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Training and mentoring of science shops

Final Report Summary - TRAMS (Training and mentoring of science shops)

TRAMS developed specific structural services for the International Science Shop Network Living Knowledge. In this way the coordination actions in TRAMS contribute to the goals of the network. The training and mentoring activities that have been developed in TRAMS fulfil an expressed need, and provide a benefit for civil society, through the activities of the science shops and other community-based research organisations involved in the Living Knowledge network.

After the pilot activities and development of materials in TRAMS these tools for support are published and available for free use for the members of the open network Living Knowledge.

The main objectives of TRAMS were to:

1) encourage the development of emergent science shops through the provision of training and mentoring support;
2) support the ongoing professional development of existing science shops and similar organisations through the sharing of training materials and the experiences from daily practices to update professional development.

In TRAMS the development of innovative practices in science shops is encouraged, through a customised training programme toolbox and appropriate partnering and exchange (mentoring) among members of Living Knowledge. TRAMS focused on both sides (users and suppliers) in training and mentoring, because both groups are important stakeholders in the project. This allowed the project to have a direct input on the needs for training and mentoring and on the available tools and expertise. The users in TRAMS were the pilot group of the mentoring and training activities.

The focus in the first year of TRAMS was on the mentoring programme and the training materials. In the last year of TRAMS the focus was on publication and dissemination of training materials and finalising the mentoring. All training materials, instructions and publications are available at the website of the International Science Shop Network Living Knowledge, www.livingknowledge.org. At the website the training materials (including e-modules and a database with training materials) are available in the Science Shop Toolbox.

Already before the end of the project it became clear the project already succeeded to encourage the development of emergent science shops. New science shops, also outside the TRAMS consortium started and there was an ongoing request for information and support to start a science shop. The TRAMS consortium introduced the Science Shop Summer School model to facilitate as many requests as possible in an efficient and effective way.