A conversation with Karen Stroobants and Noemie Aubert-Bonn
Karen Stroobants is a policy adviser and consultant on research policy and strategy while Noémie Aubert - Bonn is interested in understanding how research assessment and research careers influence the quality and integrity of research and the wellbeing of researchers.
They join Jo to talk about research assessment as a lever to improve research quality and research culture.
Karen Stroobants combines roles as lead policy advisor on research landscape & economy for the Royal Society of Chemistry and as freelance consultant, focusing most recently on co-creating the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. She is a Governing Board Member for EuroScience and advises the policy activities of the Marie Curie Alumni Association. Previously, Karen held roles at RAND Europe, and the Royal Society where she led the development of the narrative Resumé for Researchers that since has been introduced by funders. Karen moved to the UK initially as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Prior to this, she obtained her PhD in chemistry at KU Leuven in Belgium.
In her PhD, Noemie Aubert - Bonn explored the impact that research assessments and definitions of success have on research practices and research integrity and proposed a few areas in which change needs to happen. After her PhD, Noémie participated in the SOPs4RI project to help create a toolbox and guidelines to help research institutions and funders foster better research integrity and research environments. Noémie continues to work to improve research assessment through her work as a post-doctoral researcher at Hasselt University (Belgium) and her involvement as a Policy Advisor at Research England, UKRI where she contributes to projects as part of the Future Research Assessment Programme (FRAP).
Which researcher – dead or alive – do you find inspiring?
KS: Marie Sklodowska-Curie
NAB: It is a bit too difficult to find one name for this, there are so many inspiring examples that accompanied me in my research trajectory. Senior researchers who guided me, let me grow, listened, and showed me that they were open to change; junior researchers who had a passion to push boundaries, to change how things worked, and to make research better; researchers who had a previous experience in areas that were not even remotely research-focused but whose different approach made me think differently about my research; researchers who moved to careers outside academia and whose contributions continue to shape my thinking; historical figures that oriented the way I conceptualize my work… So I cannot manage name a single individual but can only say that many researchers influenced the way I work and shaped what I aspire to become in their own very different ways.
What is your favorite animal and why?
KS: Hedgehog, my girl scout spirit / totem animal
NAB: Since I’m very young I’m known as a cat person, but I am also very partial to cows
Name your (current) favorite song and interpret/group.
KS: C'est que du bonheur (Stromae)
NAB: I’m just back from Montréal right now and I’ve been binge listening to anything from the early years of Leonard Cohen.
What is your favorite dish/meal?:
KS: Impossible to choose...
NAB: Indeed, very difficult to choose… I’d say Phở (in my case Phở Bò Tái) is probably the dish I could never get enough of.
Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment; https://coara.eu/
Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA); https://sfdora.org/
The SCOPE framework for research evaluation; https://inorms.net/scope-framework-for-research-evaluation/