The Director General for Science and Research presents updates to the research management programme

The Director General for Science and Research Rafael Sebastián presents the new advances in the R+D+I Programme of the Valencian Government.

On Friday, 31 May, Rafael Sebastián Aguilar , Director General for Science and Research of the Department of Education, Universities and Employment, presented the advances of the R+D+I Programme of Valencian Government at the UV’s Darwin Hall.

Sebastián is a Full Professor of Architecture and Computer Technology at the Universitat de Valčncia, and wanted to highlight the improvements within his department, although there are still some important issues to be addressed.

Vice-Principal for Research Carlos Hermenegildo Caudevilla thanked Sebastián for personally presenting the programme at the UV. He also expressed the university’s commitment to promoting research and to offering the best institutional collaboration in order to facilitate researcher participation in the Valencian Government’s call for proposals.

Rafael Sebastián reviewed the progress made in the different calls to facilitate the researchers’ work. For example, he stressed the fact that the project execution’s period does not start until the calls are published, or that the projects’ budget is biannual instead of annual, in order to better facilitate expenditure. One of the most important measures is a 5% increase in projects led by women, which has led to a higher number of female principal investigators, according to Sebastián. He also explained that it is no longer necessary to attach long PDFs to the project justification, but rather an online form that the researchers can progressively complete during the course their projects.

Rafael Sebastián’s speech was followed by a Q&A session, in which attendees raised specific doubts about the different calls for proposals for the recruitment of researchers or the certification of merit, among other topics. The Director General attempted to answer every enquiry, but he also admitted that there are improvements yet to be made, requiring more time to take effect. For example, he stated that a research database is necessary, where all the research activity from the Valencian Community can be recorded. This would be useful for researchers so that they do not need to present their merits every time they apply for a call, since all their information will already be in the database.

Among the unanswered questions was the need for calls to cover researchers’ travel expenses, since they all’have to adapt to the outdated limits set by government regulations. Sebastián explained that he also suffers from these travel restrictions and that he has already raised the problem with the Valencian Government, which has confirmed that these limits cannot be exceeded. Still, he has promised to continue to search for an alternative solution to ensure that researchers can easily travel when their project requires it.
The presentation’s attendees were mostly researchers from different departments and groups and institutes at the Universitat de Valčncia, and even though they had some doubts and suggestions for improvement, they were satisfied with the progress made and eagerly await further development. The technical staff of the management team also attended, with special mention to the technical staff of the Research Management Service , who raised many interesting questions and clarifications, led by the Department Head, María José Tudela.

After the event, many of the attendees had additional questions to Rafael Sebastián, and many of his acquaintances came to greet him. For any enquiries that had gone unanswered, Sebastián provided the email address of the general directorate, , and encouraged the attendees to ask anything.