Charles University Conducted a Comprehensive and Independent Evaluation of Its Scientific Activities. How Did it Turn out for the Second Faculty of Medicine?

Charles University was the first Czech university to conduct a comprehensive, critical and maximally independent evaluation of its scientific activities on its own initiative. The results of the evaluation show that in some disciplines at some faculties it reaches a level comparable to top universities in Europe (such as economics, archaeology, computer science, geography or cardiology), but in order to rank among the best European universities as a whole, it must be further improved. With several excellent centres that exceed the average and are internationally competitive, the Second Faculty of Medicine is in a similar situation.

Who evaluated and how?

The evaluation has been carried out over the past two years by the international Creative Activities Evaluation Board, an international panel of the university composed of several hundred predominantly foreign experts who selected the universities of Heidelberg, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Milan, Vienna and Leuven as benchmarks. The evaluation was performed mainly using bibliometric analysis according to the Web of Science database, the volume of obtained grant funds and self-evaluation reports.

How were the components of the university and medical faculties evaluated?

The Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education – Economics Institute (CERGE-EI) overall ranked best within the university, and was the only one to receive the overall grade A. Five faculties received excellent B +, namely the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, the Faculty of Science, the First Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Arts. Of medical faculties, the Second and Third with the B rating took the highest ranking; The Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen and the Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové received C +.

How did it turn out for the fields at the Second Faculty of Medicine? Which are excellent and which are average?

At the Second Faculty of Medicine, the best evaluation, grade A, was received by paediatric haematology and oncology, which the evaluators described as one of the flagships of medical research at Charles University; childhood leukaemia research is also most successful in obtaining grant funding (about one-third of it). An excellent centre is also the Children's Heart Centre (evaluated within cardiology). Clinical neurology, which produced a third of the ten percent of the best publications in the field at Charles University, internationally respected paediatric nephrology and psychology with fewer researchers and a larger share of impacted publications than at other faculties received the grade B.

Endocrinology and metabolism research are approaching the level of the First Faculty of Medicine, leading in this field, and have obtained C +. In cardiology and cardiac surgery, the evaluators highlighted the excellent, and, in the domestic context unique, Children's Heart Centre, a number of high-impact publications of the Cardiology Clinic, however, as a whole received C +. Biology and experimental biology (research on rare genetic diseases) and psychiatry were evaluated in the same way.

Surgery was evaluated with the grade C in the lowest ranks, however, as the evaluators stated, the funding model and workload do not allow to create more quality publications. And, similarly, gynaecology and obstetrics, which do not significantly contribute to gynaecological and oncological research, the way the faculty otherwise profiles itself.

 

Paediatric Haematology and Oncology

A

Clinical Neurology

B

Paediatric Nephrology

B

Psychology

B

Endocrinology

C+

Psychiatry

C+

Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

C+

Biology and Experimental Biology

C+

Gynaecology and Obstetrics

C

Surgery

C

There is no author at the Second Faculty of Medicine who would clearly lead in citations, and the performance of the faculty is based on the group of the most successful personalities in terms of publications. The faculty has a strong doctoral program in genetics, neuroscience, and leukaemia / oncology, otherwise it is too fragmented among many disciplines. Although we have a decent number of international projects, the funding that comes from them does not correspond at all; but there is good potential for growth. The faculty should focus on the fields in which it is most internationally competitive, in others stick to a decent standard, get more foreign researchers and publish more in high-impact journals.

In the context of the five medical faculties, the evaluators also draw attention to the inefficiencies that manifest themselves, for example, in research planning, and encourage greater cooperation in the form of interfaculty groups and centres. They keep mentioning the problem of underfunding.

Details in the original report:

University Unit Evaluation Report: Second Faculty of Medicine (pdf, 232 kB)

Published: 5. 5. 2021 / Last update: 5. 5. 2021 / Responsible person: Mgr. Petr Andreas, Ph.D.