FCT

R&D Institutions

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

Unidade de I&D

DINÂMIA - Centro de Estudos Sobre a Mudança Socioeconómica [SOC-LVT-Lisboa-3127] visitada em 09/10/2007

Classificação: Excellent

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The unit as a whole as well as each individual research group are clearly at the level of excellence. They are productive in terms of publications, including the international, and play a dynamic role in training the best PHD students they have been able to recruit for their projects.
They are committed to applied research , not only or even primarily because such research is important in terms of funding but mainly because they consider it is their duty to be useful to the community and civil society – European one, those of the former Portuguese colonies but firstly those of Portugal as « an intermediately developed economy » with many specific problems. But DINAMIA is selective in accepting projects: significantly, it has refused projects which could have a negative impact on its programme as a whole. Furthermore, applied research is founded on theory and on the professional state of art.
DINAMIA considers that applied research enriches fundamental research and creates opportunity to accumulate collective knowledge, with an eye to developing new paradigms and defining innovative concepts. In order to intensify this process, the members of the unit understand the necessity of being integrated in European networks. They are part and sometimes coordinator of European networks of excellence. They have also an international advisory committee which plays an effective role in helping to shape the policy of the unit: there are 2 or 3 general meetings a year during which the members of this committee communicate to DINAMIA their evaluation of the scientific production of the unit.
The list of publications is impressive, also in international journals (some with IF and n°C). Their strategy for preparing publications is quite interesting and is worth a mention. Apart from the stimulation to publish which derives from research in progress or from realised research, members of the unit are motivated (also with financial incentives) to participate in international conferences or seminars thus increasing the opportunities of publishing their work. When a member has produced a text, an internal seminar is organised to discuss the paper which is also peer-reviewed by other members of the unit. One of the questions to be answered is «how to link the Portuguese cases we analyse to wider problematics and thematics in order to interest the international scientific community? How to address our papers to interest to wider audiences? ». (N.B. The unit thus answers to the query of other units who say that they do not have opportunities to publish in international journals because their practical field is limited to Portugal…). After improvement by its author, the paper may be submitted to an external, if possible international, review.
The administrative breaking up of the unit into separate groups in this particular instance did not make for an easy evaluation group by group. As it was said, each of them deserves excellent classification, as the whole unit. Indeed, if DINAMIA is officially composed of 5 different groups, practically, this organisation is flexible, what permits a good adaptation of the teams to each specific project and its components. The group’s lines of research, rather than parallel, intersect to construct «ad hoc» structures in reference to the projects and is based on a reflection as to the disciplines required for collaboration. This «project-driven» functioning permits every member to develop his/her specialization and minimize ignorance of other disciplines, thus making for a better overall collaboration. This flexibility certainly contributes to the quality of the work and in this sense has to be informally encouraged, for if institutionally enforced, it could have some negative side effects.
DINAMIA organises an internal research seminar which goes someway to meeting the demand of PHD students for closer tutorship and constant monitoring. But this seminar could perhaps be complemented by formalized association with doctoral schools at home or abroad.
DINAMIA has a «project manager» who appears to be very efficient. His role is to give information about calls for projects, to help in the construction of adequate teams for application, to give technical training to support members in producing their applications, to be the guardian of the scientific agenda of the unit,…
DINAMIA counts 80 researchers: 32 fulltime, 25 associated and 23 junior (plus a technical team). Concerning these latter, DINAMIA insists on the fact that «young researchers of high quality are a scare resource and that we have to fight to host them» - «if we need fresh blood, we have to keep quality». Therefore, DINAMIA makes efforts to help its young researchers: incentives to participate in conferences, possibility to fellow courses, the affording of technical support. The panel was able to notice the enthusiastic commitment of DINAMIA’s young associates to its programme and projects and considers that this augurs well for the future as well as witnessing to an apparent lack of intergenerational tension. During the period 2003-2006, the number of researchers with PHD has increased, this gives more time for research and for training young researchers, whose number has also increased (they are paid by applied projects, by the university). The number of (international) projects has also increased: some are linked with international networks of excellence, some are financed by FCT, and some others are based on applied research.
