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Workshop series on the sustainability effect of research


On May 11, it is time for the first of a total of six workshops concerning the strategic research areas’ (SRA) work on sustainable development. The workshop series are arranged by the SRA Collegium and Sustainability forum.

Inspired by last year's conference on the same theme, the focus will be on how the strategic research areas can meet the challenges surrounding the UN global sustainability goals.

– The aim is to provide researchers with ideas and contacts for more concrete work on sustainability issues in their research. It is partly a matter of increasing competence and capacity, and partly about obtaining more insight into methods and research questions in other areas. Hopefully, these workshops will open up for further collaborations, says Helen Avery, researcher at the Center for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC) and project manager for the workshop series.

Sustainable research affects policymaking

The first workshop on May 11 is on the theme "Policy and international research development" and will be about how research ideas can influence research policy regarding the SDGs’. The workshop will provide an overview of the development and examine the factors that influence research related to the sustainability goals.

Workshop two and three take place on May 31 and June 10, respectively, on the theme "Future-oriented methodologies”. These workshops will focus on artificial intelligence and technology in relation to the SDGs as well as the question of how researchers can use modelling as decision support, respectively. The remaining workshops will be held in the autumn and will cover the importance of including SDGs in research applications.

Younger scholars welcomed

As the climate and other planetary crises escalate, Helen Avery believes that there is a need for clearer structures regarding collaborations, both across research areas and across researcher generations.

– Previously, research fronts developed relatively slowly, and it was sufficient for younger researchers to learn from more senior researchers. Today, research fronts are moving at a furious pace and both younger and older researchers must collaborate in developing that front, otherwise their research will quickly become obsolete, says Helen Avery.

In order to involve younger researchers and doctoral students, two doctoral courses will be arranged in connection with the workshop series. The first will include how researchers can approach the issue of sustainability impact when writing research applications. The second course takes place in the spring of 2022 and will cover future-oriented methodologies. For example, how researchers can combine research approaches to strengthen their conclusions about phenomena that are important for the decisions we make about the future.

– Classical research bases its conclusions on events that have already occurred and patterns that have been clear for a long time. Since the future is uncertain, we have to make estimates concerning things that have not yet happened in order to make decisions that may have serious long-term consequences. It is not enough to make accurate descriptions with hindsight, we have to make the right decisions for the future, says Helen Avery.

Read more about the workshop series and sign up at

This year's workshops

Read more and register via the links below: