One of the core purposes of research is the quest for and creation of new knowledge. Quality of the research performed is key to fulfilling this purpose effectively. It is also essential for any potential societal or economic applications that may result from research: both curiosity-driven and challenge-oriented.
Tools and proxies used for research assessment, such as publications in high-impact journals, need to be diversified, to better identify high-quality research and researchers. Science Europe works to ensure that scholarly quality remains the core principle underpinning all evaluation processes.
Why does research assessment matter?
Research assessment lies at the core of the activities of Science Europe’s Member Organisations, and is fundamental to the research enterprise. It is used to select projects and researchers for funding, recruitment, and promotion. It forms the basis for the rewards and incentives system of research.
Science Europe’s Member Organisations periodically review how the assessment of research is designed and implemented. They aim to ascertain that their assessment processes are robust, fair, and successful in selecting the best projects and researchers for funding and promotion.
What are the current priorities?
Science Europe’s primary priority is to promote research quality as the most important factor in research assessment.
Research assessment must reward all excellent scientific contributions and promote good research practices, reproducibility, and integrity. To that end, it needs to capture the diversity of research outputs, in a manner that is appropriate to each research field.
Ensuring that research assessment processes are robust and eliminating biases are fundamental elements of research assessment policies and practices.
What is Science Europe doing to achieve these aims?
Science Europe worked with its Member Organisations and external stakeholders to carry out a detailed and comprehensive study of research assessment practices currently used by research funding and performing organisations. This provided an opportunity for members to collectively identify best practices and promote mutual learning.
In consultation with experts, stakeholders, and the scientific community, Science Europe further built upon its results to develop a set of policy recommendations that represents a best practice model for research assessment processes.
|Austria||Austrian Science Fund||FWF||Falk Reckling|
|Germany||German Research Foundation||DFG||Anke Reinhardt|
|Italy||National Institute for Nuclear Physics||INFN||Giorgio Chiarelli|
|Netherlands||Dutch Research Council||NWO||Stan Gielen|
|Poland||Foundation for Polish Science||FNP||Marta Łazarowicz|
|Spain||Spanish National Research Council||CSIC||Jordi Molas-Gallart|
|Switzerland||Swiss National Science Foundation||SNSF||Michael Hill|
|United Kingdom||UK Research and Innovation||UKRI||Sarah Collinge|
The year 2020 saw a global pandemic attest to the value of science. In the race for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, Science Europe’s Member Organisations were at the forefront of the global response and our association became more relevant and important than ever.
The GRC Responsible Research Assessment Conference – an Important Global Perspective on the State of Research Assessment.
Between 23 and 27 November, Global Research Council (GRC), UK Research and Innovation, Research England, and the National Research Foundation (South Africa) jointly hosted a conference addressing the concept of responsible research assessment. The meeting focussed on research assessment criteria and processes, the evaluation of assessment processes, and the influence that both have on the research system as a whole.
The Global Research Council (GRC) is convening a conference on Responsible Research Assessment to promote global discussion on how research organisations can drive a positive research culture through research assessment criteria and processes. The event, organised by UKRI, Research England, the National Research Foundation (South Africa), and the GRC will be held remotely on November 23–27.
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.
In 2019, Science Europe conducted a flagship study on research assessment processes and practices. The study was developed and overseen by the Science Europe Task Force on Research Assessment and the Science Europe Office, and implemented by Technopolis Group Vienna.
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.
The 2018 Science Europe Symposium took place in Brussels, Belgium. The topic was 'Interdisciplinarity'.
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.