R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências Jurídicas e Ciências Políticas

Unidade de I&D

Unidade de Investigação em Governança, Competitividade e Políticas Públicas [LAW-Centro-Aveiro-4058] visitada em 30/01/2008

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
Overall this is a very good unit, engaged in serious policy-oriented research in different areas. The various members of the unit have been quite productive in the past and there are good reasons to believe that they will continue to be productive. They have the tools, the connections and the subjects in which they have reached a critical mass to enable the unit to be self-sustaining. They have also been quite good in training researchers who are already participating in many applied policy activities and teaching. Our reservation is that the unit appears to be somewhat over-extended in terms of research interests, which range from party patronage to the economy of tourism. While a variety of interests is to be considered positive, there is a risk involved in trying to cover too many areas. That said, we believe that the unit has done very good work and we strongly recommend it. There is a strong sense of cohesion among the unit’s members and they value the opportunity which the specific combination of disciplines and approaches brought together by the unit gives them to carry out projects they would not otherwise be able to undertake. The unit does gain recognition for its work in other countries. The unit has clearly managed to reach beyond the borders of Portugal and to establish cooperative arrangements with clients in countries such as Finland, the Netherlands and Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries such as Angola. The panel noted very positively the entrepreneurial approach of the unit in attracting funding for its applied projects from the private sector.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Competitiveness - dynamic factors of competitiveness in firms and organizations [RG-LAW-Centro-Aveiro-4058-163]
General observations: In the past five years the group has successfully obtained some eight very substantial research grants. It appears to consist of twenty-eight researchers all together. 10 PhD theses appear to have been completed since 2003 along with 15 Masters’ theses in 2006 alone. The application lists 27 conferences as having taken place between 2003 and 2006.
Productivity: This seems very impressive. Of course, one has to evaluate this against the background of the human resources available (which in the case of this group seem rather plentiful) but the list of main achievements is impressive and suggests that this is a very active and dynamic group. The list of main publications suggests that this is a very serious proposal: unlike some of the others I have seen, the proposal’s writers have taken the trouble to stick to the instructions about the number of publications to list, and the publications listed do not suggest an excessive reliance on the work of just one individual.
Relevance: Most of the group’s members appear to publish regularly in international journals and to be regular contributors to international conferences. This seems to be as true of the PhD/Masters’ students as of the more well-established researchers in the group.
Feasibility: It is a pity that the description of future research objectives is just a re-statement of the general objectives of the group. The past achievements of the group speak in favour of a good mark for feasibility but, given that the criterion of evaluation is the capacity of the group to transform interesting plans into practical projects, relevant at the international level, more precise information about the future practical projects the group has in mind is required.
Training: 14 of the 19 researchers with PhDs indicate supervising experience of one degree or another, some of it quite extensive. This has to be viewed in the light of what appears to be the completion of a good number of PhDs and Masters’ theses as a direct consequence of the work of the group.
Local and Regional Innovation Systems [RG-LAW-Centro-Aveiro-4058-165]
General observations: The group appears to have obtained an impressive number of research grants of quite substantial value since 2002: ten such grants are listed, ranging in value from €10,084 to €137,995. This seems the more impressive given the relatively small size of the group: three researchers.
Productivity: Under the heading “main achievements”, the group lists 3 PhD and 9 masters theses; involvement in 12 international and 19 national projects; five refereed journal articles and 28 other publications; the organisation of 6 conferences/workshops. Assuming that all this has been achieved during the reference period (2003-2006), the record is an impressive one for the number of people involved in the group (it would mean, for example, that they have produced an average of 11 publications each during the period) but one would like to know more about what “involvement” in the national and international projects amounted to, exactly.
Relevance: The relatively large grants they obtained for the ESPON project in 2002-04, and for the RKMnet – European Regional Management Knowledge Network project in 2004-06, seem to have allowed them to establish a good degree of international relevance through the establishment of a range of links with institutions outside Portugal. The proposed research is certainly topical and relates to a range of high profile themes (e.g. sustainable development, globalisation, multi-level governance) currently being debated both in and beyond academic political science.
Feasibility: Under the “future objectives” heading, the group describes a number of “sub-themes” connected with its general focus on “local and regional innovation systems”. It is certainly true, as the group argues, that the identification of sub-themes will help the better to structure its research efforts in the coming period, and one of the sub-themes appears to represent the continuation of work that is already underway. All of this speaks positively to the feasibility of what the group is proposing, although more information about the practical details of what is envisaged is needed.
Training: all of the researchers provide evidence of supervising experience. Artur da Rosa Pires appears successfully to have supervised five PhD dissertations since 2000.
Políticas Públicas [RG-LAW-Centro-Aveiro-4058-166]
Territory, Development and Tourism Attractiveness [RG-LAW-Centro-Aveiro-4058-164]
General observations: the group appears to consist of 18 researchers in total. The description of “main achievements” does not list specific, concrete outputs in terms of publications and related materials. The publications listed suggest a group that is not overly dependent on the work of just one or a few individuals, as well as a group that is active internationally. 4 PhDs appear to have been completed as well as 13 Masters’ theses. 4 conferences appear to have been organised.
Productivity: Most of the 10 members with PhDs are regular contributors to conferences, some of which are international. Most of the 10 members have good publications records (meaning that they appear to produce two or three substantial publications (journal articles or book chapters) a year on average). The remaining members generally show a level of research productivity at least commensurate with the stages they have reached in their careers.
Relevance: Certainly, the group makes a convincing case that the research they are proposing is of considerable practical importance: tourism is already the world’s largest industry and it can be predicted to grow even larger in the future. The group appears to be making genuine efforts to render their work internationally relevant insofar as they are publishing in foreign journals and provide some evidence of international networking and collaboration.
Feasibility: The group tell us what they propose to investigate but not much about how they will go about doing it (although they are clearly aware of the potential interest of their work to non-academic end users and are seeking to target them in looking for resources to finance their work).
Training: The group’s work appears to have led to the production of a respectable number of doctoral and masters dissertations. Of the 10 group members with PhDs, 8 indicate some degree of supervising experience and in the case of perhaps 3 or 4 of them, the experience is rather extensive.