Universiteit Leiden

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Rubicon grant Stefan de Jong

His two year Rubicon project is about the effect of university policies on societal engagement of academics in the social sciences and humanities.

Stefan de Jong, research fellow at CWTS and grant adviser at LURIS, was awarded a Rubicon grant by Dutch research council NWO. The Rubicon grant allows talented young doctorates to gain international experience at a foreign top institute. Stefan’s host institute is the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research of the University of Manchester in the UK. 
 
His two year project is about the effect of university policies on societal engagement of academics in the social sciences and humanities. 
 
Many academics consider engagement with and impact on other individuals, groups and organisations in society inherent to their profession. Nevertheless, in recent decades governments, research funders and universities have introduced policies to increase impact of academics on society. Effects of these policies on research are well documented. Surprisingly, effects on impact itself have thus far received little attention.
Do policies affect the types of individuals, groups or organisations that academics engage with and have an impact on?
 
This project for the first time addresses this issue within the context of universities by answering the research question ‘how do internal impact policies affect societal engagement of academics?’ The project is positioned in the managerialism versus professionalism debate and located at the intersection of science policy studies and public administration.
 
Stefan takes a combined case study approach of the Netherlands and the UK and includes 1) nested case studies of four universities and three research fields and 2) a large-N survey of university policy staff and academics. The resulting model should to contribute to our still limited understanding of how universities affect academic work. Stefan will focus on the still ill-studied social sciences and humanities. Based on this project, he aims to support evidence-based science policy making.
 
In September 2015, Stefan defended his doctoral dissertation ‘Engaging scientists: Organising valorization in the Netherlands’ at Leiden University. Paul Wouters, director of CWTS acted as promotor and Inge van der Weijden as co-promotor.