Irstea's evaluation report published by HCERES

Main lessons from the HCERES evaluation report

The report concerns the period from 2012-2016 and focuses on Irstea's quality research, commending its interdisciplinary and integrative nature and the positive reputation held by Irstea among its organizational partners, who recognize the uniqueness of its research fields and the important role it plays in supporting public policy. The report also highlighted the institute's strong position based on an effective continuum between generalized and targeted research as well as on the complementarity of its approaches, linking observation, experimentation and modeling.

The evaluation also made a number of recommendations that are consistent with the institute's strategic goals, approved by the Board of Directors on June 21 this year. Specifically, these are:

  • To promote interdisciplinarity;
  • To reinforce the historical identity of the institute as a provider of targeted research/expertise/support for public policies and to encourage a culture of public-private research partnerships;
  • To confirm Irstea's European outlook and develop high-quality scientific cooperation and expertise internationally;
  • To provide training based on our values in order to reinforce the appeal of the institute and enhance employee skills;
  • To create and implement a simplified and clear leadership hierarchy.

These goals, set out as short-term actions, will make it possible for the institute to grow and pursue its research with a high level of ambition as part of the new organization that will be formed from the merger with INRA in 2020.

The evaluation process

Three main principles govern the evaluation performed by HCERES: engagement with internal stakeholder, formalization and transparency of the chosen procedure, and critical reviews of the activities carried out during the reference period.

In November 2017, Irstea submitted its organizational self-evaluation report and strategic priorities to HCERES. The self-evaluation focused on the period between 2012 and 2016 and was created using a SWOT analysis performed by several internal working groups from within teams, units regional centers and functional departments and comprising 5 chapters: scientific output, regional integration, partnership, international, innovation and HR policies.

Between March 6 and 8, 2018, around 100 people were interviewed by the evaluation committee, made up of experts and led by Alain Boudou. A total of 30% of the participants were from Irstea's main partners: public organizations, higher education and research institutions, local authorities, agencies and companies all spoke to HCERES assessors.

HCERES published its evaluation report on July 4, 2018.

Read the full HCERES report