Round-up of 13th UNICA EU Research Liaison Officers meeting

The 13th UNICA EU Research Liaison Officers meeting was hosted by the University of Belgrade on 22 & 23 October 2018.  

The meeting gathered 45 Heads of Research, (Senior) EU Research Liaison officers and EU Project Managers from 17 European Capital Universities.

The participants were addressed by high level speakers : Prof. Ivanka Popović (Rector of the University of Belgrade), Prof. Bojan TubiIć (Deputy Minister of Education, Research and Scientific Technology), Renzo Tomellini (DG Research Head of Unit, Horizon 2020) and Matteo Razzanello (European Research Council Executive Agency).


Views were exchanged and good practices shared on EU Research subjects like inter alia  ERC grants, Horizon Europe, risk management including the Brexit and structure of grant offices to support research community.

The EU Research Liaison Officers underlined the following:

  • To develop innovative & groundbreaking research at universitiesthe support of academic leadership is important;
  • Transparent and balanced mechanisms are crucial for all universities in the European Research Area (ERA);
  • The importance of an ERA where all institutions and researchers have equal access to mobility schemes and funding;
  • Concrete actions are needed for a more gender balanced research and university management.


Next to that, the EU Research Liaison Officers agreed strongly that the simplification of EU research projects have to be maintained and to be further developed. They also stressed that if the EU wants to achieve more qualitative research and attract good researchers, the EU research budget needs to increase and an attractive research environment in Europe needs to be further developed.


According to the UNICA Survey, the EU Research Liaison Officers mainly participated to the meeting to learn from the practices of other EU universities, to be updated on the latest policy developments in EU research programmes and to network with other EU Research Officers. The meeting also proved to be very useful : 92% of the respondents (#14) will use what they have learnt at the meeting in their daily work and at their university.

The respondents to the UNICA Survey also proposed topics for the next EU Research Liaison officers meetings like management and reporting in Horizon Europe, digital impact on academic integrity, research administration and research ethics, professionalism of the EURLO, and risk management in centralized vs decentralized universities.


The 14th UNICA EURLO will take place in October/November 2019.

Do you want to host a next meeting? Please contact the UNICA office.