Vice-Chancellor descision 7 juni 2022
In force 1 juli 2022
Dairy HV 2021/105
Quality in research depends on various factors. It requires a good infrastructure in the form of premises and equipment, appropriate support for researchers in terms of funding, publication, information management, good research practice and research ethics, protection of research freedom, connection to higher education, plans for competence supply, opportunities for competence development, equal working conditions and mutual exchange with the surrounding society. By quality assurance of such processes, good conditions are created for the university's research to be conducted with high quality.
Systematic quality work includes creating conditions, planning, implementing, following up and improving the research process; from idea and application for funding until the research results are published.
The quality assurance system clarifies responsibilities and provides a system and structure for monitoring conditions, implementation and results. The follow-up shall lead to the identification of development / improvement needs, a plan for measures and feedback. The follow-up must be documented to create opportunities for organizational learning.
Ultimately, the quality assurance system must ensure that the university's research is conducted in accordance with external regulations, for example the Higher Education Act (1992: 1434), the Act (2019: 504) on responsibility for good research practice and examination of misconduct in research and the GDPR. It must also ensure that research is developed in accordance with University West's visions, goals and strategies, and contribute to high-quality research.
The following describes the different parts of the quality assurance system. This is followed by a description of the responsibilities of different roles for quality assurance of research.
University West creates good conditions for research, among other things through a generous working time agreement that provides an opportunity for all teachers to conduct research and development work. Access to laboratory environments, technical equipment, engineering support, software, licenses, library services, etc. and various administrative support linked to the research process provide research and researchers with good conditions and support. The university safeguards academic freedom and all researchers and research groups formulate their own research questions and choose a free research method and research areas.
Research ideas for development and renewal always come from the researchers' and / or research groups' search for knowledge, and with this as a starting point, collaboration is usually established with other parties who have similar issues or interests. The parties can be universities, associations, the public sector or private companies, both at local / regional / national and international level.
By profiling the university and building strong research and educational environments, stable structures and common goals are created that create the conditions for being an active social actor in line with the university's vision.
University West's quality system describes processes that create good conditions for early quality assurance of research, for example to create resource certificates and review research applications.
The quality system states who is responsible for each process, which external and internal requirements govern and which systems and / or checklists support the process. The description also states what information is to be handled and preserved. The information in the quality system is "mirrored" on the intranet to be easily accessible and searchable for all employees. It also shows who can be contacted for help and support in each process, who are also responsible for quality assurance and for establishing routines on the intranet.
The university's intranet contains information on academic freedom and good research practice, as well as the support that researchers and postgraduate students can receive in these matters.
The quality system aso describes processes for planning research and who is responsible for the process, which external and internal requirements govern and which systems and / or checklists support the process. This may, for example, apply to creating a data management plan, applying for an ethics review or developing a business plan for complete academic environments.
Planning and conducting research is within the framework of the researcher's competence and academic freedom. External and internal regulations govern the parts of the implementation that, for example, apply to good research practice and handling of information. The intranet contains information to support researchers regarding these processes.
Every researcher's right to freely choose a research topic and research method and to freely publish research results is the basis for academic freedom and a prerequisite for the university to be able to carry out its activities with quality and credibility. Academic freedom is protected both in the Constitution and in the Higher Education Act and the EU's Charter of Rights.
With academic freedom as an firm principle, University West conducts a large proportion of applied research in accordance with its vision and profile, where research problems are formulated and explored in mutual collaboration between the university's researchers and actors in the surrounding society.
All research is followed up at regular intervals and according to an established structure.
Between 2018 - 2027, the university has support from the Knowledge Foundation for a so-called Knowledge environment, Primus. Primus has its own vision, and its own ten-year strategy and stage strategies. The Knowledge Foundation follows up and provides feedback on the university's ability to steer research in a strategic direction and develop methods for quality assurance of initiatives. Through Primus, the university's management will profile and strengthen research at the entire university (see Appendix 3).
To ensure responsibility, schedule and communication, there is a follow-up schedule (Appendix 1) and a communication plan (Appendix 2).
All follow-up and evaluation of research is reported to the university's management team at its annual strategy day for research. Based on the results, any measures at the operational and strategic level are proposed. The proposed measures are documented, followed up and reported back no later than next year's strategy day for research.
