Aim of the project?

The aim of our research project “Navigating societal impact of research” is to offer reflection about the debate on societal impact in research policymaking by providing and ordering feedback from practitioners who have an interest in it. In addition, we want to encourage and support decision makers at the intersection of science and society to take sensible and serviceable decisions when drafting or implementing agendas that are geared towards increasing societal impact.

Three Guiding Questions

  • How are claims to increase the societal impact of research implemented and translated on the policy level?
  • What are actors’ expectations of societal impact policies and initiatives?
  • How is societal impact made visible and operationalized as an effect size in science funding and science policy?

What does the project try to offer?

  • Providing stakeholders with orientational knowledge and theoretical guidance
  • Inviting stakeholders to reflect on and clarify assumptions around societal impact
  • Examining “societal impact” as way of communicating desires and expectations 
  • Pointing to illusions and critical consequence related to societal impact ambitions
  • Opening up new perspectives and effective possibilities with respect to societal impact agendas, policies or instruments
  • Contributing to meaningful and sound decision-making in science policy

The Team

Prof Dr. Martin Reinhart

Project Lead

Prof Dr. Martin Reinhart is the project leader. He is junior professor for science studies and evaluation research at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW). 

Dr. Tim Flink

Project Lead

Dr. Tim Flink is the project leader. He is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in science policy research and social studies of science, based at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Charlotte Rungius, M. A.


Charlotte Rungius, M.A. is the project researcher. She is a research associate at the Robert Merton Centre for Science Studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Julia Ritter


Julia Ritter is a project assistant.

Valentin Launhardt


Valentin Launhardt is a project assistant. He studies social sciences at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with a focus on peace and conflict studies.