The purpose of RItrain staff exchanges
The purpose of RItrain staff exchanges is for managerial staff from European Research Infrastructures to develop managerial and leadership expertise in areas that are new to them, or that they feel their research infrastructure needs to develop specific expertise in, by making short knowledge-exchange visits to research infrastructures that are noted for their excellence in the same area. The staff exchanges form an integral part of RItrain’s new Executive Master in Management of Research Infrastructures (EMMRI), but can also be undertaken independently of the Master course. Credits may be awarded to individuals participating in the staff exchanges, either as hosts or as visitors.

What is RItrain and how will it benefit your research infrastructure?
The mission of RItrain (the Research Infrastructure Training Programme) is to improve and professionalise the training of managerial and leadership staff in research infrastructures (RIs). This is vital for the future success of Europe because access to excellent RIs underpins the success of today’s research and innovation.

The successful management and leadership of research infrastructure requires a complex collection of competencies, especially for those working across national borders. RItrain is developing a flexible, modular, executive master’s degree for RI managers and leaders, including (but not limited to) executive directors of RIs, heads of finance and administration, heads of HR and communication. We want to strengthen the human capital of RIs, stimulate their efficient management and promote their development and competitiveness at national, European and international level.

In collaboration with managers and leaders of pan-European research infrastructures across all disciplines, we have defined the competencies most needed by staff in these positions. As part of our executive curriculum, we will promote knowledge exchange and sharing of experiences between RIs through a pioneering staff exchange programme.

What does a staff-exchange entail?
Every RI has its strengths and weaknesses. We are asking you to identify the areas of management and leadership that your RI excels in, and to host a short knowledge-exchange visit (2–5 days) in which key members of personnel from the host RI coach visitors from other participating RIs.

The format of these visits will be relatively informal and is likely to involve no more than a few hours of preparation, although we are of course open to more ambitious proposals. This format was piloted in spring 2017 and was very well received. If you are aware that other RIs also have particular strength in your chosen topic, you might want to consider developing a staff exchange jointly.

Suggested topics
The following topics are aligned with RItrain’s highest priority competency requirements, as defined by a survey sent out to all ESFRI and EIROForum RIs in January 2016:

• Strategic vision and business context
• Operational planning
• Financial management (including funding generation and budgetary control)
• Infrastructure and resource management (including data management and security)
• Impact assessment
• Communication, outreach and advocacy
• Staff recruitment, management and development (including promoting diversity)
• Project management in the context of RIs of European interest

Closing date and review process for staff exchange proposals
Please email your proposal to Gosia Kalinowska ( by 12:00 midnight GMT on Thursday 28 September 2017.

An independent panel will oversee the review of applications, to ensure an unbiased and transparent review process. Staff exchanges need to be completed and reported on by 31 July 2018.

You will be informed as to whether your organisation has been selected to host a staff exchange by Wed 1 November 2017.

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