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Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2021

KTH conducted its third Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2019 to 2022. Previously, two RAE have been carried out (in 2008 and 2012). The overall aim of the RAE was to develop and strengthen the quality of KTH's research. It was also part of KTH's quality assurance system.

RAE 2021 was part of KTH's Quality Assurance System. It was planned to be carried out in 2020, with final reporting in January 2021. However, due to the development of the Coronavirus, the process was extended and the project closed in April 2022. In 2020, an internal evaluation of the self-evaluations was conducted, while 2021 was devoted to external peer-review by invited experts. The project concluded during spring of 2022.

KTH's quality assurance system consists of two main coherent parts: the annual on-going monitoring and the six-year periodic review cycle (divided into education and research). The periodic review of research, including collaboration, is carried out as a Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) once every six years and is the responsibility of the KTH Vice President for Research.

In brief, RAE 2021 was based on:

  • Internal review
  • External peer-review assessment
  • A division of research fields in several panels
  • Institutions as the base unit (three to six in each panel)
  • Centralised data collection to support KTH's schools
  • Previous RAE (2012 and 2008)

Outline and time plan

A project team and steering group for RAE 2021 was elected in summer of 2019. The project closed in April 2022.


  • 15 January: Self-evaluation template to the coordinators
  • 20 February: Quantitative data to the coordinators for quality check
  • 30 April: Deadline for self-evaluations compiled into research panel reports to RAE Team
  • May-August: Self-evaluations for feedback to schools, sustainability office, and equality office for feedback
  • May-August: Identification of possible synergies, common strengths, and challenges between panels
  • May-August: Improvements in data collection systems and methods
  • 24-28 August: Internal review week led by KTH's Dean of Faculty
  • October: Project group provide panels with feedback


  • 15 January: Self-evaluation template to the coordinators, including reflection on quality work from 2020
  • 20 February: Quantitative data to the coordinators for quality check
  • 15 March: Deadline for 90% self-evaluations compiled into research panel reports to the RAE team
  • 9 April: Deadline for self-evaluations compiled into research panel reports
  • April-May: Separate meetings with the respective coordinator regarding the submitted research panel report, including the self-evaluations
  • May: Self-evaluations and other documentation collected and distributed to the experts
  • June: Webinars with experts
  • August 23-27: Digital Visit Week for expert panels.
  • 30 September: Deadline for assessment handed in by the experts
  • October-December: Final report editing
  • December: KTH Board meeting


  • Spring 2022: Final publication and project close

Panels and coordinators

The division of research fields into panels and the appointment of coordinators for them were decided in 2019. The base unit in the review assessment is an institution, and two to six departments form a panel with at least one expert per research field.

Panel 1

Coordinator: Johan Silfwerbrand

Involved departments:

  • Architecture
  • Philosophy and History
  • Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Urban Planning and Environment
  • Civil and Architectural Engineering
  • Real Estate and Construction Management

Panel 2

Coordinator: Per-Åke Nygren

Involved departments:

  • Gene Technology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Protein Science

Panel 3

Coordinator: Christofer Leygraf

Involved departments:

  • Fibre and Polymer Technology
  • Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Theoretical Chemistry and Biology

Panel 4

Coordinator: Panagiotis Papadimitratos

Involved departments:

  • Computer Science
  • Human Centered Technology

Panel 5

Coordinator: Wouter van der Wijngaart

Involved departments:

  • Intelligent Systems
  • Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems

Panel 6

Coordinator: Gunnar Malm

Involved departments:

  • Electronics
  • Energy Technology

Panel 7

Coordinator: Lihui Wang

Involved departments:

  • Sustainable Production Development
  • Industrial Economics and Management
  • Production Engineering
  • Learning
  • Machine Design

Panel 8

Coordinator: Anna-Karin Tornberg

  • Mathematics
  • Engineering Mechanics

Panel 9

Coordinator: Bengt Lund Jensen

Involved departments:

  • Physics
  • Applied Physics

Expert proposals

Each panel consisted of approximately eight experts, mainly international, where one will be an expert that took part in the RAE 2012 and one will represent the business or public sector. Experts from various panels also form thematic groups to look at research departments and KTH management.

Self-evaluation documentation

During the fall of 2019, the content of the self-evaluations was drafted to be ready for implementation in spring 2020. The final version was sent to the panel coordinators in January, and the deadline for handing in the self-evaluations was April 2020.

Each panel has a coordinator (faculty) who will compile the outcome and contact the departments, project team, and panels (during the digital visit).

Internal review, expert visits, and final report

According to the original timeline, external reviews were planned for August 2020. Due to the development of the new Coronavirus, the external review was moved to August 2021. The year 2020 was instead used for internal self-evaluation reviews, a process led by KTH's dean of faculty.

The external review was conducted by expert panels who visited KTH digitally during an event called Visit Week. During the week, experts and panels met digitally. The reports were revised from October to November 2021 and be presented in December 2021.

The publication of the final report and project close was spring of 2022.

Project team

RAE 2021 was conducted by a project group. Annika Stensson Trigell, Vice President for Research, was scientifically responsible, and Micael Stehr was the project manager.