Current Projects

Excellence in science and innovation for Europe by adopting the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (NewHoRRizon)

Principal Investigator:Erich Griessler

Project Member(s): Tamara Brandstätter, Robert Braun, Elisabeth Frankus, Helmut Hönigmayer, Thomas König
Project Duration: 2017-2021

Funding: European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Grant Agreement no 741402

Project Website:

Project Information: The Project sets out to promote the acceptance of RRI in Horizon 2020 (H2020) and beyond. It will work out the conceptual and operational basis to fully integrate RRI into European and national research and innovation (R&I) practice and funding. In order to accomplish this goal, NewHoRRIzon will establish altogether 18 Social Labs that cover all sections of H2020. Together with a wide-ranging group of R&I stakeholders, in these Social Labs, NewHoRRIzon will co-create tailor-made pilot actions that will stimulate an increased use and acceptance of RRI across H2020 and each of its parts. These pilot actions will address a variety of R&I actors such as academia, business, non-university research institutes, research funding organisations, policy-makers on European, Member State and global level, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the general and specific public(s) as they arise from technological controversies. Ultimately, the pilot actions to be developed and tested in the Social Labs will contribute to R&I projects that fully recognise the significance of RRI. NewHoRRIzon will stimulate learning about how to accomplish RRI in H2020 and beyond in its Social Labs, in two cross-sectional workshops and two transdisciplinary conferences. It will conceptualise and operationalise a Society Readiness Level (SRL) for R&I that focuses on the alignment between the processes and products of R&I on the one hand, and broader societal demands and expectations on the other. Finally, NewHoRRIzon will use a variety of target-group specific strategies to disseminate best practises to promote acceptance of RRI across H2020 and generate long-term impact. For that it will use existing spaces and networks as well as create new ones.

Joining Efforts for Responsible Research and Innovation (JERRI)

Principal Investigator:Erich Griessler,

Project Member(s): Elisabeth Frankus,Alexander Lang, Milena Wuketich
Project Duration: 2016-2019

Funding: European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, grant agreement no 709747

Project Information: JERRI aims to foster RRI transition in Europe by developing and testing good RRI practices in two pilot cases, for further upscaling among the RTOs in the EU28. A Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) plan will be developed and implemented at the biggest European RTOs, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).

European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity (ENERI)

Principal Investigator:Erich Griessler

Project Member(s):Marlene Altenhofer, Robert Braun
Project Duration: 2016-2019

Funding: European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, grant agreement no 710184


Project Information: ENERI brings together European initiatives involved in research ethics and research integrity and establishes an operable platform of actors in these areas. The network aims to strengthen activities of education and training in research ethics and research integrity, promote a culture of integrity, and foster the development of and compliance with joint rules and norms. Moreover, it will be strongly linked to other relevant EC funded projects and thus lead to new collaborations, implementations, and incentives for the European Research Era (ERA) and civil society.

Dying worlds in Austria: perspectives on “good dying“ (Sterbewelten)

Principal Investigator: Erich Griessler

Project Member(s):Elisabeth Frankus,Alexander Lang
Project Duration: 2017–2018

Funding: Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), Anniversary Fund of the National Bank of Austria, project no 17075

Project Information:
The project “Sterbewelten in Österreich” (“Dying worlds in Austria: perspectives on 'good dying'’”) aims to explore the perceptions on the process of dying of those affected, relatives, close people as well as other persons involved (especially caregivers). It does not prescribe a definition of “good dying”, but deals with questions such as: What does “good dying” mean? How is the process of dying co-determined by societal and institutional circumstances (arrangements of care, social networks, etc.)? How and under what conditions is “good dying” possible? The project will also describe recent Austrian debates on “good dying” and analyse the requirements of “good dying” within. The project employs an approach of dispositif analysis, which focuses on the relationship between different types of public discourses (media, politics, economy, etc.) and everyday talk, practices, and knowledge. Its results will be communicated and discussed with different societal groups and stakeholders. They will not only be used to identify further relevant research questions, but also to promote discussion on necessary transformations regarding regimes and systems of end-of-life care.

