Evaluation of Life Sciences

By evaluating Norwegian research and higher education we aim to enhance the quality, relevance and efficiency. The evaluation of life sciences will be conducted in 2022 - 2024.

Subject assessments provide an assessment of the research quality and innovation in each individual subject area in Norway - against an international standard. Subject evaluations convey international development trends that it is important to follow up for developing future research and innovation within life sciences.

In accordance with the statutes of the Research Council of Norway, the Council evaluates Norwegian professional environments to create a solid and up-to-date knowledge base about Norwegian research and higher education in an international perspective. Such knowledge is useful for the institutions that participate in the evaluation, for the Council who give advice to the authorities on how research should be developed further, and for the authorities, who set targets and frameworks for research and higher education.

The Research Council are now evaluating Norwegian biosciences, as the first of two evaluations within life sciences. The evaluation of biosciences takes place in 2022 - 2023, and the evaluation of medicine and health care will be carried out in 2023-2024.

Purpose

The primary aim of the evaluation of life sciences is to reveal and confirm the quality and the relevance of research performed at Norwegian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the institute sector and regional health authorities and trusts. The evaluation shall result in recommendations to the institutions, the Research Council and the ministries.

The assessment will include a number of administrative units (e.g. faculty, department, institution) which are submitted for evaluation by the host institution. The institutions themselves will participate actively in adapting the evaluation mandate for their institution. This is to ensure that the results of the evaluation will be useful for the institution's own strategic development. The institutions also participate in the selection of relevant evaluation data and indicators, in addition to the fact that the institutions will be invited to collect data that will be used as a basis for assessing the evaluation criteria that are defined locally.

The evaluation's three phases

Initial phase

The Research Council prepare an evaluation protocol that describes roles, processes and the responsibilities in the evaluation work. The protocol sets the framework for the design of evaluation mandates for each individual institution by specifying overall evaluation dimensions and common evaluation criteria.

Phase 1

The aim for phase 1 is to design evaluation mandates for the individual institution. The institutions take the evaluation protocol as a starting point and adapt the mandate to the institution's own strategies and characteristics.

Phase 2

In phase 2, the institutions and the Research Council work to collect data for the evaluation. The data is partly obtained from national databases and partly locally. The Research Council will provide analyzes of the data base that will be used to assess common mandatory evaluation criteria, while the institutions will collect other data that will be used as a basis for assessing their own strategies.

Phase 3

In phase 3, the Evaluation Committees will assess the data that has been collected. The Committees will prepare a report for each of the institutions that are evaluated based on the evaluation mandate for each individual institution. In addition, the Committee will write a summary assessment of the research.

Evaluation committees

The administrative units will be assessed by evaluation committees according to sectorial affiliation and/or other relevant similarities between the units. The evaluation committee will have expertise in the main disciplines of the life sciences/biosciences and various aspects of the organization and management of research and higher education. The committee will consist of 5-7 international evaluation members per evaluation committee.

Expert panels

The administrative units will be invited to submit their research groups to be assessed by expert panels organised by research subjects or themes. The expert panels will assess research groups across institutions and sectors. The expert panels will consist of 5 international experts per panel.

Academic secretariat

The Research Council has established an external academic secretariat for the evaluation. The secretariat will coordinate data collection from the institutions and process and analyze the collected material from CRIStin, NIFU's researcher personnel register, Databases for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH) and the Studiebarometeret.

Follow-up of the evaluation

Each institution is responsible for following up the recommendations that apply to their own institution. The Research Council will use evaluation report in the development of funding instruments and in consultation with the ministries.

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