Responsible Research and Innovation: what really is it? what to write?

The Marie Curie Alumni Association, in collaboration with EuroScientist, hosted a round table on “Responsible Research and Innovation: a check-up” on March  2018. The full event was recorded and is available here.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become a buzzword in European science in the last few years. Scientists must fill in the RRI section in their European project, and sometimes they do not know what to write there. Others are anxious to have the RRI tag attached to their communication and PR activities. But what really is RRI? Why is it needed? How could science and society benefit from this approach? The strict definition of RRI implies a radical change in the way of conceiving scientific projects from the very beginning, bringing a wide range of stakeholders (from companies to activists, from designers to patients…) in defining the scientific agenda. Are researchers prepared for that? What is the actual level of implementation of RRI in European science? What policies are there in place to facilitate this process?

Making science count in policy making

Representatives of the most important stakeholders participated in the round table:

  • Rosina Malagrida, La Caixa Foundation, RRI Tools project
  • Gerrit Rauws, Director at King Baudouin Foundation
  • Anne Loeber, NewHoRRIzon consortium

The round table is moderated by Dr. Michele Catanzaro (physicist, freelance science journalist for Nature, El Periódico, and other outlets).

This is a free on-line (only) event organized by the Marie Curie Alumni Association, in collaboration with EuroScientist.

Retractionwatch: an indispensable tool in scholarly publishing

Since August 2010, there is a place for recording  studies no longer reliable. The blog created the first database of retractions, with nearly 18,000 retractions so far, stretching back decades. There are well over a thousand retractions each year and this database inform about scientific misconducts.

Retractionwatch is doing deeper dives, prompting to file public records requests for reports of misconduct investigations and other materials (and their co-founders to urge universities to do a better job with them). In the past year, retractionwatch has collaborated together with journalism organizations, to bring readers stories that go deep and reach larger audiences than retractionwatch can on the blog. There are their established partnerships with STAT and Science, where they continue to break news and help readers make sense of developments.

Some of the most impressive stories related to retractions and academic misconduct include:

Can you share yours in the comments below?

This non-profit organization have received some foundation support from MacArthur Foundation, the Helmsley Trust, and the Arnold Foundation. The founders, Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, are not taking salaries from the organization. One can contribute with a tax-deductible donation to The Center For Scientific Integrity or contribution, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, add them to your RSS reader, sign up for an email or subscribe to daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in their database, you can let them know here. For comments or feedback:

Research Workshop: Understanding the ethics of interdisciplinary research with refugee communities

Friday June 15th. Arts Tower, Room 13.17, Sheffield, UK | Time: 9:30 – 14:15
This workshop is free to attend. Please register here

Dr Jason Hart (University of Bath) and Dr Lucy Mayblin (University of Warwick)
Also featuring PhD researchers Aya Musmar (Architecture) and Sarah Linn (Urban Studies and Planning), and Mrs Lindsay Unwin, Ethics & Integrity Officer, University of Sheffield.

jason-hart-27921-0002 Lucy Mayblin
Dr Jason Hart, Senior Lecture University of Bath. Co-Investigator EPSRC/GCRF funded project ‘Healthy Housing for the Displaced’ Dr Lucy Mayblin, Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Warwick. PI ESRC Future Research Leaders project ‘Asylum, Welfare and Work in the Age of Austerity’.

The workshop, sponsored by the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC), aims to explore the ethics of interdisciplinary research with refugee communities, in the context of displacement in refugee camps and host communities. Through a series of presentations from established and early career researchers in the area, delegates will be able to discuss the different challenges, approaches and best reflexive practices of interdisciplinary research with refugee communities. A particular focus throughout will be on bringing together disciplines for which the issues are challenging but broadly familiar (principally within the Social Sciences), with those such as Science and Engineering which have been less used to engaging with the ethics of working with vulnerable groups, but now need to in the context of interdisciplinarity and impact, and funding streams which support this (such as the GCRF).
Coffee and light lunch will be provided.

