Science Europe Study on Research Assessment Practices
The objective of the study was to investigate ways to ascertain that the research assessment processes and practices of SE member organisations (SE MOs) (as well as a hand-picked selection of external research organisations) are selecting the best proposals for funding and the best researchers in career progression schemes, and are doing so in a fair and efficient manner.
Major findings of the extensive study are presented in this report, which is guided by the following 3 questions:
- What approaches are used to assess and select proposals and researchers in a robust, fair and transparent manner?
- What are the challenges that research organisations face during the assessment processes?
- What are the current developments in the assessment of research proposals and researchers?
Science Europe calls on research funding and performing organisations to continuously evaluate their research assessment processes to ensure that they are effective, efficient, fair, and transparent.
Interdisciplinarity is increasingly used to tackle complex scientific questions and address large societal challenges. At the same time, the evaluation of interdisciplinary research proposals poses a set of problems, ranging from missing common standards and criteria to shortages of peer reviewers with experience in evaluating interdisciplinary research. At its third Symposium, Science Europe and its Scientific Advisory Committee brought together researchers and other experts experienced in interdisciplinarity with high-level representatives from Science Europe’s Member Organisations, who fund and perform such research.
Released in partnership with the European University Association (EUA), this joint statement demonstrates a commitment to building a strong dialogue between members of both associations, who share the responsibility of developing and implementing more accurate, open, transparent, and responsible approaches that better reflects the evolution of research activity in the digital era.
Science Europe advocates using the notion of ‘value’ of research. This is wider than ‘impact’ and reflects the intrinsic value of scientific research and its capacity to generate new knowledge. This statement provides a series of key principles and actions for policy makers and research organisations to help bring forward a new vision of impact assessment.
The Roadmap, approved by the Science Europe General Assembly in November 2013, is Science Europe’s action plan to contribute to the elements of a successful research system. It acts as a framework for voluntary collective activity, providing a long-term strategy for the association. The ‘Priority Action Areas’ are those in which Science Europe members believe that there is a potential to achieve tangible and substantive progress, and where they can add real value by working together.