Overview of guidelines to researchers.

Who is a researcher?

Researchers here refer to those project members who are skilled and experienced in research projects and methodology. They are “professional” researchers (it is their main activity) and they belong to research institutions. Their specific aims compared to other stakeholders relate to enhancing knowledge and publishing the research results in academic contexts.

Why would researchers be interested in including CSOs?

Our findings show that 27% of EU-funded Project Coordinators currently collaborate with at least one CSO. The added value provided by CSO members tends to be focused on improving the contextual relevance of the project, for policy requirements, or in line with the needs of other beneficiaries (such as patient groups, children etc.). According to our survey, when researchers do not seem to be interested in CSO participation it is primarily because they did not think of it as an option, or because it was not necessary (either in terms of the topic being investigated or as a funding requirement of the call).

There are a wide variety of reasons for including CSOs in research, for example to better shape research to societal challenges, provide an opportunity for participatory research with the communities of interest, improve the translation of research results back into society, and fundamentally improve the research (and its benefits) through the input of specialist expertise and context.

Key Recommendations

Recommendations to researchers:

R1. Clarify your reasons for CSO involvement

R2. Be aware of your local institutional support and recognition

R3. Set your clocks: clarify likely timescales in advance

R4. Agree on project management principles in advance