30 March, 2022 - 9:15 – 12:00 (CET), Online workshop, hosted by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and FORTHEM Labs

By definition, FORTHEM Labs are multidisciplinary think tanks following a challenge-based approach to jointly work on highly topical issues. FORTHEM Labs are supposed to

  • • maintain a lively exchange with society and the economic environment,
  • • contribute to educational questions, developing their own research and innovation agendas,
  • • pilot co-creation projects and as a result apply for “the big money”.

That was the overall approach developed by FORTHEM and FIT FORTHEM. But what did it mean to comply with these ambitions in times of the pandemic? What were the key challenges, especially when new networks were created which could not look back to a long common past performance? The starting point for FORTHEM Labs was often different. Academics were brought together in mainly pre-selected areas and at least some of the expected outputs were also pre-defined. In addition, the pandemic made any personal meeting and direct exchange difficult. Working in the virtual world became the norm and still defines our lives. FORTHEM Labs have been telling success stories so far, but how was success achieved? These are the questions we want to explore during the workshop.

Content Together with the FORTHEM Labs, we want to discuss the following questions

  • 1) What is the self-perception of the Labs with regard to the above-mentioned conditions?
  • 2) Are multidisciplinary approaches always the key to success in solving societal challenges?
  • 3) What strategies to follow in recruiting participants from all relevant stakeholder-groups?
  • 4) Types of collaboration and co-creation activities developed to interact with the non-academic partners and the socio-economic environment? Importance of Open and Citizens Science approaches?
  • 5) Which are the most relevant intercultural competencies, and soft skills especially students and early stage researchers need to develop to be able to actively get engaged in international networks and to boost their international research careers?
  • 6) Would the FORTHEM Labs look different if Covid-19 did not hit the academic world? What was the major challenge?

Target group: Researchers, external partners, research support staff, students and administrative staff

Contact: Nicole Birkle – fitforthem@uni-mainz.de

More information here.