International symposium: Effects of performance-based research funding - 24/02/2016


In more and more countries and regions, including Flanders, funding of universities is linked to their research output. Such performance-based research funding systems have been blamed to cause a decrease in publication quality, since – so it is claimed – only publication counts matter. However, the rationales, effects, and consequences of such systems are often unclear or unknown.

The aim of this symposium is to look at what we currently know about the intended and unintended effects of performance-based research funding, both internationally and regionally.

9:30 – 9:45


Johan Meeusen, Vice-chancellor University of Antwerp

9:45 – 10:30

A comparison of performance-based research funding in Australia and Norway

Jesper Schneider

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10:30 – 10:45

A reflection on performance-based research funding from the Faculty of Social Sciences

Heidi Vandebosch

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10:45 – 11:00

Performance-based research funding in Flanders: An overview based on the VABB-SHW

Raf Guns

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11:00 – 11:15


11:15 – 11:45

What is best practice? Experiences with effects of institutional performance based funding in eight European countries

Gunnar Sivertsen

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11:45 – 12:15

Metrics in performance based funding models. Exploring the rationales, effects and consequences, and myths of such practices
Thed van Leeuwen

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12:15 – 12:35

Conclusion: overview of the main issues

Diana Hicks

External speakers

Jesper W. Schneider is a Senior Researcher at CFA. He holds a PhD degree in Information Science from the Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark. He has extensive experience in research management and has led or participated in a number of national and international projects within both evaluation of research funding, research indicator development and impact analysis. He has participated in the FP7 project ACUMEND coordinated by CWTS, Leiden University, where he contributed to the work package on individual bibliometric indicators. More recently, he has participated in a large-scale evaluation of the Norweigan performance base research funding model, and he has led large-scale research evaluations of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centers of Excellence, the Danish Research Council for Independent Research and most recently Danish research performance in EU framework programs 6 and 7. Jesper W. Schneider is the permanent advisor to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science on issues related to scientometrics and research evaluation.

Gunnar Sivertsen is a Research Professor at the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) in Oslo. He is the chair of NIFU’s bibliometric research group and a specialist in studies of scholarly publishing and in the development and use of bibliometric indicators for statistics, evaluation, funding, and science policy. Sivertsen has a doctoral degree in Scandinavian literature from the University of Oslo.

Thed van Leeuwen is a senior researcher at the Leiden University based Center for Science & Technology Studies (CWTS). A political scientists by training, he did a PhD at CWTS on the use of indicators in research assessment, with a further focus on Journal Impact Factors. He works at CWTS for nearly three decades, combining fundamental research on bibliometric indicators and their composition, application and functioning with services oriented work supporting research assessment practices both nationally as well as internationally. He published his work in the main scientometric journals, as well as in a number of other journals, thereby reaching out to audiences beyond the scientometrics community. Currently, his research focuses on the development of indicators supporting research assessment in the SSH and law domains, on topics around Open Access and Open Science, on scientific integrity, as well as the role of indicators in research policy. He is co-editor of Research Evaluation.

Diana Hicks is Professor in the School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA specializing in metrics for science and technology policy. She was the first author on the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics published in Nature. Her work has been supported by and has informed policy makers in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She has advised the OECD and the governments of Flanders, the Czech Republic and Sweden on national research evaluation systems. She chaired the School of Public Policy for 10 years from 2003. She co-chairs the international Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy and is an editor of Research Evaluation. As Senior Policy Analyst at CHI Research between 1998 and 2003 she conducted policy analyses for Federal research agencies using patent and paper databases. Prof. Hicks has also taught at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley; SPRU, University of Sussex, and worked at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) in Tokyo. Dr. Hicks earned her D.Phil and M.Sc. from SPRU, University of Sussex.