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COMFOCUS Open Call #2 

Submit your proposal by August, 19th, 2023

Are you an early-career researcher in the field of consumer science seeking access to European research infrastructure? COMFOCUS Open Call #2 is a valuable opportunity for you to visit a consumer science institute in Europe and conduct research using innovative psycho-physiological approaches, such as eye-tracking, skin conductance, and make use of state-of-the-art virtual reality equipment.

This COMFOCUS program provides a unique platform for early career researchers to expand their understanding of consumer science, access shared and linked consumer data, and collaborate with experienced experts in the field. With the aim of preparing the next generation of researchers for the future of consumer science, this Transnational Access Open Call research program offers supervised research experiences that inspire innovation and creativity. Do not  hesitate to apply and take a significant step forward in your career in food consumer science!  


COMFOCUS is a collaborative project across Europe aimed at integrating the field of food consumer science by linking researchers and their data. The project seeks to make food consumer science data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) through Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles.

To achieve this goal, COMFOCUS integrates nine key European research infrastructures to promote optimal use and joint development, making high-quality services and resources available to the academic and private research community. The project aims to harmonize and professionalize the European food consumer science community, advancing it beyond its current level of fragmentation. This will facilitate the development of European healthy food choice public policies and private strategies, increasing the business and policy relevance of food consumer science insights.

The project works from the vision that Open Science is the basis for food consumer science to become future proof. COMFOCUS aims to enable the food consumer science community to make the next steps to become the data-driven science that can support evidence-based public food policies and private strategies. This will be based on FAIR data principles and RRI-proof way of working.

Ultimately, COMFOCUS will contribute to the end-consumers and citizens becoming co-creators of policies and strategies. The mission of the project is to advance the European food consumer science community beyond its current level of fragmentation, making it a harmonized and data-rich science in support of European healthy food choice public policies and private strategies. Optimal use and development of the common research infrastructure will be realized in close interaction with users and stakeholders, and at the interface with data science, computer science, and advanced data analytics.

Objectives and Domains of the Open Call #2
Aim of the Call

The aim of Open Call #2 is to provide an opportunity for early career researchers to gain access to European consumer science institutes specializing in psychophysiological measurements, virtual and augmented reality research, and conduct collaborative research on important food consumer science questions.

We are offering 67 positions for early career researchers to conduct research in one of the participating institutions across Europe. These positions are designed to accommodate research projects that align with the expertise and research priorities of the various institutes. Research topics covered in these positions are diverse and may involve similar stimuli or experimental contexts, such as images, product types, labels, or virtual environments, which facilitate data linkage in later stages. Each position offers a unique opportunity to conduct a study that allows researchers to gather data for their dissertations or articles (see chapter 7 for more detailed information on the offered infrastructures and their position).

Figure below Moreover, the COMFOCUS approach provides significant benefits. It enables data integration and the formulation of new research questions at a later stage. To achieve this, researchers will follow COMFOCUS defined harmonized protocols when collecting psycho-physiological measurements and use harmonized measures for self-reports to ensure that data can be integrated and linked for future research.

These 67 available research positions establish a diverse portfolio of innovative research questions that aim to provide unique and collective answers to essential food consumer science questions. Early career researchers selected for these positions will work closely with the responsible researcher at their chosen institute to develop their study setup and prepare for their one to three week visit between September 2023 and July 2024. During their stay, data will be collected with the support of institute staff and researchers.

By contributing data from their individual studies to the collective COMFOCUS Knowledge Platform, researchers become co-owners and can participate in additional studies, such as meta-analyses and scientific articles. This collaborative approach allows for the integration of data from multiple studies, enabling researchers to generate new insights, formulate additional research questions and publish together.