When and where
The next CCES Winter School «Science Meets Practice» will take place during two blocks: 11-14 January and 1-4 February, 2016. It will be held at the «Propstei Wislikofen», where the participants will also stay.
The Winter School addresses primarily PhD students and postdocs from environmental and natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences working in fields related to sustainability and sustainable development. PhD students in these fields from outside the ETH Domain are also eligible to apply. The Winter School runs with a maximum of 25 participants. The language of the Winter School is English, however knowledge of (Swiss) German language can be useful for stakeholder meetings as these normally occur in the local language. Translation for English speakers will be provided during the stakeholder meetings.
Strengthening a dialogue between science and practice
There is an increasing demand for scientists to interact with people and institutions outside of the scientific community. In this Winter School you learn methods on how to better interact with stakeholders such as practitioners in public or private institutions and the general public. You learn methods in sharing and exchanging knowledge, using methods such as such as "focus groups" and "accompanying groups", as well as key theoretical foundations that underpin these techniques.
A key feature of this Winter School is the direct application of these methods in real science-practice situations, thereby giving you the unique opportunity to actively interact with various stakeholders from administration, business, policy, and civil society, as well as allowing you the chance to expand your own networks. Furthermore, together with your peers, you also critically analyze and reflect on your own PhD or postdoc research project with respect to its societal relevance and application.
Content and format
The CCES Winter School takes place during two blocks of four days each, with a 2-week pause interval between these blocks, when participants have the chance to conduct preparatory work for the second block.
The format of the CCES Winter School 2016 is as follows:
- The first block (in January) is dedicated to lectures, group work exercises and case studies, with a focus on theory and methods in knowledge exchange.
- The second block (in February) participants implement some of the methods, such as hosting stakeholder meetings, where the results of these interactions are shared and exchanged back with stakeholders. The Winter School concludes with round-table discussions and plenary presentations from experienced professionals in the field of science-practice interactions.
A team of coaches will guide and support you in achieving the learning objectives of the CCES Winter School during the two block weeks. The total time requirement for completing the course is in the range of 120 hours, equivalent to 4 ECTS.
In order to assure the continuation and transfer from the first to the second block week, and depending on your interests and level of knowledge and/or experience with science-practice interactions, participants select one of two tasks, each with its own set of methods that are relevant for fostering a dialogue and interaction between science and practice:
1. Consultation: Participatory methods, such as focus groups, are used to implement the consultation task. Participatory methods actively involve stakeholders in the data collection process of a research project, typically used where diverse viewpoints and complex decision‐making processes exist. In learning to apply participatory methods, participants also present findings to stakeholders in a follow‐up meeting, therefore the task can also be considered as a way towards more collaborative forms of interaction.
2. Co‐production of knowledge: This task evolves as knowledge exchange and learning among diverse stakeholders, who typically speak different languages, have different disciplinary backgrounds and functions, and draw on multiple and diverse knowledge systems. For these interactions, different stakeholders meet in an informal setting and get involved in a process of knowledge co‐production together with CCES Winter School participants, proving a great opportunity for mutual learning between science and practice. Furthermore, it is a chance for stakeholders from various institutions to meet and present their ideas in a moderated process.
To complement the two tasks, a range of communication tools will be introduced by science communication professionals that enhance skills in effectively communicating research findings to practitioners or the public at large. Within each group, participants learn to apply key tools and concepts into products such as lay summaries for information documents, articles for websites or media releases.