A Pathway towards Multidimensional Academic Careers - A LERU Framework for the Assessment of Researchers

The assessment of research and researchers is currently a prominent subject in and outside the academic world. With this paper, LERU wants to positively contribute to the discussion, showing what a future for the assessment of researchers could possibly look like in the light of multidimensional academic careers.

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Based upon an exchange of current practices and recent developments at LERU universities regarding the assessment of researchers in the context of hiring, promotion and evaluation, the paper develops a common framework that can inspire and support universities. The underlying objective is to reward and recognize a diversity of profiles and contributions, as they are all important for the overall success of the institution, be it in research, education, or in service to society.

After the elaboration of three perspectives of assessment, namely the multidimensional, the developmental and the contextual one, the paper continues with several examples from LERU universities that are presently experimenting with new approaches to the assessment of their researchers.

The paper concludes with some key messages and reflections on the fact that creating a new practice in assessing researchers is a challenging task. Policy makers and funders should reflect on how they can provide the space for experimentation that universities need to improve their assessment of researchers.

Read the interview with the author, Prof. Bert Overlaet.

Year of publication:
Jan 2022
Type of paper:
Position paper
  • Bert Overlaet (KU Leuven)