The European Commission has given a grant to a consortium of 11 universities, a research institute and a NGO from 10 different countries which aims to improve student and staff capacity in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Higher Education. The 30 month EnRRICH project is coordinated by Vrije Universiteit Brussel and was launched at Cambridge University in July 2015. It is funded under the Horizon 2020 Programme for making science education and careers attractive for young people (SEAC.2).
The EnRRICH project (Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education) will improve the capacity of students and staff in higher education to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to support the embedding of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in curricula. RRI is a dynamic, iterative process by which all stakeholders involved in the research and innovation practice (researchers, policy makers, industry, citizens, educators) become mutually responsive to each other and share responsibility regarding the R&I outcomes and processes. The project will in particular respond to the research needs of society as expressed by civil society organisations and will identify, develop, pilot, and disseminate good practice and relevant resources to embed the RRI policies in academic curricula across Europe. EnRRICH will focus on the co-creation of research to enable students to acquire the broad range of skills, knowledge and experience needed for a knowledge economy and knowledge society to flourish. Through sharing learning and initiating discussion and debates at institutional, national and international levels both within the consortium and beyond it, it will create a better awareness of, and enhance the policy context for, RRI in curricula and thereby produce more responsible and responsive graduates and researchers.
EnRRICH has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 665759. The overall budget for the project is €1.5m and it will run from July 2015 until December 2017. Partners are Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), University College Cork (UCC), Universita Degli Studi di Sassari (UNISS), Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (WiLa Bonn), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), University of Cambridge (UCAM), Corvinus University Budapest (CUB), Universität Vechta, Wageningen University (WU), Fundacio Privada Institut de Recerca de la Sida-Caixa (IRSICAIXA), Université de Lyon and Vilniaus technologiju ir dizaino kolegija (VTDK).
UCC is taking the lead on work package three, which primarily seeks to pilot RRI educational materials in HE curricula. The UCC EnRRICH team consists of three individuals, Dr Kenneth Burns (School of Applied Social Studies), Dr Catherine O’Mahony (National Academy for the Integration of Teaching, Research and Learning), and Dr Ruth O’Donnell (EnRRICH Project Coordinator, School of Applied Social Studies). It is the ambition of the UCC EnRRICH team to successfully embed RRI methodologies and best practice into existing courses, including STEM disciplines in UCC, and to establish an important foundation for the future capacity and development of RRI in UCC.