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In the LeNa Shape project, research is being conducted for the first time in an international context to explore whether and how the principle of "research with societal responsibility" changes research processes and projects in terms of quality, impact and motivation of researchers. The three overall objectives of the project are:

  1. Analysing the conditions for the success of "research with societal responsibility"
  2. Promoting awareness and implementation of the LeNa framework for reflection "Research with societal responsibility" in the scientific community through the development of targeted and motivating formats
  3. Analysing and taking into account the specific needs and institutional framework conditions of researchers and overcoming obstacles with digital and analogue tools

The results are summarised in a position paper with proposals for the further development of the science system.


What is the LeNa Shape approach? Self-images of LeNa Shape. This paper is only available in German.

Project structure

For this, the LeNa Shape project includes work in two scientific modules (LeNa Move und LeNa Value). Their results interact closely and are integrated into the project by the Management Board as the central networking body and prepared for implementation.

The participating modules and collaborative research partners have equal representation on the Management Board. LeNa Move promotes awareness and implementation of the LeNa framework for reflection (download here) in the scientific community through the development of targeted and motivating formats by overcoming barriers to application with modern tools. The aim of LeNa Value is to develop advanced criteria for the quality of research ("excellence") and a methodology for analysing the impact of research on the realisation of more sustainable global development, taking into account the theoretical and political context of science.


The results of both modules are transferred to the science and innovation system, anchored in the research processes and thus utilised. They are presented in a separate format, the "LeNa Summit", and discussed with experts. The summit is a new element of LeNa Shape, as it is not a presentation format but a "trial format" and scientific results such as the prototypes of the individualised companion can be tested. This allows scientific stakeholders to react directly to research and influence the further course of research.

Research results as key messages:

  • Science is ready to accept its societal responsibility.
  • Early reflection on the impact of research improves the possibility of assuming societal responsibility.
  • LeNa provides criteria for research with societal responsibility . Its application is complex.
  • For the first time, this application is simplified with target group-oriented, digital and analogue tools for organisations and researchers.
  • Freedom and responsibility in science are two sides of the same coin.
  • The understanding of excellence should be further developed: Research can only be excellent if it fulfils its societal responsibility.
  • All six levels of the LeNa pyramid for conditions for success must be addressed in order to further develop the science system.
  • The three implementation levels (1) individual researchers, (2) organisations and research institutions and (3) institutions (politics, funding bodies) must be tackled together.
  • If research wants to generate societal impact, then early impact assessment improves impact literacy.
  • LeNa enables researchers to strategically plan impact.

Project structure