International evaluation of research commences

The university will review the preconditions for high-quality research and doctoral education from the perspective of research communities.

Vice-Rector Johanna Björkroth

Starting in January 2011, the evaluation concerning research and doctoral education in 2005–2010 will be different from the previous ones in many ways. In the evaluations in 1999 and 2005, departments and faculties were selected for review from a higher level, but this time the researcher communities register voluntarily to the evaluation.

- The forming of research at universities will this time be surveyed from the own perspective of the research communities, says Johanna Björkroth, Vice-Rector in charge of research and researcher education.

Björkroth is confident that there is an interest in participating: researchers find it important to receive peer feedback from panels consisting of Finnish and foreign experts.

There are many ways to reach the top and society

There are different starting points for high-profile research at a multidisciplinary university. In addition to communities carrying out high-profile research, the evaluation has designated categories for communities who have opened up new research vistas or those who have a societal impact.

- The purpose of the participation categories is to encourage very different communities to join in. The university strategy, reaching the top and society is implemented in many different ways, says Björkroth.

- A high quality of research and doctoral education is the starting point of all categories. However, the evaluation questions mainly address functional considerations, where all participants of the evaluation have room for further development, says Seppo Saari, Project Manager in charge of the evaluation.

Of course, some leading clusters of the university are already known. However, the operating communities of young team leaders of about 30 to 40 years of age, are not that well known.

- This is the first time opening up new vistas or the societal emphasis of research will be surveyed in conjunction with research evaluation, which was regarded as constructive.

Evaluation registration will continue during November. The evaluation report publishing is set for 2012.

- The final summary reports will be very interesting material concerning the research activity at the university, says Björkroth.

Text: Milla Karvonen
Photo: University of Helsinki
Translation: AAC Global

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