Lund University's Research Quality Evaluation Project 2020

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Link to RQ20’s Report Launch Webinar and more!

On Friday 26 March the project group invited LU-staff to RQ20’s Report Launch Webinar in order to, well, launch the RQ20 report.

We invited a list of speakers that have been part of the RQ20 process, and other key participants in the project such as the former Vice-Chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz and the new Vice-Chancellor Erik Renström and Pro Vice-Chancellor Per Mickwitz, representatives from the RQ20 reference group, Anna Meeuwisse and Per Persson, as well as representatives of the UoA-community, Angela Cenci Nilsson and Thomas Kaiserfeld.

The speakers contributed with valuable insights into the procedure and result of the project, and complemented each other’s views. We want to thank all speakers for sharing their experiences and thoughts about the project, which lead to a very successful launch in our opinion. In total 327 people participated live, and we also want to thank you for spending your Friday afternoon with us, and for posing such interesting and analytical questions during the Q&A.

If you missed the live event, the RQ20 Report Launch Webinar was recorded and can be viewed via this link and the PowerPoint presentation from the event is found here. And of course, the RQ20-Report can be downloaded here.

We also want to take this opportunity to highlight the blog-post (in Swedish) from Lund University’s Vice-Chancellor, Erik Renström, in which he discusses the results of the RQ20 project.



Happy Easter holidays and thank you all, once more, for your time, support, engagement, and encouragement that ultimately made this project possible and our work so enjoyable!

/Malin, Freddy and Mats


April 1, 2021

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RQ20-report now accessible via LUCRIS!

Just in time for RQ20’s Report Launch Webinar tomorrow (which we hope you have registered for — if not klick here and register!) the report is now accessible via LUCRIS.

To view or download the report, please klick here.

In the making of this report there are particularly two colleagues we wish to highlight. That is Gunilla Albertén at Media-Tryck and Maria Wendel at Media and Branding. Together, Gunilla and Maria have worked on the editing, layout and selection of images in the different parts of the report – thank you both for your help!

We are convinced that the work that has been put in by all the people involved in RQ20, which ultimately make up the content of this report, will contribute to enlightenment regarding the state of future research quality at Lund University – thank you all and we hope that you will enjoy the report!

/Malin, Mats and Freddy

March 25, 2021

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Programme and registration for RQ20’s Report Launch Webinar!

Lundakarnevalen 2014.


PDF Invitation to RQ20’s Report Launch Webinar (for distribution)

For two years, the RQ20 project has engaged 162 internal unites, 4700+ members of staff, 37 external panels and about 220 advisors around the world in order to delve into, unbox and enhance the future of research quality at Lund University. All the hard work, leading up to this point, by everyone involved has now culminated in a final product; namely the RQ20 report, containing materials and information that pertain to the procedure and result of the project.

The report is divided into three parts that each deal with one aspect of the project. Part I entails the project group’s own statement and reflections about the procedure as well as general summaries of the advice obtained by the external panels, including a summary of the self-assessments from the UoAs. For those who are interested in a more comprehensive account, the two remaining parts contain the reports written by the external subject panels covering the preconditions for research activities (PART II), and by the transversal panels covering more overarching themes (PART III).

The RQ20 report will be presented at a webinar on the 26 March at 15.00-16.15, where the project group and other key persons will present and reflect upon what RQ20 has taught them about Lund University’s long-term capacity to develop and strengthen its position in the world. The webinar also marks the end of the RQ20 project group’s mandate period and the RQ20 report will thereafter be handed over to the University Management who, going forward, will govern its results.

We welcome everyone who wants to join us in this event!




WHEN: FRIDAY 26 MARCH, 15.00 – 16.15


15.00 Welcome

RQ20 Project Group: Freddy Ståhlberg, Mats Benner, Malin Bredenberg

15.02 Why RQ20?

Vice-chancellor Emeritus Torbjörn von Schantz

15.10 ABOUT – The RQ20 project

Project leader Freddy Ståhlberg

15.15 ABOUT – The RQ20 report

Project Coordinator Malin Bredenberg

15.20 ABOUT – The RQ20 results

Project Leader Mats Benner

15.30 What did RQ20 tell us?

Representatives for the RQ20 reference group:

Prof. Anna Meeuwisse, Faculty of Social Sciences

Prof. Per Persson, Faculty of Science

15.40 What did RQ20 give us?

Representatives for the Unit of Assessment (UoA) community at LU:

Prof. Angela Cenci Nilsson, Faculty of Medicine

Prof. Thomas Kaiserfeld, Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology

15.50 Beyond RQ20

Vice-Chancellor Erik Renström

Pro Vice-Chancellor Per Mickwitz

16.10 Closing remarks

RQ20 Project Group

March 1, 2021

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RQ20’s report launch seminar — save the date!

