Researchers` Night!

Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide free and public event dedicated to popularize science and fun learning. It takes place each year on the last Friday in September, with hundreds of event happening simultaneously in around 30 countries and over 300 cities in Europe.

In 2017, all the events will take place on Friday 29th September, with the exception of Israel, where it is scheduled on the 19th of September.

Countries colored in green on the map below are participating in the Researchers` Night Europe Festival:

To find the nearest location to you click here.


All the events are supported by the European Commission as a part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA), funded under the Horizon 2020 program.

So the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions not only support researchers at all stages of their careers, but the also gives generous funding for the organization of different events. The overall aim of the researchers’ night is to show the general public what researchers are doing for the society and to promote science as a career to younger minds. This is all done in an interactive way, in order to be catchier and more understandable to people.

For one night there is a big opportunity to create a bond between science and society  which, hopefully, doesn’t fade away the morning after.

In fact, everything that is around us is science and we need to understand science to understand how everyday world works.

The vision of Researchers` Night is better explained in the interview with Colette Renier, the Research Programme Officer at European Commission, which can be viewed at this link.

The European Researchers` Night is organized every September since 2005. In 2015, the event celebrated its 10th anniversary, when 1.1 million citizens and 18,000 researchers took part in celebrating this decennial.

In 2017 MSCA announced the funding of its 100,000th MSCA Fellow. So, this year the night will be even more special in Brussels. 30 highly-promising scientists (among them 18 women) are picked to present their MSCA projects not only to bring the audience`s attention to this exceptional program, but to celebrate all the 100,000th MSCA Fellows distributed around the world.

In 20 years of funding, MSCA was able to help a huge amount of projects and fellows who, thanks to the MSCA are able to follow their dream and passion for science, like us MELGEN PhD students.


Renata Varaljai, MELGEN PhD student located in Essen (DE), shares her experience:

“I remember that I attended my first Researchers` Night Festival as a university student at the University of Debrecen in Hungary. It was a great opportunity to visit laboratories outside of my research area. I was amazed by the scientific achievements and innovative techniques presented in this very well-organized event. I became a fan of this event, and me and fellow students attended Researchers` Night in the upcoming years. Not long after I took my first job at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences I experienced this event from another perspective, I welcomed visitors in our laboratory, where we showed different lab techniques and presented our research to the audience”.


Renata Varaljai and Sonia Leonardelli, MELGEN PhD students located in Essen (DE):

“Now, as MSCA-funded-PhD students in the so-called Ruhrpott (DE), we are of course committed to help the EU making this night even more special. ScienceNight Ruhr is, nonetheless, one of the youngest Science Festivals in Germany. Therefore, it is organized every two years, and transforms completely the “Ruhr” region. Where we live, the Metropolitan Area “Ruhr” in North Rhine-Westphalia, is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany. ScienceNight Ruhr here, not only aims to connect people with science, but is an important element in the development process from a post-industrial region, still characterized by a strong tradition and history of coal mining and steel production, into a center of knowledge and innovation.”.

During ScienceNight Ruhr 2016 more than 400 simultaneous events in 20 different venues were active in the Ruhrpott. We were also there, together with dermatologists of the Universitätsklinikum Essen, to help in raising awareness of the dramatic reality of melanoma. Even though prevention is essential for the war to this disease, researchers like us are working hard every day, and hoping for a breakthrough. On 28th of September 2018 we will be there again, to enjoy the Researchers` Night.”.

More info on the ScienceNight Ruhr 2018 can be found here.


Written by: Sonia Leonardelli (ESR14) and Renata Varaljai (ESR15)