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Quality Development in Research

Ef­fect­ive qual­ity as­sur­ance and devel­op­ment in re­search re­quires a sys­tem of in­cent­ives and evalu­ation that cuts across all levels of a re­search in­sti­tu­tion. For this reason, WU has developed a bundle of meas­ures to stim­u­late the fur­ther devel­op­ment and im­prove­ment of its re­search out­put and to provide ap­pro­pri­ate feed­back mech­an­isms to help re­search­ers pos­i­tion them­selves in their re­spect­ive scien­ti­fic com­munit­ies.

Re­search Evalu­ation

All de­part­ments and re­search in­sti­tutes par­ti­cip­ate in a dy­namic re­search evalu­ation pro­cess designed to en­sure long-term suc­cess. The res­ults of these evalu­ation pro­ced­ures provide valu­able feed­back for WU’s re­search units and the Rector’s Coun­cil, espe­cially when it comes to assess­ing the suc­cess of meas­ures in­ten­ded to pro­mote re­search. Evalu­ations of re­search per­form­ance are based on the stand­ards of the re­spect­ive – usu­ally in­ter­na­tional – scien­ti­fic com­munity.

In order to guar­an­tee a com­pre­hens­ive ap­proach, not only WU’s de­part­ments, re­search in­sti­tutes and com­pet­ence cen­ters are sub­ject to reg­u­lar evalu­ation, but also the in­stru­ments WU uses to sup­port re­search and the spe­cific re­search in­fra­struc­ture offered by the Uni­versity.

Activ­ity Re­ports

Activ­ity re­ports are a re­cord of WU re­search­ers’ work in the fields of teach­ing, re­search, and aca­demic self-ad­min­is­tra­tion and are gen­er­ated on an an­nual basis. The re­ports use in­form­a­tion drawn from WU’s data­bases (most not­ably FIDES) and provide an im­port­ant basis for the an­nual em­ployee per­form­ance re­views con­duc­ted at WU.

WU Journal Rat­ing

The WU Journal Rat­ing defines qual­ity stand­ards for re­search, with in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned world-­class journ­als as points of refer­ence. The WU Journal Rat­ing is in­ten­ded to en­cour­age pub­lic­a­tions in journ­als of high in­ter­na­tional vis­ib­il­ity and renown. WU uses a cent­rally com­piled Star Journal List and eight de­part­ment-spe­cific journal rat­ing lists.

Re­search Awards

There are several awards and ini­ti­at­ives at WU that honor out­stand­ing achieve­ments in re­search and teach­ing. These awards and prizes are power­ful in­cent­ives that stim­u­late ex­cel­lence in re­search and teach­ing.

Over­view of WU’s in­ternal awards and prizes

Re­search Fund­ing

In WU’s re­search fund­ing activ­it­ies, the freedom of re­search and its inde­pend­ence from any eco­nomic or polit­ical cur­rents and ideo­lo­gies is al­ways a top pri­or­ity. Pre­scrib­ing or assign­ing re­search top­ics is usu­ally coun­ter­pro­duct­ive, be­cause no-one can know which re­search top­ics will be rel­ev­ant in the fu­ture. An­other key is­sue is match­ing re­search top­ics and the meth­ods used to in­vestig­ate them with the core re­search skills of the aca­demic staff in­volved, and the uni­versity’s man­age­ment is often not fully aware of the spe­cial­iz­a­tions of in­di­vidual re­search­ers. What the uni­versity man­age­ment does, however, is to provide in­cent­ives that fa­cil­it­ate and en­cour­age the in­vest­ig­a­tion of spe­cific pri­or­ity top­ics.

WU seeks to strengthen its re­search pro­file by es­tab­lish­ing re­search in­sti­tutes, com­pet­ence cen­ters, and re­search clusters sup­por­ted by na­tional or in­ter­na­tional re­search fund­ing agen­cies. WU also of­fers a range of fund­ing pro­grams that sup­port re­search­ers in devel­op­ing (in­ter­na­tional) re­search pro­jects, sub­mit­ting re­search fund­ing ap­plic­a­tions, and car­ry­ing out their pro­jects.

In ad­di­tion, there is also a num­ber of pro­grams that sup­port both early-­ca­reer and more senior re­search­ers, primar­ily by giv­ing them ad­di­tional freedom and time for their re­search and provid­ing the op­tion of tak­ing sab­bat­ic­als.  

WU of­fers a range of in-­house re­search fund­ing pro­grams, par­tic­u­larly for early-­ca­reer re­search­ers. These pro­grams provide fund­ing for small-s­cale re­search pro­jects, a semester off for re­search pur­poses, or re­search stays abroad.