Evaluation of natural sciences 2022-2023

By evaluating Norwegian research and higher education we aim to enhance the quality, relevance and efficiency. The evaluation of natural sciences will take place in 2022 and 2023.

In accordance with the statutes of the Research Council of Norway, the Council evaluates Norwegian academic communities to create a solid and up-to-date knowledge base on Norwegian research and higher education in an international perspective. Such knowledge is useful for the institutions participating in the evaluation, for The Research Council of Norway who advise the authorities on how research should be further developed, and for the authorities that set goals and frameworks for research and higher education.

We are now evaluating Norwegian natural sciences. The evaluation will take place in 2022 and 2023. In 2023-2024 we will evaluate mathematics, ICT and technology.


The main objective of the academic evaluation is to assess the quality of Norwegian natural sciences, the framework conditions for research and the relevance of research to key areas of society. The evaluation shall result in recommendations to the institutions, the Research Council and the ministries.

Involvement of the institutions

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 will also be invited to collect data that will be used as a basis for assessing the evaluation criteria defined locally.

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 prepares 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 analysis of the database 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 natural sciences and various aspects of the organization and management of research and higher education. The committee will consist of 7-9 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 organized by research subjects or themes. The expert panels will assess research groups across institutions and sectors. The expert panels will consist of 4-5 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 reports in the development of funding instruments and in consultation with the ministries.

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