- HOW TO INCORPORATE RRI IN POLICY/FUNDING INSTITUTIONS
- HOW TO INCORPORATE RRI IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
- HOW TO SET UP A PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH AGENDA
- HOW TO INCORPORATE THE RRI PRINCIPLES IN A FUNDING CALL
- HOW TO DESIGN A RRI-ORIENTED PROJECT PROPOSAL
- HOW TO CO-CREATE COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH
- HOW TO EMBED RRI IN CITIZEN SCIENCE
How to incorporate RRI in policy/funding institutions
Policy and funding institutions –government departments, research councils and science-oriented private foundations– are vital for research and innovation (R&I). They set policy agendas for the R&I community. They can provide leadership, direction and resources to researchers and business innovators and platforms for engaging civil society organizations and science educators. Ensuring that R&I really do meet a wide range of societal needs and desires means drawing upon a range of governance agendas. Some of the most important agendas include the ethical acceptability, sustainability and social desirability of R&I outcomes, the compliance of research integrity in a global context, the achievement of gender equality, the inclusion of silent voices, and the wider involvement of society in opening the science and technology system.
The values, guiding principles and requirements of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) can help address these issues in a holistic manner, providing institutions with a more relevant role in leading social development. RRI Tools has gathered and developed practical resources that can help you in taking the necessary steps to embed RRI at your institution. This transformation requires acting at different levels and involving, not only the policy and funding community, but also other actors traditionally outside the world of policy, research and innovation.
Making the case for RRI
RRI as a framework for R&I is a new concept, though it draws upon more established agendas and processes. Policy and funding institutions may need to be convinced of the value of adopting its principles and practices. They need to have a good understanding of what RRI involves, and staff need to appreciate its importance. The RRI Toolkit links to simple and helpful documents that enable senior management and leadership teams to become familiar with RRI so they can act as its advocates:
The European Commission has a short leaflet and video explaining what they understand RRI to mean: Europe’s Ability to Respond to Societal Challenges and Aligning R&I with European society. See also the RRI Tools About RRI page.
The Res-AGorA project provides resources for building a good working knowledge of RRI approaches used across Europe. See their case studies and comprehensive databases (RRI Trends, for RRI national policies, and Second Wave, for RRI in research funding organizations, universities and companies).
The RRI Tools project has produced useful material for understanding RRI and providing RRI training. These include the Project Brief, the Report on the Analysis of the Opportunities, Obstacles and Needs of the Stakeholder Groups in RRI Practices in Europe (OON), the Catalogue of Good RRI Practices –and the Training Showcases that flow from that catalogue– and the Self-reflection Tool. The page About RRI provides further information on the concept.
At the institutional level (ministerial, senior civil servant, funding council and board), a variety of measures can be taken to foster and support RRI, such as:
increasing understanding of public attitudes towards science and technology, as expressed in surveys (e.g., Eurobarometer 401 on RRI, S&T);
enhancing awareness of the negative consequences of not using RRI-compatible processes, discussed in Late Lessons from Early Warnings.
And institutions can adopt indicators for gauging the impact of such measures on RRI implementation (e.g., Indicators for Promoting and Monitoring RRI) and special tools for evaluating resulting institutional changes (e.g., NCCPE EDGE tool for institutional reflection on public engagement).
RRI’s key agendas
RRI embraces six key agendas –Ethics, Gender Equality, Governance, Open Access, Public Engagement, and Science Education. All six come into play to a greater or lesser extent depending on the challenges being addressed. Below are resources for advancing each agenda.
Ethics: codes of conduct, such as those provided by the US Office of Research Integrity; training tools aimed at identifying and avoiding fraud and misconduct, such as Training and Resources in Research Ethics Evaluation (TRREE).
Gender Equality: plans for supporting structural change towards gender equality in staff, labour conditions and decision-making bodies (e.g., the European Commission’s Vademecum on Gender Equality in Horizon 2020, Yellow Window’s Gender in EU-Funded Research toolkit, the INTEGER guidelines for structural change in higher education and research organizations, and the EC’s elements and solutions for structural change in research institutions).
Governance: a normative framework that includes RRI principles for research (e.g., EPSRC’s framework for responsible innovation)
Open Access: measures to promote open access (e.g., UNESCO guidelines, the ROARMAP registry of mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and funders) and to facilitate researchers’ use of open access repositories (e.g., Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)); internal policies to promote transparency and openness across the R&I process (e.g., TOP guidelines); resources to increase understanding different approaches to open access (e.g., HowOpenIsIt? outreach materials); and courses to train leadership and staff on open access (e.g., FOSTER courses)
Public Engagement: plans to foster dialogue, reflection and participation within the institution (e.g., Sciencewise Departmental Dialogue Index, Involve’s People & Participation Tool) and to support structural change for public engagement (e.g., NCCPE’s Planning for Change website); and resources for using participatory methods to widen dialogue (e.g., Engage2020 Action Catalogue, Participatory Methods Toolkit, IRGC Guide on Stakeholder Engagement, UK government’s Open Policy Making toolkit, Sciencewise guide on the Use of Experts in Public Dialogue) and for evaluating those methods (e.g., Guide for Evaluating Public Engagement Activities)
Science Education: resources for understanding that all citizens are involved in RRI to a greater or lesser extent, as discussed in Societal Issues in Social Studies and Science Education: Promoting Responsible Citizenship and in the materials produced by the HEIRRI project.
Along with understanding the RRI policy agendas, it is crucial that staff at all levels become familiar with RRI and its different aspects. This can be achieved through training courses and by providing personnel with the appropriate tools. For more training resources, check out the RRI Tools training webpage.
Walk the walk: Fostering responsible research
Policy and funding teams should learn about incorporating the new RRI requisites into funding calls (see, e.g., Horizon 2020 FAQs on open access to publications and data) and about the benefits of adopting this new paradigm when providing funding and other resources to R&I (e.g., Winning Horizon2020 with Open Science?, Why and How to Participate in H2020: Manual for CSOs). By doing so they can facilitate and promote the use of open access (e.g., Sherpa/Juliet database of funding agencies’ conditions, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Sherpa/RoMEO database of publishers copyright and self-archiving policies) as well as the incorporation of a variety of views and actors through initiatives like community-campus partnerships (e.g., CCPH Toolkit), science shops (e.g., Living Knowledge Science Shop Toolbox), or citizen science projects (e.g., Citizen Science Central Toolkit). Specifc guidance on funding schemes can be found in the How to Incorporate the RRI Principles in a Funding Call section of this Toolkit.