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Guidelines for Program Reviews of the Research Institutes within Academia Sinica

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Guidelines for Program Reviews of the Research Institutes within Academia Sinica

Approved by President on September 9, 2002

  • Academia Sinica undertakes in-depth review of the research programs within each of its research institutes every four years (Appendix 1). The purpose of this exercise is to assess the progress and accomplishments of ongoing research projects, to promote new research fields, to cultivate research collaborations, and to raise the academic standards of the research in general.
  • The following criteria are to be used in the Program Review:
    • Research progress, specifically whether or not the research accomplishments are compatible with the Institute’s middle-and long-term plans as developed previously;
    • Soundness of research objectives;
    • Overall significance and impact of the work accomplished;
    • Evidence of major research achievements, including important discoveries and breakthroughs, significant milestones and paradigm shifts, etc.;
    • Appropriateness of the research disciplines covered in terms of intellectual opportunities, likelihood of significant impact, and coverage in terms of breadth and depth;
    • Technical quality of the work of individual researchers, including innovation, intellectual content, scholarship, and overall significance;
    • Adequateness of research productivity, given the resources available to the researcher(s) in terms of support personnel, technical support, and research facilities;
    • National and international recognition of academic and professional scholarly achievements;
    • Adequacy of research funding from both intramural and extramural sources;
    • Quality of research infrastructure, including physical plant, research instrumentation, library resources, quantity and quality of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and other technical support;
    • Institute leadership and overall faculty/staff morale;
    • Overall quality of research staff, and assessment of recent recruitments and staff renewals;
    • Visibility of the Institute and its research programs and research accomplishments; and
    • Overall international standing of the Institute in the field of its research specialty.
  • Establishment of the Program Review Committee:
    • The Central Academic Advisory Committee will settle on a schedule for the program reviews of the various institutes within each division of Academia Sinica by consultation with each research institute approximately one year in the advance of the start of each round of program reviews.
    • Again, in consultation with the research institutes, the Central Academic Advisory Committee will establish a separate Program Review Committee for each research institute on each occasion.
    • Members of the Program Review Committee are selected according to their overall expertise in the area specialties.
    • Members of this committee will be appointed by the President of Academia Sinica, and should include seven to nine scholars/experts, including the chairperson and the vice chairperson. The Program Review Committee should be established six months prior to the beginning of the review process.
  • The Review process:
    • The participating research institute should submit the following materials to the members of the Program Review Committee for assessment two months prior to the start of the review.
      • Middle- and long-term research and development plans previously developed by the institute;
      • A statement highlighting the areas of research concentration, intellectual thrusts, and any newly developed research initiatives within the institute, general progress, unanticipated breakthroughs, and any difficulties encountered in the implementation of the research plans.
      • A brief “Report” summarizing some of the principal research accomplishments within the previous four to five years;
      • The “Guidelines” for the assessment of individual researchers and their research work within the research institute (Appendix 2).
      • A list of publications in peer-reviewed journals for every researcher, and three representative reprints for each selected three to four researchers within the past four years.
      • Other supporting information as necessary.
    • The Central Academic Advisory Committee of Academia Sinica will send the above-mentioned assessment materials to each member of the Program Review Committee. If necessary, the Committee may request any additional supporting materials from the participating research institute before the Program Review Committee convenes.
    • The chairperson of Program Review Committee will provide each member of the Committee with representative reprints of selected researchers. Each member will assess these representative reprints for their scholarship, significance, impact, originality, and innovation.
    • During the Program Review, the Committee Chair will oversee the series of activities below, all intended to ensure the success of the review process:
      • Briefing by Chair of the Central Academic Advisory Committee and/or one of the Vice Presidents;
      • A preliminary meeting of the Program Review Committee with selected members of the research institute;
      • Briefing on the “Agenda” of the program review process;
      • Discussions with individual researchers;
      • Sectional discussions;
      • Other scheduled meetings of the Program Review Committee;
      • General discussion;
      • Drafting of the “Report” on the Program Review, general discussion, and revision on the draft report;
      • Exit interviews with the President of Academia Sinica and/or one of the Vice Presidents.
    • A formal written Report summarizing the findings, observations, and recommendations will be provided by the Chairperson of the Program Review Committee to the Chair of the Central Academic Advisory Committee of Academia Sinica within one month following the completion of the review process.
    • The President or Vice President of Academia Sinica will convene a meeting of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of all the Program Review Committees within 3 months after the completion of the assessment exercises for all the research institutes belonging to that Division of Academia Sinica. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the academic development and internal integration of research activities within the research disciplines covered by the Division.
  • These “Guidelines” will take effect once they have been approved by the President of Academia Sinica.

Appendix 1

The first program reviews of the research institutes in the Humanities and Social Science Division of Academia Sinica will be carried out separately for each institute over the two consecutive academic years from 2001 to 2002. The first program reviews of the research institutes in Mathematics and the Physical Science Division of Academia Sinica will be carried out separately for each institute over the two consecutive academic years from 2003 to 2004. The first program reviews of the research institutes in Life Science Division of Academia Sinica will be carried out separately for each institute over two consecutive academic years (2005 to 2006).

Appendix 2

Each of the research institutes should design its own guidelines for the assessment of research work of individual researchers. The review packages and results of peer-reviews of research work for individual researchers could be submitted to the Program Review Committee for reference. These assessment materials may be augmented or replaced by others, such as 升等(promotion) and 續聘資料(reappointments) packages used within the past 4 years.



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