Performance lies in Publication

Georg Kirchsteiger, Vice-Dean of Research and Co-Director of ECARES Doctoral School, and Romy Genin, Faculty Managing Director and liaison between the research centres and the administration, review the performance of the SBS-EM Research Centres.

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When asked about the driver of research performance, Georg Kirchsteiger and Romy Genin both responded: “publication”. However, the School’s research centres have seen a slight slowdown in the total number of publications since 2012. A drop which Georg Kirchsteiger explains by the fact that “the publication process is random. As a researcher, you can have 4 or 5 articles published one year and zero the next. (…) It took 9 years for one of my research works to be published”. Interestingly, Romy Genin pointed out that “the numbers look at the publication activities of full-time professors only. Besides, the research quality has increased and is actually increasing every year”, and the key to visibility and scientific recognition at an international level for research centres lies in the quality of their publications. The latter is an indicator that encompasses the quality of the research results and the impact they have on the researcher’s field of interest, as well as the reputation of the journal in which the article is published. There is indeed a hierarchy of journals, and being published in the top referenced international journals is the foundation of the prestigious reputation the School’s research output enjoys.

“We need people
who know how
to write and be
published.”

Georg Kirchsteiger

International and full-time

To improve publication quality, the School’s research centres are strengthening their recruitment process for full-time professors and, to a lesser extent, for PhD candidates. “The key to success is the recruitment process, in order to have a critical mass of research-oriented people active in a particular field. We need people who know how to write and be published.” The SBS-EM has therefore already appointed five new international full-time professors, including three women, who started just recently, in October 2017. However, the non-flexible salary grid available for professors is currently a barrier to attracting and appointing top international full-time professors. The selection of PhD candidates is also paramount in generating impactful research work. The performance of the School’s PhD programmes can be seen in the number of international placements offered to its candidates after graduation which, for the year 2016-2017, was fourteen. With regard to the candidate selection process, Georg Kirchsteiger explained that the Faculty identifies highly qualified candidates not only through personal networks but also targets universities with an excellent reputation in economics and/or management and invites the best undergraduate students from these universities to do their PhD at the SBS-EM.

“The research
quality has
increased and is
actually increasing
every year.”

Romy Genin

 

 

Awards and grants

Appointing top professors and researchers as well as PhD candidates has also enabled the centres to obtain awards and grants. “The School has won 4 European Research Council grants, while the total number of ERC grants obtained in the field of Economics and Management in the French-speaking community of Belgium is 8”, points out Georg Kirchsteiger. Winning a highly competitive grant such as a European Research Council grant is testimony that the SBS-EM’s researchers are indeed striving to improve business and public practices. Consequently, tools have been developed at university level to assist researchers in the grant application process. “The Cellule Europe was launched in 2012 to help researchers with their applications. It has proved to be very helpful in avoiding mistakes and maximizing the chances of being published and winning a grant”, Georg Kirchsteiger explains.

 

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