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Management structure, organisation and procedures

Network organization and management structure

The KNOWNET project will be managed and administered by the Project Management Board (PMB), comprising of the project co-coordinator and one delegate from each organization participating in the project(partner representative). The PMB is responsible for :

  • Managing and providing strategic guidance for the project
  • Taking executive decisions and transacting legal agreements
  • Organizing project resources, budget, schedule and allocation of manpower
  • Delegating responsibilities to the work package leader
  • Controlling the quality of information flow
  • Addressing the strategy for the dissemination and exploitation of the project results
  • Solving any potential conflicts occurring during the duration of the project
  • Agreeing on any organizational changes
  • Organising status discussion and evaluation, and reporting to the commission through the project co-ordinator.

Meetings and Decision Process: The PMB meet every six months in order to check and supervise the progress of the project.
Active WPs hold meetings at least every six months, in conjunction with PMB meetings. Depending on the work to be carried out intermediary meetings are organised in order to solve time-critical issues or monitoring progress of activities. To minimise travel costs, such meetings make use of audio conferencing facilities when possible. Two kinds of WP meetings are foreseen:

  • Planning meetings, where all relevant decisions about the work to be carried out within the WP will be taken
  • Integration meetings, where WP members will sit down in front of terminals to integrate and finalise their contributions.

Planning and Reporting: The project co-ordinator is responsible for the entire project in terms of organisation and administration of the consortium. This responsibility covers the overall planning and reporting of Project KNOWNET. The WP leaders are in charge of planning and controlling the quality of the work, task delegation and deliverables produced by their WPs.

Reporting: Three kinds of reports are provided to the European Commission: the annual report, the bi-annual Report and the Final Report at the end of the project according to the FP7 Grant Agreement Annex II. For reporting purposes, KNOWNET will create EXCEL reporting workbooks, which include planned and spent resources information and a description of the accomplished tasks, which help in the preparation of the reports to the commission.
Co-ordination: Dr S Grant will ensure the overall co-ordination of the IAPP, both internally and externally linking with researchers as well as persons in charge of financial management. Dr Grant will ensure the continuity of links both with the EC and the private and academic partners.

Communication: an online project management tool will be used by the Project Co-ordinator in order to improve productivity, communication, collaboration and management between the KNOWNET members. Thus a web application will be set up with private access to consortium members, offering online monitoring and reporting, time and capacity planning, document management and information exchange.

The Web application initiated at the start of the project will include a calendar and automatic alerts to consortium participants of ‘milestones, and scheduled meetings/ reviews/ reports. Yearly, bi annual and Mid- term reviews will be scheduled by the PMB. The venue and organisation of the meeting for the Mid- term review will be of the responsibility of the coordinator, and the timing and location of the meeting will be agreed with the REA project officer.

A Range of other modes of communication will be used between participants to communicate regularly between themselves, including, e-mails, one to one telephone calls, conference calls, and F2F meetings.

Each new recruit will be required to submit to their respective supervisory member a progress report about his/her activities every 3 months. Such a report will detail the nature of the activities carried out during the 3 month period with respect to the project. These reports will be used to draft the yearly activity and financial reports. A quality assurance plan will be developed by the recruits together with their supervisors at the beginning of their proposed work to monitor the research progress and evaluate the results and the degree of success to which established objectives are being met. The plan will also include a personal career development strategy in which training needs will be established.

Competencies: All PMB members are and have been responsible for the supervision of staff, either through funded projects, managing team based academic courses, or managing and supervising staff within commercial activities.

Financial management

At the University level External income & financial management will be carried out by Brunel Management Accounts Research Team which has vast experience of managing European-funded research projects going back to FP5, including numerous Marie-Curie projects, managing over €17M in European funding within the last three years.

The project coordinator, acting as the representative of the prime contractor and supported by Brunel central services will be responsible for the project coordination and financial management, in particular:

  • Ensuring prompt payments of financial contributions
  • Organisation of project financial reports and deliverables and ensuring that these are provided in a timely fashion to the Commission
  • Communications within the consortium and between the consortium and the EC
  • Organisation of Project Management meetings
  • Preparing for and facilitating any audits by EC staff

Lead partners of the consortium will be responsible for managing their individual allowances for recruitment and secondment activities, and will report back to the project co-ordinator with plans and evidence of financial management related to these resources.

