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Publication of the Results of the International Assessment of Research Units

 - 17/12/2008

Science 2008 initiative logo The Results of the International Assessment of Research Units, covered by the Multiannual Financing Programme for the FCT R&D Units, were published by Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), IP, on 17 December 2008.

The process of international assessment of the country’s research units, started in 1996 and repeated in 1999-2000 and 2002-2004, follows international standards and analyses, in particular, the best work selected by each R&D unit, in order to allow analysis by independent specialists of the scientific activity carried out, as opposed to using merely quantitative indicators.

Taking into consideration all the areas, with the exception of two which are still to be assessed, the distribution of institutions in terms of the classification levels Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory and Weak is now 21%, 38%, 25%, 15% and 2% respectively (compared with 21%, 31%, 27% 13% and 8% in 2003).

The number of researchers with PhDs per unit has significantly increased (in 2003 only 20% of the units had more than 20 researchers with a PhD, and now these units form more than 50%), following recommendations in previous assessments about the need for critical mass concentrations and new practices in sharing resources, to reinforce the scientific capacity and relevance of science carried out in Portugal.

The assessment is based on the reports of 23 panels of international experts who evaluated and visited all the research units in 2007 and 2008. The process involved more than 250 experts from more than 15 countries, and the results include the classification awarded to each unit and a specific report for each unit containing specific qualitative comments.

20,307 researchers, 8,759 of whom with PhDs, work in the 332 institutions assessed.

This assessment seeks to stimulate quality in the National Scientific and Technological System within the framework of its growing international relevance and contribute towards its reorganisation, reinforcing the scientific capacity present and its structure as a network.

Having a regular, independent and international assessment system for all Portuguese scientific institutions has been decisive for Portugal, having R&D Activities in Portugal with the Largest Growth in EU countries as illustrated recently in the results published for the IPCTN 2007 – the 2007 Survey of the National Scientific Potential. In effect, data from this survey show that public and private expenditure on R&D reached 1.2% of GDP in 2007, more than half of which was made by companies, and that the number of researchers Equivalent to Full Time Posts is now 5 per one thousand actively employed individuals, thus highlighting Portugal as the European country with the largest growth in these areas.

Last updated ( 23/08/2011 )