On 1 December 2022, the Constitutive Assembly of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) took place, marking the beginning of a new chapter in which a broad coalition of organisations involved in research assessment and their respective associations will work together to implement the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment.
This meeting saw significant engagement from the European higher education and research sector, with universities making up just over 60% of CoARA members. In particular, the European University Association was pleased to see its nominee, EUA Vice-President Paul Boyle, elected as one of the eleven members of the coalition’s Steering Board, which will be led by Rianne Letschert, President of Maastricht University. As a founding member of CoARA and having been involved from the outset in the initiative to reform research assessment, EUA has made extensive contributions to this process, both through the Drafting Team for the Agreement and as part of CoARA’s Interim Secretariat. EUA itself signed the Agreement and joined CoARA in the weeks preceding the Assembly.
Additional details about CoARA’s newly elected leadership and the decisions taken by the more than 300 organisations which participated in the Constitutive Assembly are available on CoARA’s website.
Following the Assembly, a public round table took place in Brussels to debrief the meeting’s outcomes. Here, EUA Secretary General Amanda Crowfoot stated that “Today marks the beginning for CoARA as the coalition starts its own life. CoARA can count on EUA!”, adding that the Association is developing its CoARA work plan for 2023 and will continue to liaise with all EUA members to ensure they are included in future discussions on reforming research assessment. Furthermore, she highlighted the importance of research assessment reform as a strategic objective for EUA within the broader reform of academic careers.
Also during the round table, Stephane Berghmans, EUA Director of Research and Innovation, presented the outcomes of the Constitutive Assembly. Drawing on his experience as part of the Agreement’s Drafting Team and CoARA’s Interim Secretariat, he noted the impressive geographical spread and variety of institutional profiles among CoARA’s founding members and looked forward to the coalition continuing to reach out beyond its present membership, especially in countries and regions which are currently less represented. Indeed, signatures to the Agreement and CoARA membership remain open to additional organisations that wish to get involved, including from outside of Europe.