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SUCCESSFUL: 'Our project applications to both the Research Council and the EU H2020 programme have been successful, and we aim to continue this positive trend. Moreover, we intend to keep improving our user-dialogue,' says Ulf Sverdrup.

Praise for NUPI in institute evaluation

Published: 15 Feb 2017

A recent evaluation of Norway’s social science research institutes commends NUPI for the relevance and high quality of its work.

Last year, the Research Council of Norway (RCN) appointed a panel of Nordic social scientists to evaluate Norwegian research institutes in the social sciences.

In all, 22 institutes, including NUPI, have now been evaluated, and the results were published on 16 February.

‘Innovative and ambitious’

‘NUPI is a successful institute of high quality. It seems to be run very professionally by the management. It is innovative and ambitious and deals with challenges in a systematic manner’, according to the RCN evaluation.

‘We aim for high academic quality. We also aspire to be relevant. Our research shall shed light on important challenges facing society, and help policymakers make informed decisions’, explains NUPI Director Ulf Sverdrup.

Of the 22 institutes evaluated, NUPI is one of the three that publish most scholarly/academic literature. The institute is commended for having a clear strategy for further increasing the number of ‘level 2’ publications it produces.

‘We aim to publish a large number of publications internationally. Our research staffare expected to work hard at achieving this, and our highly skilled research staff are indeed succeeding in this’, notes Sverdrup.

Kilde: Evaluering av de samfunnsvitenskapelige forskningsinstituttene - panelrapport

Figure 14 Illustration of the development in cumulated publication points between two periods 2007-10 and 2011-14.

Successful applications

The evaluation shows that the institute sector contributes a great deal to the number of doctoral degree achieved in Norway. NUPI’s goal is to produce two successful PhD candidates per year.

‘This is part of our societal responsibility, and we have done well here.'

These evaluations are intended to provide guidance for improving the institutes that are assessed.

‘We will continue with our serious academic efforts. Our project applications to both the Research Council and the EU H2020 programme have been successful, and we aim to continue this positive trend. Moreover, we intend to keep improving our user-dialogue. NUPI is characterized by quality, credibility and relevance’, Sverdrup explains.

Foreign policy institutes score high

The report points out that social science institutes play important roles in Norway, with a positive influence on the development of policy and society. Further, the RCN report recommends that the government should continue to invest in this area.

‘The evaluation measures each institute in terms of several important parameters: the impact of its research on society, user satisfaction, and the academic quality of its publications. NUPI scores high on all of these. In general, all the foreign policy institutes assessed – NUPI, PRIO, FNI and CMI – score very high’, Sverdrup notes.

‘A national asset’

The key messages from the RCN evaluation are that Norway’s social science institutes are a national asset, and that national policy should value both the sector as a whole as well as the individual institutes.

‘It’s very positive that the evaluation recognizes the value of the social science institute sector. It also indicates a few areas where framework conditions for the sector can be improved, for example with regard to core funding. The RCN evaluation comes as a recent supplement to several other research policy documents which haven’t stressed the significance of the institute sector to a similar degree as this one’, Sverdrup conclude.