The project is coordinated by the Institute for Palliative Care and Organisational Ethics (IFF Vienna), Alpen Adria University (Prof. Dr. Katharina Heimerl). Other partners involved are the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna (IHS), the Institute for Ethics and Law in Medicine (IERM), University of Vienna, and the Institute for Practical Philosophy/Ethics, Catholic-Theological Private University Linz.

Monitoring the Evolution and Benefits of Responsible Research and Innovation (MoRRI)

Principal Investigator: Erich Griessler

Project Member(s):Marlene Altenhofer,Alexander Lang, Milena Wuketich
Project Duration: 2014–2018

Funding: European Commission Call for Tenders Nr. RTD-B6-PP-00964-2013


Project Information: MoRRI’s objective is “to provide scientific evidence, data, analysis and policy intelligence to support directly Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG-RTD) research funding activities and policy-making activities in relation with Responsible Research and Innovation”. The project empirically investigates the impacts of RRI activities covering the six RRI key dimensions (Citizen Engagement and Participation, Science Literacy and Scientific Education, Gender Equality, Open Access, R&I Governance, Ethics) using quantitative and qualitative data.

Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation (HEIRRI)

Principal Investigator: Erich Griessler

Project Member(s):Marlene Altenhofer,Alexander Lang,Milena Wuketich
Project Duration: 2015–2018

Funding: European Commission, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, grant agreement no 666004

Project Website:

Project Information: HEIRRI aims to further integrate RRI within formal and informal education of future scientists, engineers, and other professionals involved in research, development, and innovation processes. To this end, HEIRRI will develop, test and disseminate RRI training programmes and materials to be used at higher education institutions at different educational levels.

Analysis of participation activities of the Austrian society to cope with intense refugee movements (auxilium:at)

Principal Investigator: Elisabeth Frankus

Project Member(s):Marlene Altenhofer, Tamara Brandstätter, Anna Dibiasi,Nikolaus Pöchhacker,Berta Terzieva,Milena Wuketich

Project Duration: 2016–2018

Funding: FFG/Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), KIRAS Security Research, project no 854740

Project Information: auxilium:at analyses activities and forms of cooperation between Austrian public safety and emergency organisations, NGOs, and civil society in the acute care for refugees. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, the project further aims to examine the impact of social participation on social cohesion and peace and will develop recommendations and measures for future similar situations and challenges.

Stakeholders Acting Together On the ethical impact assessment of Research and Innovation (SATORI)

Principal Investigator: Erich Griessler

Project Member(s): Marlene Altenhofer, Robert Braun
Project Duration: 2014–2017

Funding: European Commission, FP7 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, grant agreement no 612231

Project Website:

Project Information: SATORI is a platform for the consolidation and advancement of ethical assessment in research and innovation. The 4-year project aims to develop a common framework of ethical principles and practical approaches so as to strengthen shared understandings among actors involved in the design and implementation of research ethics. To achieve this aim, the project will gather private and public stakeholders from Europe and beyond in an intensive 4-year process of research and dialogue. Ultimately, the project seeks to establish a permanent platform around the framework to secure ongoing learning and attunement among stakeholders in ethical assessment.

Negotiating Truth: Semmelweis, Discourse on Hand Hygiene and the Politics of Emotions

Principal Investigator: Anna Durnová

Project Duration: 2012–2017

Funding: Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Hertha Firnberg Programme, TG592-G15

Project Website:

Project Information: The project advances a new concept of understanding public policy through emotions. Emotions are key to public policy because they frame the establishment of “truth” through their relationship with discourse. Emotions are neither causal factors nor urges that motivate actions: the Negotiating Truth project defines emotions as communicated experiences of values and beliefs that are inherent in discourses but that also affect them. The project uses the key medical dispute of the 19th century, initiated by Viennese gynaecologist Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis. Semmelweis claimed that “childbed fever,” a disease that afflicted many women giving birth in hospitals, could originate in the fact that doctors did not disinfect their hands before assisting in the birth. His thesis grew into a dispute over the duty of hand washing among physicians. The Semmelweis case is used as a case for public policy. Through analysis of images, research protocols, correspondence, symbolic objects, manuscripts, scientific debates, biographical work, and the current scientific debate over the necessity of hand washing, in which Semmelweis appears as a point of reference and even an icon, the analysis illustrates how the truth about hand washing came to be revealed.