How is the project organised
Implementation of DiSSCo Prepare is governed by a working consortium of 30 natural history museums, universities, botanic gardens and related institutions, and each is party to the consortium agreement. The consortium parties are organized in a tripartite governance structure consisting of a Project Council, an Executive Board and a Coordinator.
The Project Council is the ultimate decision-making body for DiSSCo Prepare, consisting of one representative from each participating institution, and meets annually. The council acts on its own initiative to formulate and consider proposals and make decisions regarding content, finances and intellectual property rights. The Project Council is chaired by the Project Coordinator and its work is facilitated by DiSSCo Prepare’s project manager and stream coordinators who participate without voting rights. Stream coordinators represent the interests of thematically related work packages (WPs) and ensure efficient coordination between streams.
The Executive Board (EB) ensures the smooth day-to-day implementation and final outputs of the project in accordance with the grant agreement and Project Council and General Assembly decisions. It monitors progress and assesses project compliance with the consortium plan and proposes necessary modifications to the Project Council for consideration. The board consists of the project coordinator, project manager, stream coordinators and work package leaders. Meetings are chaired by the project coordinator or delegated stream coordinator.
In addition to its role as a consortium member, the Coordinator is the intermediary between the participating institutions and the funding authority (Horizon 2020) and administers all project related funding activities. The Coordinator performs all assigned tasks prescribed by both the grant and consortium agreements and in particular, is responsible to ensure participants meet agreed-to obligations, and serves as the waypoint for the transmission and validation of deliverables and documents.
Management Support Team
The Management Support Team (proposed by the Coordinator) assists and facilitates the work of the EB and the Coordinator in executing Project Council decisions, as well as in day-to-day project management.
The Stakeholders Forum (SF) will be convened as the forum for discussion and interaction among all related stakeholders, including RIs. The SF will provide critical feedback to the overall decision-making process of the Project across the five dimensions of implementation readiness of the infrastructure.
The SF will convene at least twice a year to discuss relevant milestones and provide guidance on ongoing and future tasks as needed. The SF is chaired by the Project Coordinator, who participates ex officio.
The communication between SF and the Project Council is facilitated by the Project Coordinator who acts as intermediate guaranteeing proper communication and reporting.
The Funders Forum (FF) constitutes a key advisory body in the overall government of DiSSCo, contributing to ensure the right level of engagement of national funders and enabling DiSSCo to adjust driven by national and international priorities. Recommendations and reports from the FF are presented for action to the DiSSCo Prepare Project Council and DiSSCo governance bodies.
The communication between FF and the Project Council is facilitated by the Project Coordinator who acts as intermediate guaranteeing proper communication and reporting.
The FF convenes twice per year jointly with the Council meeting. The FF directly elects the FF chair.
Scientific and Technical Advisory Boards
DiSSCo Prepare will count on two key advisory boards for essential external advice and guidance from the scientific (Scientific Advisory Board-SAB) and infrastructure (Technical Advisory Board-TAB) perspectives. The advisory boards act as consultants to inform, assess and propose action to the Executive Board and consist of international experts in their fields who play a key role in highlighting issues to consider, tabling risks to mitigate, or identifying specific new challenges to address. They ensure that both areas – technological infrastructure and scientific coverage – are aligned and developed coherently. The advisory boards meet as independent bodies periodically and report directly to the EB. The DiSSCo Prepare Scientific and Technical Advisory Boards will become permanent advisory boards embedded in the DiSSCo governance model.
Strategic Alignment of Projects
The Strategic Alignment of Projects (SAP) consists of the coordinators of DiSSCo-linked projects and the DiSSCo Coordinator and provides the mechanism through which the DiSSCo-linked projects are kept synchronised. The SAP convenes regularly to support coordination of work package and task level activities across the DiSSCo-linked projects.
DiSSCo Prepare benefits from the advice of four advisory boards and its own strategic alignment group. The project coordinator is a participant in all the fora and chairs or facilitates communication between groups.