Responsibility in Action (ReflACT)

© Maielnashar

Workshop (WTZ Ost)

Lisa Sigl, Research Platform Responsible Research and Innovation in Academic Practice (University of Vienna)

In many ways, science & technology have the potential to change the worlds we live in. Researchers are increasingly encouraged to reflect on societal benefits and concerns related to their research fields, amongst others by the principle “Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)” that is increasingly adopted by universities and funding institutions. In this workshop, PhD students learn to identify and reflect relevant societal issues and concerns related to their research fields. Further, they will develop ways of acting upon these reflections in carrying out their PhD projects.

This workshop includes interdisciplinary debates with colleagues, a coaching on compiling a reflection dossier & writing a reflection essay and an incubation of ideas on what it means to act responsibly in concrete research practices. These reflective skills and practices are valued in many areas of contemporary labour markets (science communication, research PR, consulting, etc.), but also support a more nuanced communication of one’s own scientific research to different audiences.

Dates and Structure of the Workshop

Day 1 – November 15, 2018: 9:00-17:00, seminar room 2, DoktorandInnenzentrum, Berggasse 7, 2nd floor

·         Introduction of the concept “Responsible Research and Innovation”

·         Card-based discussion on responsible practice in research and innovation

·         Reflection on individual PhD-topics (identification of 3 issues for reflection, chalk talk)

·         Introduction on compiling a reflection dossier (including coverage of public debates/controversies on societal concerns and implications & a mapping of relevant actors & issues)


Day 2 – Dezember 10, 2018: 9:00-17:00, seminar room 2, DoktorandInnenzentrum, Berggasse 7, 2nd floor

·           Review of reflection dossiers & introduction on writing a reflection essay

·           Composing & writing of short reflection essays related to PhD-projects

·           Incubation of ideas on acting upon societal issues and concerns (in interdisciplinary groups)

·           Presentation of ideas and collective brainstorming

Participation and Application

Open for application to PhD students of all disciplines until November 1, 2018

To apply, please send a short email to, indicating your interest in the workshop, your institutional affiliation, and your PhD topic. Please also indicate whether you can bring a laptop for web-based research during the workshop.

Up to 9 participants will then be selected with the aim to achieve a good interdisciplinary balance. You will receive a notification regarding your participation until November 7, 2018.

Working language: English

This workshop is co-organized and funded by the WTZ-Ost.