Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ* will give some answers to more practical questions relating to the work of Science Shops or comparable organisations. Of course the usability of the answers provided depends on your local context. However, we hope to give you some ideas that you could adapt to your own situation.
1. How does a Science Shop work?
Science Shops define themselves as a ‘unit that provides independent, participatory research support in response to concerns experienced by civil society‘. For the most part, these units belong to universities,
2. Organisational forms
The basic requirements for a Science Shop are a demand for research, supply of research capacity, staff to mediate and link both, and last but not least a roof over
3. Working with clients or civil society partners
Science Shops work in general for those that would otherwise not have access to scientific research. These are in general grassroots organisations and NGOs.
4. Working with students and researchers
Requests usually don’t match one on one with research proposals. It is important to have a good “articulation phase”, in which you try to map the real issue for your
5. Staffing a Science Shop
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
6. Financing a Science Shop
The most readily sustainable model of a Science Shop has the universities provide direct financial support. The Science Shop staff can be dedicated Science Shop staff or can be scientific
7. Science Shops and policy makers
The European Commission (EC), which initiates and implements EU policies and spends EU funds, has been an important factor behind the international interest and progress of the Science Shop movement.
8. Questions relating to the Living Knowledge network
Living Knowledge is the international network of Science Shops and comparable organisations. It is a meeting place for all organisations and persons interested in community-based research and science and society
For more strategic discussions or questions please use the free Living Knowledge News and Discussion List.
*The FAQ-list was edited by Henk Mulder, with support from Caspar de Bok and Irene Hall, within the EC-funded project TRAMS. The given answers are based on our own working situation, our international experience and the output from various EU projects.