A peer review involves the evaluation of someone’s professional performance or quality of work by experts in the same field. It’s commonly used in science as way to maintain standards, improve performance, and provide credibility. In line with its commitment to continuous improvement, IRB Barcelona has recently extended this good practice to its Administration team.
For the first time, the departments that make up the Administration team have been appraised by an Evaluation Panel of five administration experts from leading centres across Europe, Israel and in the US. The Panel was formed by Shulamit Geri (Vice President for Administration & Finance, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel), Josep Maria Martorell (Associate Director, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain), Doris Meder (Director of Science and Operations, Berlin Institute of Health, Germany), Emma Leech (Director of Marketing and Advancement, Loughborough University, UK), and Carol Slattery (Vice President of the Sloan Kettering Institute Administration, USA).
To prepare them for an on-site visit, which took place on 29 and 30 January, the panel members received an extensive document describing the organisation and outlining the main achievements and the future plans for the institute in general and for the specific departments. During the visit, the panel met the IRB Barcelona Director and Managing Director, the Heads of the Administration Departments, and members of the Administration team. They also had the opportunity to meet up with other members of the IRB Barcelona community to gather feedback on how they perceive the work done by the Administration team.
Shulamit Geri, chair of the Evaluation Panel, said, “The process was very interesting and was organized flawlessly, from beginning to end. We were all very impressed with the excellent way IRB Barcelona is managed and hope that our recommendations will be helpful to enhance the excellence, already there, to the next step.” The Panel made several detailed recommendations to help the Administration team achieve its goals and overcome various potential impeding obstacles, which were identified as financial limitations, an uncertain external funding environment, increased regulations, including a new public tender law, and audit requirements.
The Panel came away with an extremely positive impression of the staff that make up the Administration team, saying, “the team members identify with IRB Barcelona and continuously aim to improve their service to the scientific community”.
“This evaluation is a milestone for the Administration team, and it reflects our commitment to boost our performance. The contributions from the Panel will help us to prioritize our future plans and focus on what is really critical. They have also brought new ideas and strategies to the table, bringing us a fresh new perspective from the outside that is incredibly valuable. We are at a turning point, with opportunities ahead that should not be missed,” said Managing Director Margarida Corominas.
To ensure that the standards of excellence at IRB Barcelona go from strength to strength, the Administration team will undergo periodic evaluations.