A 2.5-day International Winter Course

28 November - 30 November 2018, Leuven, Belgium

Register Now

LeuvenTarget 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.

Programme Draft


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.

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.

Koenraad Debackere - Speaker

Koenraad Debackere Koenraad Debackere obtained Master degrees in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (1984) and Management Science (1985) and a Ph.D. in Management (1990). In 1995, he became professor at KU Leuven in the field of innovation economics. His research focuses on the economics of technology and innovation, the development of indicators for measuring the linkage between science and technology, the design and use of indicators for science policy purposes and the role of entrepreneurial universities in economic development. He has been an advisor and an expert to the European Commission and OECD in the areas of the innovation economy, the economic impact of intellectual property, the management of technology transfer and the design of open innovation systems.
He is actively involved in the activities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). He is professionally involved in technology transfer as managing director of KU Leuven Research & Development (since 1999) and Chairman of the Gemma Frisius Fonds (i.e. the venture fund) of the KU Leuven. He has been the co-founder of Leuven.Inc, the innovation network of Leuven high-tech entrepreneurs. Since 2005, he is the general manager of KU Leuven. He is the chairman of the Association for the Economic and Societal Impact of Science.

David Budtz Pedersen - Speaker

David Budtz PedersenDavid Budtz Pedersen is Professor of Science Communication and Director of the Humanomics Research Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on science and higher education policy, impact assessment, and evidence-informed policy-making. Dr. Pedersen is Strategic Adviser to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. He has about 150 entries on his list of publications ranging from research papers, research monographs, edited volumes, policy reports, op-ed columns and newspaper articles. He has an international public presence with outreach activities in science policy, speaking frequently on the topic of research evaluation, social science and humanities, and the use of metrics. He is the recipient of competitive grants from the Danish Council for Independent Research, The Velux Foundation, The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, The European Commission Horizon 2020 and The Obel Family Foundation. He tweets as @Humanomicsmap

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.

Course Venue
Faculty Club
Groot Begijnhof 14
3000 Leuven, Belgium
+32 16 32 95 00
Welcoming Dinner (27 November)
Restaurant Voltaire
Jules Vandenbemptlaan 6a
3000 Leuven, Belgium
+3216 20 44 44
Course Dinner (29 November)
Restaurant Troubadour
Muntstraat 25
3000 Leuven, Belgium
+3216 22 50 65

The city of Leuven is conveniently located close to Belgium's main airports.

From Brussel-Zaventem Airport
From Brussel-Zaventem airport, Leuven is only 15 minutes away by train or car. Please find a detailed description of the available means of transportation to and from this airport here.

From Brussel-Charleroi Airport
From Brussel-Charleroi airport, Leuven is a short hour drive, while public transport takes less than two hours to get there. Please find a detailed description of the available means of transportation to and from this airport here.
Please note that no hotel rooms have been booked for participants and arranging accommodation is at your own responsibility. We do recommend the following hotels in the centre of Leuven:

Ibis Hotel
New Damshire Hotel
The Fourth Hotel

For any logistical questions, please do not hesitate to contact Marlous Hamming, conference manager at the AESIS Network, via m.hamming@scienceworks.nl or via +31 (0)70 217 20 18.

28 November 2018 - 30 November 2018

You can register through the course website. After registration, you will receive a confirmation via email. You will receive further details about the course in due time. We kindly request that you register before 19 November 2018.

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 course 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 31 October 2018. If you cancel before 31 October 2018, we will invoice €95 administration costs. After 31 October 2018, you owe us the full amount.

Tomas van den Broeke - 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 Leuven



Quotes by participants of the previous courses

"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."

"The course offered a very inspiring approach on ways to deal with the topic of impact in research, providing at the source very concrete solutions on how to tackle it in your own institution!"

"Highly interesting - and a lot of work ahead!"

"A great starting point if your organisation is serious about impact."

"It provided to me many confirmations regarding some same decisions we made in our work."

"Impact makes the world go round."