First CATALISI webinar: Gender and Inclusion in Higher Education

First webinar held on November 23, 2023

The Webinar on Gender and Inclusion in Higher Education aimed to achieve several key goals, including the dissemination of best practices and research findings in the realm of gender and inclusion within higher education. 

Additionally, the webinar sought to pinpoint actionable strategies to advance gender equality and promote inclusion within the higher education landscape. The success of the event can be attributed to the insightful contributions of two distinguished speakers who are experts in the field of Gender and Inclusion in Higher Education. Namely:

Sabina Pellizzoni a technologist at INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics), and she is the coordinator Gender Mentoring programme INFN: the first gender mentoring in an Italian research institution. Sabina is an INFN Team member for GENERA Network and she is external expert of the GETA Observatory CNR IRPPS: for updating and analysing data and monitoring gender balance issues.

Magdalena Zadkowska an Assistant professor in Sociology Institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Gdańsk, Principal Investigator, Academic Teacher, Expert, focused on women and men carriers in STEM, diversity management, intimate relations and gender studies. Cooperates in international research projects with Norway, USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Romania, Chile and France.

Their diverse backgrounds in physics and sociology brought a multifaceted perspective to the topic, enriching the discussions. Notably, the speakers presented best practices in advancing gender equality and fostering inclusion om higher education contexts, providing valuable insights for the audience. The engaged audience demonstrated a profound interest in the subject matter, creating a dynamic space for mutual learning. This collaborative environment facilitated the exchange of research results, personal insights, and backgrounds, ultimately strengthening cooperation among European universities and institutions.

Check out the Learning Hub for materials and recordings of all upcoming workshops!

In case you missed the first wbinar, you can watch the recording also here:

First CoP Workshop: A Leap Towards Transformative Research and Innovation

First CoP workshop held on November 7, 2023

The aim of the first CoP Mobilization and Mutual Learning (MML) workshop was to share key insights from previous EU-funded projects and successful experiences on institutional transformation in Research and Innovation that can be of inspiration to the Community of Practice. This also contributed to accelerating the transformation of universities in different areas of intervention.

After an insightful introduction on the CATALSI policy context by Stijn Delaure, from DG RTD, the four speakers illustrated their projects, stories and experiences followed by an engaging session of questions and answers. . The contribution of three H2020-funded project representatives (TIMES4SC, GRACE, Co-Change) was enormously beneficial to share with participants processes and challenges linked to institutional transformation implementation. The event was opened and closed by the coordinator of CATALISI, APRE.  

In the words of Laura Mentini, the workshop was proven to be successful in gathering a wide pool of experts and professionals in the field of institutional transformation of higher Education Institutions around the priorities of the European Research Agenda. 

The variety of participants attending the event, the engaging presentations and questions from the audience illustrates the profound interest on the topic as well as the urgent need to continue creating mutual learning spaces to share tools, advice and knowledge on how to promote and consolidate Research and Innovation transformations at university level as well as strengthening European Universities collaborations and alliances.
Laura Mentini
Project Manager, APRE

Our event speakers were:

Stijn Delaure, Policy Officer, ERA, Spreading Excellence, Research Careers DG for Research and Innovation – European Commission, Belgium; responsible for policy development in support of higher education sector, research management and research careers, in the context of the new European Research Area (ERA). 

Eugenia Vilarchao, Science Officer, Inclusive Science cluster, European Science Foundation; works on EC-funded projects with a primary focus on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) such as SUPPORTER and TIME4CS, where her expertise centres on Gender Equality, Citizen Science, and Public Engagement. She also significantly contributes to integrating RRI principles into various research projects (RESIST, ENFIELD, MOBI-TWIN). In the frame of the GRACE-RRI project, she was part of the coordination team and lead the implementation of Institutional Changes on RRI within the ESF. 

Ciro Franco, Head of National Research Support Office and Coordinator of HRS4R Management Committee at Sapienza Università di Roma. The National Research Support Office promotes the participation of Sapienza researchers to research funding opportunities at national and regional level, including PNRR funds. He has a long experience as expert and vice-chair within evaluation panels for R&I projects in the context of Horizon funding programme. 

Mila Grahovac, Associate Professor, University of Novi Sad; an associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Novi Sad. Although her main field of expertise is phytopathology and biological and other alternative tools for plant disease management, from 2018 she is actively involved in RRI, particularly in gender equality and public engagement in RPO. She is working on integrating GE and PE at institutional level at Faculty of Agriculture and she was leader of the RRIzing lab in the Horizon 2020 project Co-Change.  

Claudia Iasillo, Project Manager, APRE focusing on science and society relationship. She has been involved in several EU funded projects (e.g. RURITAGE, SISCODE, QUEST, FETFX, HOLiFOOD) and she is coordinating the H2020 project TIME4CS and the HE project BlueRev.   

Next action steps:  

The Community of Practice members will be involved in the CATALISI project activities and events at both national and European level, according to their geographical focus and expertise, to continue sharing their methods, tools and stories.  An online platform has been created to stimulate participants in common discussions. The second MML online event will be organized by APRE for the Community of Practice members, and further details will be shared soon. 

