Mad boffins gather at dusk to plot world domination?
This is precisely what the European Researchers' Nights are not about. In fact, they are events dedicated to popular science and fun learning. They are an opportunity to meet researchers, talk to them, and to find out what they really do for society, in interactive and engaging ways. This can be through hands-on experiments, science shows, learning activities for children, guided visits of research labs, science quizzes and more.
The European Researchers' Night takes place every year all over Europe and beyond the last Friday of September. In 2014, these popular science events are happening on Friday 26 September in around 300 cities located in 24 European and neighbouring countries.
The events are supported by the European Commission as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which is an EU programme to boost European research careers.
Why would I attend?
Often billed as family events, the European Researchers' Nights will in fact appeal to people of all ages – whether with their family, their school, friends or on their own – who are intrigued by how things work and by what science means for their lives.
Many of these popular science events will let you go behind the scenes, e.g. to labs that are usually closed to the public. You may discover the scientist in you while being part of a Europe-wide mega event.
Have I missed it already?
The European Researchers' Nights have been organised every September since 2005. In 2013 they had over 1.2 million visitors. Some of the past events received national prizes. Find a past European Researchers' Night event: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
Who can organise it?
Organising the European Researchers' Night events is awarded through a competitive call for proposals, with only the best selected for EU support. These calls are managed by the Research Executive Agency (REA).
The call to organise the events in 2014 and 2015 was published on 11 December 2013 and closed on 4 March 2014. Have a look at the call requirements. If you missed this one but are interested in organising an event in the future, keep an eye on the REA website for new opportunities.
Comments on this page or the events?
Send an e-mail to the REA Communication Team.