports Museum, libraries, Town Hall Square, public places (such as the bridges of Tartu on which AHHAA’s Science Bike delivered several shows of chemistry and physics);
o Popular sights and educational establishments in smaller local municipalities (for example, the Castle of Alatskivi, the Tartu Observatory in Tõravere, the Ice Age Centre in Äksi, the Kukruse Polar Manor in Ida-Viru County or the Palupera School in Valga County).
And other venues such as museums, cultural centres, theme parks, public spaces, squares and streets, schools, research institutions and science communication institutions, hospitals and medical establishments.

Detailed programme of activities
Common theme: curing of illnesses.
o Special events in museums;
o Visits to secret independent and university-operated labs;
o Public workshops and science shows in public spaces;
o Speed dating with scientists;
o Visits to the behind-the-scenes premises of university premises;
o Science shows and workshops in the Energy Discovery Centre (a science centre);
o Movie screenings;
o Competitions, quizzes, games on the spot;
o Family programmes with workshops, demo experiments and lectures in schools;
o A 3-minute lecture finals gala night at ESA headquarters;

o Special events in museums;
o Visits to secret labs;
o Public workshops and science shows in public spaces, including the streets and schools of Tartu (the latter kind were delivered by AHHAA’s Science Bike);
o Speed dating with scientists;
o Very first Science Show International Cup, i.e. competition for international science show performers
o Lectures in science cafés and university premises;
Visit to attraction centre Castle of Alatskivi and Tõravere Observatory;
o Movie screenings;
o Public experiments in the city environment;
o Competitions, quizzes, games online and on the spot;
o TV show of the events and on local innovative healthcare specialists broadcasted at the end of the night:
o Special European Researchers’ Night programme and party at AHHAA.

o Special events in museums;
o Speed dating with scientists;
o Competitions, quizzes, games;
o School visits by researchers;
o Special programmes organized by schools in their own premises.

European corner(s)
Number: one
Location: frequented area at Science Centre AHHAA
Activities planned:
o Connections with all relevant EU websites;
o Witnesses of researchers having benefitted form EU support about their experience and research mobility;
o Presence of information from Estonian NCP of the European Researchers’ Night - the Estonian Research Council, which were intended to answer the audience’s questions about EU policies and programmes and included presentations of research results of EU-funded projects;
o European Researchers' Night MSCA roll-up (entrance of the event) complying with the following content and format requirements: 200 X 85 cm, and the mentions: "European Researchers' Night", "Marie Skłodowska-Curie: an inspiration to follow";


Tasks undertaken:
Description of the current situation
o Previous impact assessment exercises in the framework of previous European Researchers’ night events in Estonia;
o Existing surveys and studies to be identified, amongst which EUROBAROMETER;
o Pre-events random interviews;
o Questionnaires addressing students and adults. The methodology was compared with other RN organisers in order to see how to develop it for the 2015 edition to get comparable results;
o TV interviews, articles in newspapers;
o Random interviews;
Indicators and parameters applied
o Qualitative: public opinion on researchers and their job (associations with the word "researcher", characteristics of "actual researchers", characteristics of "desired researchers"), interest expressed for science and research, interest expressed for science careers, typology of attendees (age, gender, occupation, background…), intention to attend similar events in the future and involvement of researchers funded by Horizon 2020, including Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions in the activities of the NIGHT, awareness of the international collaborations carried out as part of the RN events, participation in international events;
o Quantitative: number of attendees, rating of the event, participation in various activities, number of hits on website, number of friends and followers on social networks, number of promotional items displayed and media coverage, number of people interested in participating in international events.
Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection;
Overview of the results:
All the activities planned were offered as foreseen in Grant Agreement Annex I, notably under the from of :
o Hands-on experiments;
o Science shows and demonstrations;
o Guided tours and lab visits;
o Games, quizzes, competitions;
o Stargazing;
o Dating with scientists;
o Science cafés and open air lectures;
o Science competition such as the very first Science Show International Cup (SSIC15).
o About 40.000 attendees having taken part to the the activities offered;

Overview of the impact assessment:
o Display, collection and processing of over 300 filled in questionnaires;
o Overall positive feedback regarding the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, explanations about science, organisation, schedule, locations..);
o Increased public recognition of the positive societal impact fo the researchers' work;
o Increased interest for science notably amongst young people;
o Increased interest for science careers expressed by young people;