CARES (CAreers and Research Evaluation Systems for societal impact) is a newly developed ENRESSH initiative focused on Early Career Investigators (ECIs: approx. <8 years from PhD completion) and how they deal with societal impact. The purpose of CARES is to develop fair and improved routes for developing societal impact during the first years of the scientific career of social sciences and humanities’ researchers. In 2018, there has been a substantive data gathering exercise on how early career researchers respond to the challenges raised by impact in their career development, and that data is currently being analysed to give more information on five main areas:
- Hierarchies, disciplinary norms and power in academia: impact as emancipation or tension?
- Incentives for impact creation: formal and informal steering by evaluation systems
- The consequences of impact evaluation for ESRs’ motivations or identities
- The diversity of impact evaluation and academic careers: the role of local context in shaping impact creation
- What are the main contextual conditions associated with successful impact creation by ECIs