On 27 October 2023, the inaugural meeting of a new working group dedicated to reforming Academic Career Assessment (ACA) took place online. As one of the first of 10 such groups selected by the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment Reform (CoARA) Steering Board, the group includes 35 partners and is coordinated by the European University Association (EUA).
Motivated by the shared vision that ACA systems should adequately reflect the different tasks, functions and roles academics fulfil over the course of their career, the working group will consider the full range of work conducted by academics in research, teaching and learning, innovation, management/leadership and service to society. As such, members will develop the group’s activities over 24 months and will liaise with relevant initiatives on academic careers in Europe and beyond.
Moreover, the working group will define the objectives and principles of reforming ACA, from the perspectives of institutions and academic staff being assessed, and will develop an adaptable toolbox for ACA, considering all university missions and the broad scope of activities, skills and competences of academic staff at different stages of their career. The toolbox will be flexible, sustainable and cater for different institutional profiles and national contexts. It will also provide room for a diversity of career focuses and trajectories.
The group is co-chaired by Dr Pastora Martínez Samper (EUA) and Professor Moniek Tromp (Young Academy of Europe). It is comprised of experts nominated by 35 organisations representing the diversity of stakeholders involved in reforming ACA (e.g. national and European university associations, individual universities, researchers’ organisations, learned societies, research centres, agencies for the evaluation of universities and research institutes).
Reforming academic career assessment is a strategic objective for EUA and one of the priorities for action outlined in ‘Universities without walls - A vision for 2030’.
On the launch of the working group, Moniek Tromp commented that “We are pleased to have such diverse organisations working together to advance the reflections on academic career assessment and its implementation in institutions”. Pastora Martínez Samper added that “CoARA is a great framework to discuss this important topic and its implications in Europe and beyond. We hope to act as a relevant structure for organisations to share their best practices and challenges when reforming ACA and to serve as inspiration for others in their reform journeys.”