Excellent paper award 2022

It is our great pleasure to announce that the jury composed of Tatiana Fumasoli (UCL, UK), Emanuela Reale (IRCRES NRC, Italy) and Luis Sanz-Menendez (IPP CSIC, Spain) have reached their decision and decided to award the 2022 Excellent Paper from an Emerging Scholar Award of the ECPR (The European Consortium for Political Research) Knowledge Politics and Policies Standing Group to the papers by Dr. Adrienn Nyircsák and Anke Reinhardt. Their papers clearly stood out among the 15 submissions the jury evaluated.

Adrienn Nyircsák

Dr. Adrienn Nyircsák

In the case of Adrienn Nyircsák’s paper titled “Policy learning and reflective practice: European universities as epistemic actors in multi-level transnational peer learning”, the jury found that it is a a state-of-the-art paper that conceptualize policy learning in multilevel settings and empirically address how transnational peer learning conditions policy learning along some specific dimensions: problematisation, role framing, and ambiguities of knowledge utilization. The work is well implemented in a comparative analysis framework of three study cases in the field of European higher education, involving policy-makers, standard-setting organizations and higher education institutions. The paper is at the same time analytically innovative and relevant for policy.

Dr. Adrienn Nyircsák received her PhD in Political Science in 2022 from the Central European University, as a Doctoral Fellow at the Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning and Higher Education. Her dissertation investigates the concept of instrument reflexivity, understood as the transformation of policy instruments in and through practice, in multi-level governance settings. Her research focuses on the case of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG) and its “reflective appropriation” by stakeholder communities. Her broader research interests include the politics and sociology of expertise and knowledge, and the role of practice in EU policy-making. Adrienn currently works as an education policy analyst at the European Commission and previously held the position of team leader of the governance and strategy team of the European Education Area at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. She is committed to the idea of reflective dialogue between policy-makers, researchers and practitioners in education policy, including through the critical (re-)examination of our everyday routines and patterns of thinking.

Anke Reinhardt

Anke Reinhardt

With regards to Anke Reinhardt’s study “Explaining Research Activities of International Organizations”, the jury felt that it was an original and innovative paper that sheds light on the research functions of non-academic organisations, specifically international organisations that do not have an explicit research mission. The study analyses the factors explaining IOS active research involvement drawing on three different theoretical frameworks and an existing large dataset of IOS (both with and without involvement in research). The paper overall contributes to an emerging empirical area studying patterns of cooperation, co-authorship, country influence between and outside academia.

Anke Reinhardt is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Bielefeld. Anke works at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies and International Relations. Her research is empirically oriented and focuses on the question why non-academic organizations, especially international organizations, invest in research activities. In addition to her doctoral studies, Anke works as director of evaluation and monitoring at a research funding agency. In this role, she co-authored the paper “Understanding the use and usability of research evaluation studies” published in Research Evaluation and several policy studies.

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