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Research Support Officers

Working Group

Chair: Matthias Röder

Dr Matthias Röder works as head of international funding at the Research Management Division of the University of Cologne. He was awarded a PhD in Physics by Ruhr-Universität Bochum for his work in particle physics at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH. After two years as a Post-Doc, he joined the administration of the Forschungszentrum and started to work in research management.

Vice-Chair: Adéla Jiroudková

Adéla Jiroudková serves as the Head of the Research Support Office at Charles University, bringing over a decade of specialized experience in research administration to her role. Her journey in this field began with a position as Project Manager, where she was responsible for both pre-award and post-award management. Adela now directs a wide array of research support activities, from project planning to funding. In addition to her primary responsibilities, she actively contributes to various institutional initiatives, such as the implementation of the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) and the Gender Equality Plan. On the national level, Adela serves as a Board Member for CZARMA, the Czech counterpart of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA).

Focus of Working Group

Research is an integral priority enshrined within the institutional strategies of each member of the Coimbra Group. Together with education and innovation, research is critical to addressing, not only national and European challenges, but global challenges also. CG provides a unique and valuable forum to its members to influence European research and innovation policy and to share and develop best practice in research support through the mutual exchange of ideas and experience. 

The increasing complexity of the research landscape, research policy, research programmes and funding, and in particular, the European Union’s Framework Programme underscores the rationale for greater and enhanced cooperation across research. This is underpinned by the individual experience of each member university in such programmes which collectively provides an important platform from which to share experiences, inform best practice, and shape policy.

The Research Support Offices of our universities are important enablers of research that provide supports for researchers and institutions in the development and delivery of their research objectives and strategies. The RSO WG brings together representatives from the Research Offices of each of the Member Universities. The membership of the Research Support Officers Group comprises over 60 members from across the network. Additionally, the institutions regularly choose to send experts to the topical meetings. The RSO WG aims to explore, develop and provide intelligence on common areas of interest while at the same time making provision for enhanced communication and an exchange of ideas/experience across the different levels of experience.

Through the core areas of activity, the Research Support Officers Group seeks to:

  1. Support the Executive Board to shape research policy in the development of position papers to European Research Policy and through increased interaction with similar networks and national stakeholders for joint advocacy purposes.
  2. Share best practice and experience in research management and support;
  3. Promote knowledge exchange through the exchange/hosting of research support staff;
  4. Synergise with other Coimbra Group Working Groups to add value and support the objectives of other Working Groups as they relate to Research and Innovation;

Priorities for 2023-2026

  • Research Advocacy: With a focus on the European landscape, understand shifts and changes in the research landscape to inform emerging shifts in policy and funding programmes and priorities.
  • Research Policy: With a focus on the European research landscape, understand the policy background to the funding programmes and examine policy foresight/megatrends to respond to changes in research policy and increase the awareness of researchers to these changes and evolving best practice.
  • Training for Research Support Officers: Continuous professional development – developing and enhancing the skills base around the professional support of research and research leadership – through exchanges, hosting arrangements and training events aligned to specific themes.
  • Sharing of Best Practice of Research Management and Research Support: Developing and enhancing knowledge and experience in supporting and managing research.

Recent highlights

  • The RSO WG has been in continuous contact with the Executive Board to inform upcoming changes in Research Assessment Reform, ensuring the needs of researchers and universities are at the forefront of developments. Recently, the Coimbra Group engaged in the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (COARA) Working Groups on multilingualism and SSAH disciplines and will contribute to these WGs with the RSO WG support.
  • In the beginning of 2023, the RSO WG did extensive work on Coimbra Group’s Position Paper on the Midterm Review of the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. To prepare the paper, all member universities were consulted in a survey, and we collaborated closely with the Equality & Diversity and SSH WGs to include their opinions.
  • The position paper was well received by the media and the European Commission. During our online meeting in April 2023, we discussed the response of ERC President Maria Leptin with Angela Liberatore, ERCEA Head of the Scientific Management Department.

Ongoing / Forthcoming activities


  • Transition to Horizon Europe and related developments (CG Annual Conference).
  • Update on MSCA and ERC + pillar II (CG Annual Conference).
  • Share best practice on evolving Open Science (Q3 2023, TBC).
  • Share best practice on dealing with the Brexit in research support.
  • Discuss the influence of Artificial Intelligence to RSO work.


  • Discuss Impact of University Alliances on co-operation.
  • Share best practice and experience related to:
    • Integration of RSOs into the project-lifecycle;
    • Support for incoming researchers;
    • Internal Peer Review;
    • Research Integrity and Research Ethics.


  • Share best practice on Gender and research.
  • Assess Social Impact of the Framework Programme, including specific points of view of SSH.
  • Discuss first WP for FP10 in 2026.

Contact person at the CG Office: Catarina Moleiro (moleiro@coimbra-group.eu)