Bridging Social Psychology: On Creating Societal Impact, 2018-2019

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Bridging Social Psychology: On Creating Societal Impact, 2018-2019

Teaching staff
Drs. Minou van der Werf (Leiden University/Nibud), prof. dr. Wilco van Dijk (Leiden University), prof. dr. Jojanneke van der Toorn (Leiden University/Utrecht University), Dr. Lotte van Dillen (Leiden University), prof. dr. Aukje Nauta (Leiden University).

Type of course
Methodological and Practical Courses

October 31, 2018

Utrecht University, room to be announced.

1 day



Maximum participants



The goals of this one-day workshop are:
- to discuss with PhD candidates their plans and strategies for the utilisation of their scientific knowledge.
- to assist them in taking the first steps toward realising their plans and strategies in various stages of applied research projects and possible other collaborations outside academia.
- to create a platform for exchanging information and insights concerning creating societal impact.


Policy makers, institutions, and (profit and non-profit) companies increasingly show interest in incorporating  scientific behavioural insights. For academic researchers, in turn, applying their work to societal issues can be very rewarding in itself, but also a good way to test the broader applicability of their work. In addition, recent developments have made societal impact a focal point in the acquisition of funding. For example, NWO has added in 2012, in addition to the quality of the researcher and proposal, knowledge utilisation as a third evaluation criterion for their Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (e.g., VENI). For all these reasons, it is worthwhile for KLI-researchers to consider the ways in which they can valorise their work (generate social impact by knowledge dissemination and utilisation), and in fact, a considerable number of KLI members is already making clear efforts along those lines.

Valorisation, however, comes with challenges that are quite different from the ones involving conducting fundamental lab research and giving conference presentations. They often involve collaborations between various (private/public) parties with their own specific goals and aims, have strict timelines and budgets, and other practical limitations. Furthermore, the end products of such projects are not necessarily scientific articles, but typically involve reports for a more general (non-academic) audience that, for example, include an analysis of the current situation and recommendations for (behavioural) interventions. In the current workshop, the aim is to facilitate researchers who wish to or are already in the process of creating societal impact (e.g., applying their research and setting up collaborations with stakeholders outside academia), by sharing experiences and exchanging knowledge and information. Creating such a platform would yield great benefits in terms of applying research to societal issues and dissemination of scientific knowledge to non-academic audiences. Moreover, it might increase chance of funding, opens up new funding possibilities, and generates new theoretical insights. In addition to all these advantages, creating societal impact can simply be a lot of fun!


At the end of the day, teachers and participants will have exchanged valuable insights on knowledge dissemination and utilisation. The goal is to exchange experiences and learn from each other’s knowledge to create best practices.

During the day, all participants will give a short presentation on their valorization plans and strategies. Next to a general outline of these ideas, the presentation should focus on one particular project and a challenge that participants face and that they would like to consult the rest of the workgroup on. It doesn’t matter in which stage a project is (e.g., exploration, preparation, data collection, dissemination), as each stage comes with its own challenges. During the discussion after the presentation, participants and teaching staff will reflect on the project, share their own experiences and provide constructive feedback. In addition, the teaching staff will make an inventory of all the discussion topics and summarize the do’s and don’ts of creating societal impact at the end of the day.

Participants are asked to prepare a written description of their specific (planned) project in advance and briefly indicate which challenge they would like to address during their presentation.

Because of the proposed format, the workshop can only be attended by a maximum of twenty participants. The group will be split up in two groups of ten. Participants will be actively encouraged to keep in contact after the workshop.

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