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wissenschaf(f)t erkenntnis - knowledge creates insights

The w-fFORTE programme places great emphasis on understanding the different types of culture that exist in research institutions and to identify the resulting challenges faced by researchers working there. Science systems are influenced by a large number of factors from various fields, such as research and science management, teamwork, work-life balance, mobility, career models, remuneration, and financing of research, for example. What these factors have in common is that they in turn influence the professional development and the decisions people working in research make, so they shape an organisation’s predominant culture.


It is of particular interest to the w-fFORTE programme to find out which guiding assumptions regarding individual factors exist these days and consequently impact on research cultures. For only with an understanding of the status quo is it possible to infer recommendations for action and to change framework conditions in such a way that it becomes possible to deviate from well-worn paths and bring about social change, e.g. by distributing resources more justly.


Studies on the abovementioned influencing factors are planned within the scope of the w-fFORTE programme. The surveys will deal with the current situation in cooperative research facilities that are located at the interface between economy and science, since this is where the public sector invests most of its RTI funds. New findings are made available to the scientific community in the scope of "Knowledge creates insights". To do so, w-fFORTE uses the following tools:

  • w-fFORTE awards studies (only in German language available):
    In order to obtain clear answers supported by facts to questions regarding the current research culture and the job outlines of women in technology and the natural sciences, w-fFORTE awards studies that are supposed to throw light on the existing structures in research and technology and to identify where change is needed. Topics include the situation of female engineers in technology and the natural sciences, and team structures in cooperative research. The resulting recommendations for action serve to make jobs in science and research more attractive so that researchers can develop their potential more efficiently.
  • w-fFORTE gains insights from the impetus programme:
    The "Laura Bassi Centres of Expertise" programme provides stimuli for a modern research culture as well: The BMWFJ has commissioned an ongoing evaluation of the programme, which is carried out by KMU FORSCHUNG AUSTRIA. The ongoing evaluation serves to reflect all stages of the programme implementation, starting with the programme’s genesis. Those responsible for the programme expect to gain insights into how the community shaping research and technology policies (promotion agencies, ministries, research institutes, experts, universities, etc.) as well as potential applicants and researchers perceive the programme. Furthermore, the evaluation will provide findings regarding a gender-conscious design of RTI programmes that also take technology policies into account. It is intended to support a central objective of the Laura Bassi programme as a result, i.e. defining new paths in the gender-conscious designing of research promotions and exploiting successful approaches for other existing promotion schemes.
  • w-fFORTE supports the knowledge transfer to the RTI community:
    The newly gained insights and stimuli are processed by w-fFORTE in various ways and made available to the RTI community. On the one hand, the knowledge is transferred by publishing the studies as printed works and as PDF downloads. On the other hand, w-fFORTE organises debates and invites experts from the community shaping research and technology policies to critically analyse and discuss the gained insights.