A 2.5-day International Spring Course on quantitative and qualitative criteria for designing an effective policy framework for impact measurement

3-5 April 2019, Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao group

RomeTarget audience

  • Research councils and research foundations;
  • Managers of university research;
  • Regional, national and international policymakers;
  • Experts on innovation or scientometrics;
  • All professionals involved in stimulating societal impact of science.

Background and Goals

Science funders and research programme designers are constantly challenged to maintain an effective and efficient science funding system, while justifying the investments in scientific research towards politics. The pressure increases on governmental and non-governmental science funding organisations to increase the extent to which they demonstrate the economical and societal returns on their investments in science.

In countries in all parts of the world, experts are working on improving the process of measuring and demonstrating the impact of science on society. In the past years, new methods have been developed to better justify and demonstrate the societal impact of scientific research by universities and research institutions. Increasingly, research councils do not just ask to promise impact of new research ideas, but also to plan activities to involve stakeholders and realise impact. Together policymakers, research councils and other stakeholders have to develop effective systems for the particular scientific climate in their country such as for example the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK.

During this interactive training seminar, experts from multiple countries, leading the innovation in research funding approaches, will discuss their experiences and they will provide insights on how you can organise a national research impact strategy. The seminar brings together experiences of organisations, insights in the dynamics of research impact, as well as a hands on case study.


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>Programme Spring Course 2019[/tab]

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David Phipps - Course Director

David Phipps Dr. Phipps received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) and undertook post-doctoral studies in HIV research at the University Health Network (Toronto). After leaving the lab he built a career managing academic research holding successively senior positions at the University of Toronto Innovations Foundation (Manager of Biotechnology and Life Sciences), Canadian Arthritis Network (Director of Business Development) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Director of Partnerships). In 2001 Dr. Phipps completed his MBA from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto). Dr. Phipps is the Executive Director of Research & Innovation Services at York University where he manages all research grants and contracts including knowledge and technology transfer.

In this capacity he leads York’s award winning Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who wish to use maximize the economic, social and environmental impacts of university research. Dr. Phipps has been named the most influential knowledge mobilizer in Canada. In 2012 York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit was awarded a best practice award from the European-based Knowledge Economy Network. In 2012 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work in knowledge mobilization. In 2013 he was one of three national finalists for the Impact Award – Connections category from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was also awarded the 2015 Research Management Excellence Award (Canadian Association of Research Administrators) and 2015 President’s Award for Innovation in Knowledge Mobilization (Institute for Knowledge Mobilization). In 2015 he was named the Gordon and Jean Southam Fellow from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. In 2017 Research Impact Canada received the Directors’ Award for Inter-Institutional Collaboration from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators. He is the Knowledge Translation Lead for Kids Brain Health Network of Centres of Excellence and is the Network Director for Research Impact Canada, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network including 12 universities investing in strategies to maximize the impact of research.

David Sweeney - Course Director

David PhippsDavid Sweeney is Executive Chair Designate of Research England, the Council which will be responsible for university research and knowledge exchange within the forthcoming body UK Research & Innovation.
He is currently also Director (Research and Knowledge Exchange) for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), where he is responsible for research policy and funding, knowledge exchange and university-business relations.
After gaining First Class Honours in Statistics at the University of Aberdeen, David worked at two Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) research institutes, as a consultant statistician then developing mathematical models of plant growth. His work on the computational aspects of this led into broader applications of IT in education and research, and he was Director of Information Services at Royal Holloway, University of London, before moving into university leadership as Vice-Principal (Communications, Enterprise and Research) in 2004. In this role he was responsible for research strategy and for developing Royal Holloway’s research-led commercial and consultancy activities. He joined HEFCE in 2008 as Director (Research, Innovation and Skills) and led the development and implementation of the first Research Excellence Framework including the new impact agenda element.
David has been invited to visit many countries to advise on research assessment and funding, particularly with respect to research impact. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in 2012, was Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Newcastle, NSW in 2015 and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Paul Wouters - Course Director

