EOS2.7 | Research Management: Challenges and Solutions for Successful Research Projects and Programmes
Research Management: Challenges and Solutions for Successful Research Projects and Programmes
Co-organized by GM13
Convener: Paola Materia | Co-conveners: Daniela Henkel, Geertje ter MaatECSECS, Sylvia Walter, Sofia Mariano
Posters on site
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
Hall X2
Wed, 14:00
Luisa Cristini - Alfred Wegener institute, Bremerhaven, Germany
Daniela Henkel – GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
Sofia Mariano - National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy
Paola Materia - National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy
Sylvia Walter – Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Geertje ter Maat - Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

Research Management is recognized as a top priority in the European Research Area Policy Agenda. The EU intends to develop a Science Management Initiative to pilot a European network for research and innovation managers through Horizon Europe, explore European training and certification programmes, and provide policy support for Member States through mutual learning platforms on science management.
Nevertheless, scientific coordinators have to deal with more and more research management tasks, consequently, the lack of strategic support by project managers is becoming an obstacle in the scientific European community. The more experienced scientists, who have a crucial role in the evaluation process, strongly consider management skills a prerequisite of a scientific proposal.
Researchers are demanding to collaborate with specialized research management professionals but also to acquire new knowledge and skills to carry out successful research projects, ranging from project management practices to leadership and strategy skills.

This session is directed at project managers, coordinators, researchers, and project management practitioners in general who are keen to exchange experiences about the challenges faced and the solutions adopted in performing research management. The session is also addressed to the scientific community that has experienced managing their own research projects, programmes and groups as well as research infrastructures. We invite colleagues to submit contributions that may help to address the discussion on the following topics:

- Portfolio, Programme and Project Management experiences and best practices
- Practical experience through the project lifecycle
- Challenges and solutions for stakeholder engagement
- Integration of risk management approaches
- Performance management and KPIs
- Different project management approaches in academia and in the industry sector
- Workflow management in research
- Institutional support services to scientists
- The future of Research Management
- Career development for Research Managers

Posters on site: Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | Hall X2

Chairpersons: Daniela Henkel, Sylvia Walter, Paola Materia
Roberta Bellini, Paul Coughlan, Aisha Bello-Dambatta, Alex Rigby, Panagiotis Ritsos, and Aonghus Mc Nabola

Increasingly, funded research projects are expected to address critical societal challenges. These challenges require generating and integrating multi-disciplinary and practical knowledge through collaboration among different actors. Correspondingly, many funding agencies demand more insightful planning, reporting and proof of performance, showing how and what the research has achieved against key performance indicators, as well as societal impacts and contributions, such as to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Such complex reporting requires accessible data management where researchers and coordinators can manipulate large amounts of data, gathered over time from different sources, and in a broad range of formats. A practical expectation is to inform meaningful and repeated progress reports which list and link deliverables, publications, indicators of performance and social impacts.

This paper presents the research management experience of a multi-disciplinary team and their reflections on how they responded to these challenges and implemented working solutions. As a team from five disciplines, we reflect on this shared experience gained over a 6.5 year-long EU-funded project. Stimulated by the project complexity, we came to recognise that how we managed the data provided us with an opportunity to collaborate meaningfully and to link in novel ways the contributions of research activities to the outcomes and impacts of the project. In brief, we devised a new research data management approach through which we collated and visualised the data so as to facilitate deeper exploration of the interactions among the researchers, tasks and deliverables.

We began by designing an Excel-based matrix to facilitate managing project metadata. Our objective was to demonstrate progress and achievement against key performance indicators, the level of engagement among stakeholders, and the links of tasks to the SDGs. The ideation and design of the original matrix emerged from discussions among task-leaders. Implementation required contributions from all team members. Given the nature of the project, the matrix was extensive and, so, needed to be interrogated using filters.  

Recognising the limitations of data tabulation, we linked the matrix to a powerful visualisation web-based software to create user-friendly visuals, inviting interactive analyses of workflows and stakeholder engagement. The matrix and visualisation tool will be demonstrated during the presentation. This approach enabled visualisation of planned and emergent interactions within the project, underpinned by interconnections among key activities and researchers.

