The KORANET Summer School – a hot and very fruitful cooperation week in Vienna

24. Jul. 2012

25 participants were trained on European-Korean cooperation in Environmental and Social Sciences

From the 2nd to the 6th of July 2012, the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI) in cooperation with the International Bureau of the BMBF at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) organised a KORANET Summer School in Vienna/Austria. During a very hot week, with an average of 32 degrees Celsius, the participants, organisers and trainers worked intensively together and enjoyed an open and kind spirit in the group.

The interest of the target group in taking part in the Summer School shown ahead of the event was very high. 74 early stage researchers and research project managers from the whole of Europe and Korea applied for the Summer School. Finally, after evaluation of the applications, 25 participants from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Korea, Kosovo, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland were invited for participation. They were given an overview of all steps of project management procedures in international scientific projects. They also got a deeper insight of the process; from the first project concept to the successful implementation of projects in intercultural and multidisciplinary teams as well as how to deal with related challenges.

The programme of the Summer School was designed in a way to enhance the cooperation between European and Korean researchers through applying a diverse set of training methods. Special focus was laid on the mutual intercultural understanding between the participants by providing an insight into the different (management) cultures. The participants gained knowledge on Korean and European research policies, funding possibilities, preparation and evaluation of a project proposal and intercultural aspects of the project work from international experts. During the whole week the participants worked together in groups on a research proposal for an FP7 call in the fields of environmental and social sciences. They were supervised by experienced practitioners and research peers who were impressed by the high quality of the developed proposals. In addition, the participants got an input on social innovation in Europe and different other thematic inputs from experts from IIASA (the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) at a study visit. The programme was completed by several social events including a guided city tour of Vienna.

Many contacts for future cooperation were established. All participants were highly motivated and contributed with their enthusiasm to a very successful week. They affirmed the applicability of the inputs and group work from the Summer School to their scientific careers and international research cooperation plans.

Quoting some of the participants, the Summer School was evaluated as:

“There have been some workshops on proposal writing run by Nation Contact Points (FP7), private organizations, etc. They are usually for one or two days and target all scientists regardless of their previous experiences. KORANET summer school was very unique in terms that its main participants were young researchers, who could contribute more time for this type of training and were willing to work with other individuals from different fields.“

“Everything was pretty great, particularly the hand-on mock proposal preparation. I found this to be incredibly effective in solidifying the concepts taught.“

“I enjoyed the international/intercultural relationship indeed. Understanding them and introducing Korean culture were truly joyful.”

“The school was great and I really learnt a lot of practical things! When I look at my past proposals now, I can clearly see lots of mistakes. I am sure this Summer School will improve my future proposal writing.”

“For me the summer school was of great benefit to my career and will be an unforgotten experience for my life...“

A short video showing some impressions from the Summer School can be viewed here.

The Summer School students documented and illustrated their learning progress and thoughts during the week, which can be viewed here.

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