A non-profit organization find itself in front of a challenge and contacts the Science Shop, expressing their needs. The applicant can be any civil society organization, an NGO, or social enterprise without (financial) means to carry out their own research. This is what happens next:
Step 1 - Intake meeting
Based on a description of the challenge, an intake meeting is planned with the applicant, a WUR researcher (who will take the role of Project Leader) and a Science Shop coordinator. During this intake meeting it is determined whether a collaboration can be established, and clear research questions start taking shape.
Step 2 – Drafting the Action Plan
An initial exploration is carried out, resulting in an Action Plan that describes the collaboration, the people involved and the research activities. The Action Plan is the backbone of the research project. It is drafted by the Project Leader and approved by the applicant.
Step 3 – Experts
In this exploration, people with different interests, backgrounds, and knowledge are invited to become Project Advisors. Project Advisors are key actors in the process, grounding the project in its context, voicing different opinions and agendas, and contributing to making this project a participatory process.
Step 4 - Research
The research project begins, in close collaboration with the Project Leader, students, the non-profit organization, and the Project Advisors. Regular meetings are scheduled, featuring as many participants as possible. The scope, participants, and phases will vary per project, which will take about 1 year to be completed.
Step 5 – Final event
At the end of the project, a final event takes place to share results, connect all participants, and look into the future together. The final event is generally organized by the non-profit, in site, and it becomes a festive event that inspires and gives energy for what's to come: the application of research results.
Step 6 - Applying the results
The non-profit can immediately start applying the results, which also remain available to anyone via the project website. In this way, results can be useful for the applicant but also to anyone that might deal with a similar problem.