BESTPRAC started in 2014 as a COST Targeted Network that gathers administrative, financial and legal staff at universities and research-driven institutions who carry out different tasks to support transnational external competition based in (particular EU funded) research projects.
Even though the COST funding subsided in October 2019, BESTPRAC is still active and finding alternative ways of sustaining the fantastic network of research support staff that was created.
The network serves as a platform for exchanging experiences, sharing and developing best practices, encouraging knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer and increasing efficiency in these fields. That is why active participation of its members is expected and greatly valued in the BESTPRAC community.
The BESTPRAC network is open to all research support staff working at RPOs and you are free to join.
Would you like to join the BESTPRAC collaboration space? It's a place where you can share your ideas, contribute to discussions and get the latest updates. Join here.
Although the COST targeted network officially ended in October 2019, the former BESTPRAC Core Group has remained active and are working hard to find solutions to keep the network activities alive beyond COST's financial support.
One of BESTPRAC's sustainability initiatives has been to explore the possibilities of a joint future with EARMA. In the last year and a half, BESTPRAC and EARMA have organized three very successful virtual meetings. These meetings, even though held in a virtual setting, followed the BESTPRAC principles of a bottom-up, open and inclusive approach.
As the collaboration proved to be successful and beneficial to both networks, two significant things happened during 2021 that have impacted the future of the BESTPRAC network.
First, BESTPRAC was included as a partner in EARMA's Horizon Europe project "Creating Framework Conditions for Research Management to Strengthen the European Research Area" (RM ROADMAP). This project was successfully applied for funding under the HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01 call, that will support the strengthening of an inclusive research management community in Europe. Since the BESTPRAC network does not have a legal form, it is being represented in the consortium by the institutions of three of our Core group members - HETFA Research Institute, Hungary (Virág ZSÁR); Nova University Lisbon, Portugal (Cristina OLIVEIRA) and The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus (Andri CHARALAMBOUS).
Second, EARMA and BESTPRAC have come to an agreement that BESTPRAC will from now on be a thematic group within EARMA! This is a very exciting initiative that will allow BESTPRAC to continue and improve their work, as well as grow and develop, with the support of a well-established and experienced organisation such as EARMA. It is important to note that the EARMA membership fees will not apply to the BESTPRAC thematic group, as both networks wish to build a truly inclusive RMA community in Europe. More information about the thematic group will be available soon.