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John Westensee

Director of Research Support and External Relations at Aarhus University in Denmark and immediate past president of SRA International.

Talk title: Combining strategy and operations for increased success in Horizon 2020

Abstract: There is a fierce competition to win grants from Horizon 2020. In order to increase the chances for success, institutions need to coordinate its strategic and operational activities in order to improve its competitiveness. The institution must find the right combination between incentives, support and researcher recruitment to do so. A practical example on how this can be done will be presented by Aarhus University in Denmark.

Bio: John Westensee was in charge of setting up the Research Support Office at Aarhus University in 2002. His unit of 100 staff is responsible for research funding, research strategy, talent development/recruitment, events and communication and industry cooperation and technology transfer.

He is the founder and first president of the Danish Association for Research Managers and Administrators. He is very active on the international scene (Europe, UK and especially the US). At present, he is heavily involved in the shaping of the next European Union framework programme for research and innovation (FP9). Trends in the joint research and innovation agenda will have a big influence on which role research administration will play in the future. Other factors like digitalization and use of office robotics will also change our profession profoundly.

He has 26 years of experience with all facets of research administration both at the operational, management, strategy and leadership level.