Twice a year, an overall quality report is submitted to the university's board.
Results based on quality reviews, follow-ups and measures are communicated to relevant stakeholders according to a special communication plan (Appendix 2).
The Vice-Chancellor is ultimately responsible for the quality of the research and creates conditions for the renewal and development of the research through decisions in accordance with the university's rules of procedure and the rector's delegation rules. The university's management team has an annual cycle for strategic issues, where research is a theme for annual follow-up and strategic discussion. Follow-ups according to a special schedule (Appendix 1) provide a basis for discussion prior to strategic and operational decisions.
The head of department is responsible for creating conditions for research at departmental level and other matters in accordance with the university's rules of procedure and the rector's delegation rules. The head of department may decide on further follow-up of research at the department in addition to what is specified in the quality assurance system for research. All research must be followed up and it must be done systematically and documented.
The department heads of the subdivisions, together with the head of department, have overall responsibility for the activities at the department. They create good conditions and plan for the teachers '/ researchers' division of duties, course staffing, staffing of research projects, development projects, competence supply and competence development. Furthermore, the subdivision heads are responsible for ensuring that designated teachers / researchers have the right competence, knowledge and conditions for the tasks. Planning and follow-up takes place via service planning interviews and annual employee interviews.
The business manager and program manager are responsible for producing an annual business plan and compiling an annual business report and providing a budget proposal for the environment. The responsibility also includes coordination of research projects within the environment, initiating new research projects together with core area leaders, overall responsibility for coordination of external relations and proposals for division of duties in consultation with the head of department and head of department.
Core area leaders are responsible for ensuring close connections between research and education, development and renewal of the scientific and creative environment within their core area, as well as collaboration with the surrounding community and collaboration with other academic environments. The core area manager assists the head of department regarding service planning for research, budget planning and proposals for new projects.
The person who leads an individual research project is responsible for the project vis-à-vis the financier. Tasks are to follow up the budget and how the project develops in relation to goals and schedule. All researchers are responsible for following good research practice and other regulations.
The director of the university is responsible for creating conditions, planning and following up that infrastructure and support functions for research are correctly dimensioned. The administration's department heads are responsible for staffing and planning for their employees, and ensure that the employees have the right skills, knowledge and conditions for the tasks.
Processes that are systematically followed up, evaluated, developed and documented are, for example, resource certificates, data management plans, applications for external funds, career support and project support.
The head of SBIP is responsible for creating conditions, planning and following up that SBIP with its support functions is correctly dimensioned. Department heads are responsible for staffing and planning for their employees and ensure that employees have the right skills, knowledge and conditions for the tasks.
The university's quality manager is responsible for updating and in dialogue with the rector and quality council evaluating and developing the university's operating system (quality system) and quality assurance system.
The University's Quality Council is a working committee of the university's management group and is headed by a quality manager. The Quality Council is responsible for preparing, developing and anchoring processes, guidelines and working methods to ensure the quality of education and research. The Quality Council consists of the head of the work unit (or a responsible person appointed), the student union's chairman and vice chairman, FUN's chairman and vice chairman, and administrative support / quality coordinator for education and research. The Quality Council's representatives are responsible for anchoring and discussing quality issues within each activity. The quality manager is responsible for dialogue and anchoring with the principal.
According to the Rector's delegation, FUN decides on guidelines for research. In the annual follow-up work, FUN compiles a university-wide report with analysis of the quality of the support and processes for research. Documentation is provided by the departments according to a special template. The board reports the results to the university's management team and provides feedback to the departments. Every six years, FUN initiates an evaluation of research and research environments with the help of external national and international reviewers. The board reports the results, from both the annual follow-ups and the external reviews, to the university's management team and provides feedback to the departments.
The Research Ethics Committee, a collegial body under FUN, is responsible for proactive support for researchers regarding good research practice and research ethics.
The committee is responsible for investigating reports of deviations from good research practice on behalf of the Rector.
The Department Faculty Board (IN) has overall responsibility for quality in education and research at the department. The responsibility is exercised in dialogue with the department management and with the Research and Education Board (FUN).)