The Work Package 3’s goals are to develop long-lasting research collaboration among our 9 universities and to structure our research network. WP3 always seeks to guarantee a bottom-up approach by keeping researchers and professors at the base of the alliance.

WP3 gathers more than 400 staff and is divided in the following bodies: the Joint Research Committee (the decision-making body), the 6 research clusters (developing collaboration in research), the European Taskforce (supporting the researchers to attract European funds) and the PhD council (to develop collaboration in PhD education).

  1. The instances

  • The EU GREEN Joint Research Committee (JRC) is composed of the vice rector for research or equivalent for all the universities of the alliance. It provides the strategic and organisational mechanisms to ensure the continuous renewal and support the acceleration of interdisciplinary research on relevant sustainability issues. Its long-term goal is the joint appointments of EU GREEN researchers in key areas of interest to the Alliance.

To guarantee that all training is research-based, the Joint Research Commission will ensure that all activities involve scientists, including young researchers (i.e. PhD students or postdocs).

  • In WP3, there are 6 thematic clusters, composed of researchers from all the alliance. The topics are as follows:

    • Cluster 1 – Emerging paradigms for health and well-being

    • Cluster 2 – Agriculture, food, and environmental sustainability

    • Cluster 3 – Engineering and technology for sustainable development

    • Cluster 4 – Sustainable tourism for cultural and natural heritage

    • Cluster 5 – Education sciences for sustainable development

    • Cluster 6 – Challenges in ecosystem biodiversity and function. A macroregional evaluation.

Cluster themes have been identified based on the EU GREEN missions and values, are closely related to major societal challenges and are linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The clusters are not closed boxes, rather open, interacting spaces of discussion and research: to that aim, several sub-groups were created in the past months widening the scope of each group” (see below)

Constellation clusters & subcluster feb 24

The clusters build on the expertise, laboratories, facilities and other research infrastructures existing in the partner institutions and aim to develop a novel and common EU GREEN approach that can serve as a model for other higher education and research institutions.

Each EU GREEN cluster seeks to build on and leverage the diversity of cultures, disciplines and local issues to establish a truly interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary environment for sustainability-focused research and innovation that is transferable to students and society.

  • The European taskforce is composed of European project officers from all partner universities. It is working to stimulate new projects and to help researchers apply for funding, with the goal of attracting more European funds in competitive calls and offering fundings to secure our research topics in the long term. The Task Force meets on a regular basis and works on joint strategic projects at European and international level and establishes a proactive strategy towards Horizon Europe, especially targeting some of its programmes, e.g., mobility actions like the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, specific topics under the clusters, etc.

  • The PhD council is composed of representatives from doctoral schools from the alliance. Their aim is to bring our universities to harmonize practices at the doctorate level. Launched in November 2023, this body has identified 4 main steps to kickstart cooperation:

    • The creation of a pilot even “My thesis in 3 minutes” in volunteer universities

    • The identification of 10 terms that require a common definition to work efficiently within EU GREEN, and harmonize our practices, a work done in cooperation with Work Package 2 – Education

    • The application of Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) to develop the collaboration in doctoral education among the EU GREEN allied universities. Two MSCA calls may be of interest for the reinforcement of collaboration in PhD education: MSCA Doctoral Network (DN), and MSCA Doctoral Programme COFUND.

    • A workgroup on joint protocols for the co-supervision of theses.

2. 2023 activities

  • The research Strategy, completed in March 23. The document is available here.

  • Launch of the different WP3 bodies with a total of 463 people involved in WP3 activities.

  • Organisation of the first Research Week in Angers. More than 100 people discussed about « How to develop an effective EU GREEN research network ». This was the first in-person application of the WP3 Research Strategy, via interacting scientists and experts from international research offices, to align calls with project ideas.

  • Launch of the seed funding. This call is a springboard for collaboration, and met a real success with 24 high-standard projects submitted, 10 of which were accepted. (Find here the list of the laureate projects). The seed funding projects have multifold aims: they are gymnasiums for EU project strategic writing, and they bring new, interdisciplinary competences and contents to BIPs, with positive feedback for joint bachelor, master and PhD programs. A new revised call will be launched in 2024.

  • Launch of the Researcher Mobility Program. 9 mobilities for the whole alliance were funded. (Find here the list of the mobilities). These mobilities will facilitate sharing of good practices within the alliance and will contribute to create long-lasting collaboration between the researchers of the different partners. The 2nd edition is open until May, 2nd.

  • Collaboration with WP2 on the Educational Strategy and WP6 on the Blended Intensive Programs selection. Out of the 12 BIPs that were accepted, 6 come from the clusters.

  • Collective launch by WP2 and WP3 of the PhD Council: in this process, the interaction with WP2, dedicated to education, is really strong to be effective in the process.

  • To stimulate a collective dynamic and set an example, Angers has decided to finance thesis projects under joint supervision with other EU GREEN universities. 4 theses are due to start in 2024 and 4 other projects will be built in the coming months.

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