The Research Council of Norway assembled a big group of external teams to evaluate the humanities at all the Norwegian institutions of higher learning. A panel consisting of linguists with a wide range of specialties evaluated, among other things, 11 research groups across Norway in linguistics and the Nordic languages, including both AcqVA and CASTL-Fish. They looked at the record for the past five years.
You can read the reports yourself here. The Panel 2 report is the one I discuss most here.
Both AcqVA and CASTL-FISH were given stellar reviews and a top score of 5 for research productivity and quality — only one other linguistics research group in all of Norway was awarded a 5 for research productivity and quality in this evaluation, and that was MultiLing, a Center of Excellence! There was also an “overall” score, and here AcqVA received a 4, despite the structural challenges of being the only research group in the study spread across two institutions, while CASTL-FISH got a perfect score of 5.
There is much praise for both groups. AcqVA is singled out on page 16 as a model of cross-institutional collaboration to be emulated by others. CASTL-FISH is mentioned on the same page as a “star group” with international prominence.
In general, Tromsø comes out of this evaluation quite well (overall evaluation on pp. 29-32 of the Panel 2 report) — it is noted, for example, that UiT produced more publication points in linguistics during the evaluation period than any other institution in Norway (p. 65: 27% of the national total), even UiO with a much bigger department and a CoE.
The eleven groups, in order of numerical ratings, were:
CASTL-FISH (UiT) and MultiLing (UiO), both with a perfect score of 5-5
AcqVA (UiT/NTNU) and Interdisciplinary Writing (NTNU), 4-5 and 5-4
Giellatekno (UiT), Syntax & Semantics (UiO), LaMoRe (computational, UiB), and Historical Sociolinguistics (UiA), 4-4
LALP (Acquisition & Processing, NTNU), 3-4
Multimodality & Learning (UiA) and Norwegian as a second language (Hedmark), 3-3
The numbers should obviously be taken with a grain of salt, as always. The written evaluation is much more informative. Smaller research groups like the sociolinguistic group LAIDUA and projects like ScanDiaSyn/NORMS were evaluated differently (and partly in a different document).
In case you’re curious, the Panel 2 members were: Jasone Cenoz and Karin van der Worp (chair and secretary, respectively; University of the Basque Country), Rogier Blokland (Uppsala), Gunnlög Josefsson (Lund), Paul Kerswill (York), Johan van der Auwera (Antwerp), Martin Volk (Zurich), and Bencie Woll (UCL) (buried on page 77 of the report).