The research and higher education institutions sign a contract with the State. Drawn up for four years prior to 2011, this contract now runs for five years. With over 200 institutions involved in this contractual process, the French Ministry for Research and Higher Education has split them up into 5 geographical groups.
These are designated by the letter “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, or “E”, together with the contract start and end years (e.g. Contractualisation Group A 2016-2020 evaluated in 2014-2015).
The AERES has designed a cycle of evaluation campaigns on the basis of this breakdown. Every year, the Agency evaluates institutions in the same group, the year prior to the contractual negotiations with their supervising ministry, so as to give both parties a shared basis for analysis and dialogue.
Since it was set up in 2007, the AERES has thus completed the evaluation campaigns for institutions in:
- contractualisation group B 2008-2011 evaluated in 2007
- contractualisation group C 2009-2012 evaluated in 2007-2008
- contractualisation group D 2010-2013 evaluated in 2008-2009
- contractualisation group A 2011-2014 evaluated in 2009-2010
- contractualisation group B 2012-2016 evaluated in 2010-2011
- contractualisation group C 2013-2017 evaluated in 2011-2012
And it will be conducting the evaluation campaigns of institutions in:
- contractualisation group D 2014-2018 evaluated in 2012-2013 ;
- contractualisation group E 2015-2019 evaluated in 2013-2014 ;
- contractualisation group A 2016-2020 evaluated in 2014-2015.
Each campaign is characterised by the integrated evaluation of training programmes, research units and institutions by the agency’s three evaluation departments.
In addition to these contractual groups, every year the AERES carries out a separate evaluation programme of research organisations, training programmes or institutions at the request of other ministries or competent authorities abroad.