The central discussions of INGENIO PhD Days 2020 will revolve around the current orientation within science and research policy toward meeting goals decided a priori by policy makers. This will involve consideration of emerging concepts such as ‘missions’, ‘directionality’ and the ‘alignment’ of science and society. It will also involve reflections on the implications of involving external stakeholders in the production of scientific knowledge and on the modes of interaction, techniques and methodologies that further the goal of expanding participation in science.

As such, we invite contributions from PhD students that fit broadly into one of the following five research streams:


1. Orienting science and innovation towards political and societal goals: implications and strategies.

This stream focuses on the practical implications and strategies required to address social, environmental and economic challenges through science and innovation policy. Potential contributions may include research on mission-oriented research, on sustainable transitions or on responsible research and innovation. We also invite contributions on strategies to deal with major challenges such as climate change, gender inequalities or social justice, among other actions focused on addressing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) identified by the United Nations.

2. Factors affecting academic knowledge production

We welcome contributions that analyse the wide variety of factors that may influence the outputs and impact of knowledge production. This theme seeks to attract contributions of conceptual, empirical, experimental, or theoretical work in science and innovation evaluation, open science, incentives and their impacts on autonomy and societal relevance. Potential contributions may also include bibliometric and altmetric studies.

3. Analysis of interactions among diverse actors in innovation systems

In frameworks such as open science, open innovation, citizen science and responsible research and innovation, scientists are increasingly expected to interact with a diversity of stakeholders. We therefore invite discussions on topics such as, how can scientists build consortia involving multiple and diverse actors? Alternatively, what contributions can be expected from stakeholders involved in science and innovation? This theme seeks to attract contributions that reflect on the lessons from knowledge and technology transfer initiatives, university-industry interactions, management of multi-actors consortia (government, industry, academia and community), triple and quadruple-helix models, or multi-scalar coordination of different levels of government in the implementation of innovation and science policies.

4. Impacts of developments at the technological frontier and how to manage them

New technological developments in areas such as artificial intelligence, genetics or big data, among others, pose significant questions about their social or environmental impacts. These impacts include potential disruptions to labour markets, for instance through skill-biased technological change, enhanced surveillance of citizens and intrusion on their privacy, or the unintended consequences of genetic manipulation. As these potentially negative outcomes are assessed against the benefits that such technologies may generate, questions emerge about how to manage their development: this includes debates on the public or private ownership of sensitive technologies, the importance of involving a wide range of stakeholders in their development to ensure that they generate social benefits, or even the need to compensate the ‘losers’ of technological change with instruments such as universal basic income. All these issues fall under the major theme of this conference, since they refer to the tension between the autonomy of researchers and the need or desire to manage technological developments.

CONFERENCES (Keynotes Speakers)

Molly Morgan Jones

Director of Policy. The British Academy

Ohid Yaqub

Senior Lecturer. Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex


Ferran Giones

Searching for the research problem – research method fit

The objective of the workshop is to make visible the necessary connection between our research questions and the research designs we use. We will first look into strategies that can help us to refine our research question. Then, we will explore the fit between the question and the method/s we propose to use. It is an interactive workshop that aims to provide applicable insights into the participants’ research projects.

Nicolas Robinson-Garcia

How to prepare and successfully face an international research stay?

The workshop will discuss how to focus your research career and how to manage a research stay. We will work through the telling of different stories, which allow us to know, question and plan your own experience, taking into account relevant and critical aspects, which will help you to get the most out of this instance.