The Scientific Excellence Working Group takes a broad approach towards scientific excellence as excellence in all aspects of the scientific endeavor. “Scientific excellence” in this sense not only includes excellence in scientific research, but also excellence in connecting science to society, in teaching and mentoring scientists, in science management, and in science advice to policy makers, to name only a few.
In this working group, we are interested in defining, describing and measuring scientific excellence and its impact on society. Naturally, there is a key focus on how to evaluate scientific activities and to assess the quantitative and qualitative indicators that are currently used for measuring excellence in science. What is more, we are keen on identifying what kind of environment would be most suitable to unleash curiosity and creativity in science, as well as to foster the development of human potential. We also aim to identify new ways to take into account often implicit personal qualities of a person which are nevertheless vital professionally.
For GYA members and alumni only: connect to the group, collaborate and discuss with other members on the GYA-internal Agora platform here.
The Scientific Excellence Working Group continues to work together with the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), ICS, ALLEA, the JRC, and several European Commission Expert Groups to drive change in the perception and measurement of scientific excellence. These collaborations have led to significant results that are impacting policy on a local, regional as well as global level (see Outcomes section below).
Currently, the group engages in four larger, concrete projects:
The group began work on this first global study of research evaluation practices in 2016, bringing together comparable data sets on a global scale, focusing on criteria to become a full professor. By now, the study collates 238 institutional & government progression evaluation documents spanning 56 countries. This data-informed approach is needed to be able to propose evidence-based recommendations that can improve current evaluation practices and research culture as a whole. The first results and a provisional report of this project was presented at the GYA AGM in 2018.
The final report titled “Global trends governing career progression in academia and its impact on inclusion and diversity” is currently under review by Nature. Once the article has been published, further dissemination activities will be organised in 2023/24.
Led by the group, the GYA has joined the European Commission’s coalition for reforming research assessment (CoARA), and has become an active participant in this initiative. As a member of CoARA, in 2023/24, the group will participate in several CoARA working groups, be represented in the CoARA steering committee, and organize the dissemination of CoARA beyond Europe.
In May 2023, the GYA-IAP-ISC synthesis paper on the Future of Research Evaluation was published, to which group co-lead Carlo D’Ippoliti and GYA alumna Shaheen Motala-Timol had contributed as members of the Scoping Group together with IAP and ISC representatives. In 2023/24, the group will engage in follow-up projects and dissemination activities.
In 2023/24, the group will collaborate with the GYA Membership Selection Committee to implement alternative excellence assessment criteria.