Aurora’s MoU on Sharing Infrastructure and Resources paves the way for research collaboration

On October 17th, the signing of the Aurora Research Infrastructure and Resources Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was one of the highlights of the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023. Thirteen Aurora universities, including the Aurora Associate partners and the Université Paris-Est Créteil, signed under this significant commitment to research collaboration within the Aurora Alliance.

The MoU serves a clear purpose and has two main objectives. Firstly, the MoU defines the intentions of partner universities to collaborate in research cooperation, focusing on Aurora’s mission and pilot domains. It aims to provide researchers within the alliance access to shared resources at partner institutions. 

Secondly, by working closely together, these universities will bolster their global research standing. They will promote international cooperation across diverse research areas and share research resources and data with research groups.







For those interested in exploring the MoU in detail, a publicly accessible version is available on the official Aurora website. This document showcases the commitment of universities to research collaboration and global knowledge sharing. 

Access the MoU

Aurora welcomes its universities to contribute their research infrastructure resources. By sharing resources and knowledge, you not only enrich your institution but also engage with a global community of research excellence. 

Ready to join this collaborative effort? Add your research infrastructure resources here.


Looking back at the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023

Last month, Palacký University Olomouc hosted the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023 on October 17th and 18th for in Olomouc, Czechia. The event brought together over 200 participants hailing from 18 universities from within the Aurora community and beyond.

Watch the Aurora Fall Biannual aftermovie

The Aurora Fall Biannual focused on taking stock of Aurora’s achievements as part of the European Universities initiative.

These European developments took center stage in the plenary sessions and panels:

  1. Aurora Pilot Phase: Aurora Model Alliance?
  2. The impact and role of European Universities on future of Higher Education in Europe
  3. Alliance Exchange – Balancing Education, Research Innovation and Social Responsibility
  4. Toward student-centered European University Alliances

Aurora’s commitment to sustainability was also highlighted during the event, with an opening presentation and plenary session dedicated to Aurora’s work on making our community greener and more sustainable.

Collaboration within Aurora was further strengthened by the momentous singing of a Memorandum of understanding on the sharing of research infrastructure, as well as the signing of the second version of the Multilateral Aurora Mobility Agreement (MAMA).







Next to the retrospective of Aurora’s remarkable accomplishments, the Aurora community came together to look forward to the exciting prospects that lie ahead.Participants also engaged in thought-provoking Thematic sessions on prominent Aurora topics suchs as COIL, the Aurora Competence Framework, and Technology Transfer.  

Want to relive the biannual or catch up on any sessions you missed? You can watch back the recordings of the plenary sessions below:

🎥 17/10/2023 –  Day 1

🎥 18/10/2023 –  Day 2

You can find a selection of photos below, the full photo gallery of the biannual can be downloaded here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Transdisciplinary Conference on Sub/urban Studies

We invite scholars and researchers from various disciplines to submit papers for an upcoming interdisciplinary conference on Suburban Studies that takes place on May 13-14, 2024 at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. The conference aims to explore the intersection between various scholarly fields and the suburban experience, and how literature and other media have portrayed, shaped, and reflected suburban life and its evolution.

Transdisciplinary Conference on Sub/urban Studies 

Suburbanization has been a dominant trend in global urban development in the past century, with urban spaces and suburbs becoming the residence of choice for millions of people around the world. This transformation has had a profound impact on the social, cultural, economic, and political dynamics of urban areas. Literature, history, sociology, psychology, geography, geoinformatics and other disciplines have provided the methodology and research that has been important for the examination, critique, and celebration of the modern suburban experience, from its inception in the early 20th century to the present day.

