Lund University's Research Quality Evaluation Project 2020

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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