Recruitment strategy

Brunel prides itself on its multicultural environment and has gained countless benefits from having staff and students from over 113 different countries contributing to both its academic and social environment. Brunel has a long history of inviting international staff to be part of the University, and it provides a dynamic and vibrant environment for international visitors. Brunel has been awarded the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research accreditation for its commitment to providing high quality training and career development for researchers. It is one of only 38 UK institutions to hold the award.
Brunel University's Placement and Careers Centre (PCC) were named winners for the third year running at the National Placement and Internship Awards in 2012.

Brunel is committed to equal opportunities and representing the diversity of the community it serves. Brunel recruitment procedures comply with complies with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

In Particular, The University has a Recruitment and Selection process in order to:

  • Ensure consistency in the way that individuals are employed.
  • Eliminate and prevent discrimination.
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Promote good relations within the community by having a process that is designed to ensure equality of opportunity.
  • Promote the University in terms of the standard and quality of staff being sought.
  • Have a practice “standard” which is owned and understood by users of the recruitment and selection process.
  • Ensure cost effectiveness and value for money in how we attract, recruit and employ new staff.
  • Ensure objectivity in the decision-making processes.
  • Be able to answer queries and respond to complaints of discriminatory practices.
  • Promote “Best Practice”.
  • Capture individuals of quality.

Brunel promotes transparency, openness and professionalism by staff in their methods and approaches used for recruitment and selection. The Human Resources Department is there to assist and guide the recruitment and selection process, and may be consulted in all stages of the recruitment exercise. Best practice documents on recruitment, selection and staff development are provided to staff seeking to advertise a vacancy and recruit new staff. All the required documents and forms are available on the web, and have been designed to be IT friendly. The University’s website and printed publications provide clear information on the entry criteria, both academic and non-academic, for each vacancy. The University publishes its Admissions Policy and Annexes on its home website.

Furthermore, BU have developed a range of Equality & Diversity workshops designed for existing staff looking to recruit new staff and incorporates training on the elimination of unlawful discrimination, encouraging openness, valuing inclusiveness, and respect and appreciating differences across individuals to be recruited from all over the world. Finally, BU also hosts a number of Women’s development workshops (Making it happen and Springboard) aimed at enhancing work and personal development for female staff (should female staff be recruited).

UPV also operate a recruitment and selection process that follows best practice. It applies strict teaching and research quality control schemes and encourages and supports its staff in their projects, as well as encouraging national and international co-operation. UPV also pay special attention to and support their graduates into the labour market. To this end, UPV encourage contacts between businesses and students through internships at commercial and public institutions. UPV international Vocation, results in an intense presence abroad, with branches in Colombia (COINNOVAR Corporation), in Argentina (Centre for Technical Education), in Mexico (University Centre for Environmental Sciences), in Cuba (Centre for Studies of Advanced Technologies) and in Uruguay (DeCOSUR Foundation), amongst others. UPV has been innovators in many of these countries and continue to make progress, not only to consolidate UPV programmes, but also to initiate new joint ventures and to strengthen bonds with other South American countries, Japan (where we have already signed cooperation agreements with universities in Mie and Suzuka), the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and the United States of America.

UPV also firmly believes in student and staff exchange programmes between universities in different countries. Study and work periods abroad at other universities help to establish procedures to develop joint projects, both in research as well as in education.

Related to the recruitment process, UPV will follow the official procedure for promoting student grants. This official procedure provides the forms and time required for student's recruitment. These procedures promote transparency, equality of opportunities and objectivity. In particular the University has a recruitment process that takes into account the academic merit, scientific and professional merit and suitability of the candidate.

Publication of vacancies for the two researchers on the project will be primarily placed in a range of national and international academic job websites (i.e. www.jobs.ac.uk/categories/academic-jobs-europe; academicjobseu.com) including publication on the EC’s Euraxess. Vacancies will also be advertised on the BU and UPV home web pages and publications.

Gender aspects

The consortium will endeavour to ensure and maintain a good gender balance between men and women on the project both in the decision making and recruitment of researcher staff, with the aim of achieving a target of 40% or more of women on the project. Within KNOWNET, women will play a role on the PMB, the technical team and are present within every partner member of the consortium, currently totalling 44% of individuals on the project.

