Marta Sienkiewicz

New evaluative tools as devices on the academic market(s)

Leiden University, Centre for Science and Technology Studies,

Supervisors: Prof Sarah de Rijcke, Dr Thomas Franssen and Dr Niki Vermeulen


Marta has an MSc (cum laude) in sociology from the University of Amsterdam and a BSc in applied social sciences from the University of Warsaw.

Before her appointment at CWTS, she spent 5,5 years at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, where she focused on strengthening connections between science and policy inside the Commission and across the European Union. She worked on various aspects of evidence-informed policymaking (e.g. skills and capacity building, increasing policy impact of science, the role of values and identities in evidence-informed policymaking), and co-edited the Science for Policy Handbook.

Summary PhD Project

Marta’s PhD project will focus on new tools used in research evaluation and assessment, particularly those which aim to support a shift to ‘responsible research assessment’ as well as capture and reward broader aspects of academic work than those typically understood under the heading of excellence. The project aims to understand what effects these tools have on the current valuation regime(s), and its corollaries, in the Netherlands, taking into account the international context of the developments reshaping research assessment.

Looking at these tools as devices, the project will study how the tools have been designed, how they come to prominence and which barriers, incentives or drivers accompany their development. It will investigate the changes in valuation practices that they may create, the materiality of these devices, and the interplay of quantitative and qualitative elements in them.

Marta’s research will be situated in the context of international debates about changing academic rewards & recognition patterns, responsible research assessment reforms, widening concepts of research quality, as well as the expectations of societal impact and addressing global challenges through science. It aims to contribute to scholarly discussions in STS, science policy studies and economic sociology.


Sucha, V., Sienkiewicz, M. (eds.), 2020. Science for Policy Handbook. Oxford, Elsevier

Scharfbillig, M., Smillie, L., Mair, D., Sienkiewicz, M., Keimer, J., Pinho Dos Santos, R., Vinagreiro Alves, H., Vecchione, E. and Scheunemann, L., 2021. Values and Identities – a policymaker’s guide. Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union

Wittwehr, C., Blomstedt, P., Gosling, J.P., Peltola, T., Raffael, B., Richarz, A.N., Sienkiewicz, M., Whaley, P., Worth, A., Whelan, M., 2020. Artificial Intelligence for chemical risk assessment. Computational Toxicology 13