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

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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

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 Wouters Paul Wouters is professor of scientometrics and director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University. He has a Masters in biochemistry (Free University of Amsterdam, 1977) and a PhD in science and technology studies (University of Amsterdam, 1999).
He has published on the history of the Science Citation Index, on and in scientometrics, and on the way the criteria of scientific quality and relevance have been changed by the use of performance indicators. He has also studied the role of information and information technologies in the creation of new scientific and scholarly knowledge. In this area, 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) (Virtual Knowledge. Experimenting in the Humanities and Social Sciences). He was Principal Investigator of several European research consortia, among others ACUMEN on research careers and evaluation of individual researchers. Paul was coordinator of the Dutch STS Graduate School Science, Technology, and Modern Culture (WTMC) (with Annemiek Nelis; 2001-2005). Currently he is chair of the WTMC board.
In 1999, he helped create Onderzoek Nederland, a leading professional journal on Dutch science policy (part of Research Professional) and has since published in the journal. He is a member of the editorial board of Social Studies of Science, Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, and Cybermetrics, was member of the Council of the Society for the Social Studies of Science from 2006 to 2008, and sits on various advisory boards of international programs and projects. Currently, he is involved in, among others, the PRINTEGER project on integrity in science, the Center for Research Quality and Policy Impact Studies at NIFU in Oslo, and he is member of the program board of the ZonMW program to promote responsible research behaviour.

Claire Donovan - Course Speaker

Paul Wouters Dr Claire Donovan is a Reader in the Science Policy and Research Governance at Brunel Business School, Brunel University London. She has published widely on research evaluation and policy, and has held teaching and research positions at The Australian National University, Oxford University, and The Open University.

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

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 Marlous Hamming, conference manager at the AESIS Network, via m.hamming@aesisnet.com or via +31 (0)70 217 20 18.

3-5 April, 2019


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 2018.

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 Febreary 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.

Anika Duut van Goor - General Manager
Anna Avlichou - Project Manager

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

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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!"