Unit of Public Engagement on Health Research: research for and with society

The Unit of Public Engagement on Health Research at IrsiCaixa aims to promote scientific culture, to engage citizens in research, to decrease the gap between research and education, and to inspire future researchers.

The Unit works in collaboration with other foundations, research centres, public bodies and civil society organisations to promote what the European Union (EU) has defined within the Horizon 2020 as Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Within this frame, research has to be performed "for and with society”.

Action plan by publics

The Unit constantly facilitates information and dialogue with citizenship through intensive communication campaigns on the media, social media, websites, blogs and newsletters.

Furthermore, we also promote other projects and actions aimed at health care providers, researchers and the community, and also for the education community and citizenship:

Action plan aimed at the education community and citizens:

IrsiCaixa runs Education and Outreach Programmes on different biomedical research areas, which offer multimedia resources such as videos, virtual experiments, games and lesson plans for teachers and students to innovate in their classrooms by decreasing the gap between research and education and facilitating Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE):

  • IrsiCaixa Outreach

    To disseminate the science and research around HIV/AIDS as a means to promote prevention. In collaboration with “la Caixa” Foundation.

  • Xplore Health

    To bridge the gap between biomedical research and education. It was initially funded by the European Commission and is now directed by IrsiCaixa in collaboration with “la Caixa” Foundation.

  • RRI Tools

    To promote Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and foster a new model for the relation between Science and Society in Europe. The project will develop a set of tools aimed at raising awareness, training, disseminating and implementing RRI. It is led by “la Caixa” Foundation and IrsiCaixa.


    To promote Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in higher education and transdisciplinary research, that responds to societal needs and expectations. The project will focus on identifying, developing and disseminating good practices in order to train graduates and researchers on RRI. EnRRICH is a project coordinated by the Vrije University of Brussels and funded by the European Commission.

  • Tàndem IrsiCaixa-INS Apel·les Mestres-PCB

    To bridge the gap between research and education and promote Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE). It is a project of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, together with IrsiCaixa, the INS Apel·les Mestres and the Parc Científic de Barcelona.

  • NanOpinion

    To encourage debate around nanotechnologies and to analyse what citizens expect from these emerging technologies. It is a European Union funded Project.

The programmes also facilitate courses for teachers and face-to-face workshops of experiments on current research for both teachers and students, sessions for reflection and debate and the participation in Networks of Pilot Schools. These programmes, as well as the seminars organized for the community, provide not only scientific dissemination of current research but they also promote reflection around ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA).

Action plan aimed at health care providers, researchers and the community:

IrsiCaixa informs and facilitates consultation about the science around HIV/AIDS and its research results through scientific seminars, symposiums, congresses, programmes and through the development of multimedia and printed resources. Among the different actions performed are:

  • Educasida Portal ( Among the different actions aimed at health care providers and the scientific community is Educasida, a portal that offers updated information and the possibility to do consultations about research on HIV and related diseases covering aspects such as epidemiology, transmission, prevention, treatments, secondary effects of drugs, vaccine and psychology assessment.
  • Community Advisory Committee (CAC): The Unit is a member of the Community Advisory Board of the HIVACAT programme, which is an external body aimed at facilitating the communication and dialogue between the scientific community and HIV-affected groups, communities of people practicing high-risk sexual activities and professionals from different fields. The mission of this Board is to provide HIVACAT and its researchers a wide and complementary view of the impact, the consequences and the viability of the studies they carry out, including ELSA related issues.
  • Training on Science Communication for Scientists: the Unit also shares its expertise on science Communication with current and future science communicators, scientists and other stakholders through the participation in doctorate courses, masters and graduate programmes, as well as comgresses, workshops and seminars.