INFRASUPP-3-2014 - Strengthening the human capital of research infrastructures
Specific challenge: The complexity of research infrastructures and the exploitation of their full potential require adequate skills for their managers, engineers and technicians, as well as users. Research infrastructures are built and operated at the cutting edge of what is technologically feasible, involving a high associated risk that needs to be managed. They may involve a multitude of partners in a consortium that fund and perform their construction and operation, either because they are distributed research infrastructures, or because certain problems are of a scale that can only be tackled by means of European and international cooperation. This renders their governance and the associated financial and legal issues a complex problem. Comparable issues are not usually faced by research institutions that do not operate research infrastructures, or in fields that do not yet have a long tradition of using research infrastructures. The skills and expertise specifically needed to construct, operate and use research infrastructures successfully therefore are not widely available.
EU funding will support the training of staff managing and operating research infrastructures of European interest, the exchange of staff and best practices between facilities, and the adequate supply of human resources in key disciplines, including the emergence of specific education.
While the human capital dimension will be embedded under other lines of activity of the research infrastructures work programme, specific actions will be needed to foster coordination across domains and types of infrastructures.
Scope: The activity will support the training of staff managing and operating research infrastructures. A proposal under this topic should build on the past activities and the experience gained in the projects such as RAMIRI (Realising and Managing International Research Infrastructures). It should engage with universities and prepare curricula and courses specifically for pan-European research infrastructures to address their intercultural and interdisciplinary nature as well as their diversity (global, highly distributed, single site etc.). A significant use of interactive online training material should be considered.
Expected impact: This activity will improve and professionalise the training of the staff managing and operating research infrastructures of European interest, strengthen the human capital of the involved research infrastructures, stimulating their efficient management and therefore promoting their development and competitiveness at national, European and international level.
Type of action: Coordination and support actions