Impact School: Science Transfer in the 21st century

November 29  –  December 1, 2017, Berlin


There is a pressing need for informed expertise from virtually all fields of academic research (e.g., with regards to matters of climate change, innovation, migration, data security). Still, scientific expertise  often remains within its own domain and only reaches relevant decision-makers in civil society indirectly and belatedly. The prevalence of citation metrics to measure scholarly impact often compels researchers to focus on article publications in disciplinary journals. Prominent policy makers and research funders therefore increasingly place the question of societal impact at the top of their agenda [1]. However, knowledge transfer, as the skills and knowledge necessary to make research accessible beyond the academic sphere, plays only a minor role in university curricula and the daily routines of research institutes.

This three-day training programme is tailored to up-and-coming researchers that want to learn the skills necessary to maximize the impact of their research, also—but not exclusively—in relation to evaluation procedures of science funders. The sessions will be held by experts in their respective fields and cover the three dimensions of scholarly impact: societal impact, economic impact, and political impact.


The training is aimed at up-and-coming researchers from all disciplines (e.g., PhD students, Post-Docs, junior faculty). In the course of the training, participants will understand concepts and tools of science impact as well as science transfer and learn how to apply them to their own research.


Participants are asked to apply with a letter of interest, giving a brief overview of one of their own research topics and how the training could increase the societal impact of their research  (approx. 500 words). The impact school  is limited to 25 participants.

Participation is free. Participants can apply for a travel allowance of up to 200 € (depending on the expenditures that will be actually incurred). In that case please include a statement and a short explanation of the costs to your application.

Applications should be sent to by September 30, 2017 with the subject line “impact school”.


The training is divided into three modules, representing three different impact dimensions: (1) Media & society, (2) politics, and (3) business. Societal and media impact includes all forms of communication and interaction between researchers and actors from civil society, like scientific journalism and citizen science. Political impact focuses on policy making and how research can support informed political decision-making. Business impact is generated when scientific insights are converted into business models, for example, in spin-off companies or patents. Each day of the three-day training focuses on one of these impact dimensions.

Three different training formats are used: Practice sessions (P) involve practitioner experiences and active discussions between experts and practitioners (2 hrs). Theory sessions (T) are upfront and input-oriented (2hrs). Skill sessions (S)  are designed as interactive workshops in which participants learn skills relevant for the dissemination of their research (4 hrs).

Wednesday (November 29)
Media and Society

Thursday (November 30)
Friday (December 1)
09:00 – 10:00
Welcome Session
Benedikt Fecher (HIIG) and Marcel Hebing (m·stats)

10:00 – 11:00 
Altmetrics (T)
Isabella Peters (ZBW)

11:00 – 13:00
The Societal & Media Impact of Managing & Sharing Data (P)
Aude Dieudé (EPFL)

13:00 – 14:00
Lunch break

14:00 – 18:00
Visual communication in research (S)
Larissa Wunderlich (HIIG)

18:00 – 19:00
free time

19:00  – 21:00 
Digitaler Salon (in German; optional)


09:00 – 13:00
Be creative! Design your disruptive business model (S)
Martina Dopfer (HIIG)

13:00 – 14:00
Lunch break

14:00 – 16:00
Business I (T)
Arne Meyer-Haake  (Humboldt University Berlin)

16:00 – 18:00
Invention to innovation – the great leap forward (P)
Robin Tech (HIIG)

18:00 – 18:30
Free time

18:30 – 20:30
Pizza talks
Inputs by Georg Hagedorn (Museum für Naturkunde) and Sascha Friesike (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Drinks @Lerchen und Eulen

10:00 – 12:00
Scientific Policy Advice (T)
Christian Kobsda (Leibniz Association)

12:00 – 13:00
Lunch break

13:00 – 15:00
Panel discussion: How science can contribute to informed political decision-making – and why it still fails to do so? (P)
Panellist: Gert Wagner (DIW Berlin), Wolfgang Schulz (Hans-Bredow-Institute), and Brigitte Preissl (ZBW)
Moderation: Christian Kobsda (Leibniz Assoication)

15:00 – 16:00
Feedback / closing session
Benedikt Fecher (HIIG) and Marcel Hebing (m·stats)


T = Theory / Input Session, P = Practice Session, S = Skill Session


Place: Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Französische Str. 9, 10117 Berlin

Date: November 29  –  December 1, 2017

Organisers: The impact school of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0 is organised by mStats DS GmbH, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), and the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW).

Dr. Benedikt Fecher, Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin
Dr. Marcel Hebing, mStats DS GmbH / Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung , Berlin
Dr. Guido Scherp, ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics –  German National Library of Economics, Kiel
Prof. Dr. Isabella Peters, ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics – German National Library of Economics & Kiel University, Kiel


[1] Wilsdon J, Bar-Ilan J, Frodeman R, et al. (2017) Next-generation metrics: Responsible metrics and evaluation for open science. Luxemburg. Available from: (accessed 4 August 2017).