Research Group Focus Map

Call for challenges

ECIU University Research Conference

Submit  your PROPOSAL for challenge

Universitat autonoma de Barcelona
Why you should submit for this session?
Opportunity to present your research, analysis, studies and visions
Be part of ECIU University community
Platform for networking and discussion of SDG11 relevant research challenges

About challenges

The ECIU University follows a challenge-based approach to research. This call for challenges is looking for the most relevant contributions to provide a fair and direct comparison of different methodological approaches to a common problem. Challenges should address a well-defined open problem relevant to SDG11 to make cities sustainable, inclusive, equitable, safe, healthy and collaborative places.  


All actors (researchers from ECIU institutions and actors within ECIU member regions & countries) are invited to submit their proposals for discussing SDG11 relevant research challenges at the ECIU University Research Conference held on October 3-4, 2023 in Barcelona.


Although it is the first ECIU University Research Conference, the event has an ambition to become a meeting point for ECIU University community, governments, companies, entrepreneurs and citizens where ECIU research community and their ecosystems connect. It aims to become a networking platform for tackling common challenges and coming up with proposed solutions. Joining this community means that you will be part of an ecosystem committed to collectively contribute to create meaningful solutions to co-create the cities and the world that we want to live in; only by working together we will be able to tackle them.

Topics covered

Topics 2023
Circular Economy
Circular design, Design thinking, Sustainable materials, PaaS (product as a service) related tech., resource recovery/recycling/reprocessing technologies,Sustainable management, Business models, Digitalization in circular models, Industry engagement, Circular culture, Consumption & Behavior, Measuring Circularity, Circular labels, Circular Food systems
Transport and mobility
The 15 minutes-city, Actors’ conflicting perspectives on logistics, Efficient logistics vs. crisis preparedness, Green labelling of e-commerce deliveries, Planning of construction projects in dense city areas
Energy and sustainability
Integration of renewables in the energy systems, Embodied Energy of Products; Energy Data collection and distribution, Renewable Energy storage and distribution, Innovative Design and control of energy systems, Citizen engagement in energy research, Life cycle analysis, The role of society in the energy transition, Energy grids management in a prosumer's era, Energy communities
Resilient Communities
Social capital, Social health, Healthy environment, Healthy society, Equity, Justice, Just transition, Citizen participation, Community engagement, Renewable energy communities, Reuse, Adaptability, Flexibility, Urban futures, Governance, Hybrid-built environment, Resilience, Climate resilient, Water resilient, Smart communities, Green infrastructures, Energy & Security

Who can participate

ECIU University Research Conference is aimed at researchers from ECIU institutions and actors within ECIU member regions & countries (cities, businesses, entrepreneurs, public or non-governmental organizations and social and environmental activists) with complex innovative challenges, research, analysis, studies, visions and solutions for our cities.

The submitted proposals for sessions can present:

  • Concrete challenges related to the above-mentioned topics, which can be addressed with transdisciplinary research;
  • Potential solutions to challenges related to the above-mentioned topics, to be developed with transdisciplinary research. 

Submission of proposals

  • To enter in the running call for presenting your challenge, please fill in the form available online.
  • Proposals must be submitted electronically via this website and must conform to the terms and conditions here included.
  • The form and all complementary information will have to be filled out entirely in English. Proposals in other languages will not be accepted.
  • A minimum of 2 partners from different institutions/organizations must be represented in each proposal for challenges.
  • The organization reserves the right to ask for any clarification or additional information about the submitted documents.
  • No additional documents to the web form will be accepted, unless requested by the organization.

Online form to be fulfilled require (among other details):

  • Short bio of the main challenge host (max. 300 characters including spaces);
  • Topic (selecting from the list);
  • Keywords (max. 5);
  • Submission title (max. 100 characters including spaces);
  • Brief description of the challenge you propose to discuss (max. 2500 characters including spaces): may include the context, the added value of the proposal, methodology/approach, solutions/conclusions, and other information;
  • Description of partners/institutions involved: name/job/title/background and complementarity of institutions (max. 300 characters including spaces);
  • Description of the session (max. 300 characters including spaces);
  • How your session will contribute to broaden the collaboration between more partners (not only those included in a proposal) (max. 300 characters including spaces).

 It is recommended to present maximum 3 submissions per author/group.

 Evaluation Criteria

The quality of each proposal will be evaluated according to the criteria described below. For each aspect, a score will be assigned based on the degree to which the submission demonstrably fulfills each listed criterion.

Main Evaluation Criteria

  • The proposed challenge fits within the scope of the call, and it is appropriate. The proposal clearly identifies need(s) or unresolved problems in this topic. (3= excellent, 2= good, 1= weak)
  • The session and its intended outcomes are clearly described. (3= excellent, 2= good, 1= weak)
  • The workshop has potential to develop further collaborations and activities after the event. (3= excellent, 2= good, 1= weak)
  • The session will encourage diverse and balanced participation including gender-balance and a mix of external stakeholder’s involvement. (3= excellent, 2= good, 1= weak)

Extra merit will be considered for proposals that:

  • involve more than 2 institutions;
  • involve external stakeholders in the application.

Evaluation process

The evaluation criteria process is divided in two phases:

1. Regular compliance

The organization will conduct a first evaluation to check if suggested proposal for challenge complies with all requirements. Proposal could be a subject to additional requests for information or clarification.

2. Technical Evaluation

SMART-ER Research Field Coordinators, experts in the thematic areas covered by the conference, supported by members of the Scientific Committee, will evaluate the proposals by topic and decide which proposals are selected for participation in the thematic session around challenges.


The number of  proposals per topic is subject to consideration by the scientific and the organizing committees.

Selection Communication

Selected participants will be informed at the beginning of July, 2023.

No registration fee shall be paid for the attendance at the ECIU University Research Conference.

Mobility grants will be opened for application but they are not guarantee.


Intellectual and Industrial property rights

The participant is responsible for the authorship of the submitted proposal; the participant is the owner of the intellectual property and, where applicable, industrial property rights thereof.

The participant is accountable for the proposal submitted not violating intellectual property rights, industrial rights, copyright and image rights, and assumes complete responsibility with regard to third parties; the organization is free of liability.


Data protection

Due to the sensitive nature of the information supplied, the ECIU University Research Conference organizers, the coordinator and the members of the Scientific Committee guarantee to keep identity of participants and the content of their proposals confidential outside the sphere of the event. This also includes information about its current state of use or development. Once the proposal has been selected, the organizers may make public any details considered as public (author, company/organization/ institution/ university, tittle, brief, abstract, website and topic).

Important Dates (CET, 2023)

June, 6 at 12:00 PM
Submission deadline
Notification about evaluation results


You will be able to apply to attend the conference, to participate as a main facilitator or co-facilitator of a challenge session, or to present a poster.

You can consult the Call for Challenges and the Call for Posters before filling in the application form at:

ECIU University Research Conference – Poster Call

ECIU University Research Conference – Challenge Call

If you have any questions about the application form, please contact


If you have any queries or suggestions, please email to:

If you are interested in opportunities to collaborate with ECIU University, please email to:

If you want to know more about the opportunities that ECIU University can offer you, please email to:

Call for posters

PhD students from ECIU member universities are invited to submit proposals for poster presentations of their recent research results, research activities in progress, new ideas and other research projects which may be of interest to ECIU research community and aligned with ECIU University and SMART-ER vision and mission.
Learn more

More about the conference

The ECIU University Research Conference  will bring together societal stakeholders to showcase challenge-based research outcomes, share best practices of innovative research approaches, and explore/initiatepotential collaborations for common solutions to societal issues.
Learn more