A 3-day international course for science funding experts and research programme designers: London, 9-11 December 2015

London by nightScience 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. In the past years, new methods have been developed to increase the understanding of how justification frameworks can help universities and public research organisations to demonstrate both socio-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. This is a challenge to address not only for the scientometricians, but also for the people responsible for research programming and other stakeholders. Together they have to find the most effective way to integrate societal impact in the development of a world class research programme.

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 (UK) is the most recent example of a revolutionary system to help address the justification of societal investments into science. Through an elaborate peer review system, the lump sum financing of scientific research has been made dependent for 20% on case studies provided by the research institutions on how their research from the past 20 years has benefited society in the past 5 years;
  • The National Science Foundation (US) considers the ‘Broader Impacts’ as one of the criteria in their grant distribution;
  • In the EU research programme Horizon2020, societal impact has been included through the Grand Challenges.

Course design

During this training course, experts from multiple countries, leading the innovation in research programming, will discuss their experiences. They will provide the participants with a broad overview of how research councils and universities integrated an evaluation of societal impact, be it before (ex ante), while (ex durante) or after (ex post) the actual research takes place. The course will include lectures, case studies and a hands-on practice on including societal impact in a research programme for the participants.

The programme will start on Tuesday 8 December with a dinner, and conclude on Friday 11 December at lunch. With 2,5 day of sessions, there will be ample opportunity to learn from the experts and your peers. Challenges that will be discussed at the course include:

  • Committing stakeholders in a science funding system or research programme with societal impact components;
  • Integrating societal impact ex ante, ex durante or ex post in (the evaluation of) a research programme;
  • Capacity building on societal impact;
  • All inclusive or specific approaches for different scientific disciplines;
  • The relationship between societal impact in research programmes on an institutional, national and international level;
  • Evaluation of possible societal impact indicators.

Location: Radisson Blu Edwardian, Vanderbilt

Adress: 68-86 Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BT,United Kingdom

Dates: 9-11 December, 2015

Registration: Registration is possible through the registration form on this website. After your registration, you will receive a confirmation after processing, and further required information in due time. Registrations are processed as they come in. For the last set of remaining seats, members of the AESIS Network will get priority.

Costs: A participation fee of €1650 applies. Members of the AESIS network pay a reduced fee of € 1450.

Payment: Payment should be received before the start of the course. All amounts are excluding VAT, if appliccable.

Travel & Lodging: While the organisers will suggest a hotel for the participants, booking of travel & lodging is solely the responsibility of the participant, and is not included in the participation fee.

Cancellation: If for any reason you are unable to participate in the course after all, it is possible to send a replacement without additional costs, if communicated in advance. Cancellation is possible until 18 November, after which full payment of the participation fee is required. At cancellation before this date, an administration fee of €95 will be charged.



I am delighted to introduce to you the first AESIS Course, addressing the opportunities for connecting knowledge transfer and research management. The AESIS Network was set up to effectively demonstrate the importance of knowledge transfer to society: both towards university management and towards public and private investors in our research.

If you are involved in addressing these issues in your daily work, it is of great importance to learn about the most recent international insights on how to effectively develop research strategies that can connect both scientific and societal interests in an early phase. Our activities bring together experts from research management, research funders and science assessment: another reason why you will be able to bring home many insights to deepen the understanding of these complex issues.

I am looking forward to meeting you in London!

Warm regards,

Koenraad Debackere

Chair of the Advisory Board of the AESIS Network

General Manager and Professor of Innovation Management and Policy at KU Leuven


Expected participants

Professionals from science funding organisations, policy bodies and public research institutes, involved in designing scientific research programmes.
The number of participants is limited to 25; AESIS members will get priority at registration.