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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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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.

Sarah Rose Bieszczad

PhD candidate in the Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) group as part of the Sarah de Rijcke’s Fluid Knowledge Project. 

Thomas Franssen

Senior 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

Senior researcher. Wolfgang focuses on a variety of topics in the area of evaluation studies, including the politics of quantification and the interpretation and use of academic CVs in peer review.

Thed van Leeuwen

Senior researcher at CWTS. Thed's research focuses on the relationships between (reforms of) research evaluation, open scholarship, and research integrity, 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 director of CWTS, coordinator of the Engagement & Inclusion focal area, and member of the Evaluation & Culture focal area. Her research interests include academic valuation and evaluation processes, changing research cultures, knowledge infrastructures, and roles of research in and for society.

Marta Sienkiewicz

PhD candidate and member of the Science and Evaluation Studies (SES) research group. She studies new tools used in research evaluation, particularly those which aim to capture wider notions of research quality, excellence and impact.

Clifford Tatum

Researcher. Focusing on Open Science in the context of Responsible Research Assessment. Member of the focal areas Information & Openness and Evaluation & Culture.

Judit Varga

Researcher with the FluidKnowledge project. Her research examines how combining methods from science and technology studies (STS) with scientometrics can help study the relationship between (e)valuation and knowledge production in Ocean Science.

Paul Wouters

Professor of Scientometrics and Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. 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

Richelle Boone

PhD candidate in the Science Based Business group at Leiden University. Her research focusses on the social and organisational dynamics of international scientific consortia.

  • Tom van Drimmelen
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