The approach is usable by different stakeholders and useful at different project/programme stages. Research project managers can use it to anticipate and track researcher deployment and work package management at funding application/proposal stage and at project reporting stages. Researchers can use it to manage their workload, share reporting responsibilities, promote discussion with other team members, and reflect on actual and potential collaborations. They can also capture their achievements to support applications for subsequent research or non-academic positions. Finally funding agencies and scientific coordinators can interrogate and visualise project metadata and evaluate them against project aims, objectives and milestones.

How to cite: Bellini, R., Coughlan, P., Bello-Dambatta, A., Rigby, A., Ritsos, P., and Mc Nabola, A.: An interactive visualisation tool to manage metadata in engaged research projects, track progress, map stakeholders, and evaluate output, outcomes and impacts., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2630, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-2630, 2023.

Anne Fouilloux, Federica Foglini, and Elisa Trasatti

The field of Open Science has made scientists agree on the idea that data, workflows and services should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and thus optimally reusable (FAIR). These principles apply to Earth Science communities also, dealing with rapidly evolving natural phenomena. However, there is still a weakness regarding research sharing and re-use through the scientific community, due to lack of technological solutions and their long-term implementation. The H2020 Reliance project (https://www.reliance-project.eu) delivers a suite of innovative and interconnected services that extend European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) capabilities to support the management of the research lifecycle within Earth Science communities, Copernicus users, and beyond. The project has delivered three complementary technologies: Research Object, Data Cubes and AI-based Text Mining. ROHub (https://reliance.rohub.org/) is the Research Object management platform that implements these three technologies and enables researchers to collaboratively manage, share and preserve their research work. ROHub implements the full Research Object model and paradigm: resources associated to a particular research work are aggregated into a single FAIR digital object, and metadata relevant for understanding and interpreting the content is represented as semantic metadata that are user and machine readable. 

Research Objects are the innovative and interoperable service, open-by-default, and cross-disciplinary research management environment. Research Objects are virtual aggregations of resources that bring together data, methods, results and people to document scientific investigations, according to Open Science principles. To guide researchers, different types of Research Objects can be created: Basic, that can contain anything; Bibliography-centric, including manuals, and/or other material that support research; Data-centric, focused on datasets which can be indexed, discovered, and manipulated; Executable, including code, data and computational environment. This type of Research Objects can be executed and is often used for scripts and/or Jupyter Notebooks. Research Objects can be public/open/private and can be snapshotted or archived with permanent identifier (DOI). Additional information is associated and displayed in ROHub such as number of downloads, additional discovered metadata (automatically generated from the Reliance Text Mining service), keywords and citation. The toolbox and share tools in ROHub allow end-users to download, snapshot and archive the Research Object and/or share it. Any Research Object in ROHub is a FAIR digital object that is for instance findable in OpenAire, including those without DOI associated.

The development of ROHub is co-designed and validated through multidisciplinary and thematic real life use cases led by three different Earth Science communities: Geohazards, Sea Monitoring and Climate Change communities. In our presentation, we will showcase different types of Research Objects for the three Earth Science communities represented in Reliance to highlight how the scientists in our respective disciplines fostered their work towards Open Science.

The RELIANCE (Research lifecycle management for Earth Science Communities and Copernicus users in EOSC) project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 INFRAEOSC programme under grant agreement No 101017501.


How to cite: Fouilloux, A., Foglini, F., and Trasatti, E.: The FAIR “Research Object” paradigm for realizing Open Science with the RELIANCE EOSC project, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3605, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-3605, 2023.

Gabriella Quaranta, Valentina Tegas, and Juanjo Dañobeitia

In order to achieve a successful research and innovation project, it is increasingly critical to clearly define efficient coordination and management processes. Keeping in mind the limited research funding at the National and European levels and the growing competition in academic areas and more, in general, in the research environment, the proper management of research projects has become essential. Designing and ensuring a realistic project plan in terms of scope, objectives, time and costs is a critical condition to obtain financing and a crucial element to guarantee a successful implementation of a project. This is even more decisive when the project provides for the participation of affiliated entities; this is a common practice in the case of the ERIC- European Research Infrastructure Consortium.  

In the case of EMSO ERIC- The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory -the project management should normally consider an effective way of coordinating human resource efforts and activities between its central management office and the different affiliated Research Organisations, members of the ERIC  consortium, who could join the same project.

In general, and even more so within a distributed ERIC,  participation in a project means delivering precise impacts and results relevant to the mission of the Consortium and its members, in relation to their strategic roadmap and vision.

