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Project groups: Design of European Research



In this course you will have to apply your knowledge and skills from the Big Issues New Answers course by writing and defending a full research proposal, formulated according to the guidelines of the 7th Framework Program of the European Union (EU/FP7). Many of the topics in EU/FP7 relate to the interdisciplinary problems surrounding sustainability. Applications for an EU/FP7 project follow a specific process, with its own terminology. It involves finding partners from other countries, presenting an extensive state-of-the-art report and submitting a detailed schedule (GANTT). You will learn about this in a project group, by imitating the submission procedure as closely as possible, including a presentation and writing a rebuttal to the evaluation of your proposal. A visit to the European Parliament in Brussels will be part of the programme.

Course objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:
1. work in an interdisciplinary team to address a complex sustainability problem;
2. understand the EU/FP7 procedure and use this understanding to write your own project proposal;
3. use the vocabulary of project management, including terms like deliverables, milestones, GANTT chart, impacts, etc., and design and implement a schedule;
4. write and present a realistic project proposal, including finding partners in other countries;
5. defend your project proposal in a rebuttal to the evaluation by a committee.

Teaching methods and exams

After a few introductory lectures to introduce you to EU-level project management, you will join a tutorial group with the assignment to write a project proposal. The draft version will be evaluated by CML tutors (acting as the EU’s evaluation committee) as well as by your fellow students. You will be asked to write a rebuttal in response to this evaluation and to present your final proposal. The final mark for this course will be the average of the marks awarded to the project proposal and rebuttal, rounded off on the basis of the final presentation and your active contributions to the group.