FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Economia e Gestão

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Estudos Avançados em Economia e Econometria [ECO-Algarve-Faro-4037] visitada em 17/11/2008

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This unit is new — one year old. It is also small. Nonetheless, it has a fairly good publication record. All but one of the PhD researchers has a publication in an international journal since 2003, and this particular researcher was the rector of the university from 1998 until 2006. The panel would have rated this unit as GOOD were it not for the fact that we judged there to be a serious problem with leadership and organization. This serious problem led us to judge the unit to be FAIR.

The problem with leadership and organization is that, although the unit is new, its coordinator has residence and a permanent position in the United States. In his presentation, he indicated that he intended to participate in every significant event organized by the unit (conference, workshop, and so on) and that he could easily supervise the working paper series and promote applied research from the United States. Since the unit is in a launching phase, however, this situation seems incompatible with an efficient leadership. Furthermore, we fear that most of the funding from the FCT, if any, would be devoted to the travel expenses of the unit coordinator.

The strong point of this unit is its publication record, although a large fraction of the publications, especially those in highly rated journals, were authored or co-authored by the outside unit coordinator. The weak points were all related to the unit being coordinated by an outsider and its being new. These weak points show up in specific questions to which the panel was not able to obtain satisfactory answers:

• When we asked about the day-to-day functioning of the unit and how much time researchers spend there, we found that the unit does not seem to be running yet.

• When we asked about the existence of a regular seminar organized for the researchers living in Faro, the main reason put forward by the coordinator to explain its actual inexistence is that the center lacks money for this activity, but he failed to convince the panel that so much money is needed to organize internal seminars.

• When we asked about the mechanism for allocating funds within the unit, we learned that, since there was no funding at present, no mechanism was in place. We were told that funds would be allocated to conference participation and seminar participation, but, given that the coordinator told us that he intended to visit the unit six times per year from the United States, it was hard for us to understand how most of the funds could go to anything else but his travel expenses.

• When we asked about the relationship between the unit and the economics department of the university, we were unable to receive a clear answer. This is perhaps due to the unit not really functioning yet.

• When we asked about connections of the unit with other research centers in Portugal, we learned that some members are members of the Évora research unit, and we were not able to learn what the plan for the allocation of time and effort between the two centers would be.

• When we asked about synergies between economics and tourism the two research interests in the unit, we did not get a clear answer.

All these uncertainties made it impossible for the panel to rank this center as being GOOD. Nonetheless, there are indications that this center could become a good one. The publication record is good, there are plans for seminars and conferences, and some young local assistant professors are quite convincing in supporting the identity of this unit.

A natural recommendation is for the unit to select an insider as its coordinator and to confine the outsider in the useful role of an advisor.

Sobre os grupos de investigação
Modelação Macroeconómica e Análise das Organizações [RG-ECO-Algarve-Faro-4037-1]