Learn more about joining the Community of Practice on our dedicated page and check out the Learning Hub for materials and recordings of all upcoming workshops!

In case you missed the first CoP, you can watch the recording also here:

How to boost open science in Spain: the new National Open Science Strategy (ENCA)

In 2023 the National Open Science Strategy (ENCA) was published in Spain. This strategy sets a series of measures and goals (promotion and strengthening of transparency, quality and reproducibility of research results) that have been promoted in the European Union for years, most recently through the European Research and Innovation Area. These issues are addressed by the ENCA with the aim of facilitating and promoting the creation of a national open science policy in Spain, also adapted to the international context. The ENCA has been developed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the General Secretary for Research, which created the Open Science Commission (OSC) at the end of 2018, coordinated by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).

The importance of this strategy lies in the current way the scientific publication system functions. Currently, an important part of the gold open-access journals in which researchers have been encouraged to publish offer the possibility to do so in open access on the condition that researchers pay up to EUR 9,500. Money that has been generally covered by public funding. In addition to this, peer reviews are done by the researchers themselves for free. This way, researchers, and ultimately universities, have been moved to participate in a system where private entities are paid to allow access to knowledge that universities themselves produce, often, at least in Spain, with public funding. However, it is increasingly common for universities to have their own repositories where researchers upload their articles in open access.

The way in which scientific journals are being financed makes access to academic knowledge difficult. The ENCA seeks to alleviate these problems through a multidimensional approach to open science. Thus, six dimensions are distinguished around the concept of open science and its strategic implementation: open access to research results; open data, protocols and methodology; the creation of open source platforms; open peer review; the promotion of citizen science and the creation of new indicators for research assessment.

This way, the aim of ENCA is to address the question of researchers’ access to previous results and reflections so they can contrast and enrich their own studies. The actions promoted through this strategy can also derive into a transformation in the logics governing the assessment system within the research community: not only will it matter the journal’s impact factor when evaluating the worth of an article, but also how the reflections and results provided can contribute to generating knowledge with a positive impact on society.

The CATALISI project, in its implementation at Universitat Jaume I, seeks to develop interventions along the lines of ENCA. In addition to the funding of diamond journals[1] already being done at UJI, CATALISI aims to: promote the recognition of the use of public repositories as a good research practice and add peer reviewing in open access journals as a good practice in researcher assessment. Here it is worth highlighting the importance of mutual learning in the promotion of a sustainable open science, something promoted among CATALISI partners.


By: Carlota Carretero García, UJI



[1] Journals where all papers are open access and neither the readers or the authors need to pay for the publication.

Towards Sustainability of Research and Innovation – CATALISI workshop at UCC

Over 40 stakeholders from across the quadruple helix come together in Cork for a full day workshop to examine what’s needed to support sustainable and best practice research and innovation in the City and region.  

Aligned to the University College Corks Institutional Strategy, the EU Horizon Europe CATALISI initiative (Collaboration, Action, Transformation, Adaptation, Learning, Innovation, Sustainability, and Impact) invited stakeholders to deliberate on the topic of ‘Financial Sustainability for Research & Innovation’ 

University College Cork (UCC) is committed to delivering impactful R&I that addresses societal challenges; transforming research into meaningful policy; and delivering a highly skilled workforce as key enablers of future economic development and national competitiveness.  

This workshop initiated dialogue with internal and external stakeholders to explore what’s needed to accelerate transformation towards a more financially sustainable research and innovation ecosystem that enhances excellence and world-class research.  

Held on August 2nd 2023, the workshop kick starts a longer-term process for collaborating with stakeholders in Cork, listening to their needs, experience and expertise to understand the current landscape and explore issues, challenges, barriers and the conditions that affect and inform this critical area of university operations and external partnerships.  

The UCC CATALISI intervention area ‘Financial Sustainability for Research & Innovation’ directly spans two of the three CATALASI Intervention Domains: namely ‘Research Modus Operandi’ and ‘Finance’, with a strong relationship to the ‘Human Capital’ Domain.  

Framing the intervention area, UCC recognize that financial sustainability is integral and related to realizing sustainability in broader terms and within the context of a research and innovation eco-system that interacts at local, regional, national and international levels.    

In the morning, a committed and passionate group of internal UCC stakeholders focussed on university operations, while the afternoon provided an opportunity to listen deeply to the diverse perspectives of our external stakeholders.  

All participants considered (i) the local context and framework conditions for sustainable research and innovation, (ii) barriers to financial sustainability and (iii) stakeholders needs, values concerns and expectations.   

Throughout, facilitated discussions invited critical reflection on the research ecosystem and explored what’s needed to strengthen how it contributes to long-term development of Cork and the wider region, to address climate change, sustainable growth and ensure social cohesion.  

Additionally, stakeholders who were unable to attend on the day provided written inputs and many others expressed interest to engage with the ongoing work of the project, reflecting the strong local interest in the CATALISI initiative.  

