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.
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 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.
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.
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.