The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and COMMIT/ have awarded 135.000 euros to three new Team Science projects in the Digital Society Research Agenda of the VSNU. The granted projects focus on the topic of digitalisation, inclusion and participation. In the three projects researchers from various fields co-operate not only with other academics, but also with community members and other stakeholders.

New digital technologies are being developed very rapidly. Digital transformations are characterised by narratives of promises and fears, and they share complex questions about, for example, inclusion and participation of individuals, groups and communities. Prof. Inald Lagendijk, program coordinator of the Digital Society Research Agenda: “The only way to deal with such rapid changes is through further collaboration between disciplines and between academic researchers, policy makers, industry and civil society. These three projects are excellent examples of such collaboration.” The granted researchers will present their results during the Digital Society Conference in November 2020.

The Digital Society Research Agenda is a unique research programme in which all fourteen Dutch research universities cooperate. The aim of the agenda is to give the Netherlands a leading position in the field of research on digitisation and to find digital solutions to global challenges.

The VSNU wants to achieve a more modern system of recognition and rewards of academics. One of the main goals is to assess academics based on both their individual and their team performance. This Team Science call is an excellent example of this. See, Room for everyone’s talent, our position paper on recognition and rewards of academics (pdf).

Projects awarded funding

Stereotyping in Computer Science
Main applicants: Dr Felienne Hermans (Leiden University), Drs Shirley de Wit (Leiden University), Prof Belle Derks (Utrecht University), Dr Fenia Aivaloglou (Leiden University), Ludo Westerveld (NEMO), Cocky Booij (VHTO), Sander van den Oever (TU Delft).

Women are underrepresented in the field of Computer Science. Research shows that girls who hold strong stereotypes about programming have lower interest and self-efficacy in programming, which correlates with their career orientation. In this project researchers will investigate stereotypes that children hold about computer scientists, whether these stereotypes are affected by a virtual intervention and whether visual and textual instruments yield similar results. The researchers will deliver an instrument for measuring which stereotypes children hold and videos in which computer scientists explain what computer science is.

Digital literacy in the public library
Fostering digital inclusion and civic participation
Main applicants: Prof Marcel Broersma (University of Groningen), Dr Joëlle Swart (University of Groningen), Prof Liesbet van Zoonen (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Dr Jiska Engelbert (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Dr Hans Hummel (Open University), Dr Aodhán Kelly (Open University), Martine Schophuizen (Open University). Consortium partners: SAs, Biblionet Groningen, Bibliotheek Rotterdam, Bibliotheek Venlo, KB, Pitch Productions.

Being able to deal with ICT has become a prerequisite for citizens to participate in today’s digital society. Governments increasingly expect people to communicate online. However, an estimated 2.5 million of Dutch citizens lack digital literacy. To address this challenge, the National Library of the Netherlands and eight governmental organizations (“Manifestgroep”) have initiated the “Digital Inclusion, support for vulnerable target groups” program. In this project researchers will create a list of recommendations that offers concrete guidelines for the library staff and they will create a digital concept map of the skills, knowledge and competences that digital illiterates perceive as most urgent and helpful within their everyday live.

Persona-fying users, designers, and their health data sharing journeys:
A participatory design intervention for PGO development and implementation in the Netherlands
Main applicants: Dr Andrew Hoffman (Radboud University), Dr Eveline Hage (University of Groningen), Prof Michel Dumontier (Maastricht University), Prof Peter-Bram ‘t Hoen (Radboud University), Prof Bart Jacobs (Radboud University), Dr Berber Pas (Radboud University), Dr Hanna Schraffenberger (Radboud University), Dr Tamar Sharon (Radboud University).

Dutch society is rapidly approaching a precipice regarding personal health data sharing. In mid-2020, healthcare providers in the Netherlands will be legally required to give citizens online access to their individual patient record. In response to this mandate, many parties including the government are investing in an emerging set of mobile health platforms called PGOs (Persoonlijke Gezondheidsomgeving). PGOs promise to give citizens greater control over their data, more choice in their care, and contribute to improved health outcomes by making treatment more personalized. In this project researchers will organise participatory design workshops that will convene a diversity of stakeholder perspectives on PGOs. The researchers aim to identify the understandings of ‘citizen empowerment’ and ‘data sharing that participants bring from their respective communities of practice.