Research programmes are reviewed according to the Standard Evaluation Protocol 2015-2021, created by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). In a research review, the quality, relevance and viability of research at a research unit are evaluated. In addition, the scientific, societal and strategic aspects of research are considered alongside the mission and the management structure of a research unit. Peer review is at the heart of these evaluations; a committee of independent international experts is responsible for the final conclusions. During the review process, the committee is assisted by a secretary.
Prior to a site visit, the research unit provides a self-assessment report in which it evaluates its organisation, strategy and results in terms of research quality, social relevance and viability. During the site visit, the review committee verifies the information provided in the self-assessment report by interviewing the Programme Management, Head(s) of Research, researchers and doctoral students. Based on all information at its disposal, the commission determines whether a programme meets the criteria specified in the Standard Evaluation Protocol. The research review results in a report written by the committee members.