Management Department

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Ernest Quingles, Management Department Director

The key mission of the Management Department is to optimise coordination of the activities of BSC-CNS and provide consolidated planning and management of support services in order to better meet future challenges. Other core objectives include reliable and timely financial reporting, human resources management, and building awareness of BSC-CNS, its mission, activities and its services. The department also assists other departments in identifying funding opportunities, applying and managing competitive projects, initiating and developing systems and processes to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of staff and the quality of work, and developing electronic management tools.




Overview

The Management Department, led by Ernest Quingles, aims to provide administrative and management services to all the other departments. It is responsible for the administration of finances, projects, human resources, communication and office management. Due to the continued growth of BSC-CNS and constantly changing needs resulting from the range of activities carried out by the centre, the Management Department maintains a somewhat flexible internal structure, with work teams being formed to tackle different issues.

Organisational Structure

The Management Department is structured in different units: Finance & Business Administration provides three key services: Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, and General Administration Support. The Project Management Unit is responsible for managing projects and technologies, identifying opportunities, initiating and managing project proposals funded by public scientific calls as well as by industry sponsored research contracts. The Communication Unit is responsible for all activities related to the corporate image such as communication (media), events management, public visits to the MareNostrum supercomputer, dissemination of activities and results to academia and industry, and promoting science to society.


Finance and Business Administration

The Business Administration area, led by Merce Calvet, manages the Human Resources, Administrative and Financial services of the Centre.


Finance & Accounting

The Finance & Accounting Group is responsible for the financial resources management of all activities at BSC-CNS (expenses, budgets, audits, bank relations, suppliers, receiving payments and control budget deviations). According to existing financial legislation and accounting norms, it manages and safeguards acquired patrimony with the support of the Administration group. The Group also prepares financial reports for project audits in coordination with the project office and principal researchers.

In 2014, due to the difficult economic environment and public funding delays, the role of controller was reinforced. The unit also worked on the automation of data analysis and exploitation processes, and also introduced the semiannual follow-up of key financial indicators. The SAP B1 Tool was upgraded for better reporting capabilities.


Information System & Services

The Business Administration area strengthened the information management service by creating a new Technical Support unit, in order to develop and improve the SAP management program and other new management software tools installed for the exploitation, control, and reporting of business activity.

Human Resources

The Human Resources Group is responsible for managing selection processes, hiring and training, job descriptions, labour relations and collective bargaining, compensation and benefits, development programmes, planning careers and internal promotions, and health & safety.

In 2014, the Group continued working on a professional development system for all BSC-CNS staff. The new web tool, which was implemented in 2013, helped manage the BSC-CNS Staff Professional Development Plan. The tool facilitated the annual staff evaluation, monitoring the Plan's development, and keeping it aligned with annual goals of the department as well as of the entire Centre.

This year the HR team hired a new Head of Human Resources and a Specialist in HR Development, allowing a restructuring of the Department into specialised areas to give better focus on the BSC-CNS vision that both researchers (at all levels) as well as support staff, are essential contributors and key players in the success of the Centre. BSC-CNS wants to promote a challenging work environment where equal opportunities, ethics & integrity, work-life balance, career prospects and the best work conditions are met.

During 2014, BSC-CNS committed to implement and apply the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, and to work towards an award of Excellence in Human Resources and management policies (HRS4R), with the aim of promoting transparency, accessibility, and equity in the recruitment and promotion of researchers. BSC-CNS set up a working group that helped to define an action plan to be presented in 2015 to European Commission covering these areas:

  • the creation of advisory committees,
  • boosting equal opportunities and gender policies,
  • strengthening activities in outreach and public engagement,
  • maintenance of our career development system.

BSC-CNS also became a member of Euraxess.

BSC-CNS continues to attract researchers from all over the world and currently 37% of its staff is from abroad (from a total of 40 countries). In 2014, 19 BSC-CNS postdoctoral researchers had external fellowships or contractual funding.

The BSC-CNS International PhD Programme continued to attract a lot of young talent from all over the world, supported by internal and external competitive funding and the “la Caixa” International PhD Fellowship Programme. The four candidates selected in the “la Caixa” call 2014 started their PhD thesis in September, after a highly competitive selection process involving significantly number of applicants (126 candidates from over 22 countries).


General Administration

The general Administration Group is responsible for activities such as organisation of official meetings, including those of the Access Committee, the Executive Commission, the Board of Trustees, and other institutional events. The group manages travel services, space allocation and new offices requirements, purchasing services, and execution of public tender processes as well as providing general administrative support, logistic and reception services, such as receiving visiting researchers, official representatives and invited speakers.

In 2014 the administrative support was restructured to increase efficiency and adapt to the growing needs of the Centre and requirements of new projects. New dedicated reception and secretarial services were established for most departments.

