The Constitutive Assembly of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) took place on 1 December 2022. The Assembly, which brought together the organisations that signed the Agreement for Reforming Research Assessment by 17 November and have confirmed membership in the coalition, officially launched CoARA and decided on the terms of its governance and operations.
More than 300 organisations participated in the Constitutive Assembly, formally adopting CoARA’s governance documents, rules of procedure and code of conduct. The Assembly also elected the coalition’s Steering Board:
- Rianne Letschert (nominated by Maastricht University, Universities of The Netherlands and the Young European Research Universities Network – YERUN)
- Elizabeth Gadd (nominated by INORMS Research Evaluation Group) )
- Karen Stroobants (nominated by the Marie Curie Alumni Association and EuroScience)
- Lidia Borrell-Damián (Science Europe)
- Paul Boyle (European University Association)
- Yensi Alejandra Flores Bueso (Global Young Academy)
- Matthias Koenig (German Research Foundation – DFG)
- Eva Mendéz (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
- Menico Rizzi (Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes – ANVUR)
- Sylvie Rousset (French National Centre for Scientific Research – CNRS)
- Toma Susi (Initiative for Science in Europe – ISE)
Rianne Letschert, newly elected Chair of CoARA, thanked members for their support and trust. She also congratulated her fellow Steering Board members and expressed her gratitude to the European University Association, Science Europe, and the European Commission for their work leading up to the Constitutive Assembly. Looking forward to the Coalition’s work, she stated “we need a better balance in how we recognise and reward academics” and further highlighted “an urgent need for more diversity in career paths in academia”.
CoARA brings together a wide range of organisations involved in research assessment and their respective associations, including research funding organisations, research performing organisations, national/regional assessment authorities and agencies, learned societies and researcher organisations. Within the coalition, signatories of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment will come together to facilitate exchanges of information and mutual learning between all those willing to improve research assessment practices and to enable systemic reform on the basis of the commitments outlined in the Agreement.
During the Assembly, the preliminary workplan and budget for the coalition were approved and European Science Foundation (ESF)-Science Connect was formally appointed as the CoARA Secretariat.
Science Europe, the European University Association and the European Commission have facilitated the development of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and the establishment of CoARA by acting as the Interim Secretariat until 1 December 2022. On behalf of the Interim Secretariat, Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe, highlighted: “We all wanted the Agreement to be strong, to be bold, to be usable for the reform of research assessment. I would never have expected we would get so many CoARA members in such a short time. The rest of the world is looking, we have a unique chance to reflect on what is it that we value in research.” Amanda Crowfoot, Secretary-General of the European University Association, added that “Today marks the beginning for CoARA as the Coalition starts its own life. CoARA can count on EUA! We have started already to develop our CoARA work plan for 2023. We will also continue to liaise with all our members to ensure they are included in future discussions on reforming research assessment”.
Signatures to the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and CoARA membership remain open to additional organisations that wish to get involved, including organisations from outside of Europe.