Headline: COVID-19 vs. stakeholder engagement: the impact of coronavirus containment measures on stakeholder involvement in European energy research projects [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected societies and economies around the world, and the scientific community is no exception. Whereas the importance of stakeholder engagement in research has grown quickly for many EU projects, yet no research has studied the consequences of the pandemic on this. In this paper, we investigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on European energy research, in particular the stakeholder work, during the first wave of the coronavirus in spring and summer 2020. We pose the research questions: (i) How big of a problem are the coronavirus containment measures for stakeholder engagement? (ii) How have researchers coped with the situation, and (iii) How do they evaluate alternative stakeholder activities implemented? We conducted an online survey among European energy research projects with stakeholder engagement between June and August 2020. We found that only one of six engagement activities could be implemented as planned, whereas almost half were cancelled or delayed. The most common coping strategies were changing involvement formats – mainly to webinars or online workshops – or postponement. Webinars, online interviews, and online surveys were seen as the best online formats. Most respondents plan to continue using online formats to complement, but not to replace, physical meetings in future research. All long-term effects remain to be seen, but given the postponement of many stakeholder involvement activities, many projects may face problems at later stages of their realisation. These findings are highly relevant for funding institutions and provide important insights on coping strategies for fellow researchers beyond the energy field.

Publikationsjahr
2021
Publikationstyp
Wissenschaftliche Aufsätze
Zitation

Süsser, D., Ceglarz, A., Stavrakas, V., & Lilliestam, J. (2021). COVID-19 vs. stakeholder engagement: the impact of coronavirus containment measures on stakeholder involvement in European energy research projects [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. Open research Europe, 1: 57. doi:10.12688/openreseurope.13683.1.

DOI
10.12688/openreseurope.13683.1
Links
https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6000941_3/component/file_6…
Beteiligte Mitarbeiter
Beteiligte Projekte
Das Laboratorium für die nachhaltige Energiewende (SENTINEL) Die Wende zu einem erneuerbaren Stromsystem und ihre Wechselwirkungen mit anderen politischen Zielen (TRIPOD)