Organisers: Dr Marcia Vera Espinoza (Politics); Dr Steve Connelly (Urban Studies and Planning); Helen Woolley (Department of Landscape); Aldous Everard (Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures).

*Any views expressed within the workshop do not necessarily represent the views of the UREC.
For more information please contact

Register Here

Becas para realizar estancias de investigación en el extranjero

La Fundación Ramón Areces y la Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero abren sus convocatorias de movilidad internacional para investigadores.

Fundación Ramón Areces (plazo de solicitud hasta el 5 de abril de 2018)

Ampliación de Estudios en el Extranjero en Ciencias de la Vida y de la Materia

La Fundación Ramón Areces tiene como objetivo fundamental el patrocinio de proyectos de investigación científica y técnica en España a través de Concursos Nacionales, la formación de jóvenes investigadores, así como el fomento y desarrollo de la educación y de la cultura en general.

En línea con estos objetivos, la Fundación adjudicará veintidós Becas a doctores jóvenes para que amplíen sus estudios en universidades y centros de investigación en el extranjero durante el curso académico 2018/2019.

La convocatoria del presente año está orientada hacia los campos de:

  • Biomedicina
  • Química
  • Física y Materiales
  • Preservación de la Biosfera

La dotación económica de cada beca es de 2.200 euros mensuales durante un año, prorrogable por un segundo año, previo informe del Consejo Científico de la Fundación. Además, la Fundación se hace cargo de los gastos de viaje (ida y vuelta) y de un seguro de enfermedad y accidentes.

La convocatoria está abierta hasta el día 5 de abril de 2018.

Para más información sobre las solicitudes y los requisitos acudir a la web del programa.

Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero  (plazo de solicitud hasta el 27 de abril de 2018)

Becas de investigación en universidades o centros en el extranjero

Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero convoca 60 becas cuyo objetivo es realizar trabajos de investigación en universidades o centros de investigación en el extranjero, en temas que estén comprendidos en alguna de las siguientes áreas:

  • Agricultura y ganadería
  • Ciencias del mar
  • Ciencias de la salud
  • Tecnología de alimentos

En este caso, la dotación de la beca incluye:

  • Ayuda para traslados e instalación por un importe total de 3.100 euros.
  • Seguro de enfermedad y accidentes suscrito por la Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero y en su caso, el exigido por el centro extranjero.
  • Asignación mensual entre 1.900 y 3.000 euros, según el país de destino.

Las solicitudes se pueden realizar de forma presencial y online hasta el día 27 de abril de 2018.

Más información sobre estas ayudas en la web de la convocatoria.

“Hydrogeoday” 10 March, Coruña 2018

This Saturday 10th of March, the Asociación Española de Hidrogeólogos (Spanish Association of Hydrogeologists) organizes the “Hydrogeoday”, a scientific dissemination workshop in hydrogeology, that will take place in Galicia, under the direction of the research group “Agua y Suelo – AQUASOL” (Water and soil), belonging to CICA (Centro de Investigaciones Científicas Avanzadas) from the Universidade da Coruña

Poster of the Hydrogeoday workshop.

More info:

The focus will be in good practices for quality groundwater collection from small water supplies, which are quite abundant in rural areas.

The workshop is open to all kind of people and is free of charge. But places are limited and is necessary to enroll in advance via e-mail.

09:45 bus from A Coruña center, to Escuela de Caminos and later on to Abegondo townhall.

Postdoc in Environmental Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials – DTU

The Department of Environmental Engineering (DTU Environment) at the Technical University of Denmark invites applications for a position as postdoc within the section for Environmental Fate of Effects of Chemicals. The section deals with the environmental impacts and risks of chemicals, complex contaminations and nanomaterials. Our approaches involve laboratory and field experimentation, modelling and often with a regulatory outlook. The position is in the research field of risk assessment of nanomaterials including ecotoxicity evaluation and model development and testing.

