ZOiS undergoes successful evaluation

First Evaluation of the Institute Completed


Six years after its foundation in 2016, ZOiS was evaluated for the first time by an independent international commission. The Evaluation Report highlights the importance of the institute in the field of social science research on Eastern Europe and its success in acquiring third-party funding.

The publication of the evaluation commission's report and the statements by ZOiS and its Foundation Board in January 2024 marks the end of the institute’s first evaluation.

The evaluation was carried out by an independent international commission comprising researchers from various disciplines and experts on research communication and research management.
The members of the commission were appointed by the ZOiS Foundation Board. In addition to the appraisal of a written self-presentation and external references, the evaluation also entailed a site visit at the institute in November 2022 as well as discussions with cooperation partners and former visiting researchers.

In the words of the commission, the institute has succeeded in establishing ‘a clearly visible and innovative research profile’ within just a few years. ZOiS has become ‘an integral part of the German research landscape on Eastern Europe with a compelling profile that has wisely and meaningfully complemented existing expertise in Germany.’ In its report, the commission underlines the institute’s important contribution to the analysis of societal dynamics in countries and regions that had previously not received much attention in German and international research on Eastern Europe (e.g. Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, the South Caucasus, Central Asia). The institute’s overall ‘very good to excellent’ academic publications, its success in acquiring third-party funding, and its wide-ranging research communication activities were also recognised.

At the same time, the commission noted that after a very successful establishment phase and the recent rapid growth of the institute, there was a need to consolidate its research activities in the next phase. The commission attests to the institute's impressive personal and institutional connections with university and non-university partners in the research region and recommends that cooperation with international partners be further expanded. It also recommends the establishment of a fellowship programme and the strategic integration of young researchers.

ZOiS is a non-university research institute that was founded in Berlin in 2016. It operates independently and focuses on socially relevant social science research on the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Its core tasks also include research communication, support for young researchers, and networking. ZOiS is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. This institutional funding is supplemented by third-party funds from science-led research funding.

The scientific evaluation was instigated by the institute's Foundation Board and prepared by the Academic Advisory Board. In its report, the commission recommends that in future ZOiS should undergo external evaluations at regular intervals, approximately every five to seven years.

The full evaluation report and the statements of the institute and its bodies can be found on the ZOiS website.