Visit of the research entity

The panel of experts 

The panel of experts has 5 to 6 members on average, whose expertise covers the entity’s different disciplinary fields and specialisms. These experts may be representatives of the French or international academic or private research community. One expert is proposed by each body responsible for evaluating the staff of institutions to which the evaluated unit is attached (French National Committee for Scientific Research - CoNRS, French Universities Board - CNU, and the Specialised Scientific Commissions (CSS) of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), etc.). The experts on the panel include a representative of research support staff.

The composition of the panel of experts is approved by the evaluated entity (avoidance of any conflicts of interest). The panel carries out a substantial amount of preparatory work prior to the visit by familiarising itself with a range of different documents provided by the evaluated entity and by Hcéres.

Description of a typical visit

The on-site visit, which includes a preparatory phase enabling the consultation of experts, is intended to enable the panel to:

  • obtain additional information, by receiving the evaluated parties’ answers to its questions;
  • meet different staff from the unit and the supervisory authorities;
  • visit the facilities (platform, animal house, etc.) and discover the entity’s material resources.

This visit includes:

  • a plenary meeting, open to members of the unit and observers (supervisory authorities, etc.)
  • a series of in camera sessions with the following parties: the Director of the entity and the management team, teaching and research staff and researchers, research support staff, doctoral students and the supervisory authorities.
  • a deliberation phase in which the panel lays the foundations for the final evaluation report and agrees on the global written synthesis reports, in particular.

During the visit, the panel of experts is accompanied by a scientific advisor (CA) or a scientific project manager (CMS) – a representative of Hcéres who is responsible for the smooth operation of the evaluation and compliance with the procedures.