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SHAPE-ID Stakeholders

The activities of researchers conducting IDR are underpinned by the policy, funding and institutional structures that enable research careers and projects and which can enhance or hinder AHSS integration through the opportunities they create. Research users are also an integral part of the ecosystem whereby research results are disseminated more broadly to have social impact. Four key stakeholder groups have thus been identified for the dissemination of SHAPE-ID results to ensure maximum impact and the longer term enhancement of AHSS integration in the context of IDR. A stakeholder contact database has been developed to enable us to keep stakeholders informed of project results and to involve relevant representatives from each group in project activities.

Click on the headings below to read more about the role of each stakeholder group and how SHAPE-ID results will benefit them.

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European Research Area Policy Makers and Funders

European Research Area stakeholders, including policy makers and funders from EC to national and regional levels, are critical players in supporting AHSS integration. Indeed, AHSS integration is already an established priority at EC level. SHAPE-ID is producing guidelines and recommendations for AHSS integration tailored to this group in the form of policy briefs summarising key findings from the evidence-scanning activities and a toolkit and associated policy brief produced towards the end of the project. These guidelines are intended for use by the European Commission and other agencies within the European Research Area. The primary stakeholder in this category is the European Commission, whose policies and future funding programmes will be informed by SHAPE-ID outputs. SHAPE-ID will empower the Commission, as well as national and non-governmental funders, to recognise areas ripe for productive AHSS integration and take steps to support such integration. Project outcomes will also benefit national and regional funding agencies who, through their funding instruments and organisational oversight of research at their respective levels, implicitly and explicitly create and promote policy.

Research Performing Organisations

Regardless of how researchers themselves perceive the opportunities and risks of IDR, organisations responsible for managing their careers and promoting their work also face challenges in integrating IDR. Quality assessment of research takes place at many levels, often within established communities of practice such as disciplines. Organisations can struggle to validate IDR as it crosses disciplinary boundaries. AHSS integration may pose particular challenges due to the different ways in which research excellence and impact are understood by different disciplines. Research Performing Organisations are therefore integral to realising and supporting the potential of AHSS integration through IDR. This group includes Higher Education Institutions which carry out research, as well as learned societies, academies, lobbying organisations, academic publishers, government departments, industrial research centres and state research organisations. Through the project’s reports, literature review, events and published toolkit, SHAPE-ID proposes and disseminates models by which the relationship between disciplinary structures and IDR can be understood and mechanisms by which IDR can be integrated beneficially into management, evaluation and career structures without compromising research quality. Examples of stakeholder networks in this category include networks of Universities such as LERU, EUA, the COIMBRA Group, the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and YERUN (representing Young European Research Universities).


The traditional emphasis on disciplines in researcher training and career structures can create obstacles to researchers feeling confident in IDR and motivated to pursue it. Furthermore, negotiating differences in terminology and approach both between AHSS disciplines and in particular between AHSS and STEM disciplines can be challenging. SHAPE-ID aims to identify the factors that support or hinder successful AHSS integration through IDR. The project’s activities raise awareness of the opportunities in engaging in IDR and the resulting reports and toolkit will empower researchers to pursue interdisciplinary careers and build collaborations focused on addressing critical societal challenges. Researchers are involved in the project through invitations to participate in surveys and through participation in Learning Case Workshops and thereby contribute to understanding the landscape and requirements for more successful and better supported IDR. Individual researchers and networks of researchers will also benefit directly from access to project reports and the toolkit and indirectly from the effect of project results on stakeholders with roles in enabling and supporting IDR at policy, funding and institutional levels. This group includes researchers from any discipline who are either currently engaged in or interested in engaging in IDR between AHSS and STEM disciplines or among AHSS disciplines, and extends to researchers working across academia, industry, government research institutions, civil society organisations, cultural institutions and those engaging in research as citizen scientists.

Research Users

The final stakeholder group expected to benefit from SHAPE-ID results includes organisations and individuals not actively involved in research who might make use of and build upon the results of IDR. These includes representatives of industry, civil society, the cultural sector and citizens. By publicising and providing guidelines on how high-quality IDR can achieve societal impacts and offer new perspectives on difficult problems, SHAPE-ID aims to stimulate greater engagement with IDR, in particular the integration of AHSS perspectives into STEM-based industry but also the potential for collaboration with STEM and other sciences in more traditional AHSS strongholds such as the cultural sector. A significant number of early career researchers will forge careers in non-academic environments and demonstrating how IDR adoption can have a positive impact in these settings can contribute to researcher career opportunities and improved attitudes to IDR. Dissemination to this stakeholder group will highlight opportunities to use IDR but also opportunities for the co-creation of knowledge between researchers, research institutions and research users across society through collaborative research or public engagement and education projects.

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