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June 2nd + June 12th: Workshop "Crafting the Valorisation Paragraph for you...

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Knowledge Transfer Office @ Maastricht University

Sint Hubertuslaan 12

Tapijn, Building X, room 0.016

6211 KF Maastricht


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Please note: the workshop consists of two interactive, half-day sessions: June 2nd & 12th!


By law[1], Dutch universities have three main tasks: to educate at an academic level, to conduct scholarly research and to ensure that research findings impact society. In the Netherlands, more than 30,000 doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers and others graduate each year from higher education. Annually over 25,000 scientific articles get published by faculty members of Dutch universities. In addition, these academics participate in public debate, develop new treatments or advise policy makers on new legislation. Such “translating of academic wisdom to societal benefit” in ways that go beyond numbers of publications and graduates is a legal and moral obligation, especially when research has been funded by taxpayers.

Valorisation is the term that governmental and university policymakers use to denote this process of “translating academic wisdom to societal benefit.” Many equate valorisation with patenting or spin-off creation. However, valorisation is a much broader concept, as it could also entail contract research, consulting, postgraduate education, public outreach activities and other ways of transferring academic wisdom and know-how into the larger societal context.

Today, young scientists operate in an academic environment that expects them to consider the potential impact of their research and to make an effort to valorise what is of societal, ecological, and/or economic value. At Maastricht University, PhD candidates are required (from September 1, 2014) to include a paragraph in their doctoral thesis that outlines the valorisation potential of the research findings presented in the thesis.

This addition to the Regulation Governing the Attainment of Doctoral Degrees sounds like a good idea, yet you may not immediately know what the valorisation potential of your research might be, and which form of valorisation you could best select to explain how your findings could be of societal value.

Target audience:

All PhD candidates from Maastricht University. For PhD candidates who are nearing completion of their dissertation the workshop is a bit more concrete; however, those who are earlier in the process are also very welcome to participate.

Thinking about the societal value of your research is always a good idea!

Learning goals

1. Participants will explore the diverse ways in which their research findings can have (future) societal impact.

2. They will identify a type of knowledge valorisation that most closely fits their research findings and personal aims.

3. They will experiment with different ways in which the value of their research can be communicated to various audiences.


The workshop consists of two interactive, half-day sessions. You are expected to prepare for these sessions in advance and to actively participate.

Homework assignment: Prior to the first workshop each participant is to describe in no more than 70 words how the dissertation’s key finding could have a societal impact that goes beyond well cited publications. It is important that you can highlight how your findings, together with prior and future research findings could jointly result in useful outcomes (e.g. diagnostic protocols, more integration, better methods, more efficient surgery, better informed target audience or more effective drugs). You are not to spend more than 4 hours on this assignment.

The training is offered as two half day sessions on [you automattically register for both dates]:

- June 2nd from 9.00 AM - 1.00 PM & June 12th from 9.00 AM - 12.00 PM

Session 1/2 - June 2nd

09.00 - 10.00 You and valorisation

  • We start the workshop by exploring each other’s initial perceptions about the why, how and when of valorisation.
  • Read in advance: Louis, K. S., et al. (1989). "Entrepreneurs in Academe: an exploration of behaviors among life scientists." Administrative Science Quarterly 34: 110-131. (Available through:

10:00 - 11:00 Modes of formalisation

  • In this hour we will explore the direct and indirect benefits that could result from the various ways in which academic know-how can be valorised. Perhaps you saw promise in valorisation through patenting, licensing or start-up creation. However, also contract research, (post-graduate) contract education, consulting assignments and participation in public debate could for you be viable modes of valorisation. Hence, perhaps the issue is not whether, but how your findings could be valorised. Hence, you may have to choose between various valorization modalities.

11:00 - 13:00 Drafting a value proposition

  • Each participant selects two valorisation modes and makes a first effort to propose what and how much value their main research findings could have in relation to each of these two modes. At the end of this session, participants present their thoughts and explain which of the two modes they feel to be the most appropriate to their own case.

Homework assignment: Prior to the second workshop each participant is to describe in no more than 2-4 pages how the dissertation’s key finding could have a societal impact that goes beyond well cited publications.

Session 2/2 - June 12th

09:00 - 10:00 Your valorisation statement

  • We briefly but critically review each other’s draft valorisation statements to identify grounds on which the acclaimed value and the approach to capture that value could be challenged. This should help you to strengthen your “value promise.”

10:00 - 11:00 Optimising value capture

  • The inherent value promise of a particular valorisation mode can often be enhanced by the approach taken to valorise.

11:00 - 12:00 Optimising messaging

  • Each participant builds on one valorisation mode and makes a second effort to propose what value the main research findings could have. At the end each participant will present their "value promise".


[1] OCW, Brief valorisatie van onderzoek als taak van de universiteiten; van de bewindslieden Van der Hoeven en Rutte aan de voorzitters van de Colleges van Bestuur van 27 januari 2005 (OWB/AI/04-57055)

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Knowledge Transfer Office @ Maastricht University

Sint Hubertuslaan 12

Tapijn, Building X, room 0.016

6211 KF Maastricht


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