The National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark (NFA) has developed and tested an instrument to quantitatively measure indicators of societal impact of applied research at research institution and program levels. The instrument is described in a recently published article in ‘Research Evaluation’.
The article demonstrates the successful validation of the instrument in the multi-disciplinary field of occupational health and safety (OHS). The instrument produces an aggregate index of societal impact for the research institution as a whole and sub-indices for included research programs.
The index is composed of three dimensions: reach, usefulness and use of knowledge. The instrument is based on a questionnaire administered to knowledge brokers such as consultants, educators, managers and OHS-representatives. The instrument also measures users’ evidence seeking behavior and practices.
The literature review indicates that it is the first singular instrument to quantitatively measure societal impact. The instrument can be relocated to other research domains and languages with a limited effort. NFA is very interested in collaborating with other institutes in the PEROSH network to disseminate and further develop the instrument.
The article is open access and can be found here.
Ole Henning Sørensen