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NOVA receives ERC to organize residencies for science journalists

The European Research Council has granted 1.5 M€ to a single European consortium, to promote residencies for science journalists in research institutions for periods of 3 to 5 months.

Ana Sanchez e António Granado

Professors from Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Ana Sanchez (ITQB NOVA) and António Granado (NOVA FCSH), are part of the European consortium that will receive 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) to implement a project of residencies for science journalists in research institutions across Europe.

The project, called FRONTIERS, will run from 2023 to 2027, and aims to promote journalistic independence and coverage of cutting-edge research, such as that typically supported by the ERC.

During the life of FRONTIERS, three application phases will be announced for journalists to apply for at the European level. The proposals will be evaluated with the help of an independent commission. For the duration of the programme, between 30 and 40 residencies of 3 to 5 months each will be funded.

Scientific institutions from any field of knowledge will be invited to express their interest in hosting the journalists and to create the necessary conditions for the realization of the project. One of the objectives of this initiative, which includes a training programme on independent and ethically responsible science coverage, will also be to promote mutual learning between scientists and journalists.

The FRONTIERS consortium includes, besides NOVA University Lisbon, Pompeu Fabra University (Spain), the Center for Ethics in Science and Journalism (Italy) and the company Enspire Science (Israel), which coordinates the project.

Since 2011, the NOVA team has been coordinating the master's degree in Science Communication at the University, created with the support of the then director of ITQB and the current Rector who, at the time, directed NOVA FCSH.

For the Rector, João Sàágua, "NOVA is extremely proud to see the results of the collaboration between two of its schools, FCSH and ITQB, including its Master's in Science Communication and its spin-off, the '90 Seconds of Science' programme, internationally recognized at the highest European level, with ERC funding".

NOVA will be responsible for all the communication of the project and will hold, in its facilities, the final conference of FRONTIERS. At that time, a guide will be presented, based on the FRONTIERS experience, that can be used by other institutions interested in replicating a similar residencies project.