Our approach is to identify the different impacts that a SSH research project can have by using the Communicative Methodology. Researchers are establishing an egalitarian dialogue with different stakeholders and end-users (researchers, policy-makers, staff from research funding agencies, civic organization representatives and ordinary citizens) on the different effects that SSH can have on society. By exploring research projects identified as Success Stories and others that are not, IMPACT-EV will show the paths and features that allow those projects to excel, and will recommend criteria for impact assessment. For further information on the Communicative Methodology click here.

For doing this, IMPACT-EV is organized in two main phases: 

First phase

During the first phase we have mapped what we know about the impact that Social Sciences and the Humanities have. First, a state of the art on scientific, political and social impact of the SSH research and its evaluation was elaborated, drawing on the main contributions of the international scientific community to date. Then, exhaustive impact evaluations of the FP6 (last call) and FP7 SSH research projects as well as a particular ex-post evaluation of the SSH FP7 projects were conducted. A set of projects were selected as Successful Stories for having achieved clear impact in different domains, while others were selected for not achieving such impacts. Finally, a deep comparative policy analysis on SSH research evaluation systems was conducted, drawing from twelve case studies of European and non-European countries.

To access the project reports corresponding to this first phase click here.

Second phase

The second phase of the project consists on studying the Success Stories and non-Success Stories identified in the four main fields of action, which are the following:

  1. The most successful stories on scientific impact: those SSH research projects that have reported the highest citation impact and dissemination through scientific networks.
  2. The most successful stories on policy impact: those SSH research projects that have brought major policy reforms or are present in policy documents.
  3. The most successful stories on social impact: those SSH research projects that have impacted the social arena by creating scientific developments that improve the lives of people (e.g. reducing unemployment or early school leavers rates, etc.).
  4. The most successful stories in strengthening the European Research Area: those projects that are crucial in promoting international cooperation, interdisciplinar and transdisciplinar research, youth training, researchers mobility and other similar aspects.

This analysis will lead us to identify how Social Sciences and the Humanities research projects can be better evaluated and how to make more visible the impact they have in order to show to society their utility and value. The outcomes of the project will help us to build a system of evaluation that will help this identification in the different phases of the evaluation process: before the project is approved -this will help funding agencies or donors to identify those projects with the most potential social impact- (exante), during its implementation (in itinere) and once the project has finished in order to see its impact beyond the scientific world (expost).

We integrate these activities with an on-going discussion with several stakeholders in the Integrative Panels (one for each impact), Policy and Social Dialogue Committee, and Free Task Oriented Groups.