Starting from the fact that the project’s wider objective is to enhance management of human research potential at WBC universities in line with national and EU strategies for researchers in order to contribute to the further WBC regional growth, and from the ambition of the Consortium to achieve an all-encompassing and lasting effect in this area, Re@WBC is planned to realise a great number of very signifiant activities falling into three thematic groups:
- Improving institutional HR policies and practices by harmonising them with EU standards and strategies for researchers, and with national priorities for sustainable development;
- Enhancing career development and cooperation opportunities of researchers through professional and transferable skills improvement; and
- Fostering regional cooperation in order to harmonise the management of university research potentials, and raise awareness about HRS4R principles.
The working methodology to be employed in Re@WBC revolves around its main task, which is to raise awareness, in the academic community especially, about the significance of improving the position of human research potential. We believe that this goal could be achieved through systematic action which is two-fold in nature: on the one hand, we will advocate changes in institutional legislative, while on the other we will work with researchers themselves and educate them in topics not covered by academic curricula. This means that we envision a series of bylaws which need to be either created or revised, and then adopted and implemented to the benefit of the research community:
- bylaws that will enhance the legislative aspect of university HR services by strengthening and regulating the position of university centres (Centre for Career Development of Researchers, Centre for Quality Assurance, Centre for International Cooperation, Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies, Centre for Science and Research, etc.), as well as of university offices ( International Office, University Legal Office, University Accounting and Finance Office, etc.).
- bylaws that will regulate promotion procedures in a more efficient and transparent way
- bylaws that will provide more efficient resolution of ethical issues by regulating the responsibilities of ethical committees
- bylaws that will establish a sustanable system of awards for successful researchers to further motivate them
- bylaws that will regulate a new institution of a Mentoring System for assistant professors
Besides all these bylaws, Re@WBC aims at creating policies, strategies and electronic databases that will provide the project results with sustainability effect: HRS4R principles will be adopted by all WBC partners; C&C endorsed by all WBC partners; mentoring system will be piloted for the sake of newly promoted assistant professors for their better response to new responsibilities; researchers’ databases will be created at all WBC partner univesities; alumni networks will be further developed for better contacts with WBC scientific diasporas; etc.
Further, these legislative measures will be accompanied with practical trainings. We plan to organise a number of different trainings, all of them more than useful. Although in EU countries they may be routine matter or naturally expeted skills, in WBC countries researchers very often encounter serious impediments due to lack of knowledge or training in some of these skills. We believe that following trainings, workshops, and seminars are more than necessary:
- training of trainers by EU project partners on human research principles and practices
- training for administrative staff related to research services (help with administrative and legal problems)
- training for the ethical committee members in order to enhance ethical committees
- training for all researchers at a one-day seminar by C&C experts to raise their awareness concerning the role and significance of C&C and HRS4R
- training for young researchers at two two-day seminars on research methodology
- training of young researchers in soft skills and enterpreneurship at two two-day seminars
- training of junior teaching staff on teaching methodology at two one-day seminars
- training of researchers on multidisciplinary approach to research at a one-day workshop
We have adopted a very flexible stand in the sense that as far as the project budget will allow it, we will introduce other training topics depending on the needs expressed by researchers in the course of the project.
The scope of the project and all the tasks and activities set by it demand the project lifetime of three years. After the training visits to EU partners who are expected to familiarise the WBC representatives with examples of best practices in the field of HR strategies and policies, the Consortium will develop an action plan for improvement and enhancement of the position of human research potential including all the above mentioned activities. The project will provide necessary equipment and software for more efficient support services to reasarchers which will also contribute to the sustainability of the project results along with the adopted strategies and bylaws.
Besides day-by-day indicators of progress (reports, analyses, action plans, bylaws etc.), more prominet indicators showing to what extent the project objectives are met will be:
- Mentoring System for junior professors
- HRS4R strategy adopted by all WBC partner universities
- System of Awards for research boosting
- Guidebook for Young Researchers