We are excited to announce that RQ20’s final report is well under way* and will be presented at a report launch seminar which will take place 26 March 15.00 – 16.15. The event will of course be open to all at LU and more information will follow in due time — but make sure to save the date!

* Brief update about the RQ20 report: on December 18, we received the final transversal report from the External Engagement panel, meaning that all 32 subject panel reports and 5 transversal panel reports have been reviewed and submitted in their final form (content-wise).  The part comprising project conclusions and summaries from the RQ20 administration in collaboration with the reference group, has been proofread and the external panel reports currently undergo editing and layout with assistance from Media-Tryck to visually harmonise the content. 

/The project team

January 13, 2021

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Holiday greetings from the RQ20 Office!

2020 is drawing to a close, and upon reflection it has been a year of extraordinary predicaments, plan B’s, and creative thinking to work around the conditions pertaining to the pandemic. For the RQ20 project, the challenges faced during 2020 have been ameliorated much thanks to the fortitude, flexibility and relief offered by all involved in the project; from our researchers and external advisors to technical support functions and the RQ20 reference group. Together we have made it possible to say that not only the year 2020 is drawing to a close, but also the RQ20 project. And in doing so, we hope our joint efforts and achievements will be of use to the university for many years to come.

However, before we all run off on our well-deserved breaks, we wish to share some exiting news and updates about the RQ20 project.

First, we are pleased to announce that all transversal panel reports have been submitted. The transversal reports on Infrastructure, Recruitment and Large and Interdisciplinary Research Areas have been finalised, whilst the reports for External Engagement and Management and Leadership are currently undergoing fact check by selected participants from the meetings.

Second, nearly all UoA-coordinators have by now received feedback from the panels on their “action-points”, which were formulated on basis of the subject panel reports. We hope these will be of value for the UoAs in their continued work.

Furthermore, the RQ20 administration has received mandate to lead the RQ20 project into the New Year, extending the project deadline until March 31 2021.

The RQ20 report, which comprises project conclusions and summaries from the RQ20 administration in collaboration with the reference group, and include all external panel reports, will therefore be presented at a report launch seminar which will take place 26 March 15.00 – 16.15. (SAVE THE DATE!)

Finally, on behalf of the RQ20 Administration, thank you for yet another year in service of research quality at Lund University.

We wish you all a happy holiday and a healthy new year!

/Malin, Freddy and Mats

December 11, 2020

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All transversal panel meetings conducted!

As of last week, the final transversal panel (Management & Leadership) concluded its last session, which featured Lund University vice-chancellor elect, Erik Renström.

Despite the shift in format, going from physical to digital meetings, we leave this experience all the wiser and with a similar feeling as in May – they have proven both inspiring and illuminating, with many interesting discussions and sharp comments that ultimately aim to unpack the million dollar question: how can we do better? Better in terms of impact, rejuvenation, research methodology, interdisciplinarity, strategic guidance and goal attainment at different levels to mention a few of the topics that have been touched upon during the transversal meetings.  

Project Leader Mats Benner moderates session on External Engagement at MNO-huset in Lund.

The work of the transversal panels depend on an apprehension of the theme at hand, be it infrastructure or recruitment, from a national (Swedish) or even regional (Lund) context. This was one of our greatest challenges prior to the meetings; namely, providing enough context to make the advice useful from a Lund perspective without the physical possibility to show the panellists our multifaceted university. Consequently, both the panellists and the participants had to work harder to prepare for the meetings in order to make the most out of their time together. Certain information that would have been freely granted by merely visiting the premises had to be reconstructed artificially via second-hand sources.

It is our interpretation, nevertheless, that what we lost in terms contextual settings, we gained in terms of ambition towards raising the standard of content in the meetings by all involved. The panels were, as far as we can see, satisfied with the information received beforehand as well as with the technical organisation (to which we, once more, owe LU Conference our gratitude for their professional and skilled technicians), and all participants from LU whom candidly partook in discussions.

Now we eagerly await the transversal panel reports, which presently are in the process of being either written (External Engagement; Management and Leadership), fact checked (Infrastructure; LIRA) or stored for final publication (Recruitment). Once a report is finalised, it is distributed to the University Management, the Faculty Leadership and the RQ20 Reference Group as a standalone document and can be retrieved either via one of the abovementioned channels, or via the RQ20 Administration. Overall, we expect to have the reports finalised before the Christmas holidays.

