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Fall in Love wIth Research Tonight

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FLIRT (Fall in Love wIth Research Tonight)

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

The FLIRT Researchers’ Night 2015 in Serbia relied on the idea that falling in love with science is just as exciting as falling in love with a real person, and showed how a passionate “crush” can develop into real love. Thanks to the previous experience and a rich network of media contacts of the FLIRT project team, the massive offline campaign that involved the vast majority of national newspapers and magazines, TV and radio stations and the most popular local media outlets in Belgrade, Kragujevac and Nis.

It was backed by an intense online campaign, dominantly relying on extensive and creative use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and extensive reporting and banner postings on the most visited online portals and news websites. As a result, the estimated audience reached through the campaign appears to be around 2.500.000 representing an increase by 25 % compared to RN 2014.

All activities during the Night were implemented as planned, with some additional activities added to the programme. The broad range of activities offered notably included: face to face conversations, learning of subjects through playful movement, interactive exhibitions, hands-on activities, lectures, storytelling, interviews with researchers, quizzes, theatre plays, concerts, European corners…all activities were centered on the “love” concept and the excitement linked to the loving feelings.

The estimated number of visitors during the Night is 33.000 of which the vast majority were children and young people. The reactions were unanimously positive, not only showing that there is an enormous need for this kind of cultural/info/educational content in Serbia, but also that the project team and its many enthusiastic associates, namely almost 400 researchers and science communicators from Belgrade, Nis and Kragujevac achieved their objectives of raising awareness about science and researchers.

Impact Assessment shows that there are significant differences on all subscales. This change can for sure be attributed to the RN event and campaign, pointing out that the FLIRT project has contributed to making science and scientists more popular in Serbia.

Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention paid to kids, (aged 6-12), young people, parents, teachers, with particular focus on youth faced or about to be faced to career choice;

Messages conveyed
o Researchers are among us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Research is not only part of citizens’ daily lives, it makes daily life possible;
o Researchers are those making the future;
o Research is fun and exciting;
o Being researcher is a cool thing;
o Scientific careers area way of doing incredible stuff and meeting incredible people.

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line
o Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertisement in popular science and youth magazines (10 dailies and 5 weeklies, 2 prominent popular science magazines);
o Airing of interviews, programmes, announcements, promotional spots , jingles, rewarded quizzes, short video clips on several radio and TV stations (12 TV stations of which 5 with national coverage and 15 radio stations of which 4 with national coverage);
o Organization of a press conference in Belgrade one week prior to the event;
o Direct contacts with schools and students: direct visits in over 60 primary and secondary schools (30 in Belgrade, 20 in Nis, 10 in Kragujevac), mailing and phone calls to remaining schools not visited;
o Stands displaying information and promotional flyer give away in central location in the 3 cities involved 2 weeks prior to the event;
o Contests:
- Love letter to science: rewarding of the most imaginative and authentic love letter , addressing secondary school students;
- Why?: reward of the most interesting science- related question referring to everyday life (answered under the form of series of short entertaining video clips distributed to over 30 local regional and national TV stations;
- Fall in love with research; sticker album addressing kids aged 9-12, composed of stickers accompanied by short articles depicting the most interesting scientific phenomena, discoveries, personal stories of scientists of last year and in 2015 of the last decade (display of stickers will also happen during the event for completion of the albums and possibility to claim a reward in EU corner);

On line

o Community hub/ Researchers night website: event-related info, teasers, announcements, text/photo/video coverage of the event, games, quizzes, interesting facts, promotion of research and researchers;
o Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube RN accounts;
o Also used for voting in the framework of the contests referred to above;

Promotional material

o Folders, brochures, programmes, posters…;
o Banners, ads, websites, links;
o 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

Overview of the results

o Conception, realisation and display of promotional material: posters of various formats folders, brochures, programmes, bulletins, leaflets, displayed notably through promotional stands, as well as bags,, T-shirts, timetables, stickers, pens…;
o Publication of articles, announcements, advertising , interviews in written press: all printed national dailies, weekly , bi-weekly and monthly publications;
o Public advertising: advertisements in printed media outlets, billboards, city lights, placements in public spaces (shopping malls notably), primary and secondary schools and universities, as well as public transport (trams and busses);
o Airing of promotional spots, interviews, programmes, jingles, rewarded quizzes, short video clips on national TV and radio stations, as well as major cable TV st"

Tasks undertaken

Description of the current situation
o Research conducted by the Centre for promotion of science in partnership with the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade;


The aim of Researchers night project evaluation consisted of checking whether some attitudes and experiences of science and scientists changed during campaign and event itself.

Evaluation was performed in the 3 following stages:
o Display, collection and processing of a questionnaire (Facebook) before the start of the media campaign in 2014, in order to test base-line attitudes toward science and scientist;
o On-site inquiries aimed at detecting possible changes in attitudes, on another random sample of participants, similar to the first one regarding various socio-demographic variables, which in some extent increased comparability of two samples;
o On site inquiries in 2015 in order to detect possible changes in attitudes, and the length of that change. Indicators and parameters applied
o The questionnaire measured some attitudes toward science in general (10 items) and scientists (12 items).

Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection;
o 334 participants, of whom
- 127 took part in the first phase; (recruited through Facebook)
- 111 participated in the second phase (participants during the events)
- 96 in the third phase of testing (participants during the events)

Overview of the results

o Display, collection, analysis and processing of 334 feedbacks mainly relying on questionnaires filled in by attendees;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 58,1 % responders female, 72,2 % coming from large cities, 70,7 % having an average economic status;
o Knowledge about the event: mostly (59,5 %) through word of mouth;
o Overall positive feedback regarding the events themselves (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, schedule, locations and venues, concrete organisation…);
o Possible improvements: based on feedback collected towards attendees, activities on social networks and Internet-based should be intensified with a view of future similar events.
o As to the potential impact of the Action, more information available in the next Section.

The Impact Assessment analysis suggests that the following has been achieved:
o Improved knowledge and recognition of science and its societal potential impact;
o Improved public image of scientists (successfulness, charm and sociability);
o Consequently, it is expected that the interest expressed for science careers will also increase.

Clearly Researchers’ Nights will not, as such, have a measurable socio-economic impact – especially not in a country where science is on the very beginning of the road of gaining recognition both from the side of the State and of Society as one of the key factors in the positive societal change.

Researchers' Nights nevertheless can have, and indeed did have, a certain influence about the relationships between research institutions, universities etc. operating in the area and having cooperated for the project, likely to go on after it and generate further synergies and positive impact for the territory concerned. For example, cooperation between the Mihailo Pupin Institute and the Faculty of Mathematics, but also other participants, has brought about some new ideas for joint projects of which some will hopefully be realized in the near future.
Researchers' Night, when involving (whether directly within the partnership or through external cooperation) companies, including small and medium ones operating in the area, can ease the setting up of bridges between research and industry and, as such, lead to employment and innovation. As one of the most prominent companies in Serbia in the field of scientific isnnovation, Mihailo Pupin Institute will appreciate the direct insight into innovative practices of all other participants.

In case of strong continuous presence of research commu
Program on Science stage
Speed date with researcher
Recycling Quartier
Program on Science stage
Opening ceremony
RN promo stand
Program in Delta shopping center
Exhibition Art of Physics
Program in Academic park
Program in Academic park
Program in Delta shopping center
Program in Academic park
Program in Academic park
Program on Science stage
Program on Science stage