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EUA and Science Europe to draft reform of research assessment

Group of individuals will represent views of broader research community

The European University Association and Science Europe, the association of research funders and performers, will lead the drafting of an agreement on reforming research assessment. The exercise is part of efforts coordinated by the European Commission.

Late last year, the Commission revealed it wanted to form a coalition of research organisations in favour of reforming research assessment, given the widespread recognition that employers and funders currently use “inappropriate and narrow methods” to assess the quality of research and researchers.

Members of the coalition will sign up to principles and values intended to help the sector move away from its longstanding over-reliance on proxies for quality and impact, and these principles and values will be set out in the agreement that is to be drawn up.

Drafting team

As well as the two associations, the drafting will be led by Karen Stroobants, a former researcher turned consultant and adviser on research policy, the Commission said on 18 January. The Commission will act as a facilitator, while a “core group” of other individuals will work with the team leading the drafting process to represent the broader research community.

This group includes Marta Agostinho of the life sciences association EU-Life; university association representatives Mattias Björnmalm, Silvia Gómez Recio, Bert Overlaet, Jan Palmowski and Ludovic Thilly; Paola Bovolenta of the European Research Council; Pavel Doleček from the Czech Ministry of Education; and Gemma Modinos from the Young Academy of Europe.

All organisations that have an expressed an interest in joining the coalition will also have a change to provide input, as will European governments, the Commission said. It expects the agreement to be signed in the spring.