Project Coordinator Malin Bredenberg moderates session on Infrastructure and technician Daniel Göransson manages the IT at MNO-huset in Lund.

In parallel to the transversal panel meetings, the RQ20 administration have initiated the follow-up phase with the Subject Panels and the Units of Assessments. As mentioned in previous posts, we have offered the UoAs a possibility to develop action-points, based on the advice provided in the reports. These bullet-lists have been distributed to the Panel Chairs, and our ambition is to finalise also the follow-up phase in late December.

Lastly, we wish to thank all who have been involved in making the transversal panel meetings such a positive event. We acknowledge all the time and hard work that has been put into this by the participants from Lund, and hope that it in the end will prove useful to our University on many levels, in order to sustain and strengthen its place in the world.

 /Malin, Freddy and Mats

November 12, 2020

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New timeline: RQ20 follow-up phase!

As the pandemic lingers on, the RQ20 Office have been forced to rethink the previously planned follow-up sessions between the UoAs and external subject panels which were to take place physically in Lund this Autumn. 

The content of the follow-up phase remain largely the same, but instead of meeting physically the RQ20 administration will accommodate a written dialogue between the external subject panels and the UoAs.

We have therefore asked each UoA coordinator to create a bulleted list of maximum 5 items that they, based on the panel report, regard as important to the development of their UoA over the next years. These will thereafter be sent to the panelchairs who we invite to comment on the action points. 

In parallel, we will in short also initiate discussions with the University and Faculty Managements to create a forum for follow-up on those levels as well. 

/The RQ20-team 




September 24, 2020

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100% of the subject panel reports submitted!

This is an exciting week for the RQ20 Office. Yesterday marked the deadline for submitting the subject panel reports and lo and behold, all reports were submitted on time. The RQ20-administration is therefore in possession of 32 subject panel reports of which 15 have been either forwarded to the UoAs for fact check or are awaiting their final revised submission by the panels. 17 reports have already been re-submitted in their final fact checked version. We applaud the external advisors for their punctual effort!

Alongside our anticipation for the report submission, the RQ20 team have also initiated the preparatory pre-meetings with the transversal panels. Last week we met with the University Management where it was agreed that the transversal meetings should be organised online rather than on site. This is unfortunate, but with the memory still very much alive from the subject panel meetings in May, we hope to, with aid from LU Conferences, arrange for equally fruitful online-sessions. The pre-meetings are therefore devoted to discussing the new format with the advisors and figure out how to best conduct the meetings in a digital set-up.

We are also in the midst of collecting additional background information for the transversal panels, as requested by the advisors. The advisors in the transversal panel for recruitment have for instance asked for information on the recruitment process, on both faculty and central level, as well as some rudimentary statistics.

Last but not least, the production of the final RQ20 report is progressing nicely. Yesterday, in addition to the report deadline for the subject panels, marked the deadline for the faculties to submit, in writing, the rationale behind the constitution of their subject panels and UoAs. As you may remember, this task was handed to the faculties in early 2019, and the logic behind the allocation of researchers into panels and UoAs therefore differ. Some faculties opted to organise the panels and UoAs in accordance with the line organisation, i.e. based on departmental och institutional affiliation, others opted to compose more “theme-based” panels and UoAs with the common denominator being research areas. As this may affect the premise on which UoAs are evaluated, for instance joint leadership structures etc., this information is key to comprehend the objects (UoAs) under scrutiny.

Looking ahead, we can easily say that the RQ20 project enjoy an intense and exciting forecast this autumn!

/Malin, Freddy and Mats


September 2, 2020

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50% of the subject panel reports submitted!

Once more, the RQ20-team is back in business after a well spent, but perhaps more local holiday than usual. We are excited to pick up where we left off in terms of planning ahead and as mentioned in the previous post, two main tasks lay before us as we enter the autumn semester; namely, 1) writing and putting together the final RQ20 report, and 2) organising the Transversal Panel Meetings, starting in September.

Several external subject panel reports, which constitute the key part of the final RQ20 report, have been submitted during the summer; we have now received first drafts of 16 subject panel reports (i.e. exactly 50% of the total expected amount, namely 32 reports), of which 8 have been resubmitted in its final form, meaning that they have been fact checked by the UoAs and edited accordingly. 

