Science and Evaluation Studies

The Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) research group is one of the three research groups at CWTS. The group is led by Sarah de Rijcke.


The Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) research group analyses the politics and practices of research evaluation in connection with contemporary forms of governance of research and scholarship. We use the concept of "governance" because it allows us to take into account the changing relationships between knowledge production processes and formal and informal steering efforts at multiple levels in the science system:

  • (inter)national level - e.g. EU funding schemes, responsible metrics initiatives;
  • organisational level - e.g. institutional evaluation practices;
  • shop-floor level - e.g. the practical handling and possible epistemic implications of indicators in different fields.

The work of the group has three main aims. First, we aim to develop a theoretical framework on the politics and practices of contemporary research evaluation. Second, we wish to gain a deeper empirical understanding of how formal and informal evaluation practices are re-shaping academic knowledge production. Third, we want to understand how changes in scholarly infrastructures interact with epistemic processes. A crucial societal mission of the group is to contribute to shaping contemporary debates on responsible research evaluation and metrics uses (including policy implications).

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Please visit the SES group website at for the latest news about our research and outreach activities. To convey your interest, suggest a talk, or if you have any questions, please contact Sarah de Rijcke.

Group members

Thomas Franssen

Postdoctoral researcher. Thomas is interested in evaluation and quantification practices. Inspired by cultural sociology as well as science and technology studies, Thomas analyzes the ways in which researchers are evaluated and evaluate themselves, and the (numerical) devices that are used to do so.

Thed van Leeuwen

Senior researcher and coordinator of the Social Sciences, Humanities & Law (WISSH) working group. Thed's research focuses on the development of indicators for the research assessment of scholarly activity in the social sciences, the humanities, and law. He is co-editor the OUP journal Research Evaluation.

Julia Heuritsch

Researcher. Julia’s research focusses on the analysis of the subsequent careers of PhD holders.

Tjitske Holtrop

Postdoctoral researcher. Tjitske studies the practices of evaluation: how are questionnaires made, what do numbers do, how are reports written or what happens in meetings?

Sarah de Rijcke

Associate professor and deputy director of CWTS, and coordinator of the Evaluation Practices in Context (EPIC) working group. Her research focuses on the growing use of assessment procedures and bibliometric indicators in scientific and scholarly research, and the effects on knowledge production.

Clifford Tatum

Researcher and member of the Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) working group. Clifford’s research is focused on Open Science in relation to emerging evaluation practices and research information systems.

Govert Valkenburg

Researcher. Govert Valkenburg works in the areas of science and technology studies, philosophy of technology, and political philosophy. He works on the project 'Optimizing the responsible researcher: towards fair and constructive academic advancement'. The project is funded by ZonMw.

Paul Wouters

Director of CWTS and professor of Scientometrics. Paul is interested in how evaluation systems have developed and are creating new constraints for the development of knowledge. He is also interested in the history of science in general and the role of information systems in these histories in particular.

Jochem Zuijderwijk

PhD candidate. Jochem is working on a PhD thesis that focuses on the formative effects of new incentive and reward systems in biomedicine within the Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) group.

Affiliated members

Stefan de Jong

Researcher. Stefan’s research interests are the relationship between science policy and academic research, focusing on societal impact and evaluation of academic research.

Barend van der Meulen

Endowed professor Evidence for Science Policy, CWTS, and Head of Research at the Rathenau Instituut. Barend’s research focuses on instruments of science policy making and the changes in the profession of science.

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