Paul WoutersPaul Wouters is professor of scientometrics and Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He has a Masters in biochemistry (Free University of Amsterdam, 1977) and a PhD in science and technology studies (University of Amsterdam, 1999). He wrote his PhD thesis on "The Citation Culture" (1999). He has worked as science journalist and editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper ("De Waarheid"). He published on the history of the Science Citation Index, on and in scientometrics. He was appointed as leader of two research programs by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: Networked Research and Digital Information (Nerdi) (2000 - 2005) and The Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences (VKS) (2005 - 2010). He was Principal Investigator of several European research consortia, among others ACUMEN. Paul was coordinator of the Dutch STS Graduate School Science, Technology, and Modern Culture (WTMC) together with Annemiek Nelis (2001-2005). From 2014 until 2019 he was chair of the WTMC board. In 1999, he helped create Onderzoek Nederland, a leading professional journal on Dutch science policy (part of Research Professional). A member of the editorial board of Social Studies of Science, Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, and Cybermetrics. He also sits on various advisory boards of international programs and projects. He is member of the program board of the ZonMW program to promote responsible research behaviour. He is also member of the international advisory board of the AESIS Network.

Paula Adam - Course Speaker

David Phipps
Paula Adam, PhD is expert co-founder of the International School on Research Impact Assessment (ISRIA) and has a long lasting experience in research impact assessment and research impact strategy and planning, complexity and mission-oriented research and theory of change. Her knowledge draws from practical application in the Catalan, Spanish and international contexts. She works for the Department of Health at the Agency of Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia. Paula is also coordinator of the RIACAT Group on research impact assessment of the Catalan universities and centres across all scientific domains and has been president of different commissions of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) at the Spanish level. In 2017 she co-authored the ISRIA-statement, which are 10-point guidelines for an effective process of research impact assessment. Paula has a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Harriet Bell - Course Speaker

David Phipps
Harriet Bell has worked in academic publishing for over 20 years, and is now a Board member for Emerald Publishing which is an independent social science and humanities publisher. Harriet is responsible for global marketing and product development for Emerald at a time of exciting opportunity and change, moving towards innovative content formats to more broadly communicate research findings, supporting open science and above all looking at the role publishers can play in supporting research impact. As a recent signatory of DORA, Emerald supports and showcases research which has impact in a number of ways – from the academic influence indicated by a journal Impact Factor, to article level attention and metrics of engagement, to effecting real change in the worlds of policy, practice and wider society. We know that research is not article-shaped, and benefits many audiences beyond academia. As a result we are focused on broad and deep engagement with research whether that is increasing citations or communicating implications for practice. Along with the Emerald Board, Harriet’s role is to understand the needs of the communities we serve and develop the strategy of Emerald to support these needs.

Claire Donovan - Course Speaker

Claire Donovan Claire Donovan is a Reader in Science Policy and Research Governance, and joined Brunel University in 2010. She has pioneered cross-disciplinary research on research evaluation and policy, including assessing the wider impacts of research on society, and the governance of the humanities, arts, and social sciences within science systems. In 2006, Australia’s Chief Scientist appointed her Chair of the Australian Government’s Technical Working Group on Research Impact, tasked with recommending the optimum methodology for assessing the wider economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of university research. She championed the use of case studies and narratives alongside robust impact indicators. The work of this group influenced the design of the ‘impact’ component of the UK’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework.Claire previously held research and teaching positions at the Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University; Nuffield College, Oxford University; and The Open University. Claire has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University; Wolfson College, Cambridge University; the Science, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and many more