For this reason, within EMSO ERIC, an internal service has been created that aims to encourage and promote a permanent and structured collaboration between the EMSO ERIC Central Management office and the research organizations, in the context of activities and strategies planned and implemented since the beginning of the project.

While ensuring a constant and effective cooperative link in the framework of externally funded projects, the EMSO ERIC coordination and management service offers the opportunity to leverage the impact of project activities and results on the growth, strength, outreach and cohesion of EMSO ERIC.

This process covers the whole project life cycle, from its embryonic stage as a proposal, through its implementation and until its completion and conclusion, supporting the development of all the project management steps and monitoring the technical implementation of the activities to fulfil deadlines and targets, trying to be successful in project management as well as in research.

How to cite: Quaranta, G., Tegas, V., and Dañobeitia, J.: EMSO ERIC support, coordination and management service for the benefit of a distributed consortium, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12995, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12995, 2023.

Luigi Abruzzese, Massimo Bilotta, and Laura Beranzoli

Best Practices in  Program Management: A Review of Experiences and Insights from the ITINERIS PROJECT proposal

Objective: The objective of this study is to identify and analyze the various experiences and best practices that have been documented in the ITINERIS proposal with a focus on the research and academic aspect

Methodology: To achieve this objective, we will conduct a literature review of multiple sources, including academic journals and industry publications. In addition, we will conduct interviews with research coordinators and project managers to gather insights into their own experiences and best practices during the time of the proposal. The data collected through these methods will be analyzed using a qualitative approach to identify common themes and patterns in the experiences, and best practices reported.

Expected Outcomes: The expected outcomes of this study are as follows:

A comprehensive overview of the experiences and best practices pertaining to the research and academic sector.

Identify key themes and patterns in the experiences, and best practices reported, including the importance of strong leadership, clear communication, and robust project management processes.

Recommendations for researchers and project managers on how to effectively apply these best practices in their own work.

Contribution to the academic literature on how to propose a successful research infrastructure proposal.


How to cite: Abruzzese, L., Bilotta, M., and Beranzoli, L.: Best Practices in  Program Management: A Review of Experiences and Insights from the ITINERIS PROJECT proposal, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16968, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-16968, 2023.

Luigi Abruzzese, Massimo Bilotta, Robert Migliazza, and Giovanni De Luca
Keys to risk management in the energy efficiency conversion of government buildings
1. The importance of risk management in the energy efficiency building conversion

The energy sector is an important part of any economy and the risks associated with it can be significant. Risk management is essential to ensure that the transition from conventional buildings to Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) remains viable and sustainable.

There are five key steps to effective risk management in the energy sector. 1. Identifying Risks: The first step in effective risk management is to identify and assess the risks in a NZEB building. This includes identifying potential sources of risk, such as market fluctuations, regulatory changes, and technological advances. It also involves assessing the likelihood of these risks occurring and their potential impact on operations.  2. Developing a Risk Strategy: Once the risks have been identified, it’s essential to develop a strategy for managing them. This involves creating processes and procedures to mitigate the risks and ensuring they are implemented effectively. This strategy should also include contingency plans so that if a risk occurs, it can be managed effectively. 3. Monitoring and Reviewing: Risk management isn’t a one-time process – it needs to be continuously monitored and reviewed to ensure it remains effective in dealing with changing circumstances or emerging risks. Regular reviews should be conducted to evaluate whether existing strategies are still appropriate or whether new ones need to be developed or existing ones modified or replaced. 4. Training & Awareness: Training employees about risk management is essential for ensuring its effectiveness across all departments within an organisation. Employees must be aware of what constitutes a risk and how best to manage it when it arises so that they can take appropriate action when required. 5. Communication: Effective communication between all departments within an organisation is critical for successful risk management, as it ensures everyone is aware of any potential risks and understands how they need to be handled when they arise. This also helps foster collaboration between teams when dealing with any issues related to risk management. In conclusion, effective risk management in NZEB building conversions is essential for ensuring its sustainability over time and avoiding costly mistakes or disruptions caused by unexpected events or circumstances arising from existing or emerging risks. By following these five key steps, organizations can ensure they have an effective strategy in place for managing risk in their operations now, as well as in the future.

How to cite: Abruzzese, L., Bilotta, M., Migliazza, R., and De Luca, G.: Keys to risk management in the energy efficiency conversion of government buildings: the INGV NZEB case study, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16982, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-16982, 2023.