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


(24/06/19) Lidia Borrell-Damián has been appointed as the new Secretary General of Science Europe... read more

(31/05/19) cOAlition S releases revised implementation guidance on Plan S following public feedback exercise... read more

(16/05/19) Science Europe congratulates Professor Mauro Ferrari on his appointment as the next President of the European Research Council... read more

(14/05/19) EUA and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies... read more

(18/04/19) Science Europe welcomes the PPA on Horizon Europe. It's a good deal but is there a supporting budget? read more

(10/04/19) ALLEA, EUA, and Science Europe join together to protect academic freedom... read more

(19/02/19) Vacancy for a Senior Policy Officer at Science Europe... read more

(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


EUA and Science Europe join efforts to improve scholarly research assessment methodologies... read more