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Knowledge/Staff Exchanges

Access managerial and leadership expertise directly from leading research infrastructures




The purpose of RItrain knowledge/staff exchanges is for managerial staff from European Research Infrastructures to develop managerial and leadership expertise in areas that are new to them, or that they feel their research infrastructure needs to develop specific expertise in, by making short knowledge-exchange visits to research infrastructures that are noted for their excellence in the same area. The knowledge/staff exchanges form an integral part of Executive Master in Management of Research Infrastructures, but can also be undertaken independently of the Master course.


Open calls for Knowledge/Staff Exchanges


Project Management

25th – 26th April 2018 in Paris organised by ECRIN

(deadline for applications: 28th February 2018, apply)


Stakeholder Management and Community Building

22nd - 25th May 2018 in Prague organised by Institute of Molecular Genetics, Academy of Sciences Czech Republic

(deadline for applications: 31st March 2018, apply)


Operating and managing large sustainable on-site research infrastructures

6 – 8th June 2018 in Hamburg organised by DESY

(deadline for applications: 6th April 2018, apply)


Governance, business context and operational planning for hubs & nodes

12 - 13th June 2018 in Amsterdam organised by EATRIS
(deadline for application: 15th March 2018, apply)



Applicants are requested to submit a motivation statement and a CV as part of their application. As space is limited, applications will be evaluated along criteria specified in the call texts. There are no fees to particpate, subsistance is included but selected delegates will need to cover their own travel and accomodation costs.


Past Staff Exchanges


'Strategic Vision, Governance and Business Development'
10 - 11 April 2017 in Amsterdam NL, organised by EATRIS-ERIC



This staff exchange aimed at sharing best practices for research infrastructure management regarding strategy, governance and business development. For managers of Research Infrastructures in the planning phase (RIs) it provided the opportunity to learn from the experience of more mature RIs and avoid common mistakes. Managers of more mature RIs discussed their approaches. These discussions either provided alternative approaches or new confidence to continue the chosen approach. Participants came from ten different infrastructures and included representatives from Health & Food, Physical Sciences & Engineering, Social & Cultural Innovation, Energy and Environment RIs which promoted exchange across diverse infrastructures. The RIs represented were from ECRIN-SCTO, EST, EMBRC, DARIAH-EU, LIH, JIVE / VLBI ERIC , EMBRC, LIFEWATCH, MYRRHA , ISBE and EMPHASIS. Participants included RI directors, project managers, finance officers and policy officers. This diverse mixture allowed for analysing challenges from a multitude of perspectives and cross-fertiliisation across functions. 
Examples of feedback from participants: 
“Thanks again for your generous effort in this well-packaged, enjoyable and fruitful exchange. It was also very interesting to meet the EATRIS management team up close, in its different aspects.”
“The two days spent in Amsterdam have considerably changed my mind regarding the organisation of my daily work and the longer-term action”
“I still profit of the staff exchange”



'Service Provision'
2 - 5 May 2017 in Hinxton UK, organised by EMBL-EBI

In early May three senior officers from three emerging research infrastructures (EuroBioImaging, ISBE Italy, Emphasis) came to EMBL-EBI as part of the RItrain staff exchange programme. A four-day exchange was organised with the objective to help participants –  and by extension their research infrastructures (RI) – to overcome bottlenecks in service provision.
The programme was highly tailored to the individual needs of the participants allowing them to take full advantage of their time at EMBL-EBI to gain insight into the working practice of an established and successful research infrastructure.
The programme comprised of:
  • presentations from EMBL-EBI experts on topics of relevance to all three RIs including identifying and addressing bottlenecks in service provision, defining the value proposition of your services, and challenges in data provision and interoperability
  • one-to-one sessions with EMBL-EBI experts, matched to them based on the specific needs of the research infrastructure in question, in order to maximally benefit from the expert’s experience and to gain a different perspective on their situation

Interactions with the experts and peers helped the participants to extend their network of professionals facing similar challenges and to define an action plan to further develop and implement at their respective research infrastructure.