It is known to all that there is a new wave of social insurgency in authoritarian China, but, only a few studies try to explore the impacts and consequences of these popular protests. Most scholars focusing on this issue paid much attention to the role of state and stressed the heterogeneity of governmental responses, both vertically and horizontally, to protest events. So, here questions arise. Do Chinese popular protests make change to other Chinese social institutions? Do these institutions also respond to protest events heterogeneously? How can we explain the variations of responses of the same institution? To answer these questions, this study will take established intellectuals’ research activities for a case and examine the effect of popular protest on knowledge production within established intellectual institutions. Following signaling theory, this study will view each protest event as a carrier of mix messages, namely action, issue and threat, and further argue that established intellectuals will receive all kinds of signals and respond to them respectively and selectively. Thus, a complex pattern of relations between activists/protests and intellectuals/knowledge will be delineated and three types of protest-relevant knowledge produced by established intellectuals, as institutional responses to protest events, will be explicitly distinguished, namely action-mobilization, issue-professional and threat-governance knowledge. Then, by collecting data from newspapers and academic journals to constitute Truth Table, multiple causal pathways to different combinations of institutional outcomes will be identified via QCA on basis of a combined theoretical framework revised from political mediation model, which consists of dimension of protest signals, namely strength, clarity and level, and dimension of opportunity structure, including political and academic opportunity. In summary, this study is expected to make contribution to the evaluation of intellectual impact of Chinese protests and to the interactions between established intellectuals and non-institutional actors, rather than intellectual-state relations.