Management of University Research and Third Mission activities

The Research Quality Evaluation (VQR) 2011-2014 project evaluates the results of the scientific research carried out in 2011-2014. The VQR addresses 16 Areas of research; for each area, ANVUR has established a Group of Evaluation Experts tasked with evaluating the results of the research carried out. The evaluations are based on the peer review method and, for articles in the bibliometric areas indexed on the Web of Science and Scopus databases, on bibliometric analysis. For VQR purposes, the following research products are considered: scientific monographs and equivalent products; contributions to magazines, contributions to books and other types of scientific production. Quality is evaluated with reference to the criteria of originality, methodological rigour and confirmed or potential impact. Analysis based on these criteria results in a summary opinion on the outcome of the research, expressed as one of five levels: excellent, high, good, acceptable, limited. In the context of the VQR, the evaluation also considers other indicators: ability of the structures to attract external resources from participation in competitive tenders; the higher education provided by the structures; the role mobility of personnel over the four-year period. For information purposes, the competitiveness profile of the institutions in relation to third mission activities is also considered.

Summary of VQR results for the University of Bologna

The Third Mission is a new area of application of the quality assurance system that is monitored via its SUA-RD: in section I.0 of its SUA 2014 form, the University committed to work on both of the areas established by ANVUR:

  • promotion of research,
  • production of public assets of a social, educational and cultural nature.

In the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, the University confirms its commitment to maintain constant dialogue with the territory served by its structures and to work intensively to disseminate scientific and cultural knowledge and awareness.

The 2017 Stability Law (no. 232/2016) established a "Fund for financing excellent University departments", which provides five-year loans to University departments that achieve excellence in the quality of their research and their scientific, organisational and teaching projects linked to Industry 4.0 research. Twenty-eight of the 33 Departments of the University of Bologna were admitted to the selection process that will take place during 2017; 14 Departments obtained the maximum score on the Standardised Departmental Performance Indicator (ISPD), which takes account of their ranking in the national VQR distribution, in the respective subject areas.

MIUR website dedicated to excellent departments

The University Research Evaluation Committee (VRA) is responsible for developing and updating criteria, principles and methods for evaluating the research carried out by the University. Following approval by the University Governing Bodies, the VRA criteria are public and take account of the models used in the most advanced national and international scientific environments; they must also be consistent with the evaluation criteria adopted at national level by ANVUR or other national and international bodies. The VRA Committee evaluates the quality, scope and outcome of the research carried out by professors, researchers and  research structures. The results of the evaluation carried out by the VRA Committee are used by the competent bodies and the Departments to define policies for the assignment of resources for scientific research and to identify development strategies for the research carried out by the University.

VRA Committee: composition, area panel, regulations
VRA 2016: area criteria and guidelines and individual outcomes