Mapping academic excellence and evaluating cultures
What is academic excellence, and how do we identify it? By analyzing recruitment processes in academia, this project will investigate the relation between excellence, gender and ethnicity.
This project is a part of NORDICORE – Nordic Centre for Research on Gender Equality in Research and Innovation.
The aim of this project is to provide systematic research on perceptions of excellence in different disciplinary contexts in Norway. We will study evaluative disciplinary cultures and what competence profiles that dominates in three different research disciplines, natural science (small share of women) health science and social science (where women are relatively well represented).
By analyzing the context of evaluation – including which standards define and constrain what we see as excellent, our aim is to answer the following research questions: How do scholars in these fields perceive, conceptualize and evaluate competence? What do they consider as the core knowledge in their research field? What is excellence, “the cream of the crop”, “the best of the brightest”?
In order to make sense of different evaluation standards and the meaning that is given to them, we will study recruitment processes. Recruitment has been seen as the key process for understanding the reproduction of gender and ethnic segregation in the labour market and within organizations. Still, most studies on gender difference in academia focus on the outcome of the hiring process, and not the process itself. We will investigate this by observing all stages from the design of job advertisements to hiring decisions. Our aim is to investigate how academic competence and excellence are defined, and how the meritocratic ideals are played out, in these processes.