YEAR 2020

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LIfBi positively evaluated: Senate of Leibniz Association recommends continued funding


On July 15, 2020, the Senate of the Leibniz Association issued its statement on the first evaluation of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) in Bamberg. In this statement, the Senate confirms the supra-regional importance of LIfBi and endorses the positive report by the independent evaluation group. The statement also serves as a recommendation to the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) on the continuation of joint Federal and State funding.


In its statement, the Senate assesses the development of the Bamberg Leibniz Institute since its founding in 2014 as thoroughly positive and certifies that LIfBi has "developed the content and methods of the services offered in an excellent way in recent years." The National Education Panel Study (NEPS), which is run by LIfBi and its 13 members of the consortium, is praised as "a research infrastructure that is unique also in an international context". The "exceptionally high importance" of the NEPS for national and international educational research and the work of the Research Data Center, which provides "excellent support" for the provision of data, are also highlighted. In addition to the NEPS, the other longitudinal studies such as INSIDE, ReGES, and BILO—with which LIfBi addresses highly relevant topics and which contribute to the positive development of third-party funding—are also praised. In conclusion, the Leibniz Senate therefore recommends that the Federal and State Governments continue their joint funding. The next evaluation will hence take place as scheduled in seven years' time.

LIfBi Director Cordula Artelt welcomes the Senate’s appreciative statement: "We are very pleased with the highly gratifying assessment and recognition of our work by the Leibniz Senate, which has been relayed to me today by the President of the Leibniz Association, Professor Matthias Kleiner. We are particularly pleased that the Senate has recognized the strategic developments that we have already initiated for LIfBi and NEPS. This encourages us to continue on the path we have chosen. We owe a big thank you to the staff of LIfBi, whose commitment has made such a positive evaluation possible in the first place."

The statement by the Leibniz Association's Senate was based on the report of the evaluation group, who have made several suggestions and recommendations for the further development of the Institute, for example, the deepening of international relations or the expansion of services regarding impact and consulting. The implementation of some of these recommendations is already underway at LIfBi, including an amendment to the statutes and a new knowledge transfer format in connection with the additional Corona surveys in NEPS.

LIfBi underwent the Leibniz Association's evaluation procedure for the first time; it had previously been positively evaluated by the German Science Council in 2014. In the next step, the Joint Science Conference —which includes representatives of the Federal Government and the States—will now decide on the continuation of joint funding. This is expected to occur about two months after the Senate's statement. The next Institute evaluation will take place no later than 2026, with an interim evaluation planned for 2023.

Background information: The evaluation procedure

The Leibniz Association’s Senate evaluates the institutions within the Leibniz Association over a maximum period of seven years. On the grounds of the Senate's statements, the Federal Government and the States examine in the Joint Science Conference whether the conditions for joint funding of Leibniz institutions continue to be met. The Senate is appointed with external members, and the evaluation procedure is strictly independent. To conduct the evaluations, the Leibniz Senate has appointed the Senate Committee on Evaluation (SAE). To evaluate the individual institutes, the SAE forms evaluation groups composed of internationally renowned and independent scientists. The evaluation groups visit the institutes and then form an opinion on the scientific quality and relevance of the institution on the grounds of written materials, institute data, as well as interviews and discussions with institute researchers.