Rules of Procedure for the External Advisory Board

Rules of Procedure for the External Advisory Board

Article 1 – Purpose and Scope

  1. Evaluation of research quality by peers is fundamental to successful quality management in science. In CEDIS, this peer evaluation is organized through our External Advisory Board (EAB), established to provide independent, expert advice and guidance on matters related to our mission.
  2. This Rule of Procedure outlines the framework for the functioning of the EAB and defines its scope, roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes.

Article 2 – Composition

  1. The EAB is elected by the Scientific Council of CEDIS, following a proposal from the CEDIS Board.
  2. The EAB shall consist of a minimum of five and a maximum of nine members, specialized in CEDIS’ areas of activity, from outside CEDIS and NOVA School of Law, each selected for their expertise, experience, and relevance to the purpose of the advisory board.
  3. Members shall serve a term of 5 years, with the possibility of renewal, as determined by CEDIS.

Article 3 – Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The EAB shall provide expert advice and recommendations to CEDIS on strategic matters related to our mission of producing transformative social impact through our three activities: Research, Education, and Outreach.
  2. EAB members shall provide expert advice and recommendations to CEDIS whenever they consider it appropriate.
  3. Once a year, CEDIS will invite three EAB members to evaluate CEDIS activities based on the criteria established in Annex 1 and formulate their findings and recommendations in individual written reports. Once discussed and approved by all members during the annual meeting, these reports will give rise to a common report.
  4. Members are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding the information discussed during EAB meetings.

Article 4 – Rights

  1. All EAB members have the right to receive funding for an evaluation mission fully paid for by CEDIS once a year, if they wish. This aims to provide all EAB members with the opportunity to communicate with researchers at CEDIS, as well as with CEDIS Staff and the CEDIS Board of Directors.
  2. Additionally, EAB members may also be invited to participate in workshops, events, or other activities organized by CEDIS to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Article 5 – Meetings

  1. EAB meetings shall be held virtually once a year.
  2. Meetings may include presentations, discussions, and opportunities for EAB members to share insights and recommendations. Prior to each meeting, members will receive the following materials at least one month in advance: three individual reports made by EAB members, as referred to in Article 3.3, and the annual internal activities report of CEDIS. These documents will be shared with all members and updated on the website. Additionally, EAB members will have the opportunity to communicate with members, staff, and directors of CEDIS to seek clarifications or ask questions related to the materials provided before the meeting.
  3. A final written report is produced during this meeting, based on the discussion of the CEDIS annual activities report as well as the three individual reports made by the EAB members.

Article 6 – Amendments to the Rule of Procedure

  1. This Rule of Procedure may be amended by mutual agreement between CEDIS and the EAB, with changes documented in writing.

Article 7 – Dissolution

  1. In the event that CEDIS decides to dissolve the EAB, members shall be notified in writing, and a final meeting shall be held to conclude activities and ensure an orderly transition.

Article 8 – Effective Date

  1. This Rule of Procedure shall become effective upon approval by CEDIS and the External Advisory Board.

This Rule of Procedure is hereby adopted on January 30, 2024, by CEDIS.


Annex 1: Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation included in the yearly report should be based on the following criteria as established by FCT:

Criteria A

  1. Clear statement on the advancement of knowledge and respective impact with a reference to publications or any other relevant research and innovation indicators.
  2. Degree of internationalization and collaborative research of the R&D outputs.
  3. Advanced training of researchers including Master’s and PhD students or postdocs.
  4. The development and consolidation of careers at different levels, including the integration of researchers into permanent positions, and the impact of FCT scientific employment instruments on the activities of the unit.
  5. The quality of hosting conditions of researchers, such as mentoring plans, gender and equality and inclusiveness actions, and fair and transparent evaluation mechanisms, among others.
  6. Promotion and dissemination of scientific and technological research, dissemination of results, and actions to promote scientific culture, including the organization of conferences, colloquia, and seminars.
  7. Knowledge and technology transfer, such as the creation of spin-offs or industry partnerships.
  8. Effort to secure funding from diverse sources, national and international (e.g., ERC, EU funding, regional, and/or other funding agencies).
  9. Preservation, curation, and dissemination of R&D results and data, respecting the principles and practices of Open Science; promotion of scientific and technological culture (outreach); actions of scientific, technological, cultural, artistic, social, or economic relevance to society; existence of Data Policies.

Criteria B

  1. Evidence of international and national recognition of the research team.
  2. Evidence of interaction and benefits for society.
  3. Skills and composition of the research team to adequately execute the proposed program.
  4. Ability to successfully compete for national and international research grants and contracts.

Criteria C

  1. Quality, merit, relevance, impact, originality/differentiation, and ambition of the objectives and the overall proposed strategic program for the next five years, including ethical concerns, whenever applicable, Open Science, gender, and data policies, budget, and programmatic.
  2. Appropriate R&D Unit management and organizational structure, including science communication and outreach activities, citizen science, technology transfer, and IP protection policies.
  3. Plans for advanced training, particularly the scientific conditions to support PhD programs, evidencing the benefit to the PhD program from the proximity of research activity of the R&D unit.
  4. Adequate HR management, including developing conditions to attract and retain qualified human resources, such as plans for hiring new researchers.
  5. Career development strategy for researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of their contractual situation, including for researchers on fixed-term contracts. Please refer to the R&D Unit strategy for countering precarity and integrating researchers into permanent career positions. Whenever applicable, please refer to applications within the FCT-Tenure program, namely R&D Chairs, in coherence with the dimension of the R&D unit, its current Human Resources profile, and its trajectory.