1 April – Join the inSPIRES webinar on curriculum-based engagement with communities

Date: 1 April

Hour: 16 pm (CEST time), one hour duration

This webinar will explore the practicalities of setting up and running community engaged research projects within the higher education curriculum, through two case studies, one from TU Dublin (Ireland) and one from Queen’s University Belfast (UK). The case studies will explore two collaborative projects, both in the area of spatial planning, and both with a health theme. The two short case studies will be followed by a substantial question and answer session with participants.

The case studies will be presented by David O’Connor, TU Dublin and Neil Galway and Helen McGuinness (lecturer and student respectively), Queen’s University Belfast. The webinar will be facilitated by Catherine Bates, TU Dublin, and Emma McKenna, Queen’s University Belfast.

This webinar will be of interest to Higher Education Staff, Students and Civil Society Organisations interested in curriculum-based engaged research, and of particular interest to those working in Science Shops, those interested in implementing engaged research projects, and anyone interested in spatial planning or health.

It is jointly organized by the InSPIRES Project, the Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa and the Living Knowledge Network, in collaboration with TU Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast.

To register for the webinar please click here.

28 February – Join the inSPIRES webinar: Public Engagement Methodologies

Date: 28th of February

Hour: 10 h (CET time)

Speakers: Frank Kupper, Assistant Professor in Science Communication and Public Engagement at VU Amsterdam, and Franco Bagnoli, Associate Professor of Theoretical Matter Physics at the University of Florence, with wide experience in the field of Science Cafés.


The InSPIRES EU project is delighted to welcome you to join a new webinar on public engagement methodologies on the 28th of February at 10h (CET time).

In the context of research, public engagement methodologies serve as a tool to align I+D+i projects with the main citizens’ interests and needs. Several strategies have been developed to facilitate the dialogue, reflexion and the involvement of both the broader public and target stakeholders. In this webinar, two expert speakers – who belong to two partner organizations of the InSPIRES project – will share their experiences in different public engagement methodologies.

Dr. Frank Kupper, Assistant Professor in Science Communication and Public Engagement at VU Amsterdam. Blending an STS and Arts & Design perspective, he works on the conceptual and methodological innovation of public engagement processes to shape meaningful conversations at various science-society interfaces. Frank will talk about a dialogue methodology developed in the context of the EU project Nano2all, based on the co-design of scenarios to anticipate future impacts.

Dr. Franco Bagnoli, Associate Professor of Theoretical Matter Physics at the University of Florence, with wide experience in the field of Science Cafés. His presentation will briefly illustrate the Science Café methodology and how it can be used within the context of Science Shops. He will also share some Science Shops projects, where this methodology has been applied.

>>> If you are interested to participate in an interactive discussion and receive access to the online platform, please register here.

New Barcelona CaixaResearch Living Lab, following inSPIRES’ partners experience in science with and for society

The Barcelona City Council and ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation have signed a partnership agreement to advance and strengthen the City Council’s plan for science: Barcelona Ciència. The aim of the plan is to make the city an important European hub of excellence in responsible research and innovation. The experience and current activity of the two Spanish partners of inSPIRES project, IrsiCaixa and ISGlobal, will serve as a starting point.

The agreement is focused on two main lines of action: the creation of the Barcelona CaixaResearch Living Lab, a platform for research and citizen participation; and a municipal call for applications for research grants—in total one million euros—to be funded jointly by the City Council and ”la Caixa”.

Barcelona CaixaResearch Living Lab

The Barcelona CaixaResearch Living Lab will serve as a meeting point for many different actors, such civil society organizations, non-organized citizens, academic institutions and researchers. At the same time, it will be a place where public opinion on current scientific issues can be expressed and gathered. The new platform will host initiatives seeking public participation in research projects or collaborative alliances in the design of research and innovation agendas.

The starting point of the new project is the work separately and jointly carried out by IrsiCaixa and ISGlobal. Thanks to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, Science with and for society (SwaSf), InSPIRES project was born with the aim of strengthen communication between scientists and citizens in order to provide input on the research agenda. In this context, the two Catalan partners, IrsiCaixa and ISGlobal, began to work together to create a Living Lab in the city of Barcelona and thus support the rise of this models locally.

InSPIRES members Mª Jesús Pinazo, Project principal investigator and ISGlobal researcher, and Rosina Malagrida -Head of the Living Lab of Health of IrsiCaixa- will be the technical referents of Barcelona – «la Caixa» Living Lab.

Mª Jesús Pinazo stressed that “the involvement of citizens and civil society in research and innovation is essential if we are to achieve solutions that can transform society and improve people’s lives.”

 Ageing, Mobility and the Environment

This is the first time a Spanish city council has launched a call offering direct funding for science projects. The list of successful applicants will be published in March and the funding will go to projects seeking innovative solutions in three areas: ageing and quality of life; mobility; and respect for and protection of the environment. The overall aim is to contribute to the modernisation of the city of Barcelona in line with the objectives that govern the actions of institutions within the European Union and worldwide.

