Research Evaluation and Impact Assessment

Assessing the quality of science to allocate resources and the impact of the research they fund are common and essential tasks for Science Europe Member Organisations. They regularly evaluate their policies and programmes to guide their strategic and funding decisions, as well as to demonstrate accountability and transparency to the public and policy-makers. In this regard, Science Europe provides a platform for its members to discuss evaluation policies and practices.

As the conduct of research and the mission of public research organisations evolve following scientific, technological, and societal trends it is essential to consider how existing assessment mechanisms cope with new evaluation needs, and whether novel approaches can be used to improve them further. Assessing research impact, in particular, requires complex approaches and techniques that are suited to the projects and programmes that are being evaluated. One of the principal hindrances to assessing impact is to identify the diverse contributions of specific research outcomes to society.  A second major challenge is mapping the variety of impact pathways in order to attribute and trace observed societal impact back to the specific research activity that originated it.

To preserve quality as a cornerstone of research evaluation and impact assessment, Science Europe developed and champions the following principles and actions:

  • The importance of knowledge creation and the wide range of values and options that research brings to society should be emphasised.
  • Many different pathways exist that connect research and its applications. As a result, no single impact assessment practice can ever fully capture the value of research and there is no one-size-fits-all practice.
  • The notion of impact should be broadened. Flexible approaches to assessing it should be adopted, ensuring methodological diversity and appropriateness.
  • Processes that reinforce mutual trust between researchers and society have to be supported.
  • Processes that recognise the impact of international collaboration should be put in place.

Publications on Evaluation and Impact Assessment


(0702/19) Science Europe issues a statement on managing the independence and guaranteeing the excellence of the European Research Council... read more

(29/01/19) Science Europe launches guide to support the international alignment of Research Data Management... read more

Science Europe wishes you a very happy festive season and looks forward to working with you in 2019... read more

(17/12/2018) Science Europe reaction to the legislators' latest decisions on Horizon Europe read more

(23/11/18) Stephan Kuster, Secretary General of Science Europe, has been appointed as one of 11 members of the new Executive Board of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

(12/11/2018) R&I stakeholders call on the EU institutions to seek a balanced approach to data sharing in the PSI Directive... read more

(19/10/18) Science Europe is currently recruiting a new Senior Policy Officer... read more


The Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management (November 2018) presents core requirements for Data Management Plans (DMPs) and criteria for the selection of trustworthy repositories, as well as some guidance on how to put these requirements and criteria into practice... read more