WG 2. Societal impact and relevance of the SSH research

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Click here to learn more about CARES, the collaboration between WG2 and the Special Interest Group on Early Career Investigators.

Aims,objectives & key deliverables of WG2

The general objective of WG2 is to analyse the non-academic partnerships and environments of SSH research, in their diversity.

  • Task 1. To generate a typology of societal forms of engagement in the SSH, and observe commonalities and specificities in national and disciplinary practices of engagement.
  • Task 2. To observe the structural requirements and conditions favouring the flowing of SSH knowledge towards society at large.
  • Task 3. To observe national policies to stimulate cooperation between the research sector and the socio-economic or NGO partners.
  • Task 4. To propose easier procedures for collecting data about engagement with society, or socio-economic stakeholders. Reflect about possibilities of their inclusion in national information systems.
  • Task 5. To propose measures to better value the SSH.
  • Scientific papers on societal relevance of the SSH.
  • Policy brief about stimulating societally relevant research.
  • Recommendation and guidelines for proof-based impact narratives.
  • Training school about increasing the visibility of SSH relevance to society.


The work-plan for WG2 is broken down into four yearly work cycles, each involving gathering information from participants and synthesising it into a WG Report. The plan for the four year period is as follows:


Each year follows a similar work cycle split into three phases:

  • Phase 1: the WG agrees what information will be gathered for that particular year and agrees a tool to gather it (a ‘fiche’)
  • Phase 2: WG members individually and on a country-wise basis collect information according to the fiche and submit it to the coordinators
  • Phase 3: the coordinators plus other agreed participants synthesise the material into a report that is presented back to the group and then finalised.

This is shown in the diagram below:


In year 1 we are gathering information to develop a typology of the pathways to societal impact for research in the social sciences and humanities.

  • Phase 1 is already complete – at the Poznan meeting (July 2016, Month 4), the WG agreed a fiche to gather information on individual case studies.
  • Phase 2 involves WG members gathering information on individual cases of SSH research creating societal impact and submitting them via a short_fiche.
  • Phase 3 involves the WG coordinators and an STSM collating the fiche data and producing a typology of SSH impact.

The call for evidence is currently open and individuals or groups may submit case studies of SSH research creating impact via the common fiche. This is available to download here and can be returned by mailing it here.

WG 2 is being overseen by Paul Benneworth (coordinator) and Julia Olmos Peñuela (vice-coordinator).

Paul Benneworth

Senior researcher at Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente

Email: p.benneworth@utwente.nl

Julia Olmos Peñuela

Assistant Professor at the University of Valencia, Spain.

Email: Julia.olmos@uv.es