In her closing remarks, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, emphasised that this is a strategic project for the city, with a horizon of 2030, “aimed at creating our own economic development model based on our strength in science and research”.

“Science Together”: Tunisian research to support access and advocacy

More news about the first collaborative project co-created among the Tunisian Association for Information and Orientation on HIV/AIDS and Toxicomania and the laboratory of virology at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis

The Institut Pasteur de Tunis’s Science Shop (IPT-SS) “Science Together” was created in 2017. After an online call, they collected 36 societal needs from Tunisian Civil Society Organizations (CSO). The selection committee composed by CSO representatives as well as local experts chose one of these needs to be the SS pilot project. This project was co-created with the Tunisian Association for Information and Orientation on HIV/AIDS and Toxicomania (ATIOST) and the laboratory of clinical virology at the IPT. A master student was selected to work on this project entitled “Genetic characterization of circulating hepatitis C virus strains among injecting drug users (IDU) in Tunisia”. The knowledge on hepatitis C genotypes among (IDU) is an important step in the diagnosis of HCV infection and a key component of therapeutic decision.

Members of ATIOST with the Master student. Institut Pasteur de Tunis.

In Tunisia, infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major public health problem. In 2015, the national prevalence is estimated at 0.9% in the general population. Tunisia has implemented a national “hepatitis C” elimination plan from 2016 to 2023 to eliminate this infection based on universal access to treatment. Nevertheless, injection drug users characterized by a high prevalence of HCV infection (around 30%) had an extremely poor access to treatment. This vulnerable population is also considered as a critical vector of viral strains to the Tunisian population.

This project established a successful collaboration between the laboratory and the CSO. It allowed the laboratory to have access for the first time to a key population and therefore to have innovative results. The scientific results are a description of circulating HCV strains in this population; therefore, the outcome will be very useful for the CSO’s advocacy towards policy makers on the importance of involving this population in the national strategy for the eradication of hepatitis C in Tunisia. This project also allowed more than 100 patients who participated in the study to have access to free diagnosis and treatment, supported by the national plan against hepatitis C.

Giving back to the community a summary of the results: CEADES Chagas Science Shop (Phase III)

In Bolivia we spent the whole month of December, 2018, giving back to the community a summary of the results of our three Science Shop studies carried out by master students in Chagas disease.

We organized events in five different contexts: civil society of Punata (a province nearbye Cochabamba), health staff of Punata’s hospital, students of medicine of UMSS (public) university, Association of patients with Chagas disease, and finally in CEADES office.

First, in Punata, the full activity was recorded and broadcasted by the local television channel which has an audience of 35,000 people, and in parallel, via the Facebook page. We had the participation of local leaders, health representatives, technical staff for vector control, representatives of education sector. We have enriched the event with a beautiful artistic exhibition by photographer Ana Ferreira.

Second, in the hospital: with the participation of medical doctors and nurses.

Third, with students of medicine organized by the Scientific Association.

Fourth, with the members of the Association of patients with Chagas Disease “Corazones Unidos”.

And, finally, with the full staff of CEADES.

19 December – Join the inSPIRES webinar: Participatory Research with Rajesh Tandon

Date: 19/12/2018

Hour: 10 h.

Speaker: Dr Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and co-chair of the UNESCO Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education


The InSPIRES EU project is delighted to welcome you to join a new webinar on Participatory Research on the 19th of December at 10h (CET time).

Participatory Research (PR) is a methodology that values experiential knowledge and practitioner’s wisdom in addition to the more formal knowledge available in academia and books, in order to bridge the divide between the world of practice and the world of research.

In this webinar, Dr Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President of the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and co-chair of the UNESCO Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, will share his experience in participatory research, with a special focus on health-related projects. Our speaker has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote engagement of institutions of higher education with civil society and local communities to foster knowledge generation and mutual learning. He will present inspiring examples and recommendations to help to implement this type of projects.

>>> If you are interested to participate in an interactive discussion and receive access to the online platform to join, please send an email to jcarreras@irsicaixa.es.

16 November – Join the InSPIRES webinar: Ethics of biomedical research

The InSPIRES project, the Ethical Committee of the Institut Pasteur de Tunis (IPT) and the Regional Training Center (RTC), are organizing a webinar on Friday, November 16th, for one hour about «ethics of biomedical research«.

The webinar will be in French and moderated by Hayet Moussa, Research Professor at the Higher Institute of Human Sciences of Tunis (University Tunis El Manar) and IPT Ethical committee member.

The webinar will focus on the basics of Ethics in biomedical research with a focus on the patient’s informed consent, conditions, and process.

To join us and interact with us, you can connect here.

(To ask your questions, it is necessary to have a gmail address)


CEADES Foundation develops the third scientific coffee: perception of health care in people with HIV

This activity has brought together, in a relaxed environment conducive to dialogue, 42 participants coming from several social groups: people living with HIV, NGO working for HIV, professionals from Public Health Services, Public Health authorities, and medical students. A lot of ideas, perceptions, sometimes contradictory, have been shared, among others related to quality of care, even reluctance of attendance in some cases, new regulations regarding financing of HIV treatment, complications of AIDS, difficulties for compliance and others topics.

