Covid-19 and NOS-HS Exploratory workshop design: Not just challenges but also renewal?
The Covid-19 pandemic that hit the world in the spring of 2020 posed obstacles for the NOS-HS Exploratory workshop grant. It made it impossible to know when workshop series could be organised safely in-person again. NOS-HS reacted to these challenges by drafting a policy that encouraged applicants to organise online or hybrid workshops where in-person workshops were not possible.
In the autumn of 2021, the NOS-HS Secretariat carried out a report into the impact of the pandemic on the exploratory workshop design so far. The report was prepared and carried out by the NOS-HS Secretariat Intern Mari Lehvä.
The report analysed the applications submitted to the 2021 Exploratory workshop call, 51 in total. It aimed to find out whether the pandemic is resulting in renewal in the workshop design, research collaboration and network building as well as in the budget structures proposed by the 2021 applicants.
Exciting new developments
The report found that the 2021 applicants have adapted their workshop plans to find new ways of collaboration amidst the pandemic. Applicants saw online, in-person and hybrid workshops as providing distinct benefits for their research networks and combined these designs in innovative ways to make the most of their workshop series. Considerable number of applications were also planning to organise additional online meetings outside of the workshops. These online meetings were designed to facilitate continuous collaboration and to strengthen the network during the funding period and beyond. The ongoing meetings were used to expand on workshop themes, develop research questions further and work on publication aims.
All in all, the 2021 applications showcase exciting new developments in workshop design and research network collaboration. They point towards the possibility that the situation created by the pandemic could present NOS-HS with further opportunities of supporting renewal and strengthening Nordic collaboration in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Read and download the report: Covid-19 and NOS-HS Exploratory workshop design: Not just challenges but also renewal? (PDF).