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Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ORION (Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge.)

Reporting period: 2018-08-01 to 2019-10-31

The ORION project focuses on triggering evidence-based institutional, cultural and behavioural changes in Research Funding and Performing Organizations (RFPOs), targeting researchers, management staff and high-level leadership. Our long term vision is to “embed” Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles (ethics, gender, governance, open access, public engagement, and science education) in RFPOs, in their policies, practices and processes to organize and do research.
Our main five objectives are:
1. Assess: gather information and understand current views, knowledge and practice about Open Science and RRI among targeted stakeholder groups.
2. Co-create: co-design and perform “open experiments” with multiple stakeholders.
3. Train: design, deliver and disseminate innovative training programmes on Open Science and RRI, particularly targeting researchers at early career stages, policy-makers and staff at funding organisations.
4. Embed: embed “lessons learnt” during the project lifetime to induce institutional and culture changes at RFPOs.
5. Outreach: engage different RFPOs and other stakeholders to disseminate projects activities and key outcomes.
The consortium counts on the participation of six RFPOs in four European countries: four research institutes (CRG, MU, MDC and BI) and two funders (ISCIII and JCMM). They collaborate with other ORION partners, including two civil society organizations (VA, ANT) and a group focusing on social sciences and evaluation (UAB/CRECIM).
Within WP2, we carried out four key national stakeholder workshops in Spain, UK, Czech Republic and Germany. These workshops had the main goal to discuss in depth the previous results: 1) the assessment exercise on Open Science awareness, knowledge and practice in the participating RFPOs; and 2) the open consultation about perception of Open Science and life sciences among citizens in six European countries. Multiple actors, including funders, policy makers, teachers, communicators, and researchers, brainstormed with ORION partners and provided new ideas and recommendations for the future project´s activities as well as national initiatives.
WP3 on “open experiments” is central to ORION. During the last 15 months, all ORION partners engaged in co-creation. To incorporate external views from the early start, the two funders, JCMM and ISCIII, organized interactive workshops to co-create their new funding instruments: a call for research proposals open to University students at JCMM, and an RRI Health prize for research institutes at ISCIII. Moreover, the CRG advanced significantly the co-design of its multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future research strategy of the institute. Importantly, BI coordinated the planning and implementation of the public dialogues on genome editing in four European countries, each co-organized with an ORION partner: Cambridge, UK (BI); Berlin, Germany (MDC); Prague, Czech Republic (MU); and Stockholm, Sweden (VA). The process has been highly interactive and participatory, from design to implementation. To stimulate further the dialogue, MDC collaborated with an artist for the production of an artwork, Aeon, that explores the speculative future of genome editing and aging. The first public dialogue already took place in Cambridge in October 2019, with excellent feedback from participants. As part of WP3, CRG previously carried out a call on citizen science on fundamental research among researchers at ORION RPOs. The two selected projects have started their activities: GENIGMA led by CRG, focusing on studying the genome of cancer cells, and SMOVE led by MDC, focusing on sedentary behaviour in school children. Both projects follow the Open Science “philosophy” of ORION, engaging in an open dialogue with multiple stakeholders from the very beginning throughout their development. Finally, ORION opened a call on co-creation in life sciences research, to engage additional partners outside the consortium, with a focus on junior researchers.
In WP4, MDC is now running multiple trainings in multiple formats, reaching out to junior researchers, funders and project managers. The face-to-face workshops were received very positively: close to 30 courses were run in different European countries at diverse institutions, including ISCIII, the University Pompeu Fabra, BI, and CEITEC, among others. Other training include open digital resources: the podcasts (24 episodes) with interviews with experts on different Open Science topics; the factsheets; and the case studies. An important highlight was the launch of the MOOC on Open Science in life sciences, with over 200 registered participants.
WP5 focuses on evaluation. Initially, UAB-CRECIM set up the evaluation framework, and during this second reporting period, the team developed more detailed evaluation plans for each task to be evaluated. The design phase has been almost completed and data gathering tasks ran smoothly so far. Most evaluation tools have proved effective for data gathering purposes and, when not, these have been complemented with supplementary data gathering techniques to fill in any gap. At occasions, CRECIM has expanded the original evaluation plan in order to provide with a very robust evaluation. The next reporting period will be a key milestone for ORION to draw results and inspiring stories from WP3 and 4.
Finally, VA has led outreach and dissemination (WP6), setting up a collaborative communication and dissemination plan, which is regularly updated jointly with all partners. The ORION project has consolidated and expanded its visibility among the research community (in its broad sense, including funders, policy makers and different associations) through social media, the project´s website (regularly updated), the ORION Newsletter (4/year), invited talks, posters, workshops and the press.
The ultimate goal of ORION is to catalyse institutional and cultural changes to embed Open Science and RRI in the participating institutions and their key actors (high level management staff, researchers, administrators), and beyond the consortium, engaging other RFPOs, researchers, policy makers, science educators, patient associations, civil society organisations, and industry. The originality of our proposal is that the four research institutes excel in fundamental research in life sciences and biomedicine, a field that often is more difficult to open up to different stakeholders, especially citizens in general.
The expected results and impacts outlined are the following:
1) Enrich and improve the quality of existing training material on RRI and Open Science by producing novel open educational resources tailored to the needs of funders and junior scientists, through highly participatory methods.
2) Increase general knowledge on RRI and Open Science practices by sharing experience about the different co-creation and open experiments across different disciplines.
3) Contribute to changes in RFPOs governance settings (including institutional changes and stakeholder behaviours) that are consistent with Open Science and RRI.
We expect ORION to have an impact not only on ORION participants, but also beyond the project´s partners. By providing examples, case studies, and inspiring stories, we can transfer our knowledge on practising open science to other researchers and research institutions, and we can provide evidence for future recommendations from policy makers.