Science in Society

Mainstreaming engaged research through the National System of Innovation

Welcome to the Mainstreaming Engaged Research through the National System of Innovation (NSI) Project! Engaged research is gaining recognition as a valuable framework that bridges the gap between knowledge creators and users. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF), is committed to enhancing engaged research within the NSI. Despite its importance, engaged research initiatives have been somewhat isolated. To address this, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) is embarking on a project to develop a cohesive approach to engaged research within the NSI.

Project approach

Our project comprises two interconnected streams of work:

  1. Knowledge Expansion: This stream involves reviewing local and international policy and research related to engaged research (ER). An annual conference will also be held to gather insights and experiences from stakeholders.
  2. Practical Engagement: Concurrently, we will build working relationships and practical experience in ER activities. This includes fostering collaborations, sharing knowledge, and facilitating mentorship opportunities.
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Phases of the Project

  1. Knowledge Exploration: This phase includes comprehensive reviews and analyses to identify theoretical models, methodologies, and knowledge-sharing approaches in ER. Initial stakeholder engagements will also be initiated.
  2. Conference and Knowledge Dissemination: We will host a hybrid conference to showcase ER work and discuss its value across various domains. The outcomes will be shared through reputable journals and other communication platforms.
  3. Promoting ER Studies: This final phase focuses on identifying and scaling ER projects. We will support the NRF in funding projects aligned with ER principles and provide learning seminars to potential applicants.

Expected outcomes

By the project’s end, we aim to achieve coordinated and impactful ER projects within the NSI. This includes a strengthened knowledge base, enhanced learning opportunities, and informed science, technology, and innovation strategies that address societal challenges.

Join us in advancing engaged research within the National System of Innovation!

The following documents provide more information about ER and are available for download below: 1) A Concept Note and 2) A Poster Presentation on Mainstreaming Engaged Research.

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