Secretariat

Management

DR. VIKTÓRIA ESZTER ZALÁNYI

Secretary-General

She graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in 2011. She has gained extensive professional experience in central administration, where she worked as a lawyer in various fields and positions for nearly ten years. She has a good command of English.


MRS. ISTVÁN ANDRÁS HEGEDÜS

Deputy Secretary-General

She graduated from the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Arts in 1999, majoring in history and sociology. In the nearly 20 years prior to her appointment, she gained extensive professional and administrative knowledge in public administration and finance. Since February 1, 2020 she has worked as the Head of the President’s Secretariat. She has a specialist examination in public administration and good English language skills.


Dóra Kerkai

Head of Department

Department of Financial Management and Operations


Dr. Beáta Nyitrai-Povolnik

Head of Department

Department of Legal Affairs and Administration


Dr. Antal Nikodémus

Head of Department

Department of Network Development and International Relations


Csilla Hegyi

Head of Department

Department of Innovation


Krisztián Hegyi

Head of Department

Internal Audit Department


Éva Hencz

Head of Department

Department of Communications

ELKH’s organizational structure, its managing and decision-making bodies

  • Pursuant to Article 42/C (3)3 of the RDI Act, the main decision-making body of ELKH is the Governing Body. It is responsible for managing the network, for distributing funds in a well-founded and predictable manner, and for the determination and regular revision of research directions. The primary leader of ELKH is also President of the Governing Body.
  • The Presidency, responsible for the preparation of decisions and consultation, is made up of the President and Vice Presidents of the Governing Body.
  • The Operative Committee is a consultative body, the members of which are elected by the leaders of the research sites. It supports the strategic and management tasks of the ELKH Secretariat.
  • The ELKH Secretariat examines the proposals presented to the Governing Body for decision. The Secretariat ensures that the proposals are well-founded and elaborate. As the maintainer of the research sites, it is responsible for fulfilling the strategic aims and for checking whether legal provisions are observed.

The Scientific Council and the International Advisory Board consisting of internationally recognized researchers, are bodies to assist the work of the Governing Body and to express their opinion on strategically important issues.

Department of Network Development & International Relations

The responsibilities of the Department of Network Development & International Relations are assigned to two divisions: the Network Development Division and the International Relations Division. Both employ senior experts with extensive long-term experience in the management of scientific research, who are responsible for key projects.

Network Development Division

Responsibilities of the Network Development Division: to perform tasks related to the measurement of the scientific and organizational performance of the ELKH research network, as well as to develop the evaluation methodology and tools for its research sites. The Division makes proposals on the development of career and research models, as well as on the allocation of young researcher positions and various tasks related to researchers employed in particular positions. In addition, it prepares an annual report for the Government and a biennial report for Parliament on the scientific work carried out in the research network. It participates in the development of research infrastructure and the methodology for the development of tools, the preparation of reports on research activities, in providing an opinion on proposals, as well as on the organizational and operational rules of research centers and independent research institutes. The Division also assists the work of research network leaders by preparing decisions. It also provides operational and secretarial services for the Scientific Council and the International Advisory Board.

Other responsibilities of the Network Development Division: setting up advisory bodies and working groups, and supporting their work. These bodies act as an intermediary institutional base between the research network and the Governing Body, ensuring that excellent bodies and individuals are in the position to make proposals. These bodies are familiar with the network of institutions and guarantee quality and are therefore able to provide expert supervision of our key projects, offering appropriate quality assurance to assist the Governing Body in evaluations with a view to excellence. Key strategic initiatives include the “Cloud” and the “ELKH Training Center” projects.

Data repository

ELKH’s strategic IT plans include ensuring that researchers can place data on research findings in a data repository that satisfies all needs in accordance with publication requirements. In order to achieve this goal, we work with experts with an international network in the field, with the help of whom a suitable group of applicants can be created.

Network cloud

Our Department has incorporated the previously established IT cloud infrastructure with the help of a working group set up for this purpose. Its experts have laid down a development plan that builds on the infrastructure that has been in full use for years, but which now requires investment to keep research work steady or extend beyond current levels.

Assessment

The aim of the project is to encourage excellence, reward outstanding performance and implement performance-based resource allocation. Our ultimate goal is to create a research network that, at least in our region (V4 countries), results in outstanding scientific output, keeping innovation in mind in addition to exploratory research.

Developing a research career model 

The development of a predictable, transparent research career model plays a key role among ELKH’s network management tasks. Our goal is to make the academic career attractive to PhD students and those at the beginnings of their academic careers. We are striving to create a model that reduces the rate of career changes and migration in the long run, and attracts Hungarian researchers working abroad to allow them to continue their research careers at home. We are working on developing a long-term research career model supported by guarantees that make expectations clear to everyone, from PhD students to research team leaders, and in which evaluations linked to specific career milestones are carried out by independent, professional bodies of scholars.

