Evaluation of science and innovation policies

Course overview

A photo of the Hive and the library in the Alliance Manchester Business School.
  • Next date: 19-23rd May 2025
  • Delivered by: Senior staff and invited external experts
  • Teaching: Lectures, interactive group exercises, case studies, mini-projects
  • Group size: Approximately 25
  • Location: Alliance Manchester Business School
  • View our 2024 course brochure.  Brochure for 2025 will be availalbe in September.
  • Registration is now open for 2025. Please send enquiries to Debbie.Cox@manchester.ac.uk

The demand for evaluation in science and innovation policy continues to grow alongside the demands on STI policy to deliver a broad range of economic and societal goals against financial constraints. Thus, evaluations are increasingly understood as an essential learning tool.

They help to make policy makers and implementers improve the way they design and operate policies and make them better understand their specific contexts. In addition, governments and taxpayers require credible and robust justification that the economic and societal policy objectives are being achieved in an efficient, effective and economic manner. This long-running course addresses the latest thinking in evaluation and teaches the most effective use of evaluation tools. As a leading European centre in the study of science, technology and innovation policy and evaluation methodologies, and based on forty years of evaluation practice, we are able to call upon a wealth of expertise, both from staff who have practical experience of the conduct of evaluations, and from policy makers and practitioners.

Who is it for?   

  • Policymakers, analysts, programme sponsors and managers
  • Practitioners in research and research funding organisations
  • Professional evaluators and innovation researchers 

Key topics

  • Theory and concepts of evaluation designs and frameworks
  • Basic evaluation tools and approaches
  • Indicators, bibliometrics and altmetrics
  • Evaluation of Organisations
  • Identifying and Measuring Societal Impacts 
  • Evaluating Economic Impacts
  • Evaluation of Systems
  • Evaluation of research organisations
  • Peer review
  • Evaluation moving forward: challenge-driven, demand-driven and transition-driven policies and evaluation of networks


At the end of the course, participants will:

  • Understand the key motivations for evaluation and the distinctive features of the evaluation of science, technology and innovation policies, programmes, institutions and systems.
  • Be aware of the main academic literature addressing science and technology evaluation and key examples of evaluations in practice,
  • Understand how evaluation has evolved in relation to changing policies for science, technology and innovation,
  • Have gained practical insight into the main tools and methods for the design and conduct of evaluations, and therefore
  • Be able to commission, interpret and use evaluations across the spectrum of STI policies
  • Be able to design and apply evaluation concepts in the context of a practical situation.

Course staff