The INSIGHTS project at the BSE aims to support and promote the communication of research and to contribute to its transfer to the public. INSIGHTS is funded by the Leibniz Gemeinschaft
The communication of academic research in economics is of vital importance to stimulate public debates and inform political decisions. However, successful communication and research-based policy advice is difficult: the advice needs to be timely and it needs to be supported by solid research findings. The communication needs to be clear and concise, while uncertainty and caveats need to be identified and explained. These high standards of communication are the basis for INSIGHTS.
Today, transfer and policy communication is mainly in the hands of a few generalists who are popular experts, very experienced in communication, and therefore highly in demand by the media. We aim to encourage and support specialists who are working at the research frontier of relevant topics to communicate their research results to the public and to policymakers.
INSIGHTS has two main pillars, a platform of exchange between researchers, policymakers, the media, and the public, and the provision of professional guidance and formal training on how to interact with the public and communicate academic methods and results for junior researchers.
In practice this means:
- Exchanges and Organization of Workshops: INSIGHTS conducts transfer activities through self-organized conferences and workshops for discussions between policymakers and academics.
- Internships and Conference Talks: INSIGHTS provides financial support for internships to visit international organizations and research institutes. INSIGHTS also offers internships with newspapers, radio stations, and professional communication agencies for guidance on how media professionals communicate and translate research results into formats for a general audience. PhD students and junior faculty can apply for financial support to present research at conferences and workshops that have a clear policy focus and intended policy outreach.
- INSIGHTS pieces: A platform to disseminate policy briefs created by BSE researchers and to provide links to other established academic policy outlets that publish work intended to communicate research. Between April and July 2020 Insights pieces created a special section with articles on the Corona Crisis.
- Research Projects: INSIGHTS supports (or funds) co-creation and joint research projects as cooperations between researchers and policymakers.
- Skills: Media training and coaching, support and advice on academic and non-academic writing.
- Knowledge labs: INSIGHTS will be supported by a network of senior scholars who lead the knowledge labs. They will advise junior researchers regarding communication and co-creation activities.