FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Sociologia, Antropologia, Demografia e Geografia

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Estudos Geográficos - Lisboa [SOC-LVT-Lisboa-295] visitada em 11/10/2007

Classificação: Excellent

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
According to various indicators, CEG belongs to the European top in the field: international publications, international networks, international funding, national government consultancy and funding.
The weight of the past is probably at least partly responsible for the somewhat conventional denominations and delimitations of the research groups (human geography, physical geography) and more adequate appellations could be welcomed which should better express the effective commitment of the unit for contemporary global challenges and ever changing conjunctures which call for more creative conceptualizations. This formal adaptation should be all the easier in that these questions are already effectively treated by the different groups of the CEG. Further more, the division in groups appears to be more an administrative one than a response to scientific logic. Practically, the unit functions mainly on a flexible mode, the teams being composed in relation with the characteristics and particularities of the different projects. The denominations of the groups have never been reconsidered because they never appeared to constitute an impediment for collaboration.
Let nevertheless say something about these groups as they officially present themselves.
Two of them – Human geography (295–351) and Physical geography and environment (295–467) - are at the level of excellence. Both show a high theoretical and methodological concern; they are members and sometimes coordinators (IMISCOE) of European projects; their productivity is very high; they have numerous publications in high level journals (even if they consider that they have to focus more on the top journals in the field); their various contracts witness to the relevance of their research.
Two other groups – Regional geography (295–352) and Fluvial and littoral dynamics (295–355) which is in fact a «research line» are very good and attained a high level of performance on all the indicators. The group «Regional geography» is the only centre in Portugal to be engaged in geography teaching. The group «Fluvial and littoral dynamics» is relatively new. It is a part of the politics of CEG to stimulate innovation. If its publications are still mainly in Portuguese, it already has publications in international journals with referees and intends to develop this production to enter in the game of international competition. It has a project of comparative research with Morocco.
The last group, «Geo-ecology» (295 – 354) is more difficult to rank: it appears to be more a collection of gifted individuals, involved in high quality scientific work, than a coherent group. But the level of productivity is high and the various indicators of scientific preoccupation are well present. The members of this group, as the ones of the other groups, collaborate with each others on the basis of projects and from there, in publications.
Having made some distinction between the different components of CEG, it is important to repeat that in reality, CEG is a flexible structure which functions in reference with the exigencies of the projects. The

strategy of cooperation is at the projects level and permits also to build «ad hoc groups» with engineers, lawyers, economists,… The borders between the groups are far from being constraint. The researchers are particularly concerned with the integration of physical factors and social aspects (for instance on the question of vulnerability) and they consider that CEG offers a unique opportunity to combine both aspects and so to be innovative
CEG is working on applied research as well as on fundamental research. This is reflected in their publications. The publication strategy of CEG is a very sensible one; it is a dual strategy. Results of fundamental research are disseminated through articles in international peer-reviewed journals and chapters in international books published by renowned editors. Results of applied research are most often disseminated through Portuguese language publications, with the explicit will «to be useful» and to encounter their social responsibility. It has to be added that the review edited by CEG, «Finisterra», publishes also papers in English and in French and proposes long summaries in these two languages for papers in Portuguese. «Finisterra» is now a peer-reviewed journal.
The members of CEG supervise many PHD and MA students, not only the ones working in the unit but also others, working outside the unit and even outside the faculty and the university. They regularly participate also in international co-direction of theses. Their own PHD and MA students are integrated in projects and action-research of the unit which stimulates the relation between research and training.
Seminars are also organised every week, with topics chosen in relation with the themes of PHD and MA theses. And students received financial and technical support from CEG.
There are nevertheless 2 problems: there are not enough rooms and CEG has to limit the number of students it hosts (Furthermore, the panel may testify to the bad conditions in which students – and researchers! - have to work: cramped space, insufficient isolation rooms,realities which would not be tolerated in the private sphere). Moreover the opening times facilities are not convenient: they are not accessible during the week-ends and during the evenings. Though reform will suppose more personal, it is to be encouraged if not enforced.
The members of CEG are very concerned with the development of the competences of their students in relation with the exigencies of the job market. In this sense, the development of up-to-date methods (data analysis, systems modelling,) is considered not only as a technical support but also as an intellectual tool (2 PHD are currently in preparation on that question).
In conclusion, the panel recommends that CEG becomes an Associated Laboratory.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Line of Research of Fluvial and Littoral Dynamics [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-295-355]
This group is in fact a «research line» and attained a high level of performance on all the indicators. It is relatively new. As such it is a part of the politics of CEG to stimulate innovation. If its publications are still mainly in Portuguese, it already has publications in international journals with referees and intends to develop this production to enter in the game of international competition. It has a project of comparative research with Morocco.
Research Area of Geo-Ecology [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-295-354]
This group is relatively difficult to rank: it appears to be more a collection of gifted individuals, involved in high quality scientific work, than a coherent group. But the level of productivity is high and the various indicators of scientific preoccupation are well present. The members of this group, as the ones of the other groups, collaborate with each others on the basis of projects and from there, in publications. The panel considers that it deserves good.
Research Area of Human Geography [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-295-351]
The group Human geography (295–351) is at the level of excellence. It shows a high theoretical and methodological concern; it is a member and sometimes coordinator (IMISCOE) of European projects; its productivity is very high; it has numerous publications in high level journals (even if the members consider that they have to focus more on the top journals in the field); the various contracts witness to the relevance of their research.
Research Area of Physical Geography and Environment [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-295-467]
The group is at the level of excellence. It shows a high theoretical and methodological concern; it is a member of European projects; and the members are very active in a European post-graduate training school. The group’s productivity is very high; the members have numerous publications in high level journals (even if they consider that they have to focus more on the top journals in the field); their various contracts witness to the relevance of their research.
Research Area of Regional Geography [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-295-352]
This group is very good and attained a high level of performance on all the indicators. It is the only centre in Portugal to be engaged in geography teaching.