A brief working group session and discussion on how to improve science management at their own institution warmed up the group for a day that was wholly dedicated to science management. The Fellows received much food for thought, starting with the education and the academic discipline "science management".
While there used to be a clear distinction between scientific core functions, academic self-governance and “traditional” administration, we are now seeing a tendency towards the development of a new profession located between the scientific core process and administration as a result of the growing complexity in the research landscape. The Fellows also learned about the "EU Liaison Officer" programme which aims to develop a coherent advisory landscape that provides high-quality services for applicants.
The second part of the day saw a panel discussion between Professor Michael Hoch, rector of the University of Bonn and University Manager of the year 2019, Cort-Denis Hachmeister from the CHE Centre for Higher Education, Dr. Valerie Lukassen, University of Cologne and Science Management Network, Professor Michael Hölscher, University of Speyer, and the ERA Fellows and German partners. There was a clear consensus about the importance of science managers and their value for the success of an institution, and how this represents a cultural change in research institutions and universities. Some interesting points that came up in the discussion concerned how to work within a matrix, where to position science managers (in the periphery of each institute or centralised), and career perspectives for science managers.
After continuing the discussion in working groups, it was time to wrap up and present the results. In the evening, the group enjoyed a dinner reception at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig.
This offered the Fellows another opportunity to exchange information on the extensive input of the campus week and to network with actors from science and research funding institutions and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
In his welcoming speech, Wilfried Kraus, Head of Department for European Cooperation in Education and Research at the BMBF, again underlined the importance of excellent science managers and European cooperation.
The Fellows and guests spent an enjoyable evening in this special location and also had a chance to visit the exhibition, which almost felt like being in the movie "Night at the Museum". After further networking and the exchange of experiences, the time has now come for the final day of the campus week Bonn and the beginning of the guest stays in Germany.
All photos: © Bjanka Bethke / DLR Projektträger