Excellent research requires top research support - Final COST BESTPRAC meetings held in Belgium

October 03, 2019

Alessandro Segreto participated as the representative of BRU-IUL in the work of Working Group 1: Administration. He gave a presentation with the name “Research Funding and Communication Platforms: A pilot to optimize information flow within a research unit”, introducing a project implemented within the research unit.


BESTPRAC 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.


Twice a year, the network organises joint meetings of its members. The 12th Working Group meeting was held on September 5, 2019 at Ghent University, Belgium and gathered 70 people from different European countries.


The meeting comprised of individual meetings of the working groups (WG1: Administration, WG2: Finance, WG3: Legal) as well as joint sessions of all three working groups. The topics of the joint sessions on this meeting were:


• Model Grant Agreement - Avoiding Common Errors, held by Gheorghe Bancos from Common Audit Service, DG for Research and Innovation, European Commission and

• Research Administration in Europe at this moment, held by Nik Claesen from EARMA and Virág Zsár from the HETFA Research Institute.


Both presentations can already be found on the BESTPRAC website.


Since this was the last Working Group meeting, individual meetings were focused on finalising the network’s outputs and their dissemination. Apart from that, during the WG1 meeting, a number of best practices and techniques in communication were presented, as well as other topics such as IP in research projects, Widening and the Logical Framework approach. WG2 finalised the development of a Horizon 2020 Coordinator's Survival Kitand discussed a number of financial management issues in H2020 while WG3 explored rules and boundaries of the new framework programme Horizon Europe.


Since the BESTPRAC network is officially ending in October 2019, on September 6, the final BESTPRAC meeting was held at COST Association in Brussels, in the presence of representatives of the European Commission, COST Association and the European University Association.


During the meeting, BESTPRAC Core Group members presented the outputs of the networkin the last 6 years and plans for its continuation, after which representatives of the research administration community and the research community gave their thoughts on benefits of BESTPRAC not only for the development of research administration, but the success of research projects in general.


The second part of the programme was dedicated to a round table discussion on Benefits of quality Research Management/Administration for Europe. The main conclusion of the discussion was that quality research support is a necessity as it gives researchers more time to focus on their research. As the game is constantly changing in the EU funding landscape and the rules for participation are getting more and more complicated, research managers / administrators are a clear competitive advantage for any research organisation!


You can find more information about BESTPRAC at