CESSDA-ERIC hosted a staff visit focusing on RI project and grant management. Martina Drascic Capar from CESSDA describes the visit from the host’s point of view.
Over the course of one week in October 2021, a colleague from the Faculty of Economics and Business from the University of Rijeka joined the CESSDA ERIC Main Office in order to learn and discuss different topics in RI project and grant management. She joined during another, internal staff visit from CESSDA´s Czech Social Science Data Archive (ČSDA), and thus gained insight from both the RI´s coordination Hub as well as the experience from a Service Provider´s point of view.
This Staff Exchange focused on the specificities and needs of project management in an ERIC institution, a distributed RI, starting from an introduction into the consortium, its governance and functioning, and the connections of our work to different EC projects; span of work, and communications; to more specific topics of designing an internal funding cycle, the monitoring structure and roles, and the planning and incorporating the needs of the Consoritum into the EC projects topics and collaborations.
We talked about a very wide context of RI area, connections to ESFRI and roles of our Service Providers in the projects, all the way to the very specificity of the work done in the office, agreements, relations, roles, work distribution, and levels of involvement in EC projects. However, in order to get the most out of this experience, we let the agenda open, and welcomed questions, even asking the visitors to prepare questions before coming in, and designed the hours spent with them according to their interests. The visitors spent time with both Senior Project Managers, as well as the COO of CESSDA, which provided a variety of topics to be covered and and access to
The best proof of success came directly from the visitors themselves: “Staff exchange settings also depend on the knowledge and experience of the incoming coworker in the given area of project management, so it is good to adapt the program accordingly, which was in my case perfect done.” …“I gained (…) knowledge of Horizon Europe and many practical and useful skills such as creating priorities, communicating with partners, I gained insight into many useful tools for project management and administration. I certainly plan to implement everything I have learned in my work.”
This kind of feedback tells us we are on the right track, and what we have is more then what is our usual service offer in the RI. What the visitors might not be aware of is how much the hosting team learns from these experiences as well. It made us aware of how other institutions work, what are the similarities and difference, made us aware of our knowledge, or where we lack some. But also, this visit made us put effort into thinking about how we can share or present our expertise, ways to best transfer knowledge, and contribute to someone´s professional growth.
Martina Drascic Capar
Senior Project Manager
This staff exchange experience was run as part of the RItrainPlus Staff and Knowledge Exchange Programme. Visit the webpage for more information about the programme, how to take part, and how to apply for a travel grant.