Research evaluation at Tech has started – how do we do it and how will we use it?

We will evaluate research at Tech over the next two years. The evaluation will be at three different rates, and it will build on discussions about the strengths and visions of the individual research environments.

Research at Tech is at full speed, and many people are working hard – really hard. However, over the next two years, all research environments will have an opportunity to take a step back and talk about their strengths and weaknesses, where they are heading, and whether they are adequately prepared for their journey. This is part of the upcoming research evaluation, and it is compulsory for all faculties at Aarhus University.

"The research evaluation will be a major task, but at Tech we’ve organised the evaluation to provide the greatest possible value to the individual research environment and the individual department. This means that we will use the evaluation as an opportunity to talk to each other, look ahead and measure our development potential. It also means that the research evaluation is not an exam – neither for the individual researcher, nor for the research group. Rather, it is a process to generate valuable input for the future of the faculty at all levels," says Brian Vinter, vice-dean for research at Tech.

The first four departments have just begun

To begin with, ECOS, ENVS, FOOD and QGG have received the material that will form the basis for the first phase of the research evaluation: Self-assessment in the individual research environments.  The template has been inspired by the principles of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, which is an EU initiative aimed at promoting broader and more inclusive research evaluation. The template therefore not only consists of the traditional quantitative measurement methods, but to a large extent it also focuses on more qualitative indicators of research quality, collaboration and impact on society.

"For me as a vice-dean at Tech, the research evaluation will be an important element in work to ensure cohesion across the faculty. For example, it’ll help us identify new areas for interdisciplinary activities, so that we can continue to call ourselves the collaborative faculty," says Brian Vinter and continues:

"The research environments will also be asked to assess whether they have the right composition to realise their ambitions. In this way, the research evaluation will also help ensure greater diversity at Tech, in terms of culture, gender, academic standards and careers."

Research evaluation procedure

Research evaluation begins in the research environments, all of which will prepare a self-evaluation based on a template developed in collaboration with the faculty management team and the committees at Tech. Reflections from the self-evaluations will then be collected in a department report. Each department will receive a data package from the faculty secretariat to support their work.

When the department report has been completed, a panel of top international researchers – both younger and more experienced researchers from academia and from industry – will be invited to carry out an external evaluation on the basis of a visit and the department reports.

Finally, the department management team and the Dean's Office will meet to discuss the guiding principles for the evaluation. Once all the departments at Tech have been evaluated, Tech will send an overall report to the senior management team, and it will be included in work on developing AU's upcoming strategy.

The departments' evaluation reports will be made available to all department staff.

Tech's research evaluation committee is looking forward to our continued work to learn more about the faculty and how we can support positive development at Tech.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Brian Vinter
Vice-dean for research
T: +45 28751421

Research evaluation at three different rates