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

Rinze Benedictus

Part-time PhD candidate who also works as staff advisor at the UMC Utrecht and is involved in the Science in Transition initiative. He analyzes institutional policy-making processes that shape research evaluation practices.

Thomas Franssen

Researcher. Thomas works on the intersection of valuation studies, sociology and STS. Previous research analyzed the constitutive effects of the rise of competitive project funding on the epistemic and organizational properties of research. His current interests are the history of scientometrics and valuation cultures in the humanities and its effects on knowledge production.

Tjitske Holtrop

Researcher. Trained as an anthropologist Tjitske studies how evaluation gets done, what kind of resources and people they mobilize, and what kinds of practices, collectives and ideas of accountability, change and quality they make possible.

Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner

Researcher. Wolfgang focuses on a variety of issues in the broad area of evaluation studies, including the politics of quantification and the hermeneutics of academic CVs.

Thed van Leeuwen

Senior researcher and co-leading the research theme on open scholarship. Thed's research focuses on the various aspects of open scholarship, as well as on the research assessment of scholarly activity in the social sciences, the humanities, and law. He is co-editor of the OUP journal Research Evaluation.

Philippe Mongeon

Postdoctoral researcher and member of the Science and Evaluation Studies research group. Philippe’s research interests include the relationship between evaluation practices and knowledge production, team science, and researchers’ data sharing and reuse behavior.

Sarah de Rijcke

Professor of Science and Evaluation Studies and deputy director of CWTS, and coordinator of the Science and Evaluation Studies research 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 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

Professor of Scientometrics and director of CWTS. 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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