EARMA Conference Oslo


Building a Project Management Team

During this session we will discuss the Project Management team of Université de Paris’ Research Directorate, from the creation to its implementation.


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Pecha Kucha

Topic: Project Management

Session: FOR3 - Post-Award, Policy & Strategy: 4 separate Pecha Kuchas

Thursday 5 May 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. (UTC)


During this session we will discuss the Project Management team of Université de Paris’ Research Directorate, from the creation to its implementation.

Born in 2019 from the merger of the universities of Paris Diderot, Paris Descartes and Institut de physique du Globe de Paris, the ambition of Université de Paris is to lead and develop an exceptional potential to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s society. The merger that led to the creation of Université de Paris is unlike other French university mergers because both constituent institutions were quasi comprehensive and of equivalent size. As a result, the three Faculties that structure UP integrate entities from both universities and, within each Faculty, most departments will also undergo a process of transformation and merger.

At the central level of the institution, in the Directorate General for Research, International, Technology Transfer et Graduate Schools Department (DRIVE), the Project Managers (PM) are responsible for a the portfolio of projects coordinated at Université de Paris. It includes ERC grants, MSCA, mutli-benieficary projects funded under H2020 Pillar 3 and COST actions. PM, as they follow closely the projects from the granting process to the end, are key actors of the research projects. They indeed:
- Are expert of EU funding schemes
- Close to the ground: they are in contact with the PI, the research teams and the administrators who run the laboratories
- In the heart of the central level: they can easily be in contact with the Finance or Accounting office as well as HR or doctoral schools.

However, their knowledge is not shared in the institution. This is the main reason why we decided to reorganise the time of projects managers and link them to the central bodies of the institution, at the DRIVE. So we split their time between projects coordination (between 50% and 60%) and share of good practice. The latter goes from creation of process to organisation of European working group and include the creation of white paper or wiki.

The scientific aspect aside, the good implementation of a research project might also remain on every different administrative teams working smoothly together. This is however not easy achieve. Especially after a merging process, the communication between administrative teams can slow down. There is then an urgent need to reconnect everybody together.

We hope that this new organisation will lead to the acquisition of skills for every teams participating to the success of the projects. This will also raise awareness of EU projects rules in Departments that are not at the heart of project management but who are however key to their success. We intend that the good implementation of the projects will come back to the writing Grant office in the Faculties, which will have concrete example of how to run a successful project.

The purspose of this presentation is to share the actions and the tools we put in place to improve the dialogue between teams and their results.