The management of the TROPIMUNDO program will be handled by a multi-level and shared responsibility organisation: a Coordination Office (COFF), which is the main execution structure, and a Steering Board (STEB), a Selection Committee (SEL), an Internal Evaluation Committee (IntEC), and an External Evaluation Committee (ExtEC), which are the main decision bodies.
These execution and decision committees are visualised in the following figure:
The duties and rights of the full and associate partners and the mandates and composition of the different committees are explained below:
Coordination Office (COFF) It is headed by the Coordinating HEI (ULB), and includes the Local Coordinators, assisted by the Local Administrative Managers. The Local Coordinator is the main responsible at each HEIs, but s/he can delegate tasks to the Local Administrative Manager. They will provide administrative support to each of the above WPs. The COFF is responsible for managing and running the program professionally with appropriate human resources.
In particular, the COFF will be responsible for the following: - Coordination and daily running of the program; - Development of a public website and an e-application tool, as well as common documentation; - Creation of a collaborative communication platform for the partnership;
- Revising the Consortium Agreement that defines duties and rights of all the consortium stakeholders; - Coordination of the selection campaign and the SEL meeting, i.e. coordinate the call, provide assistance for the applicants, collect the applications and coordinate the screening and selection of the applicants; - Implementing the Student Agreement for the selected candidates; - Implementing the student flow, in collaboration with each HEI; - Locally preparing for incoming students (including assistance for visa/residence permits, housing, etc.); - Financial management and budget follow-up; - Preparation of progress and final reports; - Coordination of external communications and public relations (publicity of the call, visibility of the partnership, etc.); - Preparation and coordination of the meetings of the STEB, the IntEC and the ExtEC.
Steering Board (STEB) This is the key decision-making body of the consortium, which gathers the advices and recommendations of all the other committees. It is composed of all professors and researchers involved in the program, and it forms the General Assembly of all partners. It is headed by the coordinator, ULB, and involves one or two staff members per full participating HEI. In addition, associate partners and a student representative will be invited to this committee as an external advisory body. It is responsible for defining the overall strategy and policies of the program, the curriculum set-up and running, and its scientific quality.
The role of the STEB is to: - Define and discuss the strategy of the consortium; - Define and discuss the TROPIMUNDO curriculum, its set-up and follow up, and its quality evaluation; - Define and discuss the promotion policy and related needs (including the website and any other means); - Discuss and approve program agenda and its progress; - Discuss and approve the pedagogical and scientific contents of the program ; - Discuss and approve the financial budget and its follow-up; - Define and discuss COFF actions in respect with its here-above responsibilities; - Appoint one member per HEI for the Selection Committee; - Propose corrective actions when necessary; - Investigate and discuss the evolution of the curriculum and its sustainability, especially regarding the research aspects and possible follow-up toward a doctoral program.
STEB members will also be responsible for locally implementing the program with their local structures, taking decisions linked to local procedures as needed. In particular, they will be responsible for: - Participating in the local awareness and promotion of the program ; - Participating in the preparation and publication of the call for candidates; - Following up the selection campaign and providing assistance when needed; - Giving feedback to the STEB and the COFF throughout the action; - In general, cooperating in a trustworthy manner with the other partners and remaining in close contact with the COFF and partners through the collaborative platform, emails, phone, post, etc.
The STEB will meet at least once a year and possibly more upon member request, especially for quality follow-up and corrective actions. In an equity and democratic perspective, decisions will be taken as much as possible by a consensus of the whole STEB.
Selection Committee (SEL) The SEL is composed of one member per full participating HEI, but can consult with associated partners. To ensure equal commitment of the partners and transparency, it is headed by a turning head, with first year ULB, second year UPMC, third year VUB, fourth year MNHN, and at last UNIFI. The SEL will be responsible for each edition of the screening and ranking of all the applicants. It will propose a list of eligible students (including the reserve list) for an EMMC scholarship, and will pass the list on to the Coordinator (via the STEB) for notification to the European Commission. It will meet once a year in Brussels for the selection process.
Internal Evaluation Committee (IntEC) The IntEC is made up of 2 student representatives (one from each year of the master), one representative of each EU HEI (as follows: one EU representative of the COFF, one EU representative of the STEB, one EU representative of the SEL), one representative of each of the third country HEIs, and one associate partner. Each group/committee elects its representative(s), except the associated partner, which are appointed by the STEB. The IntEC is responsible for a continuous assessment of all processes in the program, including academic evaluation, resources, services, etc. The committee meets once a year, e.g. before or after the SEL meeting, to submit its report to the STEB.
External Evaluation Committee (ExtEC) The ExtEC is made up of three external actors (including one TROPIMUNDO alumnus) to ensure independence in the evaluation. Mainly chosen for their expertise and their national representation in the academic sector, research, or natural resource management, they will evaluate the quality of the program, promote good practices and propose evolution if needed. In particular, it is forecasted also to ask other EMMC program coordinators to take part in the ExtEC. To ensure equal commitment of the partners and transparency, the ExtEC will be appointed by a turning head, with first year UNIFI, second year MNHN, third year VUB, fourth year UPMC, and at last ULB. A publically accessible evaluation report will be published each year. The committee shall meet once per edition of the program, e.g. before or after the SEL meeting, to submit its report to the IntEC. A specific amount of money has been put into the budget for paying the work realised by external evaluators.