A 2.5-day International Winter Course

29 November - 1 December 2017, Vienna, Austria

This course has already taken place. We would like to thank all the attendees for an insightful week.

ViennaTarget audience

  • Research councils and research foundations;
  • Managers of University research;
  • 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 their stakeholders. As a result of the economic downturn and the increased understanding of the limitations of existing justification frameworks, the pressure increases on governmental and non-governmental science funding organisations to increase the extent to which they demonstrate the socio-economical and societal returns on their investments in science.

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. Universities and universities of applied sciences develop impact strategies at regional and sectoral level.

The challenge is also for the science policymakers and the other stakeholders to address. Together they have to develop effective systems for the particular scientific climate in their country. A number of systems have been set up to address this challenge – often initiated or stimulated by the science funding organisations: The Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK, the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the US and the EU research programs such as Horizon2020.

During this interactive training course, experts from multiple countries, leading the innovation in research funding approaches, will discuss their experiences. They provide insights on how you can organise a research strategy in such a way that it strengthens societal impact.

Thank you to all the attendees of the Wintercourse 2017 for participating. The pictures of the course can be found using this link!


Programme design

The programme of this course is almost finalised. Please click on the image below for the conceptual programme.


Kathryn Graham - Course Director

Kathryn Graham Kathryn is a co‐founder of the International School on Research Impact Assessment and was Director of the School when it was hosted in Banff in 2014. She is the Executive Director of Performance Management and Evaluation at Alberta Innovates, a Canadian‐based publicly‐funded provincial health research and innovation organization.

She has over 20 years of strategic evaluation experience in health care and health research and innovation. Her expertise is in developing performance management, evaluation and impact assessment strategies as well as implementing measurement frameworks for various systems, organizations and programs. She and her team customized the implementation of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2009) research impact assessment framework. Kathryn is an adviser on numerous national and international committees that focus on the assessment of research and innovation and invited to present nationally and internationally.

Barend van der Meulen - Course Director

Barend van der Meulen Prof. Dr. Barend van der Meulen is the head of Research of Rathenau Instituut, and professor Evidence for Science Policy at Leiden University.

He has over 25 years of experience in science policy, research on the dynamics of science and science policy, and on the policy instruments used for science policy. He regularly advised governments, parliament, funding organisations and research institutes on matters of science and innovation policy. Recent research includes projects on the future of universities, academic careers and the organisation of challenge driven research. Barend van der Meulen's publications research a wide range of science policy issues, including research evaluation, the role of foresight, the history of the Dutch science system, the 'Europeanization' of science, and research funding.

Recently, he was expert member of panels of the innovation review of Sweden, the evaluation of research councils in Lithuania and Hungary and for the review of the EU-Australia S&T agreement. He is chair of the Scientific Integrity Committee of the Wageningen University and Research, member of the Board of the Graduate School WTMC and member of the international advisory board of the Research master Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology at Maastricht University.

David Budtz Pedersen - Speaker

David Budtz PetersenDavid Budtz Pedersen is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Humanomics Research Centre, University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on research and innovation policy, digital humanities, responsible innovation, and science-based policy-making. Dr. Budtz Pedersen is former Strategic Adviser to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. He holds Ph.D., MA and BA degrees in philosophy of science and science policy studies from University of Copenhagen and University of Vienna. In 2009, he was Visiting Scholar at the Department of Philosophy, New York University. David entered the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science in 2005, working in technological foresight and science policy until 2012. In 2007, he became a member of the European Commission’s FP7 Programme Committee for the Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities, dealing with analysis and priority-setting in SSH research. In 2012, he supported the Danish Presidency of the European Union in the areas of science and innovation, co-organising the high-level conference “Science in Dialogue” at University of Southern Denmark.

Steven Hill - Speaker

Sara Matt-LeubnerSteven Hill is Head of Research Policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England. At HEFCE Steven is responsible for research funding and assessment, open research, public engagement and impact. He is the chair of the steering group for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, that is currently under development. Prior to joining HEFCE Steven was Head of the Strategy Unit at Research Councils UK, and had several roles in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, working on evidence-based policy making. Earlier in his career Steven was a university lecturer at the University of Oxford where his research focused on plant biology.

