Responsible Research Assessment

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in collaboration with the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics and the National Research Foundation (NRF) in South Africa will be delivering a Global Research Council Virtual Conference on Responsible Research Assessment throughout the week commencing 23 November 2020.

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of international collaboration in research and innovation. The impact of research has become ever more apparent during the pandemic, and so there is a renewed urgency for funders to come together and reconsider how research is assessed and evaluated.

At the GRC Responsible Research Assessment Conference 2020, participants will be invited to consider the existing sector-wide frameworks on responsible research assessment and have a global discussion on how funders can drive a positive research culture through research assessment criteria and processes. The discussions will reflect on how to support a diverse, inclusive and thriving research sector.

The conference will explore:

  • the research ecosystem as a whole
  • the range of stakeholders who influence and impact on research assessment
  • the roles that funders play in research.

The conference will focus discussion around:

  • funders’ research assessment criteria and processes
  • funders’ assessment of their own performance
  • funders’ influence on research organisations’ assessment criteria and processes.

The conference is an opportunity to share practice and an understanding of research assessment criteria and processes currently used by international funders for the assessment of research and researchers. For example, the conference will touch on the increased range of metrics used to indicate research quality and how these proxy measures of quality have developed systemic incentives and biases. A paper on the current state of play with respect to the adoption of the existing frameworks will be made available in advance of the conference to inform discussion. 

The conference will also offer participants the opportunity to engage in discussions about some of the challenges research funders face when implementing responsible research assessment criteria and processes. Discussion areas include:

  • the continued competition for research funding
  • the burden and bureaucracy associated with allocating money
  • interaction with other stakeholders within the research ecosystem
  • requirements to demonstrate the impact of research funding in an efficient way.

An output from the virtual conference will be incorporated into the GRC’s 9th Annual Meeting taking place in May 2021.  

It is important for global funders to consider collectively approaches to research assessment criteria and processes to facilitate real shifts towards a better research and innovation culture.

Please register for the conference at: