BESTPRAC (The voice of research administrators: Building a network of administrative excellence) is a COST network that gathers people working at universities and research-driven institutions who are carrying out different tasks to support EU-funded research projects.
Since 2014, the network serves as a platform for exchanging experiences, sharing and developing best practices, encouraging knowledge sharing and increasing efficiency in research administration in EU-funded projects, focusing on Horizon 2020 as the largest EU research and innovation program.
Twice a year, the network organizes joint meetings of its members. The 11th BESTPRAC Working Group meeting was held from March 11-12 at the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia and gathered over 100 people from different European countries. As representatives of the University of Rijeka, Nataša Jakominić Marot and Maja Skočanić from the Center for EU Projects attended the meeting.
As part of the meeting, two plenary sessions were held for all participants. The first one was held by Peter Härtwich from DG Research & Innovation on the EU Funding&Tenders portal. The European Commission recently launched the portal and it contains many novelties in comparison to the Research Participant portal previously used for applying for implementation of Horizon 2020 projects.
In the other plenary session, “The Art of Writing”, Ellen Schenk from Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam presented the most important aspects of writing a successful funding proposal with useful tips on how to make a funding proposal stand out. The recordings of both sessions are available on the BESTPRAC YouTube channel.
The meeting programme also included separate meetings of three individual working groups (WG1: Administration, WG2: Finance, WG3: Legal) focusing on specific issues of preparation and implementation of EU funded projects.
The work of the first group was focused mainly on the changes that the next financial framework period (2021-2027) will bring in terms of funding through Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ programmes. The second working group was focused on the development of the Financial Guide for projects financed through Horizon 2020, while the third working group was focused on the exchange of experience in applying GDPR.
During the meeting, Nataša Jakominić Marot, Head of University of Rijeka Centre for EU Projects and Cătălin Marius Radu from Spiru Haret University-Central Research Institute (Romania), held a presentation “Synergies between H2020 and other European funded projects”, while Maja Skočanić, as the Communication Manager of the network, held a presentation on the activities implemented in the area of BESTPRAC communication since the last meeting in September 2018 to date and plans for the next period.
You can read more about the work of the network on the official BESTPRAC website, where you can find useful materials on preparation and implementation of EU funded projects created by members of the network.