Sara Matt Leubner - Speaker

Sara Matt-LeubnerDr. Sara Matt-Leubner was President of ASTP-Proton, Europe’s leading sector organisation on Knowledge Transfer, 2013-2014. Currently, she is head of the newly established “Transfercenter Science-Economy-Society” of the University of Innsbruck, Austria. The new Transfercenter was established to provide one clearly visible interface between the university and actors from economy and society and builds on the experience of three formerly separated units of the University of Innsbruck.

The aim of the Transfercenter is to act as an entrance to the huge knowledge pool of the university and to actively transfer knowledge to economy and society via different channels: the Transfercenter initiates and supports collaborative research projects in all scientific fields, supports and manages spin-off formation, runs in close collaboration with the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce the Incubator (an entrepreneurship centre open to everyone), interacts with industry and other external bodies in the area of career and alumni services and is continuously working on new and innovative formats to further enhance the impact of science.

Sabine Mayer - Speaker

Sabine MayerDr. Sabine Mayer has gathered experience in the field of RTDI policy implementation since 1996. Her background is a PhD in technical sciences, she studied Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Technology (Vienna). Having had responsibility for projects related to the development of regional incubators at a forerunner organization of FFG, at FFG she was programme manager for a funding programme to build up R&D expertise at Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences, she developed funding schemes on behalf of the responsible Austrian federal ministries, and has experience in Framework programme projects (accompanying measures). Her current position is that of an expert at FFG´s Strategy Unit, her responsibilities cover i.a. impact monitoring, evaluation and she represents FFG in the Taftie network, which was chaired by FFG in 2013. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Austrian Platform for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation as well a representative in the European Network of RTD Evaluators.

Mike Smith - Speaker

Mike SmithProf. Dr. Mike Smith is Emeritus Professor of Medical Science and Managing Partner at Harper Keeley. He has been Dean of Research at the University of Leeds; Deputy and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Teesside and Sheffield Hallam University; and Chairman at the Institute of Knowledge Transfer. His forty years experience in research and innovation has focused both on the development of new ideas and their subsequent implementation and impact. At Harper Keeley, he provides expertise in leadership and management in Research, Innovation, Technology Transfer and Commercialisation of research, working with the University sector, large corporations and SMEs. He has held a number of patents and formed about twenty companies, about half in the medical technology or bioscience sector. He has experience working with government departments and has served on many National and International Committees.

On November 28 at 17:00 (the day before the Winter Course) the University of Vienna in cooperation with AESIS will organise a Pre-Course Lecture. In this lecture more general themes concerning the Impact of Science and the state of Societal Impact of Science in Austria will be discussed. The Pre-Course Lecture will take place at the main building of the University of Vienna (Universitätsring 1, Vienna) from 17:00 till 19:00 The Pre-Course Lecture will consist of presentations from three speakers, a discussion round and a wine reception. Participants of the Winter Course are, of course, invited to join this lecture as part of the course.

The speakers for the Pre-Course lecture will be:
Kathryn Graham
Executive Director of Performance Management and Evaluation at Alberta Innovates (CA)
Christiane Spiel
Christiane Spiel is co-leading the third mission project at the University of Vienna (AT)
Celine Loibl
Dr. Celine Loibl: Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (AT)
Register for the Pre-Course Lecture

29 November 2017 - 1 December 2017

Edu4you (Frankgasse 4, Vienna, Austria)

You can register through the conference 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 19 November 2017.

Participation costs: €1.650,00
Participation costs AESIS network members and EARMA members: €1.450,00

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

Payment of the participation fee should happen before 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 course, 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 course to the organisers. Cancellation is possible until 12 November 2017. If you cancel before 12 November 2017, we will invoice €95 administration costs. After 12 November 2017, you owe us the full amount.

Maarten Dinkelberg - Project Manager

Anika Duut van Goor - General Manager

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

Organised by:



in cooperation with:

university of vienna



Quotes by participants of the 2016 course

"Three days of very balanced insights and a great network that will help me in the future. Looking forward to the next course!"

"A wide variety of different points of view and expertises of the trainers, and the diverse group of participants."

"I expected the course also to be quite vague, as the topic societal impact is vague. But I gota lot of concrete input to take home."

"I loved getting the chance to have in depth talks with research administrators and having human input on the development in this area."

"Informative, friendly and useful. I would recommend the course to research managers everywhere to enhance their understanding, and engagement in the development and delivery of impact strategies"