ECOS: Re-accreditation for thirteen research schools

15 June 2011

In 2011, the Research School Accreditation Committee (ECOS) re-accredited thirteen research schools for a period of six years. The purpose of the ECOS accreditation procedure is to accredit research schools that run PhD programmes. The research schools are assessed against specific quality criteria with regard to teaching and research.

You will find a list of all accredited research schools at Approximately two thirds of these resulted from partnerships between research groups at multiple universities.

The research schools that have been re-accredited are:

  • ASCI 
    Advanced School for Computing and Imaging
  • CERES 
    Research School for Resource Studies for Development
  • DISC 
    Dutch Institute of Systems and Control
  • ERIM  
    Erasmus Research Institute of Management
  • Mediëvistiek 
    Research School for Medieval Studies
  • Mensenrechten 
    School of Human Rights Research
  • PE&RC
    C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology & Resource Conservation
  • Posthumus Instituut  
    N.W. Posthumus Institute for Economic and Social History
  • RMI 
    Rudolf Magnus Institute
  • TGLS
    Tilburg Graduate Law School
  • TI
    Tinbergen Institute
  • WIAS 
    Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences
  • WTMC  
    Netherlands Graduate School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture

The committee concludes on the basis of the assessment procedure that research schools rightly focus on introducing PhD candidates to collaborating in an international environment to gain international experience and to establish an international network. Various research schools carefully examine the way in which education is organised in other parts of the world. This particularly applies to smaller disciplines, which often operate in an interuniversity setting. As a result, the international profile of Dutch higher education is being strengthened.

ECOS revision
In 2010, ECOS revised its procedure in order to align its evaluations more closely with the Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP). ECOS has assessed the re-accreditation applications on the basis of the revised protocol. In reaching its decision, ECOS makes a distinction between the training and supervision programme on the one hand, and the organisation of the school as a research school on the other. The ECOS protocol offers guidelines for assessment criteria, procedures and timeframes.

History of ECOS
The Academy established the Research School Accreditation Committee in 1992 at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Education and Science. Evaluation rounds have taken place annually since that year. The committee, which is chaired by Prof. Louise Fresco, is an independent body.