In his PhD thesis titled ‘Transformative Research Niches: Uncovering the Transformative Potential of the Science System’, Oscar Romero delves into the transformative potential of the science system in addressing interconnected social and environmental challenges. The thesis has been supervised by TIPC’s Johan Schot and Matias Ramirez and Utrecht Universities, Heimeriks Gaston

It draws on TIP work from the MOTION project and the Latin American Hub.

The concept of Transformative Research Niches (TRNs) emerged as a central pillar of Oscar’s thesis. TRNs act as protective spaces for exploratory thinking and experimentation in science, fostering the development of new knowledge and solutions to interconnected global challenges.

The chapters explore strategies to enhance the transformative potential of the science system:

  • Multi-Thematic Funding Strategies: Combining funding from diverse sources can break down silos and foster interdisciplinary collaborations, accelerating transformative research.
  • Social Movement Engagement: Engaging with social movements can bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the research process, leading to more inclusive and impactful solutions.
  • Exploratory Knowledge Production: Encouraging exploration and experimentation beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries can lead to breakthroughs in addressing interconnected challenges.
  • R&D Portfolios: Tailoring research portfolios to the specific phases of sustainability transitions can ensure that transformative research is aligned with the needs and opportunities of society.
  • Social Networking and Collective Learning: Building diverse networks and fostering collective learning can facilitate the emergence of new narratives and solutions that transcend traditional boundaries

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