Insights from Portugal's research evaluation exercise

McVicar, Mhairi and Platt, Christopher and Romice, Ombretta and Runting, Helen and Walker, Stephen (2023) Insights from Portugal's research evaluation exercise. ARQ - Architectural Research Quarterly, 27 (2). pp. 176-180. ISSN 1359-1355 (

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A founding preoccupation of arq, following the inauguration of the journal in 1995, was the introduction of government-mandated research assessment in British universities, examining the work of architecture schools alongside other disciplines. At that time, architect-scholars in the UK became preoccupied with how designs and disciplinary methods could be acknowledged as research, in a context where traditional gatekeepers of academic methods typically remained sceptical of architectural ways of knowing. Partly as a result of arq’s pioneering concerns, creative practice research – or research-by-design – is now well established in the academy. As a result, these pages have not addressed questions of university research assessment for some years. However, this letter from Lisbon returns to the theme. The authors consider Portugal’s research evaluation system, reviewing how such exercises might be reoriented internationally in order to support high-quality collaborative research in architecture.