What are SUPER MoRRI Country Correspondents and who are they?

Aarhus University

As part of the SUPER MoRRI project, the Consortium has engaged a panel of Country Correspondents, who will contribute to implementing the empirical research programme in SUPER MoRRI. The monitoring activities will cover EU countries, Norway and the UK. For each of these 29 countries, a Country Correspondent will contribute to data collection and reporting. The network of correspondents was enlisted following an open call for applications, and Country Correspondents were chosen on the basis of their expertise in social science methods, their knowledge of the national research and innovation system in their country of residence, and their familiarity with RRI and monitoring in relation to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

In addition to the Country Correspondents from European countries, four International Satellite Partners from China, Brazil, Australia, and the USA will contribute to the monitoring activities. The Country Correspondents will be responsible for conducting interviews and document analyses in relation to studies examining Research Funding Organisations (RFOs) and Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) in their respective countries. Based on their understanding of the national research and innovation system and their knowledge about actors within that system, Country Correspondents will also contribute to the sampling of organisations.

Local knowledge and qualitative methods

While the preceding MoRRI project (2014-2018) was concerned primarily with establishing indicators for RRI at the national level, the current SUPER MoRRI project will emphasise the development of indicators for RRI at the level of organisations. Moreover, while the bulk of indicators in MoRRI relied on quantitative data, the SUPER MoRRI project uses a mix of methods and data sources, which involves significant data collection efforts using qualitative approaches. For example, rather than examining the RRI profile and priorities of RFOs and RPOs using survey methods, SUPER MoRRI will rely primarily on interview-based data collection. To enable qualitative data collection across diverse political, cultural, and social settings, as well as diverse research and innovation environments, SUPER MoRRI draws on the network of Country Correspondents. The Country Correspondents are ideally placed to understand, navigate, and interpret their local context and will be able to read documents and perform interviews in the native language. Hence, the quality the empirical work and the data gathered will expectedly increase.

The benefits of being a network of Country Correspondents

The Country Correspondents will work from common study protocols (one for the study of RFOs and one for the study of RPOs), aimed to ensure clarity and consistency in data collection. All Country Correspondents will participate in a two-day training workshop (November 26 and December 4, 2020) where the protocols will be presented, scrutinised, and fine-tuned following the deliberations. The protocols will be pilot-tested ahead of implementation by the Country Correspondents. Following the workshop, Country Correspondents will be allocated to smaller teams of 6-7 Country Correspondents, who will interact and exchange experiences and lessons learned through the implementation phase.

Hence, the Country Correspondents will not work in isolation. The intention is to optimise the quality of the data collection process by combining the benefits of local expertise on the one hand and mutual learning and quality assurance in the network on the other hand.

Meet the Country Correspondents

We are pleased to welcome the network of Country Correspondents to the SUPER MoRRI project. To allow the Country Correspondents a chance to get acquainted ahead of the workshop, all Country Correspondents have kindly prepared a brief biographical note and a sketch of their interests and expectations in relation to the SUPER MoRRI project. Fortunately, the Country Correspondents also agreed to have their profiles displayed on our project website. This gives you, the reader, the opportunity to take a look at the team, who will be engaged in the exciting monitoring work across research organisations in Europe and beyond.

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