CIVICA Research Conference 2023

Navigating Insights and Fostering Collaboration

In the vibrant backdrop of Paris, Sciences Po set the stage for the zenith of the CIVICA Research project—the CIVICA Research Conference 2023. Held on October 12 and 13, this gathering brought together early-stage researchers, professors and higher education experts across and beyond CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences.

With over 300 enthusiasts expressing their eagerness to attend both virtually and on site, the conference emerged as a triumph of collaborative research and innovation in the social sciences. Over two dynamic days, 34 speakers engaged in compelling discussions on topics ranging from migration and integration to data sciences, social behaviours, democracy, and climate change.

Inaugurated by Mathias Vicherat, President, and Sergei Guriev, Provost of Sciences Po, the event highlighted the flourishing state of European research. "Today, we celebrate the incredible results achieved over the past three years in research and innovation in social sciences," declared President Vicherat, with Provost Guriev echoing the commitment to future project development within the alliance.

Day 1: Collaborative Research Excellence and Green Growth Insights

The conference showcased outcomes of 28 collaborative research projects, selected from 47 initial proposals. Since 2021, CIVICA Research has been shaping a shared research agenda across the ten alliance universities, focusing on democracy, climate change, the EU, data, and technology. Joint research infrastructures have been developed, with significant activity emerging through three rounds of funded collaborative projects, supported by the European Commission's Erasmus+ (E+) and Horizon 2020 (H2020) programmes.

The first day concluded with a thought-provoking keynote by Philippe Aghion, a Professor at the College de France, INSEAD, and the London School of Economics. Aghion explored "Is green growth possible?" Aghion's insights blended into the pressing discussions, revealing the subtleties of introducing innovation into the climate debate. He stressed the need for multiple instruments, not just relying on a carbon tax. Aghion argued for unique treatment of green innovation investments, advocating for a competition-friendly green industrial policy and increased EU borrowing.

Day 2: Research and Innovation (R&I) Dimensions and Future Perspectives

The second day focused on the capacity-building aspects of the Research and Innovation (R&I) dimensions of European University alliances, featuring workshops on Open Science and Strengthening Research Management, Capacity, and Excellence.

Closing Plenary: Sustaining the Future of Research

Higher education and research experts converged for the closing plenary, discussing the future of the initiative and establishing a long-term research strategy for European University alliances. Carsten Schneider, CEU’s Pro-Rector for External Relations and Co-chair of the Permanent Design Team of CIVICA Research, emphasized: “Research is what universities do. Without this, alliances lose their distinctive features…without research valuable input into education and civic engagement is lacking.”

Schneider also advocated for the continuation of low-barrier collaborative research activities and exploring possibilities for institutionalising an alliance research hub, centre, or institute, providing continuity for ongoing research.

Poster Presentation Awarded to Chloe Nibourel from Stockholm School of Economics

A standout moment was Chloe Nibourel, early-stage researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics, winning the award for her presentation titled "How do voters and parties respond to the radical right?" showcased during the poster presentation featuring researchers from across the alliance. A comprehensive interview with Chloe is available here.

A Celebration of Knowledge and Collaboration for CIVICA's Longevity

Beyond a conventional event, the conference transformed into a celebration of knowledge, collaboration, and the spirit of inquiry. The event's impact extends beyond the immediate context, shaping the trajectory of European research for years to come. The CIVICA Research Conference 2023 stands as a testament to the power of shared knowledge and collective endeavour, propelling European research into a new era of excellence.

Recordings on CIVICA's YouTube channel ensure continued and global accessibility to the conference’s outputs, leaving an indelible mark on the European research landscape and paving the way for continued intellectual exploration and innovation.

All CIVICA Research Conference sessions are available to watch here.

Read more about CIVICA Research’s achievements and capacity-building activities here.  

photo credits: Alexis Lecomte

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