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Research Coordination/International Affairs

Jürgen Thelen
Nicole Giard

The unit Research Coordination/International Affairs is directly assigned to the president of the Robert Koch Institute. Primarily, the unit supports the management of the institute by taking care of a number of tasks related to research, be it inquiries from the Federal Ministry of Health or other institutions or the implementation of quality control of the scientific work.

Research Coordination organises symposia, expert meetings and other scientific events or support s other members of the RKI in this area and manages the institute’s budget for these events. The organisation of the regular internal seminar for instance is one of the duties of the unit. The unit also serves as the scientific secretariat for the external Scientific Advisory Committee and the internal Research Board. The formulation of the research agenda is a major task attributed to Research Board, assisted by Research Coordination. Applications for internal funding of new research projects can be submitted by RKI’s scientific groups to the Research Coordination which will then organize the review and approval process. After successful evaluation by the internal Research Board, Research Coordination administers the grants and supervises the projects. The yearly granting of positions for PhD students is also conducted by the unit.

Regular evaluations of the scientific departments, the project groups and the junior research groups are organized by Research Coordination in order to maintain high scientific quality standards. Pivotal to these evaluations is a strong engagement of all members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, additionally supported by external experts. The support of the scientific working groups in the acquisition of external funding is another important task of the unit. This includes detailed advice on the application conditions, arranging the legal review of contracts, as well as examining and approving the budgets of the research projects. Close cooperation within a cross-functional support team for the acquisition of third-party funds facilitates the application process. The support team is composed by the unit Legal and Fundamental Affairs, the Budget and Procurement unit and the unit Research Coordination. After approval all international third-funded projects are financially administered and logistically supported by the unit. This comprises particularly the supervision of the financial resources of the research projects, the preparation of financial reports and the conduct of internal and external audits. Besides the above-mentioned activities the unit is the contact point for international collaborations and serves as an interface between institutions abroad and the internal scientific coordinators.

Date: 05.07.2021