National evaluations of the results of research

We have developed a model that we will be using to make national evaluations of the quality and impact of research within various research subjects. During 2020–2021, we have tested the model in a pilot evaluation of Swedish research in political science.

The Swedish Research Council’s evaluation model focuses on the results of research. The model involves minimising the efforts of higher education institutions (HEIs), and is designed so that the evaluations complement other initiatives aimed at developing Swedish research.

The results of our national evaluations shall be able to be used to motivate different actors – HEIs, the Government and funding bodies – to take initiatives to improve the quality of Swedish research. We expect to conduct one to two evaluations per year.

The pilot evaluation, which we carried out in 2020–2021, covered political science, and concerned 14 HEIs. The result of this evaluation has been published in the report VR2108.

The model tested in the pilot evaluation

The evaluation is intended to give a national picture of the quality and importance (societal impact) of research in political science. The evaluation is made from an international perspective, using an international panel of experts.

1. The Swedish Research Council and HEIs develop documentation

The Swedish Research Council will produce the following documentation for evaluating the quality of research:

  • Publications for reading
  • Publication lists
  • Bibliometrics (where possible)

The HEIs, in turn, will produce case studies for evaluating the impact of research. The case studies shall be good and educational examples for development and learning.

The Swedish Research Council will also produce quantitative data on personnel.

2. An expert panel assesses the research on a five-degree scale

A panel with international experts will make an assessment of the quality and impact of the research on a five-degree scale. They will comment on the outcome at national level, highlight particular characteristics, and propose possible measures for further development of the quality and impact of the research.

The panel will write a report, to be published on

Preliminary time plane for future evaluations

November 2021

Meeting to discuss lessons learnt from the pilot evaluation, the evaluation model, and the area for the next evaluation

January 2022

All HEIs included in the upcoming evaluation receive information about the evaluation.
We send out a time plan and instructions to the HEIs taking part.
The HEIs and other stakeholders have the opportunity to nominate experts to the panel.

February 2022

The HEIs prepare their case studies.

April 2022

We expect to have recruited experts and to have completed our documentation for the panel. The documentation is sent out to the HEIs involved.

May 2022

The HEIs submit their case studies.

Summer 2022

The panel assesses the documentation received.

Autumn 2022

A report with the result from the evaluation is published on

A dialogue meeting is held with the panel and the HEIs involved. We discuss lessons learnt from the evaluation, and how the results can be used to develop Swedish research.



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