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Managing the process in large international projects; my experience from EU projects. Dr. Aletta Debernardi 11 April 2014. EU research funding programme . International consortium: EU countries and maybe a few partners outside EU Size: average 10 partners, 5 ME

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Managing the process in large international projects; my experience from EU projects


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    1. Managing the process in large international projects;my experience from EU projects Dr. Aletta Debernardi 11 April 2014

    2. EU research funding programme • International consortium: EU countries and maybe a few partners outside EU • Size: average 10 partners, 5 ME • Inter-disciplinair teams (e.g. Social Sciences doing it with Physics) • Mix of organisations: research organisations, enterprises, NGO’s • How to manage a lack of a common frame of reference? → • Language & culture • Science • Type of organisation • Nationalities Help!/ Au secours!/Ajuto! 30 Billion Euro for collaborative Research & Innovation projects a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    3. Common issues EU projects • More often no reply to your email with urgent request than with national partnerships • Cultural differences (e.g. pride) lead to trouble in the consortium • In H2020 often one partner is late with (financial) reporting, and all other partners have to wait to get paid • Science partners in H2020 do not stick to their budget (under and overspending) creating trouble with reporting a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    4. General tips European partnerships Do not underestimate the large cultural differences between countries within Europe: • Countries where your degree ‘counts’. • Countries where the hierarchical approach works. • Countries where politeness is key and countries where people cut through the chase. And much more…… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0bI6YHhsvM Bruno Bozzetto-differences between Italians and Germans, Goethe Institute 2009 a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    5. General tips partnerships What works for all partnerships: building up a relationship by • Showing appreciation for peoples effort • Asking questions, showing interest • Sharing some positive personal information (keep to safe subjects) a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    6. Tips for approaching foreign partners Meeting rule of thumb • Show respect to habits like bow, handshake, hug or sometimes even kisses (the French).For many countries is it common to give and receive small gifts. • Use your foreign language greetings skills (out of politeness). • Adapt your language (choice of more common words) and if English comprehension low → be very polite with words and gestures . • Start with an universal & ‘safe’ subject: a countries food culture and specialties a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    7. Tips for approaching foreign partners Email rules of thumb Take time to write the perfect email (saves you from answering questions from 15 partners): • the power of the subject, • have links to extra information, • explanation of abbreviations, • clear statement what you request and from whom • and when: deadline dates, 02-04-2014, April or February? time difference CET, GMT • always sound inviting to answer questions And remember keep it simple: English comprehension low → skip the politeness in emails! but use simple phrases and be direct a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    8. Tips trouble management Prevention Getting commitment • Get to know what drives the other. Cultural differences researchers, businesses, governmental org and NGO’s. • Gender matters: culture and personality. • Meet with your international consortium two times a year. Planning & the who and why of your request • Let them know what is coming looooong before (negotiation process, reporting), consequences for them and the consortium. Get the right persons from that organisation involved. a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    9. Tips trouble management Solving Getting hold of someone • The art of knowing secretaries Shoot the messenger (let the researcher use you as a messenger) • We, the outsiders (project managers, research offices), can do the tough tasks not to disturb the relationship of the researchers with the other partners. a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    10. Managing international partnerships ‘Multi-culti’ skills and training • Know your own SWOT (and know the SWOT of your culture/ nationality) • Train your sociable skills • Increase your multi-culti experiences in every day life • Practice (at work) and learn from your mistakes • Travel, meet and listen a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS

    11. Questions? a.c.debernardi@luris.nl, RD Team, LURIS