The Faculty Quality System for Research
With the establishment of the Meijers Research Institute and Graduate School, a new quality assessment system for scientific research was developed. To fully understand this system it is important to make a distinction between the different groups of academic staff.
Once every three year, within the framework of fellow reviews, post-doctorate researchers are assessed by the Board of the Meijers Research Institute and Graduate School on the quality and extent of their scientific research.
For potential fellows of the Institute, the Board applies the so-called VSNU norm: a minimum of one scientific article per 0.1 FTE of research time. For full-time staff this equates to nine scientific articles every three years. The first series of reviews was held in 1998 and covered the period 1996 – 1997; the second series of reviews was held in 2000 and related to the years 1998-1999. The next general set of reviews will take place in 2007.For individual cases a less extensive series of interim reviews can be arranged.
Apart from a specific output, the aspiring fellows will also be asked to produce a brief written account of their plans for the coming years. This serves to clarify the opportunities for mutual cooperation within the separate programmes and also between the programmes. At the end of 2004 the Institute had 92 fellows. It is important to note that fellow status is included as a prerequisite in the appointments of university lecturers, senior university lecturers and professors.
The performance of PhD candidates (as well as university lecturers who have not yet obtained their doctorate) is discussed in the progress discussions with their supervisors and co-supervisors. The Leiden Law School Dean of PhD Studies monitors this process and also personally conducts regular discussions with the PhD candidates and their supervisors.
As regards other researchers such as project staff, assessment takes place only with in the framework of annual performance interviews at department level (the Leiden Law School is structured in five departments).
Performance interviews are held with all members of academic staff, including with professors.
Moreover, in line with the recommendations of the Van Bemmel Committee, a periodic external quality assessment on the basis of peer review will take place whereby the initiative for external assessment lies with the University. The Institute has an Advisory Council. This Council informs the Institute of the policies applied and to be implemented, based in part on regular self-evaluations.