We welcome papers that address various aspects of suburban studies from the perspective of diverse scholarly discipline, including but not limited to:

  • The representation of suburbs in literature
  • Suburban identity, history, and culture
  • Suburban sprawl and environmental issues
  • Class, race, and gender in suburban spaces
  • The impact of suburbanization on urban development
  • The influence of suburban literature on popular culture
  • Suburban fiction and the coming-of-age narrative
  • The portrayal of domesticity and family life in suburban literature and media
  • Suburban architecture and design
  • The role of suburban communities in civic engagement and politics
  • Periphery vs. centre

Submissions may be in the form of individual papers, panel proposals or round tables. Individual papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length, and panel proposals should consist of three to four papers. Please include an abstract of no more than 250 words for individual papers, or 500 words for panel proposals, along with a brief biography and contact information.
The conference will take place on May 13-14, 2024 at the Arts Centre of Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, and will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and round-tables. Selected papers will be published in a scholarly monograph by a major international publisher.

Conference language: preferred English, possible French

Please submit your proposals by October 30th, 2023 to Notifications of acceptance will be sent by December 31st, 2023. We look forward to your contributions to this exciting and interdisciplinary conference on Suburban Studies

Conference organisers and committee:

  • Pavlína Flajšarová Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic,
  • Jiří Flajšar, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Marie Voždová, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Vít Voženílek, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Jaroslav Burian, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Jakub Žejdlík, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Florian Freitag, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  • Becky Nicolaides, San Diego State University, San Diego, USA
  • Andrew Wiese, San Diego State University, San Diego, USA
  • Mauricette Fournier, Université Clermont Auvergne, France

BA/MA/PhD students 50 Euros
Post-docs 80 Euros
Academics 100 Euros
Guests 25 Euros
Participants from project universities (Palacký University, Duisburg-Essen, Université Clermont Auvergne) FREE

The conference is co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme under the project Urbanism and Suburbanization in the EU Countries and Abroad: Reflection in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts (2021-1-CZ01-KA220-HED-000023281).

Aurora Newsletter – July 2023

Aurora has released its latest newsletter taking a cloaser look at the exiting developments surrounding our upcoming Aurora 2030 programme. In the newsletter we also look forward to the Aurora Fall Biannual, which will take place in October, in Olomouc.  

Next to that, the newsletter contains interesting news on participation opportunities as well as community news from our active and engaged Aurora Community, including an internview with our very own UP Aurora Education Coordinator, Marketa Semberova.

You can read the newsletter here.

Want to stay updated, and be among the first to read about the latest Aurora developments? Why not subscribe to the newsletter!

Aurora’s European University programme secured continued funding

Aurora’s European University programme secured continued funding

Palacký University Olomouc is delighted to announce that the Aurora European University programme has secured a second round of funding under the 2023 European Universities Initiative Call by the European Commission. This ensures that Aurora can deepen its existing cooperation and continue its mission in higher education transformation.

Michal Malacka, Vice-rector for strategy and external relations commented that: “Aurora’s successful continuation to the next phase is a great achievement of the entire Aurora team and community. It is also a great reward to a hard-working Aurora team at UP, and we are excited to continue building our European University with 8 excellent strategic partners.  For UP, Aurora ensures important partaking in the European higher education developments.”

The upcoming Aurora 2030 consortium, led by the University of Iceland, has been granted funding for a four-year period. This programme, which received 90/100 evaluative points from the Commission, builds on the significant progress made during the 2020-2023 pilot phase. Aurora President Jon Atli Benediktsson joyously shares:

“I am delighted that Aurora 2030 has been awarded a four-year continuation grant by the European Commission. This is a strong vote of confidence in Aurora’s mission to equip students with the skills and mindsets needed to address societal challenges. This new grant will allow us to continue working closely with our partners across Europe and beyond.”

The new programme will feature both a continuation of existing, as well as completely new Aurora activities. UP has significantly increased the role it will play in this new programme, with UP Aurora Institutional Coordinator, Selma Porobic commenting:

“I am very pleased to announce that UP has increased its leadership in a number of activities in the next Aurora programme, including Capacity Building and Community Engagement Work focusing on CEE countries and Ukraine, Engaging Regional Ecosystems and Stakeholders, Aurora Sustainable Campus, Aurora Student Community, and overall Sustainability of Aliance 2030+. We have also secured co-leadership in Education for Sustainable Devlopment, Innovative pedagogies, Academic collaboration, Social entrepreneurship and Innovation, Communication and dissemination, as well as Student services.”

