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Measuring the excellence and societal impact of research – How and why?

On Thursday 15th of February 2018 the Vrije Universiteit University Library hosted a successful on the excellence and societal impact of research.

Key message
The key message of all presentations could be summed up in the following way. As a research community we would like to showcase the relevance of our research to society, since this is the main funder of scientific research. It is important to be in touch with society: to keep explaining why research is important work, and not just an opinion.

Researchers should make an effort to explain: the possibilities with a scientific breakthrough; the direct and indirect benefits of their research (on the short or extreme long term), what knowledge do we transfer to society, what value-influences do academics have on society . We acknowledge that it is easier to show the contribution of applied research to societal challenges than that of the fundamental research. Nevertheless research staff and support staff should work together to find smarter solutions and smarter indicators to demonstrate to society the impact and relevance of research. This should not lead to an extra administrative workload.

Below you can  find a link to an  overview of the speakers, their slides and recorded audio. [Photo’s thanks to @RonAardening, @KantersEdwin, @Ecobibl and @maurice_ via Twitter #impactVU.]

“We would like to thank the speakers for providing us with new insights and opinions. And we want to thank the audience for attending. We can proudly say that almost fifty people attended from PhD’s to deans, and policy makers to faculty administrators. Not only VU researchers and staff attended, but also colleagues from the universities of Groningen, Maastricht, Amsterdam, VUmc and AMC. This shows that societal impact and the way we value our researchers is seen as an important issue in the academic world.” By Maurice Vanderfeesten.

Registering for trainings
As a follow up on this seminar you are invited to register for our training sessions in March or April in which you will learn how to work with tools to measure societal attention and research excellence. (3 courses per theme; courses are non-consecutive, so you can choose 1 course per theme; there are two themes, one on societal attention, the other on research excellence.


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