These recommendations are limited to the results of the research conducted in the PA7 analysis on the participation of Danube region researchers in H2020 and they are divided into suggestions to the EU level policymakers and to the ones responsible for creating policies at the national level.
Recommendations for EU Level Policymakers
- Projects supported by the EUSDR and Interreg programmes should be directed to developing further cooperation, which would motivate participants to apply for other schemes and programmes, especially Horizon Europe, COST, Eureka, and Erasmus+.
- Projects supported under EUSDR and Interreg programmes should also aim to support and improve the mobility of researchers within the region by motivating and supporting the submission of joint projects through Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions.
- Creating a scheme that will improve the scope and quality of services offered by the NCPs.
- Fostering mutual learning and networking among the Danube region countries that will be based on exploring societal challenges and developing project ideas.
- Increasing motivation of researchers by introducing a remuneration policy that promotes reducing remuneration gaps of participants regardless of the country of origin and the sector. It is necessary to find adequate solutions for reimbursement of personnel costs so as not to demotivate large groups of researchers. It would be useful to specify minimum researchers’ hourly rate as an alternative to the present project-based remuneration system.
- Improving promotion of the FP calls and introduce simple ways for matching potential project partners.
- Improving the sharing of information among the community and networking of excellent research teams
- Decreasing administrative burden in the application process and project implementation phase.
- Creating opportunities for young researchers with modest experience in international cooperation.
Recommendations for National Level Policymakers
- Improving individual and institutional capacities in preparing project proposals.
o Majority of the respondents in the survey for researchers indicated that the most important reason for not participating in Horizon 2020 are limited resources in preparing the proposals and one of the most important obstacles to higher participation are insufficient internal skills and experience in writing project proposals.
o This means that there is a high demand for trainings for researchers interested in preparing high-quality project proposals. More precisely, explaining how the concrete research ideas/areas/results can be transformed into concrete projects and elaborated in a successful way. The trainings for researchers should be focused on project management skills, finding appropriate calls for projects, understanding submission proces, proposal templates, evaluation processes etc.
o It would be especially beneficial to involve researchers who were successful in framework programmes in these workshops and also national experts engaged as evaluators in framework programmes (if possible).
- Establishing a system that would enable that experience and knowledge of national project participants gained in framework programmes is disseminated and used for generating new ideas and proposals (per sectors and thematic areas).
- Enabling alignment of national strategies and topics of the framework programmes in order to avoid overlapping.
- Conducting capitalization activities between different projects and programmes.
- Establishing a fair, simple and flexible remuneration system on the national, institutional and individual levels.