New task force on societal impact of FASoS research

An increasingly important dimension of our work consists in demonstrating the societal relevance and impact of our research. For this reason, FASoS is seeking to set up a task force on the societal impact of FASoS research. Interested? Contact Lidwien Hollanders by email before Thursday 21 April, 12.00.

Societal relevance is a central category of the upcoming research assessment and the debate about ‘valorisation’ dominates many other contexts, both at national and international level.

The task force has four objectives:

  • draft a short text describing the FASoS approach in this field. The general direction of this is the following: FASoS encourages researchers to think actively to incorporate this dimension into their work. In many funding schemes, societal impact is a central requirement and therefore needs obvious attention. While valorisation is seen as important, it is understood as a dimension of research, not as a separate category. At least at this stage, it therefore does not play the same role as teaching and research. FASoS opts for a targeted approach: some research activities lend themselves more to this dimension than others, and we want to strengthen those where the potential impact is particularly strong.
  • define main routes of valorisation relevant for us, identify best practices in the various fields, and maybe also distinguish between different forms of valorisation (policy impact, cooperation with business, etc.). Given that FASoS’ research speaks to very different constituencies and groups of stakeholders (local-regional-national-international; governments, IOs, (I)NGOS, business, civil society; etc). we do not believe in one, general approach in this field.
  • collect a list of partner organisations that we often work with in this field (such as CEPS, Egmont, etc.) that will be available for internal use.
  • discuss the link between teaching and valorisation as a dimension of research, e.g. via projects such as MARBLE and PREMIUM.

FASoS also plans to create a specific website dedicated to “societal impact” activities. The website clarifies FASoS’ approach to the issue; it highlights 3-4 case studies and is a platform from which it is easy to access various “valorisatie” activities at FASoS (e.g. in the context of the work of CERiM, MACIMIDE and MACCH and of extraordinary professors such as P. Laurenson and M. Shackleton).

Together, these efforts are meant to clarify FASoS’ approach to this issue, to make it more effective, and to give it a more strategic sense of direction.

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