All activity was recorded in live and transmitted via the Facebook page of CEADES Foundation: some comments or questions coming from the social network were directly transmitted to the panelist. The video we viewed more than 400 times and the page shared 9 times.

It is the 3º event, CEADES Foundation  organizes with the Medical Department of Research and the Medical Scientific Association of Students of Faculty of Medicine (UMSS, Cochabamba). The 2 previous debates were focused on the Ethics in Medical Research, and the scope and limitations of new regulations of Tuberculosis National Program.

This kind of event attracts quite a lot of students, researchers and people from civil society, reason why it is necessary to confirm the participation in advance, and restrict to a maximum of 40. All registered participants receive a set of selected references, one week before, in order to be prepared for the debate.

It is a new strategy to bring together academic people, public authorities, and civil society around current issues in health, sharing news knowledges, looking together for some solutions, and proposing research questions to the students.

Science Shop InSPIRES Spring School in Tunisia. Call for applications!

inSPIRES Spring School

«Science shops: Strengthening the Links Between Research and Society»

22-23 April 2019 – Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunisia

The Institut Pasteur de Tunis and the Direction of Culture, Science and Society of the University of Lyon as partners of the consortium of the H2020 InSPIRES project, are organizing a spring school around Science Shops. Its ambition is to create and strengthen links between the research community and civil society (represented by organizations, associations or communities working on societal issues). It also offers a platform for training, exchange and networking with experts in participatory research to develop new science shops or similar devices.

Around the concept of participatory research, the aim of this training is to explore the means of producing socially useful knowledge that can lead to significant societal changes. The InSPIRES Spring School will be held in Tunis with the aim of stimulating the Science Shop’ system on the African continent as well as in the French-speaking countries around the world.

This school is thus addressed to a French-speaking public.

1. Methods and objectives

  • Plenary lectures open to all to learn about the concepts and practices of science shops, participatory research, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Open Science.
  • Workshops in small groups to better understand educational concepts and good practices that deconstruct the barriers between science and society.
  • Field visit to local associations to understand how to make research more meaningful by working with and for communities.
  • Pedagogical support to develop and improve skills and knowledge on participatory research
  • A playful approach through a game around the process of building projects within a Science Shop
  • A group simulation of the implementation of a Science Shop with the help and the intervention of experts in the field to be accompanied in the implementation of this kind of device.
  • Sharing and networking to engage in the co-creation of projects between Science and Society.

2. Criteria for selecting participants

InSPIRES Spring School will host 40 participants of different profiles. It will be held in French. A good level of oral and written French is required.

Profiles of the desired participants:

  • Members of french speaking Science shops
  • Practitioners wishing to set up Science Shops and interested in participatory research
  • Members of associations, non-governmental organizations, non-profit groups
  • Master 2 students, Ph.D. students and researchers wishing to work in the field of participatory research

3. Application

To participate in the Spring School, please fill in the application form following this link. Registration for the event is free.

Registration is open until 25 January 2019 included.

To apply for a scholarship to support your travel and / or accommodation in Tunis, your demand must be sent at the same time as your application. To support your request, please send a letter of motivation to ecoledeprintemps.inspires@pasteur.utm.tn

For any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us at ecoledeprintemps.inspires@pasteur.utm.tn.

InSPIRES launches 32 Science Shop projects in its first year

A plan to combat isolation and anonymity in cities is being evaluate by a Boutique des Sciences (Science Shop) project in Lyon. Master Students Célia Gapail (Social Anthropology) and Anjelo Maindelson (Urban Environment), guided by Beatrice Maurines (Université de Lyon), are assessing the impacts of the two-year experience of “Les Petites Cantines”, alternative spaces where “meal is an excuse (…) that allows people to meet people from other generations and life course”. The experience involves a free-price economic model that is also being evaluated.  

This and other ongoing 31 Science Shop projects are the practical scenario in which InSPIRES reflects on its models of participatory research. The projects are studying topics such as: the acceptability of a Leprosy post-exposure prophylaxis program in Nepal (VU, Amsterdam), stigma and discrimination as barriers to access preventive and diagnostic measures for HIV (Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa, Barcelona) or the genetic characterization of circulating Hepatitis C (HCV) virus strains among injecting drug users in Tunisia (ITP).

InSPIRES project, coordinated by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme “Science with and for Society” (SwafS), has presented its first-year report.

A long path still lays under our feet but some goals have been already achieved besides the mentioned research projects. For example, a qualitative study of 80 interviews to Science Shops structures and similar initiatives, a systematic literature review on Science Shops, and an online collaborative design thinking exercise; all these to create a concept map of the “Science Shop at its best”. InSPIRES has also organized five key webinars, produced the prototype of a card-game and outlined its Science Shops database -with information on structures and projects- and a theoretical framework for the so-called Science Shops 2.0. We keep moving!