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Coara hosts first dialogue between national chapters


Fifteen national groups coordinating researcher assessment reform hold first meeting in Portugal

The Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment has hosted its first meeting of its national chapters, where a discussion took place on implementing reform across different regulatory contexts.

Coara is helping organisations implement the EU-backed Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, which commits signatories to making researcher assessment fairer and more reflective of the diversity of research roles.

Its national chapters met for the first time at a conference in Portugal on 22-23 February, following Coara’s launch in December 2022.

Coordination hubs

The 15 national chapters are “country-level facilitators” that “form hubs for coordinating actions and for mutual learning, while respecting member organisations’ autonomy”, Coara explained in a summary of the event, published on 23 February.

“For the successful implementation of Coara’s commitments, translating [its] principles into the diverse geographical, regional, institutional and disciplinary contexts in which member organisations are situated is key.”

Lidia Borrell-Damián, a Coara Steering Board member representing the Science Europe association of research funding and performing organisations, said “continuous dialogues among national chapters and other Coara actor groups are crucial in fostering diversity and mutual inspiration”.

“These dialogues serve to promote coherence within Coara, mitigating potential contradictions across assessment systems, types and purposes.”

Expanding representation

At the conference, the Coara steering board validated three new national chapters, representing Portugal, Sweden and the UK. It hopes more will be created following the conference.

Bruno Béu, a representative from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, said “the newly established Coara National Chapter of Portugal will be instrumental in coordinating efforts, exchanging experiences and supporting Portuguese Coara members”.

The first national chapters were created in response to a call launched by Coara last year. The other countries with national chapters are Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. Coara is still building up its membership outside Europe.

Takeaways from the conference will be included in a report and an action plan based on agreements between national chapters, Coara said.