Inspired by and in conjunction with the Finnish EU Presidency, the Young Academy Finland have started to gather information from European young academies on their science-policy interface activities. This work is done under the new “Young Researchers as Knowledge Brokers” project, which will run from September 2019 until August 2020.

The Young Academy Finland’s (YAF) “Young Researchers as Knowledge Brokers” project will officially start in September 2019. It aims at developing new approaches for organizing the knowledge exchange on the science-policy interface. The project’s thematical focus is especially on those ways and solutions that would take the needs and situations of young researchers into account. The project also concentrates especially on the EU and on so-called wicked problems like climate change.

The project has two phases. First, information on the science advice and information exchange mechanisms that other European young academies currently use will be gathered via a short survey. This basic information helps to draw a picture of the baseline of European young academies’ science-policy interface activities. A short survey has already been sent to all European young academies during summer 2019, and the YAF hopes to receive all answers by early September. As a second step, some of the young academies will be picked for in-depth interviews. Interviews will be finalized by the end of September.

In the next phase of the project, five workshop-events for European researchers, boundary organizations, media representatives and decision makers will be organized. The workshops will be held in order to elaborate the information on best practices gathered from European young academies. Workshop participants will be asked to work with the baseline information so that a new kind of fresh and inclusive approach to connect young researchers and decision making could be invented and awareness of the importance of science-informed policy enhanced.

In the end, the outcomes of the project will be put in the form of a policy brief. Further, a scientific article detailing young researchers’ role in science advice will be compiled after the project has ended. Above all, the Young Academy Finland hopes not just to bring the voice of young researches to the decision making tables of the EU presidency during the next 6 months, but to enable stronger presence of European young academies on the EU’s science-policy interface in the future too.

The project is funded by the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation.

Further information: Project PI, YAF Senior Adviser, and PhD Candidate