As an output from the workshop, the Cork CATALASI team has collated inputs and feedback into a summary report which includes a high-level SWOT and snapshot of the current context for internal and external conditions.  This will be used as a launchpad for further engagement in Autumn 2023, where discussions will begin to ideate and co-create possible solutions and activities to respond to the challenges identified and support transformation towards more sustainable research and innovation.  

The workshop was co-led by the UCC CATALASI team, Dr Martin Galvin, Dr David O’Connell, David Hogan and Ciara O’Halloran, together with Joanna Karas from the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL).  

Open science, IP sharing and researchers’ qualifications – CATALISI Workshop at AUTH

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki convened a stakeholder event on July 12th, gathering representatives from academia, business, the public sector, and civil society. The event focused on addressing the university’s current challenges and needs, particularly in areas such as IP sharing, researcher qualification, and open science adoption.

During the event, stakeholders delved into the obstacles faced by Aristotle University, including limited cross-sector collaboration, research silos, and a gap between academic knowledge and practical applications. These challenges were acknowledged as hindrances to the university’s transformational journey.

Effective IP sharing mechanisms emerged as a key priority, with stakeholders stressing the importance of fostering an environment that encourages researchers to share intellectual assets, collaborate with industry, and translate their findings into tangible outcomes. Improving IP sharing frameworks would enable collaborative research and development, resulting in innovative solutions and greater societal impact.

The qualification of researchers was also highlighted as a critical area of focus. Stakeholders recognized the significance of attracting and nurturing highly qualified individuals capable of addressing complex challenges. They emphasized the need for comprehensive support systems, including opportunities for continuous learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and professional development. Empowering researchers with the necessary qualifications and skills will drive meaningful change and advancements in various fields.

Additionally, the adoption of open science practices was discussed as a transformative pathway for Aristotle University. Stakeholders acknowledged the benefits of open science in enhancing transparency, reproducibility, and collective learning. Embracing open science would foster a collaborative ecosystem where research data, methodologies, and findings are openly shared, facilitating increased innovation, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and societal relevance.

By recognizing the challenges and discussing the critical needs related to IP sharing, researcher qualification, and open science adoption, stakeholders initiated a fruitful dialogue. Aristotle University can now leverage the insights gained from the event to shape its strategic direction, policies, and collaborations. With a collective commitment to collaboration and shared aspirations, the university aims to drive positive change and create a lasting impact on society and the global community.

Reform of research assessment & culture: CATALISI workshop at AUMC

As part of the CATALISI project and series of workshops conducted with universities, AUMC & VU institutions, with stakeholders from both  AmsterdamUMC (location VUMC) and VU (Amsterdam Free University) organized a workshop on June 30th.

CATALISI gathers stakeholders from quadruple helix (academia, public sector, business and civil society representatives). In this workshop, the first of more to come, stakeholders were invited to think along about two main intervention areas that will be the focus for institutional transformation: 

1) Recognition of qualifications and research careers and

2) Reform of research assessment.

Topics related to both areas can be connected to a focus on improving Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Related topics are for example: Research culture; research integrity; open science and RCR education.

The group of stakeholders was, based on expertise, divided into two thematical sub groups; the first focusing on research culture, and the second on embedding sustainably RCR education. The stakeholders contributed in lively sessions, sharing their expertise on these topics. Policy makers, researchers in RCR, and experts in specific topics all had valuable ideas about specifying the goals for CATALISI, analyzing potential barriers for the implementation of institutional transformation and highlighting needs and expectations, values, and concerns for different stakeholders perspectives.

This workshop provides a great starting point for the launch of CATALISI at AUMC and VU, engaging stakeholders, and gathering their expertise and feedback to inquire possible interventions, and make sure these interventions will be useful and feasible.

CATALISI partner, University Jaume I at ETHNA SYSTEM Final Conference on Responsible Research and Innovation

On 15th and 16th of June, members of the University Jaume I CATALISI team had the opportunity to participate in the ETHNA SYSTEM Final Conference on Ethics and Responsible Research and Innovation in Practice in Castellón de la Plana (Spain). 

ETHNA is a European project focused on promoting internal management to ensure responsible research and innovation (RRI) within universities. Elsa González Esteban, from UJI’s research group “Ethics and Democracy” and also a CATALISI member, is the main researcher of the project.

CATALISI member Carlota Carretero made a notable impact by presenting a poster that explained the project’s general approach, intervention areas, and UJI’s specific transformative goals for the institution.


“It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and exchange views with experts on research assessment, ethics and innovation”
Carlota Carretero

Top management representatives from UJI’s government attended the conference, as well as national and international experts in research innovation and research ethics, such as Eva Méndez (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) or Ana Marušić (University of Split School of Medicine, Split, Croatia). During the poster walk, experiences and impressions were shared with other participants, including colleagues from APRE, CATALISI coordinator. The conference was a great chance to learn more about the transformations currently being carried out in research assessment, open access and research ethics. In addition, its content came across as inspiring and as a great next step to discuss different viewpoints on complex issues with such a huge impact on researchers’ careers and science development.

“This conference set a great environment for sharing knowledge and experiences with participants from different institutions and countries”
Ramón Feenstra