International Relations Division

Responsibilities of the International Relations Division: to support the work of the representatives of the ELKH research network at international forums and bodies, to cooperate and liaise with intergovernmental scientific organizations and international scientific and partner organizations. It is also responsible for coordinating the scientific diplomacy activities of ELKH, performing tasks related to the entry and residence of foreign guests visiting the research network, and the business travel of senior members of the ELKH research network. In addition, the Division is responsible for certifying that a particular research activity is covered by an international agreement to which Hungary is a signatory and authorizes the entry, residence and employment of researchers who are third-country nationals. It also provides secretarial services to the International Advisory Board.

In addition to the key project-level tasks, the Department of International Relations also has wide-ranging and horizontal, general-purpose European Union related duties for the operation of ELKH, which can be divided into additional, multilateral and bilateral segments and specialties. The Department has developed an action plan for our activities in the European Union, through which we can build strong relations with the key institutions of the European Union. We have started building relationships with the largest global scientific organizations, such as the International Science Council (ISC), Science Europe, EuroScience and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CRNS). We are seeking to adopt new techniques and knowledge through our existing relationships (e.g. with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft FhG). Our targeted bilateral initiatives, which may lead to the establishment of consortia, are also very important. In addition, ELKH has already earned a place on several joint economic committees.

Key projects of the Department of Network Development & International Relations

In 2020, the staff of the Department of Network Development & International Relations (HNF) is working with research sites and external experts involved in projects to design and implement a number of comprehensive major projects, the results of which can be gradually introduced into the Network from 2021.

We are also involved in the preparation of professional materials and the coordination of project-related tasks required for the operation of a networked IT system within the research network, the establishment of a digital research center, and the development of a performance-based funding model and methodology based on scientific excellence. One of our key projects is the launch of the ELKH Training Center, which is designed to support the professional work of researchers. In the area of infrastructure development, the objective is to increase the utilization of large infrastructures and to facilitate connection to new research facilities. We are also planning to create international centers of excellence and talent, recruitment spaces and workshops that will support the internationalization of ELKH and researcher mobility.

Department of Innovation

As one of the outstanding actors in the Hungarian research, development and innovation community, the Eötvös Loránd Research Network provides cutting-edge and internationally competitive research performance in Hungary based on the output and citation index of publications. The main profile of the research sites that make up the network is basic research activity, in addition to which, however, a number of research findings are generated and transferred, which can lead to the creation of pieces of intellectual work that can be used directly in the economy and society.

In order to increase the competitiveness of research sites, the Eötvös Loránd Research Network is working on the creation of a sophisticated internal Innovation System designed to maximize the intellectual property portfolio, the public research services and the research infrastructure in the research network, as well as leverage the use of external research funding opportunities.

The main elements of this network-level Innovation System are as follows:

  • the ELKH advisory network to support research utilization and external fundraising,
  • the ELKH Innovation Fund and internal incentive scheme for more intensive research utilization and development of larger, more complex research projects,
  • an analytical evaluation system with a focus on research utilization and competitive tendering, as well as related databases for the presentation of competencies (intellectual property portfolio, competitive tendering portfolio, public research services portfolio, research infrastructure map),
  • renewable intellectual property protection and utilization framework (renewal of intellectual property management, development of research utilization strategy)
  • ELKH Innovation Training Center under the auspices of the ELKH Training Center to support the acquisition of knowledge and awareness related to the protection of intellectual property,
  • tendering resource map and specialist events to provide the general conditions to support the involvement of external resources,
  • ELKH Innovation Platform to provide a forum for cooperation with external actors, which is essential for the development of complex projects, the mobilization of resources and the utilization of research findings.

The ELKH Innovation System is developed and operated by the experts working at the Innovation Department within the ELKH Secretariat, who perform their tasks at the Tender Project Management and Monitoring Division and the Research Utilization Division under the Department.

Department of Financial Management & Operations

The Department of Financial Management & Operations is an independent organizational unit responsible for planning the management of the ELKH Secretariat as a budgetary body and ELKH as a central budget chapter, as well as for the implementation of the chapter budget. Its basic duty is to manage the finances of the Secretariat, the budget of ELKH’s institutions and the chapter-managed appropriations assigned to ELKH. As part of this responsibility, the Department is responsible for the organization and management of finances, the performance of tasks related to the use and protection of ELKH’s assets, observance of financial and accounting rules, and for supporting the work of the Department Head.

Organizational units of the Department of Financial Management & Operations

  • Institutional Management Division
  • Chapter Budget Division
  • Operations Division
  • Asset Management Division

Department of Legal Affairs & Administration

There are two departments within the Department of Legal Affairs & Administration, the Legal Affairs Division and the Administration Division.

