EPICUR Research kicked-off in early 2021! Funded in the framework of Horizon 2020 in the programme line “Science with and for Society” [SwafS], EPICUR Research will develop a common research agenda for the eight partner universities to improve and strengthen the interaction between science and society.
EPICUR Research will also empower early career researchers by initiating bottom-up collaborative processes and building new EPICUR networks for researchers in all their career stages, thereby forming a new kind of research community that crosses over disciplinary borders and opens universities to their communities.
EPICUR aims to develop solutions to societal problems that incorporate the expertise and knowledge of individuals and institutions from diverse sectors of society. Convinced that international collaboration fosters scientific and societal progress, EPICUR is developing a joint research agenda with an inter- and transdisciplinary approach to tackle pressing research questions, so-called EPIChallenges. Inspired by the “Six Transformations to achieve the SDGs” as well as by the Green Deal, “Missions of Horizon Europe”, and the EU Skills Agenda, EPICUR has set three EPIChallenges to start with: Sustainability research (including Climate Change and Energy); Mobility, Migration & Identity; Transition of Public Health. It is the hope of EPICUR Research that by offering these spaces, the alliance invites young researchers to explore new collaborations that bring together the diversity of expertise and perspectives required to face the challenges posed by such global phenomena as climate change, pandemics, and forced migration.
There is a multitude of definitions regarding both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, which at the core all describe the need to integrate not merely diverse data and information but also to reflect and combine methodology, tools, research approaches, techniques and theories from divergent disciplines. And eventually, reach beyond the walls of universities themselves to involve non-university partners and include even more diverse sources such as indigenous or practical knowledge. For EPICUR, interdisciplinarity is conceived as the collaboration between researchers from different academic disciplines, whereas transdisciplinarity is the collaboration between academics and partners from other sectors of society, such as civil society and governmental organisations, industry and business. EPICUR will build on and help implement the ideas and concepts developed by SHAPE-ID, an EU-funded project addressing the challenge of improving inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation between the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) and other Sciences, particularly Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines (https://www.shapeid.eu).
EPICUR research and innovation formats address early career researchers (ECRs) as the alliance considers them the new generation of European research leaders and therefore instrumental in driving institutional transformation. To achieve this, early career researchers need new and more opportunities to acquire the skills enabling them to advance their academic careers under new conditions and with increasing speed. EPICUR trusts in the ability of early career researchers to lead the charge and thus involves them in the conceptualization of its formats from the start. In addition, EPICUR is committed to integrate early career researchers into its decision-making structures and governing bodies. By doing so, EPICUR hopes to establish a different academic culture that is shaped by and for the needs of researchers in all career stages, taking into account the particular challenges of scholars with families, women and researchers hailing from diverse (e.g. non-academic) backgrounds who continue to be underrepresented in European academia.
EPICUR seeks to establish collaboration between groups of EPICUR partners and external stakeholders from surrounding regions, including civil society organisations, governmental organizations and industry by designing and implementing two innovative research collaboration formats.
The EPICommunity is aimed at providing early career researchers with new tools catering to their autonomy and visibility by recognizing relevant skill sets and allowing for networking, via a new database as well as by facilitating blended mobility opportunities.
Early career researchers are invited to co-create a prototype for a European social network of researchers to support their matchmaking and collaboration and based on an attractive gamification design that reshapes the assessment of researchers.
More information to follow soon.
EPIClusters are experimental research formats aimed at facilitating collaboration of academics with societal and industrial stakeholders for research and innovation. EPIClusters will inspire sharing infrastructures and resources (laboratories, archives, data bases, libraries etc.) between EPICUR partners and external partners in order to create scalable good practices of joint research and innovation.
As proud member of the first cohort of European Universities alliances, EPICUR will build intelligent connections to other peer Europeans Universities Alliances in EPIConnect, to facilitate the preparation of joint policy recommendations for shaping the Universities of the Future.
More information to follow soon.