1. What is the SPOKES Project Incubator?
The Project Incubator is a new initiative organised by SPOKES, a sub-project of the Charité/BIH Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership. It aims to improve biomedical research by promoting grassroots involvement of researchers. The SPOKES Project Incubator is designed to bring together members of the Berlin community who are already actively involved in science improvement activities or want to get started. During meetings, participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences and discuss ideas and lessons learned. This will mutually strengthen individual projects, facilitate collaborations, and form a community of science improvement enthusiasts in Berlin.
2. Who can participate in the SPOKES Project Incubator?
The SPOKES Project Incubator is open to anyone from the scientific community who wants to improve translation or aspects of the culture and practice of research in Berlin through grassroots initiatives. Researchers from any career role or stage and based at any institution in Berlin are welcome to join. There is no limit to the number of participants or initiatives.
3. Can more than one person from an initiative participate in the incubator?
Yes, of course! There is no limit to the number of participants from each initiative. Whoever is interested in the Project Incubator is welcome to join. This could be just one person or several, or even all of the members of an initiative.
4. What type of grassroots initiatives can be part of the Project Incubator?
Science reform efforts can focus on a wide variety of topics. Therefore, initiatives can stem from different backgrounds and have various goals. Activities may include work to enhance translation, improve mental health and working conditions, make research more transparent and reproducible, strengthen science communication, and many more. However, the overarching goal should be to improve translation or some aspects of research culture or practice in Berlin.
5. Does the initiative need to have started?
The SPOKES Project incubator is open to any science improvement initiative, regardless of the phase it is in. The project can be in a brainstorming or planning phase, in which an underlying need has been identified. It can be a newly formed or well-established initiative in the Berlin research community.
6. What will the participation in the Project Incubator actually involve?
We are aware that research work and science improvement activities are keeping you busy, so the time you need to commit to the SPOKES Project Incubator will be kept to a minimum. Regular meetings, focussed on interactive, small-group discussions, will take place virtually once per month. The purpose of the meetings is to build a community of like-minded, enthusiastic people who want to improve the research environment in Berlin and to strengthen individual projects. Participants will also have the opportunity to communicate through an online discussion forum between meetings.
7. What are the benefits of joining the Project Incubator community?
There are several advantages of joining the Project Incubator: You will be able to have an active exchange with other members of the Berlin research community who are enthusiastic about the improvement of translation or research culture and practice. You can share lessons learned with other participants and amplify your efforts. You can engage in collective problem solving to remove roadblocks, which will strengthen your own initiative. You will learn more about how to make your project sustainable. Ultimately, joining the SPOKES Project Incubator will help create a peer community of science improvement activists in Berlin.
8. Ok, I am interested, what should I do now?
Join! The SPOKES Project Incubator community will meet once per month to share experiences, discuss ideas, troubleshoot problems and remove barriers to research improvement in Berlin. The goal is to build a peer network, which aims to support one another and improve translation or aspects of research practice and culture in Berlin. Feel free to contact the SPOKES Team (email@example.com). We can explain the program in more detail and will answer questions regarding the Project Incubator.
9. What else does SPOKES do?
SPOKES is a sub-project of the Charité/BIH Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership, which seeks to improve translational research via various approaches. Currently, the SPOKES Team also has a unique Fellowship programme which funds mid-career researchers to improve the quality of science in their environment. The second cohort of Fellows has recently been selected. You can learn more about the current and alumni SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Translational Partnership Fellows here.
Furthermore, the SPOKES Team supported the SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Think Tank, a group of early-career researchers from the BIH research community who collaboratively worked on a project that aims to improve the quality of translational research in Berlin. The Think Tank project is completed.
Information about the Think Tank project are available here.