EARMA Conference Oslo


Post-award tool kit: simplification and digitalisation to support research management

Strategies and tools to support the post award phase implemented at Ca’ Foscari University


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Topic: Project Management


Ca’ Foscari has launched a series of initiatives aiming at simplifying and improving the current management and post award reporting procedures. This is part of the University’s plan to develop and strengthen the support offered throughout the project life cycle.
As far as the management of funded projects is concerned, the central administration supports the Departments by providing guidelines and tools, and by aligning administrative-managerial procedures with internal rules, national legislation and different funding program regulations.
The initiatives implemented last year are the following:
- Recurring meetings with the departments’ research offices dedicated to the management of research projects, with the aim of exchanging good practices and collecting any critical issues;
- Implementation of a webpage dedicated to project management design, including useful guidelines and documents available to all departments and professors: https://www.unive.it/pag/34380/
- Participation in project audits and sharing of documents and auditors’ requests;
- Creation of a spreadsheet to support UNIVE’s staff in the preparation of detailed budgets for collaborative projects within the Horizon Europe framework program. This spreadsheet allows automatic calculation of budget data, such as staff cost, equipment costs, possible OVH..
In addition to this, to simplify and digitize the research management the University realised:
- an application, created by Cineca Computer center, that guarantees continuous monitoring of time dedicated to funded projects in a simple and effective way. This application is fully integrated with the other staff activities registered in the system thus avoiding overlaps or omissions. This Timesheet ensures greater automation in data transfer, reducing mistakes and therefore potential budget cuts in the auditing phase. Ca’ Foscari was the first university in Italy to create this.
- Creation of a shared online platform collecting documents to support financial reporting such as monthly payslips (the sensitive data are hidden), annual cost certification, F24, TRN;
- Development of a cost certifications digital procedure by means of a software developed by CINECA that automatically filters from the accounting program only the salary items and displays the data according to a defined form signed digitally by the University’ Financial Manager. The data obviously refer to the liquidated for the year ended.
The launch of the new Horizon Europe framework program requires a rethinking and updating of the procedures implemented, and a fresh analysis of future critical issues to be solved.
To overcome problems that involve expertise that falls outside the Research Area (i.e. financial, contract, services and purchasing expertise, IT support etc.), the university would like to create a group with key representatives from each area who will be able to transfer and share the different skills useful to support different aspects of project management
The launch of an operational task force would pave the way for a streamlining of administrative procedures, so that Ca' Foscari will be able to offer an ever faster and more efficient support in the project management post-award phase.