During the year, BSC-CNS invited 12 public calls in order to accept 4 supply tenders, 7 service tenders and 1 work tender. The total number of administration contracts signed during the year was 76. Work tenders were held for the continuation of the 2nd phase construction of the new BSC-CNS building.

Project Management

Project Management Office

The BSC-CNS Project Management Office (PMO) is staffed by eight experienced project managers, who work closely with the Centre’s Principal Investigators. PMO is responsible for detecting and communicating research funding opportunities; coordinating and contributing to project proposals; managing contract negotiations and managing legal, financial and administrative aspects of contracts and projects. This includes both publicly funded projects as well as collaborations with private industry. PMO also maintains a comprehensive database of project information which it uses to generate reports on the Centre’s performance in various areas.

PMO is responsible for tracking and anticipating developments in relevant funding programmes and helping the Centre adapt to changing requirements. 2014 was the first year of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding program and the Centre’s project managers played a key role in helping the researchers understand and fulfil the program’s requirements thus increasing BSC-CNS’s capacity to effectively leverage competitive funding.

In 2014, BSC-CNS participated in 111 projects (excluding personnel grants), with a total BSC grant of over thirty-nine million euros. Some 48 projects were funded by the extremely competitive FP7 and H2020 programs of the European Commission. Eight of these European projects were led by BSC-CNS, in which the Centre coordinated partners based throughout Europe and overseas. Four projects were funded by the European Space Agency, and 25 projects were funded by Spanish National or Catalan funds. A total of 32 research projects were funded by private companies, representing total financing of over 12 million euros.

In addition to managing active projects, the Project Management Office assists BSC-CNS researchers in submitting new project proposals for research projects and personnel grants to help ensure continued future funding of BSC-CNS activities.

Strategy Support
The Strategy Support Area of BSC-CNS works on coordinating activities linked to prioritising and road mapping future research (European Technology platform for High Performance Computing ETP4HPC), definition of the organisation and management of international research infrastructures (PRACE, EUDAT) and technology transfer (participation in the proposed Spanish node of the EIT ICT Labs) among others.


Communication Area

The BSC-CNS Communications team is in charge of increasing awareness of the centre and disseminating information about research activities both in the scientific and industrial communities, as well as society in general.


Visits

During the course of 2014, BSC-CNS received a total of 9.702 visitors from national and international groups, including schools, universities, research centres, industry and non-profit organisations. Visitors to the MareNostrum are given a tour of the supercomputer and a talk about the Centre, its technology and its research lines. Most visits are tailored depending on the target audience and often incorporate videos and a visit to the BSC-CNS collection of “antique” supercomputers.


BSC-CNS in the Media

BSC-CNS sent out 14 press releases in Spanish, Catalan and English, and identified 440 unique media impacts, all posted on the “BSC in the media” section of the BSC-CNS website. Efforts are made to promote and track BSC-CNS appearances in local, international, general, specialized, on and off line media.

Web and Social Media

In 2014 the Communication team made a major effort to strengthen BSC-CNS's web presence and social media networks. The website had more than 1,375,000 visits. 85 articles were published on the corporate website and 1,618 posts were made on Facebook (437) and Twitter (1,181, tweets and retweets included). The number of Facebook fans increased by more than 100% and the number of Twitter followers, by 100%. The Youtube Channel had almost 400 subscribers and more than 32,000 views in 2014.

Internal Communication

The BSC-CNS Newsletter was launched in 2014 and is published every four months. The team also coordinated the development of the BSC-CNS social plan, managed the BSC-CNS welcome guide in coordination with the HR department, and promoted the creation of an internal repository to share and disseminate information and documentation.The Communication team also:

- provides internally support to Education & Training actions - organises the annual meeting and the management retreat - is the responsible for the photo competition - disseminates internally information of interest for the BSC staff - collaborates with HR to prepare the Education Protocol

Events, Seminars and Workshops

In 2014, BSC-CNS hosted and organised the following events: • PRACEdays, 20-22 May • CSW & Block Review Barcelona, 12-26 May • Second European Earth System and Climate Modeling School 2nd E2SCMS, June 9-20 • PUMPS Summer School, July 7-11 • PARMERASA dissemination event, 22-23 September • PRACE Council meeting, October 16-17 • Transcardio14, 13-14 November


Participation in International Supercomputing Conferences

The Communications team prepared and supported the BSC-CNS presence at the exhibitions of the International Supercomputing Conference 2014 and SuperComputing14, and the exhibition of the SEG Annual Meeting, 26-31 October 2014.

Dissemination of European and National Projects

The Communications team also carried out BSC-CNS dissemination tasks for 42 European and National projects. PRACE, Mont-Blanc, EUDAT, Paradime and RethinkBig were the projects with most dissemination time assigned to BSC-CNS in 2014.

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