Managing International Programmes: Challenges for COFUND 


Alan Craig, is currently Head of Sector for Marie Skłodowska Curie cofunding in the Research Executive Agency.  Before coming to the Commission as a Seconded National Expert, some eight years ago, he spent 25 years as a mathematics professor in the UK during which time he has been both a successful and unsuccessful applicant to the EC for funding. He has lived and worked in many countries, both inside and outside the Union.  Alan is the author and editor of numerous research papers and several books. Under the Third Framework Programme he was a recipient of a fellowship under the EC Human Capital and Mobility programme, the precursor to the Marie Curie Individual fellowships.


Dr. Jennifer Brennan is the National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and is based at the Irish Universities Association. As NCP, Jennifer is responsible for promoting the Actions to researchers and research-active organisations, and advising applicants. In her other role as National Delegate to the MSCA Programme Committee she contributes to policy initiatives related to the Actions. She has a background in research and has worked in academia in the UK, USA and Ireland. Prior to joining the IUA, Jennifer held the post of Scientific Officer at the Irish Research Council, where she co-ordinated two successful proposals submitted to the FP7 Marie Curie Actions COFUND Calls in 2007 and 2011, each with a value of approximately €5m, the largest amounts leveraged by Ireland from FP7. She has a strong interest in researcher careers development and gender equality, and was instrumental in opening the Athena SWAN gender equality initiative to the Irish Higher Education system.


Prof. Maria Belvisi, ERS Research Director, has been appointed to oversee research activities during the period September 2013-September 2016, notably ERS Fellowships. She is an internationally recognized expert in the respiratory field with vast experience in academia and industry as well as extensive publication record. She is currently head of the Respiratory Pharmacology group at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK. For further information, please also visit:


Dr. Juliane Sauer has been one of the Swiss National Contact Points for the Marie (Sklodowska-)Curie Actions since 2008. She is also the coordinator of the 1.5 M€ NCP Project ‘Net4Mobility’. As Switzerland currently hosts a large number of COFUND projects she gained vast experience with the challenges and topics the (Swiss) coordinators of Cofund projects face. Dr. Sauer has a background in communication science and used to work as journalist.


Barbara Zimmermann is a trained archaeologist and spent 7 years doing research in the field of late antique archaeology and ancient art history in Rome and Vienna. 2003 she joined the secretariat of the Austrian Science Fund as scientific administrator. From 2004 she has been head of the Mobility and Women’s Programmes department and program manager. Since 2008 she is project coordinator of four Cofund-grants.