Antonia Caro Gonzalez - Course Speaker

Antonia Caro Gonzalez Antonia Caro González, Head of the International Research Project Office at the University of Deusto, has sound experience in managing complex interdisciplinary research collaborations and community engagement with multi-stakeholder counterparts (academic, government, private sector and civil society).
With over 20 years of experience in research internationalisation, Antonia is the senior counsellor for the Rector team in strategic research planning. She is currently responsible of the three Deusto Master Plans on “Internationalisation”, “Social Impact” and “Interdisciplinary Platforms) and in charge of boosting the 6 I’s Research Model and its implementation at the University of Deusto.
She is evaluator for the European Commission (H2020, Cosme), manager and researcher in international research projects (FP7-GEITONIES; FP7-SPBUILD; FP7-INTEGRIM; FP7-SI-DRIVE, H2020-SOLIDUS, H2020-DIRS COFUND, H2020-GEARING Roles).
Dr Caro is member of various Board of Directors: European Social Innovation School (ESSI); the “Covenant on Demographic Change” and of the Ethics, Disciplinary and Private Relations Committee of the GaragErasmus Foundation. She is also part of the team that led the Basque Country to become a four stars Reference Site within the “European Innovation Partnership” (EIP) on Active and Healthy Ageing

Marta Natalia Wroblewska - Course Speaker

Marta Natalia Wroblewska Marta Natalia Wróblewska is an interdisciplinary social scientist working on issues of academic discourse and academic identity, particularly in evaluative contexts. She has studied research impact evaluation in the UK, Norway and Poland. Her doctorate in Applied Linguistics (Warwick University, UK) looked at the “Making of the Impact Agenda” in the UK, using concepts of genre, discourse and governmentality. As a member of a Cost Action ENRESSH (European Network for Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and Humanities), Marta is dedicated to finding meaningful approaches to research evaluation in the Social Sciences and Humanities. She is currently employed in the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR).

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Draft Programme

Friday 5th ofApril
14:00-17.00 Tour including a visit to the Guggenheim Museum

Avenida Abandoibarra, 2 - 48009 Bilbao, Spain

17.15-19.00 Reception at Casco Viejo

more information about the exact location of the reception will follow soon

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Course Venue

University of Deusto
Avenida de las Universidades 24
48007 Bilbao


To be announced


To be announced

From the airport

Taxi (approx. 30 € – 15’)
Bus (approx. 1.45 € – 20’) Pay the driver as you board – Bus number A3247
The bus leaves from Airport Arrivals and stops at
Alameda Rekalde 14 – closest stop to the University of Deusto, 10’ walk



For any logistical questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jean Sebastian Burgos Ramos, project manager, via js.burgosramos@aesisnet.com or via +31 (0)70 217 20 18.


[tab title="Terms"]
3-5 April, 2019

University of Deusto
Avenida de las Universidades 24
48007 Bilbao, Spain

You can register through the course website. After registration, you will receive a confirmation via email. You will receive further details about the conference in due time. We kindly request that you register before March 31 2019.

Participation costs: € 1.550,-
Participation costs AESIS network members: € 1.350,-

The participation fee includes three lunches, two dinners, coffee/tea and course documentation.

Payment of the participation fee should happen before the start of the course. You will receive an invoice together with the confirmation. Payments have to be made in Euro and free of all bank and other charges. Personal or company cheques are not accepted. All amounts are excluding VAT, if applicable.

If you are unable to attend the conference it is permitted to allow someone else to participate in your stead, if the name of the replacement is communicated before the start of the conference to the organisers. Cancellation without cost is possible until February 6, 2019. If you cancel between February 6 and March 6 2019, we will invoice €95 for administration costs. After March 6 2019, you owe us the full amount.

Photographs and/or videos may be taken at the course. By attending this event, you acknowledge and agree that your likeness maybe included in photos and videos of the event and used by AESIS in connection with communications about the course or other AESIS communications and promotion. If you do not agree to this usage, please send us a written notification at least 3 days before the event.

Anika Duut van Goor - General Manager
Jean Sebastian Burgos Ramos - Project Manager

AESIS Network
Mauritskade 5
2514 HC Den Haag
+31 (0)70 217 2018


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Hosting partner:


Networking partner:


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Quotes by participants of previous courses

"I learned a lot about impact in a short amount of time through the presentations and the case study"

"Interesting and interactive!"

"Nice to take time for 2 days thinking about impact!"

"Good network!"