Funding agencies from 63 countries ratify document for broader and more inclusive research Versão em português

A charter of principles was ratified during the annual meeting of the Global Research Council, which has been co-organized by FAPESP and is taking place in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The goal is to establish common practices to assess the quality of the science produced and facilitate international collaborations

André Julião | FAPESP Agency – Research, institutions and researchers need to be assessed in a broad and holistic way, taking into account the context in which the research is done, such as the field of study or the stage of the researcher's career. Moreover, the diversity of research activities, innovation, and outputs that demand diverse skills and competencies all need to be recognized. Responsible research practices and approaches should be guided by the promotion of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

These are some of the principles ratified by agencies participating in the annual meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC), which runs until Friday (May 2) at the Peace Palace in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The meeting has been organized by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and FAPESP.

"We have a lot of influence on the culture and behavior of researchers and research organizations. So coming up with a set of principles about how we think about rewarding and recognizing researchers is absolutely critical and fundamental to what we do," said Prue Williams, New Zealand's Minister for Business, Innovation and Employment, who led the session "Recognizing and Rewarding Researchers" held on Wednesday (May 31).

Arfan Ikram, a member of the NWO executive board and professor at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, recalled his own career as a professor and researcher to stress the importance of rewarding and recognizing researchers at different stages of their careers.

"This recognition and reward movement is at least a decade old, and today I seek to contribute in the role of research funder. But when I look back, I see that recognition and reward have benefited my career as a researcher and professor enormously, such that without it I wouldn't be here," he said.

New challenges

The keynote address was given by Laura Rovelli, a member of the Executive Council of DORA (Declaration on Research Assessment) and coordinator of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), based in Buenos Aires.

According to Rovelli, there are currently some challenges to research assessment due to different transformations taking place in society, some of them related to urgent and critical problems. One of these is the quest for sustainability while facing global climate change and other social issues.

"It’s necessary to strengthen the role of science as a common good, in order to obtain citizens' engagement in scientific activity. On the other hand, to protect access to the benefits of science, which can bring well-being to individuals and societies, aligning research quality with integrity and social impact is also a challenge," she stressed.

In this sense, the researcher recalled that some measures are being taken to improve the quality of research assessment in South America, such as the network of 10 Brazilian universities working on reforms aligned to the principles of DORA, an international group that has been formulating and proposing improvements in this type of assessment since 2012.

Following the talk, the participants divided into five groups and raised questions to be incorporated into future discussions on the topic at the GRC. Finally, they ratified the charter of principles, with nine items designed to advance new ways of assessing research and researchers.

GRC letters and communications are available at: