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Impaqt | HIIG

IMPaQT – Indicators, Measurement and Performance of Quality Assurance: Third-Mission-Activities in the Social Sciences


The research project “IMPaQT” is about making knowledge transfer from research to society measurable through quality criteria and indicators. We  plan to analyze communication activities between academia and society in such areas politics, business, civic society, which constitute the “Third mission” of research institutions. We are especially interested in those activities on the science and society interface that have so far been little studied or documented and therefore do not play a role in the evaluation of research. 

We deal with following research questions: How can third-mission-activities be meaningfully classified in social sciences? What are scientific demands on quality of knowledge transfer? What are external scientific expectations of quality on impact? Which indicators are suitable for measuring – qualitative and quantitative – knowledge transfer from the domain of social sciences? Which procedures are suitable for the intraorganizational quality quality assurance?

To answer these questions, a multi-method and multi-stakeholder approach with three successive survey steps is planned. In the first step, knowledge transfer activities will be structured in a systematic review; supplementary lead-user-interviews will help to identify new and emerging formats of activities on the science and society interface. In the next step, the problem of different expectations among stakeholders within the scientific community and outside of it will be addressed in expert workshops. At this point, our aim is to create comprehensive quality criteria for key transfer activities. Finally, in step three, policy analyses and best-practice case studies will serve to derive recommendations for the German research and innovation policy. 


DurationJune 2019 – May 2022
FunderFederal Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF)
PartnerGerman Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)


Benedikt Fecher, Dr. (on parental leave)

Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society

Former employees

  • Elias Koch
    Former Student assistant: Knowledge & Society

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Fecher,B., Kuper, F., Sokolovska, N., Fenton, A., Hornbostel, S., Wagner, G.G. (2021). Understanding the Societal Impact of the Social Sciences and Humanities: Remarks on Roles, Challenges, and Expectations. Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 6. DOI: 10.3389/frma.2021.696804 Publication details

Sokolovska N., Fecher B., Wagner G. (2019). Communication on the Science-Policy Interface: An Overview of Conceptual Models. Publications(Third Mission and Societal Impact). DOI: 10.3390/publications7040064 Publication details

Working paper

Fecher, B. & Hebing, M. (2021). How Do Researchers Achieve Societal Impact? Results of an Empirical Survey Among Researchers in Germany. SSOAR. Publication details

Other publications

Fecher, B., Sokolovska, N., Kuper, F., Fenton, A. (2021). Impact der Gesellschaftswissenschaften – (Wie) Kann man ihn messen? Publication details

Fecher, B., Sokolovska, N., Kuper, F., Fenton, A. (2021). Impact der Gesellschaftswissenschaften – (Wie) Kann man ihn messen? Publication details