MD03: Assessing and Evaluating Research and Impact
Research will always be assessed before resources are allocated; but how should this best be done? Alongside the more traditional forms of funding for specific research projects, funding models have emerged based on national reviews of research by specific disciplines. The methods used in these assessments include publications, the research environment and research impact; with utilization of a variety of metrics. These co-exist with assessments based on citations of publications, and more rounded evaluation of CVs. In this Midday session we will discuss the various forms of national and international evaluation of research output and impact in Europe. In the UK, there have been regular national research assessments every seven or so years for over 30 years, whereas other countries across Europe have developed these processes more recently. In the last two reviews in the UK, the impact of research on society has been included alongside academic impact, an approach that is already being fostered by the new EC framework research programme Horizon Europe. The panel will discuss these review exercises and the various forms that they take. We will invite consideration of the variety of funding models and research environments across Europe, including their implications for ‘permanent’ academic posts and academic work patterns and careers. We will focus especially on whether and to what extent such reviews impact particularly on Sociology as a discipline.
Ramon Flecha, University of Barcelona, Spain
Ramon Flecha is Professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona and Doctor Honoris Causa by Vest Timisoara University. He coordinated the FP7 project IMPACT-EV and was Chair of the European Commission’s expert group on Evaluation Methodologies for the interim and ex-post evaluations of H2020. He is co-author of the EC publication Monitoring the impact of EU Framework Programmes that has informed the evaluation system of FP9 Horizon Europe. His publications include journals such as PlosOne, Nature-Palgrave Communications, Journal of Mixed Methods Research and Current Sociology. Results of some of his research have been approved by the European Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, leading to political and social impacts.
Sylvia Walby, City University of London, UK
Professor Sylvia Walby has worked at City University of London as Professor of Sociology and Director of the interdisciplinary Violence and Society Centre since 1 March 2019. She was previously at Lancaster University where she was Distinguished Professor of Sociology, held the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, and was Director of the Violence and Society UNESCO Centre. Sylvia was the founding President of the European Sociological Association, elected after chairing the steering committee to establish the association. She has been President of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee RC02 on Economy and Society. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor Walby was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities and diversity. She is Chair of the REF Sub-Panel for Sociology.
Sue Scott, Newcastle University and University of Helsinki (ESA President)
Sue Scott is the current President of the European Sociological Association (2017-2019). She was President of the British Sociological Association 2007-2009. She is a sociologist primarily of gender and sexuality. Sue has been a Professor at a number of UK Universities, as well as a Dean and a Pro Vice Chancellor, and is now a Visiting Professor at Newcastle and Helsinki. She is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and adviser to the Academy on Open Access. She is on the Board of the European Alliance for the Social Sciences and Humanities. Sue is a founding and managing editor of Discover Society, discoversociety.org.
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