5. Staffing a Science Shop


5. Staffing a Science Shop

What is the job description of a university-based Science Shop coordinator?

There isn’t a single job description. The main activity of a university-based Science Shop coordinator is related to the mediation process. In general it is important a coordinator has good communication skills, understanding of processes in scientific research and a good network in the university and in the community.

What are typical office sizes and task distributions for Science Shop staff?

As there is not a typical structure for Science Shops there isn’t a typical office size either. From experiences it can be learned that there should be at least one (part- time) person with a formal appointment to run a Science Shop. This will allow the Science Shop to build structural relations and a network. SCIPAS report 1 (Science Shops Operational Options) gives an overview of organisational issues of Science Shops. In general Science Shops start as small units with 1 or 2 staff members. The total number of staff highly depends on the tasks of a Science Shop (e.g. mediation only, or mediation and research, or mediation, research and education).

Can students run a Science Shop?

Yes, they can.

One example: At the Science Shops of the Technical University of Eindhoven they are the only ones involved, there is no paid staff. The students share some “units” of “teaching assistant” (e.g. in total 40 hours per week are paid as an assistant teacher), which is used to compensate webmaster, chair, team leader, treasurer etc. Other students involved can get a few credits for their organisational work (like 3 ECTS during their BSc phase). The Science Shops have some budget for their work, but depend largely on networking to get things done.