More information on Aurora’s goals and priorities for this renewed commitment can be found here.

The Czech National Agency for international education, Dům zahraniční spolupráce, was also happy to congratulate UP being among the select Czech universities awarded continued support by the commission. They provided an overview of continuing and newly funded European University Alliances with Czech members here.  

About Aurora
The Aurora 2030 consortium comprises the University of Iceland (UIce), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA), University of Innsbruck (UIBK), University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Palacký University Olomouc (UP), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Université Paris Est Creteil (UPEC), and the University of Napoli Federico II (UNINA) as well as seven associated academic and non-academic partners including University of East Anglia (UEA), South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (SWUNR), Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (UPJSK), the University of Tetova (UT), Kharkiv National University, European Forum Alpbach, Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence (CIMEA) who together span 13 countries.


The Aurora Student Conference brought together the Aurora Student Community

We are thrilled to share the highlights of the Aurora Student Conference, organized by Palacky University Olomouc on the 26th of May. The conference brought together the diverse layers of Aurora Student representation and was organized to foster connections, building a strong sense of community among students.

Held in conjunction with the Aurora Creative Writing Workshop, the Aurora Student Conference provided a unique opportunity for participants to engage with fellow Aurora students, from across various programs. This integration added an exciting dimension to the conference, allowing students to come together and forge new friendships.

With a total of 32 participants from nine different universities, the Aurora Student Conference was a melting pot of enthusiastic individuals. The group comprised members of the Aurora Student Council, dedicated Student Ambassadors and Champions, as well as members of the general student body.

What made this conference truly special was the pre-existing connections that many of the students had formed through previous Aurora opportunities, such as the Student Schemes, Biannuals, and other events organized across the alliance. These established bonds served as a strong foundation, enhancing the value of the event by deepening connections and fostering a genuine sense of belonging within the Aurora community.

Student mental health took center stage during the conference. Hanus Patera and Lucie Badurova, Student Council representatives for Palacky University Olomouc, led a compelling peer-learning workshop on mental health and mindfulness. Their insightful and practical approach to the topic truly resonated with the attendees. In addition, Niels Hexspoor facilitated an workshop on intercultural communication and competences, empowering students to reflect on and develop their intercultural skills.

Furthermore, the Aurora Student Conference provided a platform for an in-person meeting of the Aurora Student Council. While the council members convened, the session was also open to students who were not part of the council, promoting inclusivity and amplifying the diverse voices within Aurora.

As the conference drew to a close, participants were invited to a joint dinner. It was a delightful conclusion to an eventful and rewarding gathering.Stay tuned for more exciting events and opportunities to engage with fellow Aurora students as we continue to grow our Aurora Student Community.

Report – Aurora Student Conference

Looking back at the inspiring Aurora Creative Writing Workshop

From the 22nd to the 26th of May 2023, Palacký University Olomouc and the University of East Anglia joined hands to host the Aurora Creative Writing Workshop.

 In a testament to the power of collaboration, the Department of English and American Studies of Palacký University Olomouc, and the esteemed School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing of the University of East Anglia partnered to deliver an exceptional Creative Writing Workshop. This event embodied the spirit of international cooperation, fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas and nurturing budding writers.

Workshop participants representing the University of Iceland, the University of Duisburg-Essen, and Palacky University

Classroom with students participating in the workshop

During the workshop, participants embarked on a creative journey, delving into various writing genres and refining their craft. Guided by their instructors Andrea Holland and Logan Scott, this immersive experience kindled participants’ imaginations, allowing them to push the boundaries of their creativity and hone their writing skills.