The tasks of the Legal Affairs Division include the preparation of the internal regulations of the ELKH Secretariat, the decisions of the Governing Body and the President, the coordination of government proposals, the provision of legal representation, the performance of tasks related to the amendment of founding documents of research sites, giving a legal opinion on partnership agreements, issuing legal resolutions upon request, as well as performing tasks related to data protection and the disclosure of public data or data of public interest.

In addition to delivery, central archiving and other administrative tasks, the Administration Division supports organizational tasks related to document management. It also performs HR duties related to the employment of the employees of the ELKH Secretariat, as well as employment-related tasks associated with the President of ELKH as an employer with regard to the site directors and finance managers of the research sites.

Internal Audit Department

The activities of the Internal Audit Department cover all activities of the Secretariat performed in accordance with Government Decree No. 370/2011 (XII.31.) on the internal control system and internal audit of budgetary bodies (hereinafter: Control System Decree), in particular, the audit of the planning, use and accounting of budgetary revenues and expenditures, as well as the management of assets and liabilities.

  • analyze, examine and evaluate compliance of the establishment and operation of internal control systems with laws and regulations, as well as the cost-effectiveness, efficiency and success of their operation;
  • analyze and examine the management of available resources, the preservation and acquisition of assets, as well as the adequacy and validity of accounts;
  • provide insights, conclusions and recommendations regarding the audited processes in order to prevent and eliminate or reduce risk factors and deficiencies, to prevent or detect irregularities, and to increase the efficiency of operation of the budgetary body and improve and further develop the internal control systems;
  • record and monitor measures taken in the form of internal audit reports.
  • supporting managers by analyzing, evaluating, examining and assessing the risk of each solution;
  • providing advice on more rational and efficient management of financial, material, IT and human resource capacities;
  • providing expert support for the management in the development and continuous improvement of risk management and irregularity management systems and the performance management system;
  • providing consultation to rationalize organizational structures and manage change;
  • providing the management with consultation and advice on the development of organizational strategy;
  • making proposals to increase the efficiency of the budgetary body, as well as to improve and further develop internal control systems regarding the content and structure of the internal regulations of the budgetary body.
  • professional management of the internal audit activities of the budgetary bodies under the management or supervision of the Secretariat;
  • coordination of audits within the chapter;
  • the provisions set out in Section 32(5) and Section 49(4) of the Control System Decree.
  • develops and operates the quality assurance system of audits;
  • examines and evaluates the establishment and operation of the internal control system and its compliance with laws and regulations;
  • participates in the Public Finances Internal Audit Working Group upon request;
  • reinforces the Secretariat’s commitment to anti-corruption and contributes to related tasks.

The responsibilities of the Internal Audit Department are detailed in the Internal Audit Manual.

The Head of the Internal Audit Department is also the Head of Internal Audit of the Secretariat, who must be appointed in accordance with the applicable legislation.

The internal auditors report directly to the President of the Secretariat. The general and professional requirements for internal auditors are laid down in Ministry for National Economy Decree No. 28/2011 (VIII. 3.) on the registration and mandatory professional training of those performing internal audit activities at a budgetary body and on the further training of the heads and economic managers of budgetary bodies on the internal control system.

The Head of the Internal Audit Department and the internal auditors may not be involved in any activity other than those ensuring compliance and providing consultation in line with the international and internal audit standards published by the Minister responsible for public finances.

The internal auditor may not take part in tasks relating to the operational activities of a budgetary body as set out, in particular in Section 19(2) of the Control System Decree.

Department of Communications

It is the responsibility of the Head of the Department of Communications to ensure that the external and internal communications of ELKH is consistent with ELKH’s strategy, it supports its objectives and interests.

The most important responsibilities of the Department of Communications are:

Strategy and branding

Development of a unified communications strategy and branding for ELKH

External and internal communications

Management, organization and coordination of the external and internal communications of the ELKH Secretariat

Media relations

Management, organization and coordination of the media interviews, press releases issued by the ELKH Secretariat and the ELKH research institutes regarding the strategy, financing, operation, management and other common affairs of ELKH

Dissemination of scientific knowledge

Supporting the communications of scientific contents, research projects and results of the ELKH research network in the domestic and international media, on the website and social media sites of the ELKH Secretariat

Digital channels

Design, editing and development of the internet and intranet websites and social media sites of the ELKH Secretariat

Publications

Editing and printing the publications of the ELKH Secretariat

Community relations

Liaising with external organizations – in particular with public administration bodies, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, scientific and other professional communities

Events

Participation in the preparation, organization and management of ELKH’s external and internal programs and events