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Strengthening the human capital of research infrastructures

The activity will support the training of both female and male staff managing and operating research infrastructures, the exchange of staff and best practices between facilities, and the adequate supply of skilled human resources, including through the development of specific education curricula and courses. A proposal under this topic should build on the past activities and the experience gained in projects such as RAMIRI (Realising and Managing International Research Infrastructures) and RItrain (Research Infrastructures Training Programme and presents a clear evolution. The activities should include the promotion of existing good practises at research infrastructures as well as dissemination and exploitation of successful experiences to a wider set of relevant stakeholders. It should continue engaging with universities and developing specific curricula and courses for pan-European research infrastructures, taking into account their intercultural and interdisciplinary nature as well as their diversity (global, highly distributed, single site etc.). Strategic planning for the sustainability of training and exchange programmes should be addressed, with the involvement of national agencies, ERICs, international organisations, and other relevant stakeholders. An increased use of interactive online training material should be explored. Particular emphasis should be put on the development of data management, exploitation and stewardship skills, in line with the FAIR principles, including the mastering of the data protection legislation features.

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 wide consortium of partners for their funding, 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. The skills and expertise specifically needed to effectively construct, operate and use research infrastructures are therefore not widely available.

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.

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. An improvement of existing specific university curricula as well as a more widespread dissemination in the European university landscape is expected.