For the recruitment of researchers, Brunel University operates a gender equality scheme (2010-2013). This Scheme provides a framework which will enable the University to continue to take action to remove gender barriers to allow equal access to all of the University’s services and employment opportunities. The Scheme has been developed in accordance with the Gender Equality Duty which was introduced into legislation in the Equality Act 2006. The Gender Equality Duty intends to improve the lives of both men and women regardless of their sexual orientation, race, disability, age, religion and belief. It focuses on:

  • Eliminating unlawful sex discrimination and harassment;
  • Promoting equality of opportunity between men and women.

Brunel’s Gender Equality Scheme 2010 – 2013 seeks to continue raising gender equality awareness, promoting gender equality, eliminating gender discrimination, encouraging equal participation and good relations between men and women.
The University will focus its efforts on consultation with staff, students and other stakeholders on the development of a Single Equality Scheme that incorporates a wide range of personal characteristics. This Scheme will be published widely and staff are encouraged to advise the University on how effective this Scheme is in promoting and delivering gender equality. The University also has a 'specific duty' to publish a Gender Equality Scheme and the Scheme must show how the 'general duties', outlined above, will be met.

UPV will also be seeking to maintain a good gender balance in its recruitment processes and follow equal opportunities regulation within its HR policy.

Decision making: the participation of women in decision making at both macro and micro levels will be promoted within the KNOWNET project. Women will be present at decision making panels and participate at key control points of the project (milestones).

Intellectual property

Special emphasis within the project will be given to the management of knowledge and more importantly to the protection of IPR, as well as to the management of ownership of the project results. Upon project success, the project co-ordination team will develop a detailed Exploitation agreement which will be signed by all partners, regulating obligations and rights of the participants. However, all participants will have agreed to the following principles.

Ownership of Background Knowledge: Regarding the management of background knowledge, the general scope is to grant to the consortium partners responsible for the production of foreground knowledge, all access rights to the background knowledge required both for the implementation of the project and for the use of the foreground royalty-free. More specifically it is agreed that:

  • Access rights to the background knowledge (pre-existing know-how) necessary for the implementation of the project will be made available to the Consortium members royalty-free.
  • Access rights to the background knowledge for dissemination, research and academic purposes shall be granted to the Consortium members royalty-free.
  • All IPRs of the background knowledge will be retained by the corresponding consortium partners after the completion of the project. Other consortium partners may not utilise background knowledge for exploitation and commercial purposes.

Ownership of Foreground Knowledge: Regarding the management of foreground knowledge, it is agreed that all partners will be able to utilise it for future dissemination, research and academic purposes on a royalty-free basis, while the commercial exploitation of the platform will be regulated by the exploitation plan that will be developed during the project. More specifically it is agreed that:

  • IPR of the foreground knowledge produced by the consortium partners during the implementation of the project will be retained by the corresponding partners, and will be divided proportionally, according to the effort invested in the production of the knowledge (project results).
  • Foreground knowledge will be made available on a royalty-free basis to all project partners for dissemination, research and academic purposes only, both during as well as after the project conclusion.
  • All consortium partners will retain exploitation rights of all corresponding project results ("foreground") for their intended use and will be granted access rights to utilise it on a royalty-free basis. The commercial exploitation of the platform will be regulated by the solid exploitation plan that will be developed during the project, which in turn will be based on the commercialisation perspectives of both the consortium as a whole and the consortium partners as individual organisations.
    The participating end-user organisations do not retain any ownership of the foreground yet they will be granted access rights to utilise the foreground knowledge on a royalty-free basis.

Protection of Foreground Knowledge: Although the availability of legal protection for software has increased rapidly around the world over the past fifteen years, the scope and the feasibility of enforcement of that protection continues to vary significantly by country. In order to promote adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights while ensuring that national laws enforcing such rights do not themselves become barriers to trade, protection of the foreground knowledge of the project will be based upon:

  • The Council Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer program
  • Directive 2009/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the legal protection of computer programs
  • Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases
    The WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), taking into consideration all corresponding International Legal Protection for Software policies
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