Responsibilities and tasks
The main responsibility of the postdoc is to act as the day-to-day coordinator and contributor to DTU Environment’s involvement in the H2020 project caLIBRAte: “Performance testing, calibration and implementation of a next generation system-of-systems Risk Governance Framework for nanomaterials”. You will be involved in the work packages “Environmental risk assessment models” and “Data collation for calibration and gap analysis”, respectively.

You will use your experience in laboratory testing of nanomaterials in evaluation of data and models for environmental risk assessment. In the position you will interact actively with project partners from around Europe as well as with the research team on environmental risk of nanomaterials at DTU Environment. Your tasks involve dissemination of project results through scientific papers, conference contributions and project deliveries as well as interaction with stakeholders. Furthermore, you will represent DTU at project meetings in Denmark and abroad as well as at the bi-yearly caLIBRAte general assemblies.

Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent. Flexibility and self-motivation are desired skills at DTU, as well as a natural interest in collaboration and personal responsibility. 

  • You must have a detailed and documented knowledge on ecotoxicity testing of nanomaterials
  • You must have experience from H2020 projects in writing deliverables and in project management
  • You should have experience with regulatory issues as well as classification and labelling of chemicals from work in industry or as a consultant
  • You enjoy working with complex topics
  • Your teaching experience is considered a great benefit for the dissemination parts of the position
  • You must have strong coordination and planning skills and an interest for project administration and economy
  • You thrive on collaboration and teamwork

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 2 years beginning May 1, 2018.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from professor Anders Baun, tel.: +45 4525 1567.

You can read more about DTU Environment on

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 1 March 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Environment is one of the largest university departments specializing in environmental engineering in Europe. DTU was recently ranked #7 worldwide in the Shanghai Rankings in Environmental Science & Engineering.

DTU Environment conducts research and development, and provides educational programs and service to society in the area of engineering of water in natural, urban and industrial contexts, processing and recovery of residual resources, environmental risk assessment and chemical risk reduction. The aim is to develop new environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies, and to disseminate this knowledge to society and a new generation of engineers. The Department has approximately 185 staff from more than 30 nationalities.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.


Pseudo science and bias information

Fake news is everywhere. Science-related pseudo facts have taken over the gossip sites and social media. And we are only at the beginning of an uphill battle to set the record straight. In this contribution, Melissa Hoover, shares her investigation on how people’s response to fake news makes it easier for such inaccurate stories to propagate at a rate that is way more important than fact-based news. Continue reading here.

Webinar of the Science Policy series: What does “open science” really mean?

On 3rd October 2017, 13:30 CET

“Open science”: never has a term been interpreted in so many different ways. The diversity of perspectives may reflect the paradigm shift in how science is done, which is encoded in these words. ‘Open science’ encompasses open access to journals, sharing of scientific data, easy reproducibility, and transparency in research evaluation, among many other aspects. Future perspectives include the “uberisation” of science, and the harnessing of social networks mechanisms in research. In this webinar, we will rely on important actors in the process of opening science to put order among these ideas. We will try to understand where academia is going, and how to engage more scholars in open science.

Making science count in policy making

The Marie Curie Alumni Association, in collaboration with EuroScientist, will be hosting a round-table with the participation of representatives of the most important stakeholders :

  • Julie Sainz, Policy Officer at the European Commission, Unit C.2 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • Ivo Grigorov, marine science researcher and member of the FOSTER project to promote open science education among researchers
  • Eva Méndez, professor of Information Science and member of the EC’s Open Science Policy Platform
  • Sascha Friesike, researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, focus on how technology can help in opening science and the role it can play in creative processes

The round table will be moderated by Dr. Michele Catanzaro (physicist, freelance science journalist for Nature, El Periódico, and other outlets).

The event is free but registration is required HERE.