HETFA became member in the core group of BESTPRACT COST Action following its prolongation. A meeting of Management Committee and the Working Groups in Bucharest discussed the strategic plans for the upcoming two years and renewed the members responsible to coordinate the action.

COST (www.cost.eu) is the longest-running European framework supporting trans-national cooperation among researchers, engineers and scholars across Europe. The COST Targeted Network called BESTPRAC (www.bestprac.eu) held its Management Committee and Working Group meeting in Bucharest on 8-9 February 2018. This COST Action is particular due to the fact that it aims to focus on gathering the voice of research administrators and support them in their everyday work on the one hand; on the other hand, it is the first Targeted Network that was prolonged for two more years by the COST Association – after its four year of successful functioning.This is one of the few actions where all COST countries are represented.

The main issue of Bucharest meeting was to elect the new core group of BESTPRAC and to introduce the strategic plans for the next granting period. Accordingly, the new chair, vice chair, working group leaders, communication, training school and STSM managers presented their plans for the Management Committee members before they voted. Through this renewal of the core group HETFA became an active member of the action since the Coordinator of our International Office, Virág Zsár became the Vice Leader of the Working Group 1.

This Working Group mainly focuses on administrative issues related to the overall management of externally funded research projects including pre and post award phases. The strategic plan for the upcoming two years were jointly elaborated by Edwin Kanters from VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam and our colleague. According to their plan, the working group will focus on and support the members along with the following issues:

  • Establishing research administrators careers path, making the Research Support Staff (http://www.bestprac-wiki.eu/Main_Page) framework acknowledged by relevant stakeholders
  • Supporting research administrators in their everyday work with regard to the participation in framework programmes and other EU funded programmes
  • Opening up the network and research administrators’ knowledge and network towards relevant stakeholders from the quadruple helix.

HETFA is especially committed to contribute to the success of this network by getting engaged as a private research institute to the action where the majority of participants are recruited from universities.

The next meeting of the core group jointly with the establishment of three cross-cutting groups (stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communication) will take place in Vienna on 26-27 March. The meeting will provide opportunity to agree on the topics and priorities of the upcoming STSMs and training schools.