Medical University of Sofia

Research Management Administration Academy Launched by Alliance4Life

With the first courses organized in September (12-16, 2022) in Bulgaria and hosted by the Medical University of Sofia, Alliance4Life has opened its Research Management Administration Academy (RMA academy) focused on training research management professionals from each member country of the project.

The RMA Academy is one of the key activities within the A4L_ACTIONS project implemented by the alliance, which is aimed at improving the professional skills of research managers and administrators in Central and Eastern Europe.

This was the first time when the members of Alliance4Life met in Bulgaria. The Medical University of Sofia joined the alliance in 2021 together with the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila Bucharest and together they became the two youngest member institutions committed to fighting the innovation gap in biomedical research.

RMA Academy – Grants & Funding, Bibliometrics & Evaluation

RMA Academy, the first session of this kind of academy, consisted of four big tipics:

  • Funding Landscapes: Research Funding in the EU
  • Project Management: Project Thinking
  • Evaluation of Research & Innovation Project Proposals
  • Bibliometrics in Research Evaluation

The landscapes of funding for research and innovation are diverse and complex. Professionals in the field of research and innovation (leaders, managers, administrators) need to navigate these landscapes to be able to efficiently raise resources to accomplish set goals and visions. In the course, Research and Innovation Funding in the EU, Jakub Zeman and Ladislav Čoček from Masaryk University provided a basic understanding of the main categories and modalities of R&I funding, what is their purpose and how people and organizations may benefit from them. The trainers introduced Framework Programmes for R&I of the European Union (currently Horizon Europe), including an explanation of how to understand and influence their design.

Another course by the same trainers, Project Thinking, introduced specific tools of project management and how can they be appropriately applied within the proposal preparation process. Applying project management knowledge helps to structure the project and allows for better monitoring of its implementation. It also helps the project managers to knowingly employ instruments preventing issues that could hamper or jeopardize the implementation and helps to ensure a smart project design that is not only clear and attractive, but also feasible, efficient, and realistic. The project writing portfolio was complemented by a course focused on the evaluation of research and innovation project proposals. It showed how one should approach the most commonly used European funding schemes – MSCA-PF, ERC, etc.

Monika Sieberová and Michal Petr from Masaryk University delivered a course on bibliometrics in a research evaluation. Scientific publishing is a world full of ideas, new challenges and opportunities. It is not always easy to know your way around such a highly competitive environment. Those who can analyze the environment and find useful information therein have an advantage. Research evaluation and bibliometrics as a supporting tool thereof provide information for the strategic planning at the different organizational levels of the institution, but also evidence for individuals’ publication strategies. The participants examined basic concepts of bibliometrics, discussed best practices, and reveal how bibliometrics in the form of dedicated service can both inform evaluation processes and support individual scientists in the research promotion game.

The RMA Academy received very positive feedback from the participants representing all member institutions of Alliance4Life. The selected RMA academy participants will meet for other RMA academy events in 2023 and 2024 to develop their professional skills across all research management disciplines.

Beside the academy, the delegates of the event had a possibility to visit the Library of the Medical University of Sofia (the biggest library of such kind in Bulgaria) and the Biobank of Bulgaria situated in the premises of the Medical University of Sofia.  

From the University of Tartu, member of the Alliance4Life_ACTIONS project, two participants had a possibility to participate in the programme: Siret Rutiku (Head of the Grant Office) and Teele Eensaar (Project Manager, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology). The participants are encouraged to spread the newly gained knowledge among their colleagues after their arrival at their home institutions.

Photos: Medical University of Sofia
The news has been referred from the official news on the webpage of the Alliance.

The project “Alliance for Life Sciences: From Strategies to Actions in Central and Eastern Europe”  received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 964997. 
The material reflects the view of Alliance4Life consortium and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.  


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