1.4 Quality assurance for research

Research at Tilburg University is assessed every six years. The year 2021 marked a transition from the 2015–2021 Standard Evaluation Protocol to the 2021–2027 Strategy Evaluation Protocol. In the evaluations, an external international committee examines research quality, the future prospects of the research unit, and the social relevance of the research. This new protocol, which was established by the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and the Dutch Research Council (NWO), has a stronger focus on the strategy adopted by the research unit. In preparation for this new evaluation protocol, several digital meetings were organized within Tilburg University.

The research review of the TiSEM research programs was completed in early 2021. The 24 scores that were assigned range from “good” (two scores) to “excellent” (five scores), with the remainder being “very good.” The review committee found that academic excellence is strongly embedded within the culture of TiSEM. The groups conducted very good internationally recognized research, and some groups could rightly be called world leaders. Looking to the future, the committee recommends shifting the focus somewhat more from high-level publications to strategic connections with society and business. It indicates that TiSEM could leverage the existing collaboration within Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS) and with Tilburg Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS) for this purpose. Although the School does its best to create an attractive research environment, it remains a challenge to attract and retain scholars, particularly due to salary limitations. The committee concludes that TiSEM and the CentER for Economic Research Graduate School provide high-quality PhD programs. The drop-out rate is low, and the completion rate is high (73%–80% within five years). The external PhD program shows promise for integrating business and academia.