R&D Institutions

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

Unidade de I&D

Direitos Humanos-Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar [LAW-Norte-Braga-4036] visitada em 31/01/2008

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The unit appears to be a real centre, capable of identifying common problems and conducting serious collaborative research. It is well balanced in terms of the gender and age of its members and young researchers appear especially ambitious and well motivated. They are already involved in collaborative research in important areas and on significant subjects. The EU Law and Individuals group in particular impressed the panel for its projects on the way in which norms and procedures can have a positive impact on European integration. The group is taking active steps to train young researchers through the pre-existing masters programme in human rights and the centre is also attracting good PhD students. The panel was impressed by the members’ specific ideas for meeting their aspirations over the medium term (for example the development of a web site in order to make their work accessible to groups outside the community; the involvement of graduate students in order to spark their interest in research activities). However, the panel felt that some of their goals need to be a bit more precisely defined. Not only are the centre’s research themes relevant to “real world” issues but it has been able to link up with several leading centres abroad including the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg. The unit has also managed to establish links with several important public and private organisations outside academia. These include the government of East Timor for which it has drafted the legal framework for human rights protection. Overall the panel believes that the unit is to be strongly recommended.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
ciências jurídicas humanísticas e criminais [RG-LAW-Norte-Braga-4036-2792]
Direito Europeu e Protecção das Liberdades [RG-LAW-Norte-Braga-4036-2621]
Productivity: See my comments, below, under feasibility. As I understand it, the principal investigator got her doctorate in 2006. The number of research outputs that have been produced since then strikes me as impressive for a person at that stage of an academic career.

Relevance: The proposed project is certainly topical and important, speaking, as it does to significant issues in the field of European integration and the judicialisation of politics. The principal investigator tells us a bit about the project objectives, but nothing more, and it would have been helpful, for the purposes of a proper evaluation, to have had some information about what international collaborative work, if any, was being proposed and about plans for dissemination of the results of the project.

Feasibility: This is difficult to assess without more information, but I note that the principal investigator appears to have made six invited conference presentations in the last two years as well as publishing some half dozen book chapters or equivalent – which would speak in favour of the research capacity of the investigator and therefore of the feasibility of the project, depending on what, precisely, the latter will entail.

Training: I can only give a score of 1 for this feature – simply because the information I would need to justify a higher score is lacking. No information is given about any supervision experience the principal investigator may have, nor is there any information about any Masters’ or doctoral work being done in connection with the proposed project. Whether this is because no such work is being done, or whether it is because the principal investigator has failed to provide the information, is obviously something I cannot know. I am giving a score of 1 because at least the principal investigator has a PhD and research experience herself – suggesting that she has the requisites necessary to provide training, assuming such training is envisaged.
habeas corpus [RG-LAW-Norte-Braga-4036-2133]
Productivity: This is difficult to assess since it is not clear how long the group has been in existence for or what group membership has added to the productivity of the members considered individually. Looking at the CVs for the members with PhDs, leads to the conclusion that while in some cases not many relevant publications in the last two/three years are listed, it is fair to say that the members are “research active”.

Relevance: The areas of the group’s proposed activities – the implications of the so-called war on terror for individual and collective liberties; immigration and asylum – strike me as both topical and important: the terrorism issue poses considerable threats in both the area of liberties and the area of immigration. One would like to have seen some discussion of the intellectual links between the two areas (e.g. immigrants are often the first to suffer losses of liberty deriving from the “war on terror”). One is also struck by the fact that despite the obvious international relevance of the work the group wishes to carry out, this does not appear to be reflected in the list of previous publications in the area, insofar as all of them are in a single language.

Feasibility: Members of the group for which there is information appear to have relevant previous research experience in the proposed areas of future activity, so to that extent the projects can be deemed feasible – but the group tells us little about the international dimension of its proposed work: for example, it has submitted a research proposal to the European Commission, but which, if any, are the other European partners?

Training: This is difficult to assess since no information is given for any of the members without PhDs or masters’ degrees (we are assuming, in each case, that group members listed as “Other Researchers in the Group (non Ph.D.)” are doctoral students whose thesis work is somehow driven/informed by the projects of the group as a whole). However, one notes that five of the six members of the group with PhDs give evidence of relevant supervision experience.