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Laura Soyer


Laura is a program manager for the Open Innovation in Science Impact Labs with a focus on capability building for transdisciplinary and participatory research projects. Laura is interested in multi-stakeholder collaborations and research-community partnerships that address societal challenges using transdisciplinary research. Her academic background is in the social sciences, she received her undergraduate degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in the fields of law and social anthropology, and her postgraduate education from the University of Vienna. Laura is passionate about working together with citizens, researchers and other stakeholder groups to foster social and inclusive innovations and research projects that have great societal impact.

OIS Expertise

  • Capability Building

    Laura co-developed training content and material for actors who navigate collaborative projects across the four sectors academia, industry and business, public sector and civil society within the European Horizon 2020 project “RiConfigure”. At the moment, Laura co-manages the capability building program for the OIS Impact Labs and supports researchers and civil society actors in the planning and implementation of transdisciplinary projects and practices. 

  • Impact

    Laura has undertaken a detailed review of existing literature on the impact agenda in different national research landscapes and on impact perceptions and discourses across disciplinary fields. She supports the Impact unit in the planning, reflection and communication of the societal impact of OIS research projects and co-develops workshops for planning and reflecting on research impact strategies. Building relationships and investing in equal partnerships between research, practice communities and civil society is crucial for research to be socially relevant and effective. Laura is very eager to be engaged with researchers and other societal stakeholders in order to increase the impact of research for society and to reach out to different communities. 

Relevant (work) experience

Since Jan 2020

Program Management, Open Innovation in Science Center

Jan 2018 – Dec 2019

Volunteer Management, „Buddies for Refugees” Project, Volkshilfe Wien

Jan 2017 – Dec 2018

Research Assistant, Center for Social Innovation, Vienna

Jan 2015 – Dec 2017

Project Management, European Forum Alpbach and Kardinal König Haus, Vienna

Jan 2013 – Dec 2015

Other previous experiences: Elected Member of District Council (Landtraße, Vienna), Trainee European Parliament and UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, Volunteer Work with Caritas Vienna

Relevant resources

Capability Building

Three training programs were developed and designed in the context of the European Horizon 2020 project “RiConfigure”, which explore aspects that facilitate or hinder collaborative innovations and provide tools, methodologies and strategic guidelines to support the design, implementation and evaluation of quadruple helix collaborations in innovation. These different training materials can be implemented in three different formats (Online Course, Workshop and Intensive Course) and cover a wide range of topics and approaches: Inviting civil society on stage, How to kick-start a collaboration and Tackling grand challenges with collaborative action.

Impact Tools

In addition to a detailed literature overview providing insight into the field, different materials and resources support research teams to plan and reflect on the societal impact of their research. For example, the Theory of Change template allows to strategically plan for the societal impact of a (OIS) research project so as to better align the project’s activities with research impact. The Impact and Engagement Study Template enables a narrative demonstration of how impact unfolded in a research project through different reflection questions. The OIS Impact Model and Reflection Instruments, meanwhile, help plan and assess the societal impact of specific OIS activities in a research project.