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Attractive REsearchers in the Spotlight

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ARES (Attractive REsearchers in the Spotlight)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-07-01 do 2021-01-31

The Researchers’ Night events in 2020 were a challenge from an organisation point of view because they had to adjust to the restrictions posed due to the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the objectives of the project did not alter despite the reshape of the activities and their transfer to the digital world due to the pandemic. The objectives that the consortium pursued through its activities were:

1. Increase public awareness regarding both their profession and the positive impact of their work on society
2. Alleviate the stereotype about researchers who are frequently seen by the public as eccentric personalities not interfering with the everyday problems society faces
3. Promote of the research profession, especially to the young audience
4. Reaching out to school students (“ARES goes to schools”)
5. Promote the European dimension
6. Promote of MSCA actions
"Work performed
Work Package 1 - Awareness campaign
The consortium collaborated with one of the largest advertising agencies in Greece for the production/conception of the promotional material such as the update of the logo, key visual, TV/Radio spots and e-banners.
As soon as the key visual was ready, the awareness campaign was initiated. The website ( was built respecting the key visual. More than 9000 unique users visited the website and viewed 39000 pages in total.
Additionally, two main social media campaigns were organised. The first one aimed at promoting the videos and the activities of the Night while driving traffic to the official YouTube channel of the Night. The ads appeared 1.346.236 times reaching a unique audience of 503.500 people. The engagement rate (number of clicks) was 3% relatively high to the audience size. The second social campaign was dedicated to the promotion of the “Chat Lab” activity. From 19/3/2021 to 25/3/2021, the “Chat Lab” ads appeared almost 200.000 times (199.271) and reached 90.000 unique people of which 3.300 clicked the ads (3,7% engagement rate).
Concerning the typology of the viewers, results showed a high interest from older audience. Specifically, 72% of unique viewers were 55 years old or older. The same pattern can be observed in the number of clicks, 77% of which came from an audience of 55 years old or older.
Furthermore, the national campaign included the broadcasting of the TV spot in two (ERT2 and ERT3) of the three channels administrated by the National Broadcasting Company. Both channels broadcast in national coverage which increased exponentially the outreach of the Night messages.
Complementary to the national efforts, all partners promoted the planned activities of the Night as well as its messages to their local audience in various formats. CERTH implemented an influencer marketing campaign with great results. The four radio spots of the Night were aired in all participating cities, thousands of schools (2.000 schools and 400.000 pupils/students only in the Attica region) were contacted through emails by the Ministry of Education encouraging students to participate in the Night’s activities, dozens of interviews were given by researchers in local and national media networks while multiple references of the Night were made in the press. Lastly, partners increase the outreach by leveraging their established network through their corporate social accounts.

Work Package 2 - Activities during the Night
Specifically, for the Night (WP2), due to various reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the consortium decided to extend the duration of the Night by offering various e-activities through its central YouTube channel from Monday 23/11/21 to Friday 27/11/21.
The activities varied content-wise. The public had the opportunity to enjoy videos of traditionally fascinating subjects like astronomy, live discussions on trending topics such as the response to the COVID-19, experiments and live stand-up science e-shows. The content production was overwhelming. In total, ARES produced more than 1.240 minutes of content in twenty activities in the form of recorded videos, YouTube premieres or live streams. The total views exceeded 120.000.
Furthermore, partners introduced an innovative aspect to this year Greek Night; the “Chat Lab”; 30-minute live e-meetings, with the public, mostly school students. The activity, implemented for the first time in Greece, aimed at achieving the ARES objective of getting researchers closer to the public.
The results were so encouraging that the consortium members consider putting forward an extended, permanent version of the “Chat Lab”.

Work Package 3 - Impact Assessment
For assessing the impact of the awareness campaign and the activities during the Night, the statistics from the online platforms (YouTube, Facebook etc.) were used. Additionally, in the case of the ""Chat Lab"" activity in which direct communication with the participants was possible, the consortium carried out a survey in order to gain valuable insights from the participants themselves.

Work Package 4 - Management
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, innovative activities emerged which led to increased awareness of the Night’s objectives and gave the opportunity to a wider audience, even from remote areas, to actively participate in the Night.
At the same time, the COVID-19 highlighted the importance of strong ties among consortium’ partners and quality communication in order to respond decisively and swiftly to the new circumstances."
Based on the accurate data of the digital world, ARES has succeeded in implementing a dynamic and extensive awareness campaign. Solely, the paid campaign on social media reached 556,414 unique people. This figure is even higher if we take under consideration the promotional impact of social media organic reach.
Moreover, during the awareness campaign, researchers gave thirty (30) interviews in local and national TV/radio stations while the TV/radio spots of the Night were being aired for a period of ten days prior to the Night in local and national TV/radio stations. Based on all the above, it is safe to estimate that the broad ERN message concerning the importance of research reached more than 2.000.000 people
Additionally, ARES produced more than 1.240 minutes of content in twenty activities in the form of recorded videos, YouTube premieres or live streams. The total views exceeded 120.000.
Another aspect that should be highlighted is the intense and active participation of researchers throughout the awareness campaign and the Night. In general, approximately 400 researchers were involved in this year Night, 16 of them being MSC fellows or alumni and more than 170 having benefited from another EU initiative. These researchers have all contributed to alleviating the stereotypic image of a researcher and promoting the benefits of a career in research.
Another achievement of the Night was the “Chat Lab” through which approximately 1000 people had the opportunity to discuss live in 30-minute e-meetings with researchers. Participants in the “Chat Lab”, who came from twenty different cities, were mainly school students up to the age of 17 (93,4% of total participants). The “Chat Lab” ended up an excellent, possibly better, alternative to the school visits that the project had initially planned.
"A researcher promoting the ""human"" side of researchers"
A Marie Curie alumnus promoting the Actions
Key Visual of the ARES awareness campaign
The logo of the 2020 Greek Events
E-banner of the Chat Lab activity
Influencer marketing campaign performed with the collaboration of the TechItSerious team
Online event - The Greek efforts on combating COVID-19