Do they have problems?
To this question, the answer was that, if there are problems, they come from outside DINAMIA. Researchers are not fulltime: they have to teach and, among other factors following Bologna, they have to cope with an ever expanding workload – a plethora of meetings, the need to justify administratively every single expense, a lack of technical staff.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
INNOVATION AND KNOWLEDGE [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-3127-2634]
The administrative breaking up of the unit into separate groups in this particular instance did not make for an easy evaluation group by group. Indeed, if DINAMIA is officially composed of 5 different groups, practically, this organisation is flexible, what permits a good adaptation of the teams to each specific project and its components. The groups lines of research, rather than parallel, intersect to construct «ad hoc» structures in reference to the projects and is based on a reflection as to the disciplines required for collaboration. This «project-driven» functioning permits every member to develop his/her specialization and minimize ignorance of other disciplines, thus making for a better overall collaboration. This flexibility certainly contributes to the quality of the work and in this sense has to be informally encouraged, for if institutionally enforced, it could have some negative side effects.
INSTITUTIONS AND BEHAVIOUR [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-3127-2635]
The administrative breaking up of the unit into separate groups in this particular instance did not make for an easy evaluation group by group. Indeed, if DINAMIA is officially composed of 5 different groups, practically, this organisation is flexible, what permits a good adaptation of the teams to each specific project and its components. The groups lines of research, rather than parallel, intersect to construct «ad hoc» structures in reference to the projects and is based on a reflection as to the disciplines required for collaboration. This «project-driven» functioning permits every member to develop his/her specialization and minimize ignorance of other disciplines, thus making for a better overall collaboration. This flexibility certainly contributes to the quality of the work and in this sense has to be informally encouraged, for if institutionally enforced, it could have some negative side effects.
LABOUR AND ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-3127-2633]
The administrative breaking up of the unit into separate groups in this particular instance did not make for an easy evaluation group by group. Indeed, if DINAMIA is officially composed of 5 different groups, practically, this organisation is flexible, what permits a good adaptation of the teams to each specific project and its components. The groups lines of research, rather than parallel, intersect to construct «ad hoc» structures in reference to the projects and is based on a reflection as to the disciplines required for collaboration. This «project-driven» functioning permits every member to develop his/her specialization and minimize ignorance of other disciplines, thus making for a better overall collaboration. This flexibility certainly contributes to the quality of the work and in this sense has to be informally encouraged, for if institutionally enforced, it could have some negative side effects.
REGULATION, GLOBALISATION AND EUROPE [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-3127-2636]
The administrative breaking up of the unit into separate groups in this particular instance did not make for an easy evaluation group by group. Indeed, if DINAMIA is officially composed of 5 different groups, practically, this organisation is flexible, what permits a good adaptation of the teams to each specific project and its components. The groups lines of research, rather than parallel, intersect to construct «ad hoc» structures in reference to the projects and is based on a reflection as to the disciplines required for collaboration. This «project-driven» functioning permits every member to develop his/her specialization and minimize ignorance of other disciplines, thus making for a better overall collaboration. This flexibility certainly contributes to the quality of the work and in this sense has to be informally encouraged, for if institutionally enforced, it could have some negative side effects.
TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT AND PLANNING [RG-SOC-LVT-Lisboa-3127-2464]
The administrative breaking up of the unit into separate groups in this particular instance did not make for an easy evaluation group by group. Indeed, if DINAMIA is officially composed of 5 different groups, practically, this organisation is flexible, what permits a good adaptation of the teams to each specific project and its components. The groups lines of research, rather than parallel, intersect to construct «ad hoc» structures in reference to the projects and is based on a reflection as to the disciplines required for collaboration. This «project-driven» functioning permits every member to develop his/her specialization and minimize ignorance of other disciplines, thus making for a better overall collaboration. This flexibility certainly contributes to the quality of the work and in this sense has to be informally encouraged, for if institutionally enforced, it could have some negative side effects.