Societal Value Creation Fund


Within the framework of the institutional strategy on societal impact of research, researchers can apply for funding twice a year through the Special Research Fund to support their societal value creation activities.

Value creation is the process of creating added value through scientific knowledge and expertise outside academia. The main objective is creating societal impact. Societal value creation comes in many types (‘pathways to impact’): it may be a specific goal and/or output/outcome of a certain research project; it may be the consequence of (strategic) networking but it may also be part of the overall research attitude.

This fund provides financial support for societal value creation activities. These activities can manifest themselves in many ways: science communication and contributions to the societal debate, certain types of service to society, development of tools and guidelines for specific end-users, policy advice, co-creation platforms, etc. Central to the application is the ability to show how the activity fits within a larger impact strategy.

Conditions for application

Application via GISMO: (tab PROJECT > New application > choose the relevant call ) - application module questions


  • The call is targeted at the organisation and implementation of societal value creation activities. Research activities (eg. as part of participatory research) cannot be funded.
  • The call is open to all fields of research and aimed at all target audiences and beneficiaries of research.
  • The application needs to fit within the context of a larger research portfolio or expertise, or may be linked to one or more internally or externally funded research projects.
  • All Ghent University researchers who may take up the financial responsibility (‘budgethouderschap’) are allowed to apply (in so far they are involved with the linked research project). PhD-students cannot act as promotor of a proposal.
  • One cannot apply for funding to support mere PR-oriented goals for a specific study programme, research group, or the university as a whole.
  • One cannot apply for funding to support the organisation of activities that are already being co-ordinated by the Science Communication Unit.
  • One cannot apply for funding to support the appointment of the promotor. Employment costs for the co-promotor are eligible for funding.
  • The primary goal of this funding is societal value creation: projects solely aimed at economic value creation need to tap other sources.
  • Applications are submitted before the start of the activities.
  • An application can contain more than one activity that benefit the realisation of an overarching impact and communication strategy.
    • If the proposal features the development of a website, the following issues need to be considered: how will one keep the information current and the quality of the platform high? Is there a hosting strategy?
    • If the proposal centers around an exhibition, one is expected to clearly show how such an event is part of the overall impact strategy.
  • The application contains a concise impact and assessment plan which shows an overarching strategy for societal impact by the applicant. Additionally, the proposal shows how one will communicate to the different stakeholders.
  • Applications can be made for a maximum budget of 10,000 euro.
  • Only activity-specific costs are eligible: personnel and operating costs (incl. equipment and subcontracting costs e.g. purchasing materials, renting venues, hiring partners for services, travel costs, …).
  • The funding must be spent within the timespan of one year after it has been granted.

Additional requirements

  • When the activity is concluded (and evaluated) an impact case study may be written up.
  • Researchers involved in the granted proposal are expected to register the activities in GISMO (and output in Biblio).


  • The assessment panel is made up of six representatives of the Research Council, the policy advisors for societal impact and science communication, and an external expert in stakeholder engagement and impact assessment.
  • In the selection of proposals, priority will be given to those applications which cannot be funded through the project grant involved (because the grant amount is insufficient or because budget for societal value activities may not be included). Therefore the following projects are excluded: Methusalem, Odysseus, ERC grants, Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe collaborative projects, and SBO.
  • In addition to the conditions mentioned above, the following assessment criteria will be used:
    • The extent to which the application demonstrates a coherent and sustainable societal impact strategy.
    • The extent to which the proposed activities can contribute to the realisation of the intended societal impact.
    • The extent to which the proposed activities match the needs and characteristics of the stakeholders.
    • The feasibility of the proposal.



  • Deadline 27 April 2023 (5pm)
  • Online application via GISMO from 28 March 2023
  • Grant decision by Research Council 23 May 2023 (start of project 1 June 2023)


  • Deadline 24 October 2023 (5pm)
  • Online application via GISMO from Release September onwards (tbd)
  • Grant decision by Research Council November 2023

The deadline will be strictly respected; late or incomplete applications will be rejected without review.


  • Questions about the scope and requirements of the call, and the institutional strategy on societal impact:
  • Questions about the application procedure in GISMO: (support during office hours)
  • Questions about the granting procedure and budget release: