How DiSSCo Prepare is organised

Project Governance

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, plus a Management Support Team.


Project Council

The Project Council is the ultimate decision-making body for DiSSCo Prepare. It consists 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.

Chaired by the Project Coordinator, the Council’s work is facilitated by DiSSCo Prepare’s Project Manager and the two Stream Coordinators -Business Stream and Science & Technology Stream- who participate in the Council without voting rights. Stream coordinators represent the interests of thematically related work packages and ensure efficient coordination across project domains.

Executive Board

The Executive Board (EB) ensures the smooth day-to-day implementation and final outputs of the project. It monitors progress and assesses how the project complies with the grant agreement, proposing modifications to the Project Council for consideration when necessary. The Executive 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.

Project Coordinator

The Project Coordinator administers all funding activities related to the project and represents the consortium vis-a-vis the funding authority. Apart from performing the tasks prescribed by both the grant and consortium agreements, the Coordinator is responsible to ensure that participants meet all their agreed-to obligations, and serves as the waypoint for the transmission and validation of deliverables and documents.

Management Support Team

The Management Support Team assists and facilitates the work of the Executive Board and the Coordinator in executing Project Council decisions, as well as in the day-to-day project management.

Advisory Boards

DiSSCo Prepare benefits from the advice of four advisory boards and its own strategic alignment group. The Project Coordinator participates in all of them and chairs or facilitates communication between groups.

Stakeholders Forum

DiSCCo Prepare’s Stakeholders Forum (SF) will be convened as the forum for discussion and interaction among all related stakeholders, including research infrastructures. The SF will provide critical feedback to the overall decision-making process of the project across DiSSCo RI’s five dimensions of readiness: technical, scientific, data, organisational and financial.

The SF will convene at least twice a year to discuss relevant milestones and provide guidance on ongoing and future tasks. It is chaired by the Project Coordinator, who participates ex officio. The Project Coordinator also acts as an intermediary for the communication between the SF and the Project Council.

Funders Forum

The Funders Forum (FF) plays a crucial role in the overall governance of DiSSCo RI, contributing to provide DiSSCo with the right level of engagement of national funders and aligning the infrastructure to national and international priorities.

FF also plays a key advisory role for DiSSCo Prepare. Recommendations and reports from the FF are presented for action to the DiSSCo Prepare Project Council and both bodies convene twice per year in a joint meeting. The communication between the FF and the Council is facilitated by the Project Coordinator who acts as an intermediary guaranteeing constructive dialogue and reporting.

The FF directly elects the FF chair.

Scientific and Technical Advisory Boards

DiSSCo Prepare relies on two independent advisory boards for essential external advice and guidance: the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the Technical Advisory Board (TAB). The two boards consist of a group of international experts that inform, assess and propose action to the Executive Board. They play a key role in identifying specific new challenges, important issues to consider, or tabling risks to mitigate.

They ensure that their respective realms – scientific coverage and technical operation- are aligned and developed coherently. The SAB and the TAB boards meet as independent bodies periodically and report directly to the Executive Board. They will become permanent advisory boards embedded in the DiSSCo RI governance model.

Strategic Alignment of Projects

The Strategic Alignment of Projects (SAP) includes the coordinators of the different DiSSCo-linked projects and the DiSSCo Coordinator. It ensures that all DiSSCo-linked projects are synchronised and supports the coordination of work-package and task-level activities across the DiSSCo-linked projects.