Horizon Europe Project


A significant cross-European, EU-backed, project aimed at empowering, training and enhancing the role of Research Managers was launched in University College Cork by Minister for Foreign Affairs & Minister for Defence Mr Simon Coveney TD.


CARDEA - Career Acknowledgement for Research (Managers) Delivering for the European Area - has received €1.49m in European Commission funding towards developing the ‘unsung heroes’ of research - the Research Manager.   Research Managers open Research Doors


The project is a joint initiative between universities from Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and UCC where Mary O’Regan, UCC HR Business Manager Research and Dr Joanne Ui Chrualaoich are co-Principal investigators.

The project partners are, in addition to UCC as coordinators are:  University of Pula (Croatia), the University of Liege (Belgium), CERTH (Greece), the University of Macerata (Italy), the Polish Institute of Nuclear Physics Henryk Niewodniczański of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (Romania) and CERCA Catalonia (Spain).


Research managers and research support staff make a valuable yet undervalued contribution to Europe’s research excellence, unfortunately, there is a fundamental lack of understanding of European Research Manager profiles, including role characteristics, demographics and career pathways. The profession is almost invisible from a policy, career development and career trajectory perspective compared to a Principal Investigator. 

Additionally, there is little consistency across Europe in salary scales, contracts, skills, competencies, and training opportunities for Research Managers. Finally, Research Manager positions are often tied to individual grants leaving Research Managers often on precarious contracts throughout their careers. Despite this, Research Managers play a key role in administering research activities and valorising a range of hidden research outputs.

Research Manager is a relatively young career profile, but their importance is likely to increase in the next 20-30 years as we tackle more complex problems than ever. These problems require a depth of technical specificity provided by researchers and breadth of visibility, application, and exploitation of results.

 Research managers are ideally placed to develop such range but require structural supports to achieve this. The EU is ideally placed to take a leading role in this development as 22.2% of the world’s best researchers are residents in Europe.

 We believe the European Commission funding, through the Horizon Europe programme, marks the single largest investment in a research project that supports Human Resources Research initiatives in Ireland.


The CARDEA project aims to:


  • Improve knowledge for policy-making about the training and networking patterns of research support staff and research management
  • Increase awareness amongst research management staff about existing training, networking and mobility opportunities at EU, national, and regional levels
  • Grow the capacity and compatibility of cooperation and funding systems throughout the European Research Area for research management, and support to scientists.
  • Improve awareness of the EU policy drivers and the EU research peculiarity in the Higher Education Institutions and Research organisations
  • Establish central hubs to provide the EU research system with the most appropriate “fit for purpose” skills in EU research management, with active involvement of entities located in widening countries
  • Provide recommendations aiming at facilitating a clear career path for research managers at national and EU levels, enhancing their role towards the achievement of the new Euopean Research Area objectives.


If you would like to be kept informed about the progress of CARDEA and contribute to the programme, please email us at to register your interest. 


Kick-off Meeting June 3rd 2022

The inaugural CARDEA meeting took place in UCC’s Council Room, where UCC President John O’Halloran opened proceedings followed by a keynote address from Minister for Foreign Affairs & Minister for Defence Mr Simon Coveney TD.   The meeting was attended by project partners, European Commission Policy officials and other distinguished guests.  The gathering heard from academics, administrative staff, and policy officials over the course of the day, and there were afternoon breakout sessions discussing a number of topics followed by a plenary session which concluded the meeting. 










Department of Human Resources - HR Research

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC