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.
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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.
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.
Research organisations receive many high-quality research applications and research proposals. They need to be able to identify which proposals are the best for funding, and which researchers should be appointed or promoted. They also regularly evaluate the performance of research institutes and universities. Research assessment processes are an important aspect of ensuring the quality of research, which is fundamental to the research enterprise.
The 2018 Science Europe Symposium took place in Brussels, Belgium. The topic was 'Interdisciplinarity'.