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Preparing for the evaluation of a research body

What the research body should do

To enable the expert committee to evaluate every aspect of the activities conducted by the research bodies of the institutions and organisations concerned, by referring to the documents supplied and through an on-site visit, the evaluations must factor in the result, self-evaluation and scientific prospects of each team as well as those of the body.

This is because the aim is to provide the various stakeholders with objective information for gauging the quality of the activity conducted in the research bodies. The State or institutions concerned remain fully responsible for the decisions regarding recognition and allocation of human and financial resources.

As such:

  • a unit seeking renewal should examine the activity reports of the past five years and the scientific prospects, and identify the strengths and areas for improvement overall and on a team-by-team basis;
  • a unit that is new or undergoing a change in staff should examine the scientific prospects and analyse the prospective study as well as the objectives and strategy defined for the next five years overall and on a team-by-team basis. In the case of a change in staff, the result of the teams making up the new body will also be looked at.

What the AERES will do

The visit committee comprises experts, including a chairperson, on the one hand and, on the other, representative(s) of the staff evaluation body of each institution to which the evaluated body is affiliated, as put forward by this body (CoNRS, CNU, INSERM specialised scientific commissions, etc.). The list of experts is published. For small units, the committee size may be reduced accordingly.

These experts can be researchers, professors, engineers and technicians from the academic or industrial research community in France or abroad. The list of experts who are contacted is sent beforehand to the institutions concerned, which may particularly make comments about any conflict of interest.

The presidents or directors of organisations or their representatives attend meetings with the body director or with the teams and provide contextual explanations or clarifications about the strategy of organisations at the request of the expert committee chairperson.

During the visit, the expert committee is accompanied by a scientific delegate who represents the AERES and makes sure the evaluation process is carried out correctly and in accordance with procedures. The AERES representative is not a member of the expert committee.