Funding for new ESPhil research project: JOINUS4HEALTH

Hub Zwart received funding for the new research project: JOINUS4HEALTH. He will be the workpackage leader and there will be a position for a junior researcher (4 years). The budget is 2 million. 

Short description of the project: 
We are witnessing major transitions in research methodologies. Research aims to become more collaborative, inclusive and interactive, more sensitive to societal expectations and concerns, in order to address complex societal challenges. Besides intense collaborations across disciplines, this involves interaction with society at various levels, not only during the implementation stage, but as an inherent dimension of research methodologies.

An important component of this development is crowdsourcing, where societal participants, the general public and other societal actors contribute actively to the research, by sharing their views and experiences. They may propose research questions or contribute to addressing such questions via collaborative work. Society becomes a living laboratory, while citizens become active participants rather than research subjects or passive targets of inquiry.

The JOINUS4HEALTH project aims to contribute to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) by using crowdsourcing as a way to broaden the scope of cohort studies research. This means: fostering RRI by promoting citizen science and public engagement as an inherent part of cohort methodologies. Researchers are encouraged to actively engage citizens and other societal actors in mutual learning dialogues during the design of their analyses and interpretation of results. Experts will enhance synergy by online and offline activities to boost engagement and uptake. This may also address methodological challenges such as biases in participation (in terms of SES, health literacy, etc.) and trend of decreasing participation in cohort studies.

The consortium includes three institutions with a strong track record on cohort studies (including Erasmus Medical Centre) while the contribution of ESPhil will focus on conceptual, methodological and normative challenges.