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Researcher's Night 2016-2017 in Estonia

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RNEst16-17 (Researcher's Night 2016-2017 in Estonia)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-01-31

The 2016 European Researchers’ Night in Estonia was a series of several science-related events. Over 900 fun and engaging events took place both in Tartu and all over Estonia. Over 200 scientists and 100 different educational, medical, business, research and other institutions contributed to the festival which had over 500 000 participants. The main aim of the Estonian Researchers’ Night 2016 was to highlight the most recent and important accomplishments of Estonian researchers and scientists and to encourage young people to choose careers in research, engineering and STEM-related areas. The objective was to introduce youngsters these professions through numerous entertaining hands-on activities.

The topic of the Estonian Researchers’ Night 2016 was pointing out the links between scientific discoveries and the creation of plausible fictional scenarios. Therefore the future and recent scientific discoveries was the conjoining topic and a link between all of the events. 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, open-air events, lectures.

The importance of the events lies in bringing the researchers closer to the public at large and raise the awareness of the contribution of researchers to our everyday lives and the “human face” of research will become more apparent.
The events highlighted the local researchers behind the discoveries, methodologies and devices that have changed and are still changing the face of science and technology in Estonia and Europe raised public awareness of the necessity of the work local researchers do.
All the events were engaging both the public and researchers, enabling them to present their work in the most appropriate way, resulting in the public asking the most relevant questions on the issues covered and thus empowering the researchers to offer the public the answers they are looking for.
Activities offered presented the immersive and exciting side of research, making the profession of a researcher more attractive to young people about to make their career choices.

Overall objectives of the Researchers Night in Estonia were:
 - to offer various public events and innovative activities, combining links with researchers and science demonstrations;
 - to encourage young people to choose scientific careers in order to enable them to develop new skills and find fulfilling jobs;
 - to enhance public recognition of researchers through the setting up of a direct contact between them and the public at large in both formal and informal settings;
 - to stress the pan-European nature of the Researchers’ Night initiative by organizing joint events with other RNEst16-17 organizers from different parts of Europe;
 - to point out the essence of being a European citizen with the help of European corners run by specialists able to distribute the latest and the most relevant information about science-related opportunities offered by the European Union.
Overview of the results of the awareness campaign (WP 1)

o Conception, realisation of promotional material: posters displayed in public spaces and at participating institutions (museums, schools) , Marie Curie roll- ups displayed in Tartu and Haapsalu, 32-pages programmes;
o Public advertising in public spaces (for instance, over-the-street banners at the central squares of Tartu and Haapsalu, large posters on street billboards in Tartu and Haapsalu and promotional clips on large city screens in Tartu;
o Public advertising in shopping malls in Tartu, Tallinn, Pärnu, Haapsalu;
o Airing of over 50 promotional spots, announcements, advertisements, programmes, interviews on national radio and TV stations (8 TV channels and about 11 radio channels);
o Publication of over 20 articles, announcements, advertisements in written press: main newspapers, specialised ones, magazines distributed countrywide. Some examples can be found here:;
o Visits to schools by researchers, presentation about their research area and promotion of the event;
o School programmes involving also the parents and the local communities during the week of the European Researchers’ Night;
o Over 13 press releases by the coordinator and the participating institutions;
o Main information about the programme, the news and the pre-events at the revamped website ;
o About 24 000 hits and 16 000 unique visitors on website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles and notably creation of events on Facebook and Instagram, resulting in over 40 unique posts and a reach of about 50 000 people;
o Links of website with partners’ websites, institutional and popular websites and social media;
o One million of people made aware of the Researchers' night and its objectives;

Overview of the results of the activities during the Night (WP 2):

o Offer of the activities as planned in the Annex I Part B to the Grant Agreement:
o Over 900 activities all over Estonia;
o Hands-on experiments, science shows, demos, workshops, simulations, talks with researchers, debates, …;
o Involvement of about 50 museums, universities and companies;
o Involvement of round 50 schools, youths’ centres, kindergartens involved;
o Active involvement of 210 researchers of whom:
o 5 having benefitted from MSC schemes;
o 6 having benefitted from another EU-support (FP7-HORIZON 2020);
o Over 50.000 people having taken part in the activities , and about 55. 000 people were watching a special RN TV show.
Overview of the results of the impact assessment (WP 3):

o Display, collection and processing of 697 feedbacks (questionnaires;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 67% female and 33% male, Average age: 22 years, youngest respondent aged 7 and oldest 77 years old, most from the city of Tartu and the county of Tartu and from the city of Tallinn and the county of Harju, 37 % newcomers;
o Knowledge about the event: Feedback: school/work (39% total , 72 % students/kids and 18 % adults, likely teachers, professors, college students or parents), followed by friends/family (19%, 11% for students/kids), social media (18%), Science Centre AHHAA’s website/ the website of “The European Researchers’ Night” (15%, 12 % for students and kids) and then media (4%, 29 % for students/kids, 5 % adults, social media representing 47 %), 5% elsewhere;
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 for the researchers' work;
o Increased interest for science amongst young people;
o Increased interest for science careers expressed by young people;
ClearChannel advertisements
MarieCurie rollups on event places
Publication of articles, announcements, advertisements in written press
Posters and rollups at the venue places
Public screens display