Quality Assurance

Since the 1980’s, all research conducted at Dutch universities is systematically assessed every six years. For these assessments the Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP 2021-2027) is used, which is drawn up by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW). All research conducted at Delft University of Technology is assessed using this protocol. The planning of the assessments is available here. In the TU Delft Research Assessments Protocol, the roles and responsibilities of the various actors involved are worked out in detail.

The self-evaluation and the site visit form the main sources of information for the committee, on which basis it draws up its report. In the self-evaluation, which consists of a maximum of 20 pages excluding case studies and attachments, the unit reflects on its ambitions and strategy during the previous six years as well as for the future in a coherent, narrative argument, supported wherever possible with factual evidence. Specifically, the committee is asked to judge the performance of the unit on the main assessment criteria and offer its written conclusions as well as recommendations based on considerations and arguments. The main assessment criteria are:

  • Research quality
  • Societal relevance
  • Viability of the unit

In addition, the research unit describes how the research will be organised and conducted in order to achieve these ambitions, where the following four specific aspects have to be discussed: Open Science, PhD Policy and Training, Academic Culture and Human Resources Policy.

The committee sends its assessment report to the Executive Board. Subsequently, the Executive Board presents its position towards the assessment outcomes. Both the assessment report and the position document of the Executive Board are published on the TU Delft website. The board ensures that a summary of the self-evaluation – including the case studies –, the assessment report, and its position document are publicly published within six months of the site visit. In its annual report, the board indicates which of the institution’s research units have been assessed, what the most important conclusions and recommendations are, and what follow-up action has been taken on the recommendations. The board also reports which research units will be assessed in the year ahead.