Special Advisory Group. From the left: Kenneth Ruud, Krista Varantola (Chair), Hallgrímur Jónasson, Agneta Bladh and Jens Oddershede. Photo: NordForsk/Terje Heiestad.
Evaluation of five Nordic co-operative bodies released
As part of a strategic analysis of Nordic university cooperation in research, NordForsk has conducted an assessment of the scientific quality, relevance and Nordic added value generated by five Nordic cooperative bodies: the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA), Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), former Nordic Sámi Institute (NSI), Nordic Volcanological Centre (NORDVULK), and the Nordic Institute for Maritime Law (NIfS). The scientific quality and relevance was evaluated by international expert panels appointed by NordForsk. The assessment reports are now published on the NordForsk website.
Broader strategic analysis
These assessments are part of a strategic analysis concerning which areas to prioritise within Nordic university cooperation. The analysis is based on the strategic priorities of NordForsk and an assignment from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The analysis is overseen by a Special Advisory Group to the Board of NordForsk. The analysis focuses on determining the appropriate criteria and funding mechanisms for Nordic research cooperation and is carried out in consultation with the Association of Nordic University Rectors Conferences (NUS) and with the national rectors’ conferences.
“The assessment of scientific quality and relevance of these institutes gives important insights in how added value is created by Nordic cooperation”, explains the Chair of the Special Advisory Group, chancellor emerita Krista Varantola. “In this way, the external experts’ assessments and the self-assessments of the institutes serve as very useful input to the work of the Special Advisory Group, although the evaluation process is not attached to any future funding decisions.” The summary of the Special Advisory Group on the evaluation process can be read here.
Mapping and dialogue with Nordic universities
To broaden the picture of research cooperation between Nordic universities, NordForsk has commissioned a study that has been conducted during the spring by Gaia Consulting. The study maps existing cooperation between Nordic universities, and the conclusions will be published in the autumn.
During the spring, the members of the Special Advisory Group have also met with the national rectors’ councils in the countries to discuss the universities’ views on Nordic research cooperation.
Workshop in September
NUS and NordForsk have invited high-level university representatives from all Nordic countries and representatives from ministries and research councils to share their views on how to strengthen and revitalise Nordic research cooperation at a workshop in Oslo on 21 September. The workshop will also discuss preliminary suggestions for funding mechanisms for cooperation.
Recommendations to NordForsk
The strategic analysis will result in recommendations from the Special Advisory Group to NordForsk on suitable criteria and funding mechanisms to support strategic university cooperation in research. The final report of the Special Advisory Group is expected in winter 2015/201
- Assessment Report for the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies NIAS
- Assessment Report for the Scandinavian Institute for Maritime Law (NIfS)
- Assessment Report for the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics NORDITA
- Assessment Report for the Nordic Volcanological Center NordVulk
- Assessment Report for the Nordic research programme at Sámi University College (former Nordic Sámi Institute)
- Summary by the Special Advisory Group to NordForsk : The role of the assessment of five Nordic co-operation bodies in the NordForsk strategic analysis of Nordic university co-operation