The workshop’s true essence lay in the invaluable opportunity for writers to engage with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds. Participants represented 5 different Aurora Universities and hailed from various countries across the globe. The workshop program comprised an array of dynamic sessions, including writing exercises, and workshops. The Aurora Creative Writing Workshop connected to the Aurora Student Conference, allowing for even greater connectivety among Aurora Students. 

Throughout the week, participants explored the richness of cross-cultural perspectives, fostering a sense of global awareness and understanding. The week culminated in an inspiring public reading, during which the participants presented the work they produced during the week. 

Beyond honing their writing abilities, the workshop fostered connections that extended beyond the workshop’s timeframe. Through collaborative workshops, peer feedback, and social events, participants formed meaningful relationships with fellow Aurora students, laying the foundation for future collaborations and mutual support in their creative journeys. 

As we reflect on the Creative Writing Workshop held between the 22nd and 26th of May 2023, organized by Palacký University Olomouc and the University of East Anglia, we celebrate the transformative experiences, cross-cultural connections, and enduring friendships that were forged during this remarkable event. A detailed breakdown of the event can be found below. 

Report – Aurora Creative Writing Workshop & Aurora Student Conference

Aurora Three Minute Thesis – Livestream on 08/06 at 15:00 CEST

On the 8th of June (15:00-18:00, CEST) doctoral researchers from the Aurora Universities  compete against each other in the The Three Minute Thesis competition, as part of PHD Impact. The competition, organized at the University of Iceland, will be livestreamed via Zoom. Join online to follow the 30 participants or to support your colleagues and friends.

Aurora Three Minute Thesis – Flyer

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland (Australia). Doctoral researchers have three minutes to give a persuasive speech about their thesis and its significance. The idea is to improve researchers’ academic, presentation and research communication skills required to effectively explain a research topic in three minutes and in language suitable for a non-expert audience.

The competition boasts a wide range of 30 talented doctoral researchers, from a variety of different dicsicplines, fields and backgrounds. Join online to learn more about their research and see which of the selected doctoral researchers will win. More information on the Aurora Three Minute Thesis competition, including a full overview of the participants, can be found here.

If you want to join the life stream, please register here.


Aurora Fall Biannual at Palacky University Olomouc

Join us at the Palacký University Olomouc on October 17th and 18th for the highly anticipated Aurora Fall Biannual 2023 in Olomouc, Czechia.

More information on the biannual can be found here.

Experience a retrospective of Aurora’s remarkable accomplishments and delve into the exciting prospects that lie ahead. Engage in thought-provoking high-level panel discussions on the future of European Higher Education and connect with colleagues from across Aurora and much more.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of something truly extraordinary. Register now to claim your spot at the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023.

Pre-register Now!

Connect with us on social media using #AuroraBiannualUP

Presentation of Aurora best practices at EARMA Conference Prague 2023

At the 2023 EARMA Conference in Prague, Aurora’s Marie Jadrnícková from Palacký University Olomouc, and Ignasi Salvadó-Estivill on behalf of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Tarragona, presented and led a discussion on how Aurora developed tools to support research and innovation, such as the research infractructure map and the SDG Dashboard.

Their session focussed on concrete best practices and tools to increase collaboration in international projects, as well as the barriers and obstacles when developing and implementing these tools. These tools can help researchers and research support staff to raise the number of joint Aurora university proposals. They also explored how being a part of a University Alliance can substantially increase R&I collaborations and how a common research strategy within the alliance can attract more EU funding.

Among the best practices shared were Aurora’s successfully implemented joint projects such as VERSA (Video gamEs foR Skills training) and MSCA – Doctoral Network joint proposals, as well as organised Info Days and thematic workshops. By meeting regularly, Aurora’s working group of EU Research Managers created an integrated and high-trust platform where expertise and knowledge are pooled. The long-term ambition is to install an Aurora pre-award office to prepare and monitor joint applications for EU funding.

Both Marie and Ignasi are part of the EARMA Thematic Group on European University Alliances, which presented a poster how Research managers and administrators can contribute to the further development of EUAs.








Round table Aurora at EARMA Conference 2023