Who does what ?
The evaluation is carried out by four different AERES associates working closely together: the Board members, the scientific delegates in the Agency’s departments, the experts and the administrative staff. One of the Agency’s fundamental principles is to ensure the continuous improvement of practices through exchanges between these four stakeholders.
Gathering together 25 members from the scientific, political and socioeconomic worlds who are appointed for four years (renewable once), the AERES Board is tasked with ensuring that:
- the evaluation procedures implemented in the Agency’s departments are consistent. In this regard, it specifies the framework, objectives, criteria and arrangements for carrying out the evaluation procedure for each department
- the criteria and procedures implemented by the Agency take account of the diverse types and missions of the institutions and programmes evaluated as well as the diversity of disciplinary fields.
The scientific delegates
A scientific delegate (researcher or professor) is an AERES employee in charge of the scientific organisation of evaluations, according to the specific arrangements of each department. He or she also contributes to the Agency’s methodological brainstorming with the continuous improvement of evaluations in mind.
Some one hundred part-time scientific delegates thus organise the evaluations of research units, programmes falling within their field of competence and of institutions:
- preparation of evaluations and on-site visits
- participation in the evaluation report editorial committee
- organisation of scoring sessions
- drawing up of the summaries required for integrated evaluation.
In the departments for the evaluation of research units and evaluation of programmes and degrees, three coordinators run the activities of the scientific delegates in the three main scientific fields: Social and Human Sciences (SHS), Hard Sciences (HS) and Life Sciences (LS).
Reputed in their fields of competence, the experts are the key to the AERES evaluation system.
The AERES calls on several thousand experts from different geographical, cultural and academic backgrounds. The pool is formed upon the proposal of higher education institutions, research organisations, bodies that evaluate staff competent in higher education and research, the Agency’s department heads and Board.
In order to ensure consistent evaluation procedures and fair handling of the evaluated institutions and programmes, each expert must have a full grasp of the Agency’s evaluation methods. The AERES develops training cycles for its experts with this in mind.
The administrative staff
The Agency employs 70 members of administrative staff to organise evaluations.