Study on assessing the contribution of the framework programmes to the development of human research capacity

Start of the project: 30-Nov-2013 - End of the project: 31-Oct-2014

This study aims to assess the contribution of the EU's Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development (FP) to the development of human research capacity. The results will allow further understanding of the socio-economic impacts, effectiveness, and efficiency of the FP with respect to intangible assets such as skills and expertise of researchers – and to support the design of new programmes. This particular focus is highly relevant as to date insights on this type of extremely relevant impacts of the FP has not been sufficiently and satisfyingly measured.

The key objectives of the proposed study are two-fold:

  • Providing detailed and robust assessment of the contribution of the FP to the development of human research capacity;
  • Laying the basis for future work related to analysing the impact of FP on skills, expertise, and career paths of participants.

The study aims at answering the following key evaluation questions:

  • To what extent do the project participants think that the FP has contributed to increase their skills and expertise, including project management, international networking within the research community, and ability to work in an open innovation context (links with industry)?
  • Can we identify whether the participation in FP projects had a positive impact on the career of project participants?
  • Does the FP influence the ratio of fixed-term and open-ended contracts (i. e. a relative increase of short-term contracts)?
  • What is the impact of the openness of recruitment practices induced by FP?
  • What is the impact of FP on research teams (their composition and size) and on the organisation, including management of financial and human resources, impact on the institution's strategic research agenda (alignment with FP topics), ability to attract other types of funding (FP as leverage to access to other funding sources), etc.?
  • To what extent does the FP contribute to brain circulation by attracting researchers from outside EU27?
  • Can we identify to what extent the FP contributes to job creation (direct: recruitments to carry out the project; indirect: after the completion of the project), and possibly measure it?

The study will answer these questions by the following approach:

  • Assessing existing available evidence on the contribution of the FP to the development of human research capacity;
  • Collecting new data and information through a multi-method approach combining surveys, interviews, and case studies;
  • Analysing the collected information and drawing policy-relevant conclusions.

The results gained from the study are intended to be used as a basis for future monitoring and analysis purposes.


Dr. Sophie Biesenbender (geb. Schmitt)

Funded by

European Commission, DG Research

In cooperation with

IDEA Consult Institut für Forschungsinformation und Qualitätssicherung Public Policy and Management Institute