Quality Assurance Research: Standard Evaluation Protocol


SEP 2021-2027

March 16, 2020, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU),  the Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and NWO presented the new Strategy Evaluation Protocol (SEP) 2021-2027. Once every six years, the research organisations revise the evaluation protocol for academic research, which is used by research universities and KNAW and NWO institutions to evaluate research units. The new protocol, effective from 2021, builds further upon the existing protocol to incorporate recent developments relating to the recognition and rewards of researchers (including DORA) as well as the concept of Open Science.

SEP 2015-2021

All research at Dutch universities, NWO and Academy institutes is assessed every six years using the Standard Evaluation Protocol 2015-2021 (SEP). This protocol sets out in detail how assessments take place, and has evolved over more than twenty years, from an experimental framework in the 1980s to its established and accepted form today. 

The assessment is carried out by an external independent assessment committee composed of peers. The assessment committee reaches a judgment regarding the research based on a self-assessment of the research unit, additional documents and interviews which take place during the site visit. 
The SEP protocol is formulated and endorsed by the VSNU, KNAW (Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences) and NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). The evaluations are managed by Qanu, a quality assurance agency. 
The current protocol expires in 2021, and there will be a need for a new protocol to cover the next period. The responsibility for developing a proposal for a new version of the SEP lies with KNAW, NWO and VSNU. 
More documents and information (in Dutch) can be found at www.vsnu.nl/sep. A version of the current evaluation protocol can downloaded directly.