In the TrenDTF project, topic-modeling procedures are will applied to texts of official tenders and policy documents. By comparing the topics identified in these complementary documents with those found in related research reports should provide information on the extent to which specific research programmes have contributed to the achievement of missions-related objectives in Germany's science and innovation policy. The project will develop and validate indicators to analyse the mission orientation of funding programmes on a regular basis. Based on the results of the topic modelling, moreover it will compare the "topic profiles" of research reports and related journal publications (as in the bibliometric database Scopus). On an aggregated level, it will thus be possible to determine to what extent the thematic orientation of organisations' research projects differs from that of their overall scientific publication output. Differences in these profiles can be interpreted as effects of either institutional funding or federal research projects.

The aim of the study is to assess the thematic complementarity of policy programmes, calls for proposals and project reports, in particular against the background of an increasing mission orientation in German research policy and the requirement to monitor its potential effects. In particular, it seeks to establish how and the extent to which indicators suitable to measure the achievement of mission objectives can be derived from topic-analyses of project reports.

The overall project has six work packages (development of indicators, database of tender texts, topic modelling, validation of new indicators, development of a discovery system and dissemination). Fraunhofer is involved in all work packages with the exception of the fifth (discovery system), with a focus on the fourth work package, the development and validation of new indicators. The project begins with a review of the literature, with an update to be planned towards its end. The development of a database of tender texts will begin subsequently and be completed after about six months. On its bases, topic modelling efforts will be started and continued with updates and extensions until the end of the second year. During its last year the project will focus on the elaboration of a case study, the validation of indicators and the dissemination of results.

Development of indicators suitable for the regular appraisal of funding programmes' mission orientation and the objectives reached by them, Development of a case study.


10/2019 – 03/2022


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)



  • Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology (TIB), Hannover (Project Coordinator)
  • Fraunhofer IML