The initial focus of the 4EU+ Alliance’s collaboration on research and innovation has been to explore and promote the opportunities for Alliance members to work together and to learn from each other. Through the Horizon 2020 ‘Science with and for Society’ call, the Alliance has received EU funding for the preliminary work in the TRAIN4EU+ project, which aims to ‘transform research and innovation collaboration and support research in 4EU+’.
TRAIN4EU+ is working to identify and share the best models, practices, approaches and experiences in order for researchers and administrative staff to learn from each other across alliance universities and units.
The project encompasses five work packages:
Mapping out current best practices and identifying factors that support or hinder options for improving the way in which the Alliance member universities work to enhance shared research agendas within universities, across the Alliance and in society.
Facilitating joint learning and identifying options for transformative improvement in the ways in which the Alliance member universities work to enhance shared research agendas within universities, across the Alliance and in society.
Jointly identifying and designing innovative actions based on co-learning and select pilot transformations towards the development of a common research agenda that can be implemented at the universities across the Alliance.
Work package 1 is led by the University of Milan.
Mapping out current best practices in human capital management in the research & innovation domain across the Alliance, identifying concrete strategies to be transferred across universities, and identifying potential obstacles for improvement in the way in which R&I human capital is enhanced.
Addressing practices on several aspects including recruiting top R&I talent in an international setting, talent management, training practices (especially aimed at younger researchers), tenure and promotion programmes and practices, training for leadership in research as well as training in the field of human resources working with and for researchers and actions and practices for ensuring equal opportunities, gender equality and diversity.
Selecting a limited set of key transformative actions for piloting by the end of the project, thereby enhancing the management of R&I talent and human capital management within the Alliance as a result of the project.
Work package 2 is led by Charles University.
Developing a strategy towards sharing resources and infrastructures and searching for promising models for sharing infrastructures across research groups, and with business and students. Identifying potentials for piloting new models for enhancing the value of research infrastructure through collaboration inside, across, and outside the universities of the Alliance. Additionally, exploring possibilities for joint utilization of core facilities and other research infrastructure to facilitate and initiate proposals for joint research projects across partner universities, thus setting a future objective for the European University Alliances in research cooperation.
Creating an inventory and categorizing physical research infrastructure facilities (e.g., core facilities and instruments, databases, digital libraries) across 4EU+ iin order to identify best practices for management and potential barriers (e.g., legal and financial barriers, accounting systems) to sharing and scaling infrastructure investments, and to determine obstacles for collaboration.
Mapping and identifying best practices for strengthening competences and on-the-job development of the research infrastructure technical support staff and the centralized research support units as an important support function of research, sharing experiences with advisory and administrative services in research support at all stages and levels, identifying concrete actions that can enable synergies and exchange of expertise, implementing pilot actions to improve competence building across selected groups of research support staff, identifying possible obstacles in research service collaboration, and outlining a joint strategy on research support.
Work package 3 is led by Heidelberg University.
Mapping current initiatives and best practices on how academia is interacting with the business sector, e.g., facilitating innovation, reaching out to involve civic society, as well as identifying typical obstacles faced, focusing on selected actions and measures.
Identifying new innovative approaches to academia-business collaboration, stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as approaches to involving civic society in research, and assessing their potential for piloting and upscaling.
Work package 4 is led by Sorbonne University.
Diagnosing knowledge-sharing patterns and best practices in the field of scholarly communication in Open Access among the 4EU+ Alliance member universities.
Assessing the level of Open Science implementation within the 4EU+ Alliance, presenting recommendations, models, and tools on how to support Open Science.
Work package 5 is led by the University of Warsaw.
Develop new approaches to support research and innovation by identifying best practices and by expanding and improving the initiatives that work
Promote a culture of co-learning and co-innovation across the Alliance based on best practices
Identify drivers and facilitators, as well as analyse barriers, to international research collaboration (local/national/European framework conditions, regulations, traditions and practices)
Plan pilot projects about activities that can transform research support across the Alliance partners in the five work packages.
Communicate and share project results and best practices via targeted communication to internal and external stakeholders, not least the other European university alliances.
TRAIN4EU+ is funded by the EU’s Research Framework Programme Horizon 2020 and is coordinated by the University of Copenhagen.
University of Copenhagen Prorector for Research David Dreyer Lassen is coordinator of TRAIN4EU+, and EU specialist consultant Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen is project manager.
TRAIN4EU+ runs from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023.