Science funders, research councils and universities, amongst others all over the world, put more and more emphasis on the societal impact of research. In the UK, for example, government spending has increased on mission-oriented funds such as ARPA, and knowledge-exchange activity assessment, such as KEF. However, assessing the societal impact of universities is complicated. The assessments need to account for all scientific disciplines and should ideally capture long-term impact in addition to direct impact in society. Recognising that it may not be possible to assess the full spectrum of impact of universities, it is useful to focus on which key performance indicators do make sense, especially if the data can be collected in a structured way. And even then there can often be a mismatch between what is assessed and what is meant to be assessed, which is why there is more attention needed for “responsible metrics”. This course will focus primarily on the questions of how research institutes may develop their own “Impact portfolio” and how they and other institutions can create assessment systems to serve their strategy, and it will create insight in the currently available information systems and methods to assess impact and how to implement this in a research strategy.
Main discussion questions
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