The Intersectoral Student Committee (CIE) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) is releasing its latest report on the evaluation of excellence from a perspective of equity, diversity and inclusion.

If you wish, a French version of the report is available. 

We also invite you to consult past reports produced by the CIE.

Report introduction

The general profile of next generation researchers, from college to postdoctorate, has changed in recent years to become much more diverse. This transformation goes hand in hand with the increasing attention that is now being paid to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the academic community.

The present report proposes a reflection on the definition of research excellence, its operationalization, and its evaluation. More specifically, it examines the relationship between the plurality of next generation researcher profiles and the evaluation of a certain idea of excellence. The CIE thus looks at the impact of certain criteria for evaluating excellence on the accessibility of excellence awards for certain groups of next generation researchers. The overall message that emerges from the report is that it would be beneficial to improve our understanding of research excellence in all its complexity and apprehend its assessment from a perspective that is more sensitive to issues related to EDI.

With a view to furthering reflections around research excellence, the CIE wishes to provide next generation researchers with a better understanding of the conceptual dimensions related to the notion of excellence and its evaluation. To that end, this report is divided into three sections. The first section presents the concept of research excellence and the debates it has raised. The second section highlights some of the barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion that are imposed by a standardized assessment of excellence, and then discusses in more detail some systemic inequities affecting specific student groups: women, Indigenous students, racialized groups, LGBTQ2S+ communities, international students, and first-generation students. The third section addresses the challenges associated with the operationalization of research excellence. It suggests a critical reflection on the criteria and indicators that are commonly used.

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