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Self-evaluation - Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Self-evaluation - Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Self-evaluation research programme ESoE Graduate School, which will provide better visibility to both national and international students striving to obtain a PhD. - In large-scale innovation programmes funded by the Dutch government and the EU (e.g. Science in Society, genomics, nanotechnology) grants may be allocated for research related to science and technology education with the objective of raising civic awareness and/or participation. - As a result of ESoE’s new position and because a large wave of the more initial group of external PhD students has graduated, the research programme can gain coherence. Threats - The group of researchers with non-tenured positions (PhD students, post-docs, staff members with double positions also at other departments or institutes) is relatively large, which means continuity in the expertise for some themes/domains may come under pressure and risk of fragmentation. - External funding decreases and becomes more competitive, while hardly any time is available for writing grants. The government is currently reorganizing the education research grants system: several smaller scale grant schemes will be placed under one national committee (’regieorgaan onderwijsonderzoek’). This will probably lead to more competition, the disappearing of some ‘easy access resources’ and the need to invest more time in writing and applying for grants. Similarly, European and international grants for education research have become much more competitive due to the financial crisis and budget cuts in most countries, and such grants often encompass complex alliances to form, and the need to invest much time in the application process. Given the small staff of ESoE, also involved in many other tasks, this will be a tremendous challenge. - There is little funding available (from government and other institutions) for research on teaching and teacher education in general and science education in particular. - ESoE is often asked to provide support and input for TU/e educational policy and innovation, but is – as up to this moment - much less asked to conduct (evaluative) research within the TU/e context. Although ESoE aspires to conduct research in this domain, and the TU/e welcomes such aspirations, there are virtually no funds available for research in this context (the higher education domain is not included in the NWO programme, and at the moment the TU/e does not invest in such research). 29

Self-evaluation research programme ESoE 12. Strategy Based on the SWOT analysis, the following measures are proposed for the near future, in order to strengthen the ESoE research programme: - As a result of the expected decline in the number of PhD students of ESoE in the upcoming years – which is also needed given the small size of the research staff of ESoE – more time might become available for writing and applying for grants. ESoE’s staff will be stimulated and supported in writing such applications. - The smaller staff and smaller number of PhD students also creates the need for more coherence and focus within the research programme. As such, the research programme ‘professional learning’ will be tied more to contemporary themes in the domain of STEM teaching and teacher education, such as curriculum development, ICT in education, excellence in learning/teaching, new teaching and learning environments, and effective professional development programmes). Currently, the programme is being rewritten in this respect. - In addition to the previous point, the science education component in the programme will be strengthened, in order to make it easier to connect with international partners, as well as with TU/e departments. Recently, ESoE has appointed two associate professors in this respect, with specific research focus on the topics of ‘science education and diversity’ (van Eijck) and ‘science teaching and ICT’ (Taconis). It is expected that these associate professors can play a role in obtaining grants for and strengthening research on these issues. - ESoE will make its strengths and expertise more explicit within the TU/e context, so that departments and policy makers more easily ask ESoE for help or to conduct research for them. - ESoE participates in several national expertise centres of primary teacher education institutes regarding professional learning of student teachers, in which it is attempted to do research next to advisory work, including PhD research. - There are new government initiatives to strengthen the quality of teachers and teacher education. ESoE aims at participating in these initiatives, and include research as part of its participation. 30

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