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Online workshop on best practices of Research and Support Offices (22 April 2022)

The online workshop on best practices of Research and Support Offices (RSOs) took place on the 22 of April 2022 and counted with the participation of support staffs of the nine institutions.

This workshop built on the report of good practices in RSOs led by the University of Groningen (RUG) together with the University of Bordeaux (UBx) and the University of Tartu (UT).

After the welcoming words of the University of Tartu, as leader of WP1, the University of Groningen presented the benchmarking report of good practices aimed at analyzing and and benchmarking good practices among the support offices of the 9 universities of ENLIGHT. The objective was to identify the strengths of each partner so we could benefit of working together and could support each other.

The report is structured around three chapters. The first one we provided an overview of the methodology used in the benchmarking exercise and a description of all the research support services that each partner provides. The second one is the core oof the report, the Benchmarking exercise itself; the third chapter gathers, by way of conclusions, the Trends and Challenges shared among the different partners.  An appendix with the performance in Horizon 2020 is also included.

The report provides an overview of selected best practices of the nine institutions around the eight following themes: consultancy services, writing services, electronic tools, financial incentives, European Research Council (ERC) schemes, management and organisation aspects, lobby and the Research&Innovation partnerships landscape. The online workshop focused on two themes: Incentives and ERC practices, which were the focus of sessions 1 and 2.

  • Session 1, on the topic of Incentives, counted with presentations from the University of the Basque Country (UPV), the University of Bordeaux (UBx), the University of Göttingen (UGOE), the University of Groningen (RUG). Representative of each institutions provided good practices on how they are implementing incentives, most of the time of financial nature, which is a common strategy to motivate researchers, who usually face a significant overload, to apply to (EU) proposals.
  • Session 2 on ERC practices counted with presentations from the University of Göttingen (UGOE), Ghent University (UGent), the University of Groningen (RUG), the University of Tartu (UT). Pillar 1 of Horizon Europe is an essential source of funding for all universities, especially ERC funding schemes that have an impact in a) the attraction/retainment of talent and b) the reputation of universities and international rankings. Representative of the mentioned universities shared practices to increase/incentivise the application of researchers to ERC schemes.

The presentations were followed by interesting and fruitful conversations among all the participants where topics as the challenges and the long-term perspectives of the initiatives presented and those form the other universities present in the workshop were discussed.

In the wrap up session, participants discussed the next steps for WP1 and showed their willingness in organising similar workshops to exchange good practices on the remaining themes identified in the report.

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