The entire RQ20-team will contribute to writing and editing the RQ20 report (incl. the Reference Group and University Management), though Prof. Mats Benner, one of the RQ20 project leaders and our very own expert in the field of research evaluations, have willingly agreed to take on the task of synthesising the external subject panel reports in writing, with the self-evaluation acting as starting point. Apart from the primary sources themselves, i.e. the external subject panel reports, this theme-based synthesis marks one of the project team’s more instructive and comprehensive contribution to the content of the final RQ20 report.

The next task, planning for the transversal panel meetings, is a more complex nut to crack as it involves external factors beyond our control, read Corona repercussions. Our primary mission within the coming weeks is therefore quite basic, namely to decide if the meetings (all or some) will take place IRL or digitally. 

We will, as always, keep you in the RQ20 loop during this autumn, as our magnificent University Library Building dresses up in more vibrant colours.

/The project team 

August 10, 2020

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Summer Greetings from the RQ20 Office!

It has been nearly two months since the Digital Panel Week was successfully completed and since then the External Subject Panels have been working intensely towards recording their observations and impression in what will become the final reports, which are due 1 September. 

Before the RQ20 Office go on summer holiday, we first and foremost wish to provide you with a brief update about the work a head relating to drafting, fact checking and submitting the final reports by the External Subject Panels. An illustrative timetable can be found here.

The report procedure is quite straightforward. After the Digital Panel Week, the Subject Panels were offered an opportunity to submit follow-up questions to the research environments (UoAs). These questions were intended to clarify any outstanding issues from the interviews and the UoAs had until mid-June to provide replies, to the best of their ability.

The nature of the follow-up questions reflect high quality discussions in terms of the activities of the research environments and many were aimed at the faculty management with requests to describe the organisation more in detail.

As of today, all replies from the UoAs to the follow-up questions have been distributed back to the Subject Panels, meaning that the next step is to submit the first draft of the report. Once the first draft is submitted, it is re-distributed to the UoAs for a quick fact check. 

We can gladly announce that as of today about 1/3 of the reports have been submitted, fact checked and sent back to the Subject Panel for further modification. In addition to this, a few reports have already been submitted in their final version and distributed to the UoA Coordinators and Faculty Management. Once the final version of the each subject panel report has been submitted, it is added to the final RQ20 report.

The rate in which the panel reports are submitted is very promising and so is their content. The factual observations received from the UoAs in response to the first drafts are thus far relatively limited, meaning that the External Subject Panels have displayed a sufficient understanding of the research environments from a factual standpoint. Thus far, the reports adhere well to the instructions given by the RQ20 Office in the Subject Panel Guideline which furthermore align with the overall goal of RQ20 – to identify, assess and enhance the conditions under which the UoAs function, to promote excellence in research.

A second update we wish to share is the current state of planning for the Transversal Panels, which is another major undertaking of the RQ20 Office at this moment.

As you may recall, the RQ20 project contains five transversal panels that, unlike the 32 Subject Panels, are not divided by subject but rather by overarching themes. These panels each comprise five external and highly credited advisors whose job it is to shed light on central and transversal themes that we consider to be of crucial importance for University development: Infrastructure, Recruitment, Large and Interdisciplinary Research Environments (LIRA), External Engagement, and Organisation and Leadership.

Early this spring, the RQ20 Office decided to postpone the Transversal Panel Meetings until autumn and since June we have, together with relevant parties, finalised the list of participants and sent out all invitations. Despite not knowing whether these meetings will be able to take place physically in Lund or digitally, the new dates for the meetings are set, and are as follows:

Sept 22-23     Infrastructure

Sept 28-29     Recruitment

Oct 5-6           Large and interdisciplinary research areas

Oct 27-28      External engagement

Nov 2-3          Management and leadership

Next semester, the focus of the RQ20 Office will  follow these two strands. Administering incoming reports, composing the final report, and planning for the Transversal Panel Meetings, and we very much look forward to it!

However, first, we wish to take pause and give warm thanks to all who have contributed to the progress of the project this past semester, despite having to make quite abrupt and unforeseen changes due to the circumstances following the Corona outbreak. We wish you all a great summer!

/Malin, Freddy and Mats

July 2, 2020

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Next on the RQ20 timetable: Q&A and submission of Subject Panel Report

15 May

External panels submit follow-up questions in writing to malin.bredenberg@fs.lu.se 


12 June

Replies from UoAs/faculties to external panels in writing via malin.bredenberg@fs.lu.se


12 June – 1 September

External panels work with their
reports, extended deadline until 1/9. Submit report to malin.bredenberg@fs.lu.se


May 12, 2020

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