The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Call for case studies on knowledge co-production for sustainability

18 January 2021


PDF icon Co-production research projects: Case study examples

We are seeking case studies on knowledge co-production in the areas of environmental and sustainability research on the island of Ireland to feature in an upcoming workshop and publication. Closing date for submissions is 10 March 2021.

What is ‘knowledge co-production’?

Knowledge co-production is a research approach which involves the collaboration of academics and non-academics. It has been shown to create more effective and actionable knowledge to address sustainability challenges. Knowledge co-production is part of a loosely linked and evolving cluster of participatory and transdisciplinary research approaches that have emerged in recent decades. The co-production approach recognises that complex societal challenges we face might be best addressed by full involvement of the people who hope to benefit from the research. Co-production enables stakeholders and members of the public to work with researchers to set the research agenda, manage (and in some cases help conduct) the research, and interpret findings; it values local knowledge equally alongside scientific knowledge. Over the past two decades, knowledge co-production has shifted from niche areas of scientific practice towards the mainstream. Within international science and policy fora there is a growing expectation that shifting towards co-production will enable science to have greater impact on sustainable development outcomes. This has led to substantial commitments to knowledge co-production.


The Royal Irish Academy will host a workshop on ‘Scaling research impact for sustainability through co-production of knowledge’ on 3 June 2021. The workshop will bring together key stakeholder groups in Ireland to explore how the Irish research system can respond to the demand for increased levels of collaboration and interaction amongst scientists, stakeholders and funders, to co-produce knowledge and increase the use of knowledge co-production approaches in policy, decision-making and practice.

Call for case-studies

In advance of the workshop, we are collecting a series of case studies on knowledge co-production in the areas of environmental and sustainability research on the island of Ireland. We are seeking research case studies that:

  • involve academic and non-academic stakeholders in co-producing research;

  • have clearly defined and meaningful goals that are shared among participants; and

  • have frequent interactions among participants throughout the project, from collaboratively framing and designing the research agenda, to conducting the research and jointly using the knowledge generated.

Selected case studies will be included and profiled in a white paper to be produced from the workshop. If you would like your research project to be included as a case study for the workshop, please complete this questionnaire (it will take approximately 30 minutes). 


  1. ‘The best research is produced when researchers and communities work together’, Editorial, Nature 562 (2018), 7; doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-06855-7.
  2. OECD, Addressing societal challenges using transdisciplinary research, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 88 (2020). OECD Publishing, Paris.

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