The aim of every self-assessment is to show the members of the site visit committee, who will often have broadly different backgrounds, what the research unit is and aims to be and what results it has achieved, in a way that is comprehensible to the committee and backed up by sound arguments. At core, then, every self-assessment report, whether it refers to a research group, research programme or research institute, consists of an overarching story. In other words, a self-assessment report is a narrative. It provides a consistent description of the unit's position, mission and aims, but also of the indicators that it has chosen. That is also the case for its research outputs: the point is not to provide separate lists of data, but to describe how the outputs relate to the nature of the research unit and its aims in the scientific/scholarly and societal domains.
Self-assessment reports in the humanities are structured as follows:
- Introduction with brief description, profile sketch and aims
- Relevant performance indicators selected
- Results achieved in the domains of science/scholarship and society
- Research unit’s own conclusions in light of its self-assessment
The first four sections should take the form of a consistent narrative.
The rest of the self-assessment report is structured according to the SEP format, but note that sections 6 and 9, in any event, must also be cast largely as a narrative.
- Context (administrative)
- Outcomes of previous assessments, SWOT analysis and plans going forward
- PhD programmes
- Research integrity, ethics, research data management
- Case studies
- Robust data with tables and appendices