HBM4EU from the Coordinator's perspective: lessons learnt from managing a large-scale EU project

Marike Kolossa-Gehring, L. Kim Pack, Kathrin Hülck, Thomas Gehring

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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We discuss some important management issues of the Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) from the perspective of the Coordinator that may be valuable for the design and management of similar projects. As a large-scale international collaborative project, HBM4EU comprised 118 institutions from 30 countries and the European Environment Agency and had a budget of about €74 million. It has set up an innovative cooperative network of national and EU authorities and scientific institutions at the science-policy interface. A project of this scale raises major management challenges and requires transparent, efficient, and well-organized administrative and scientific steering structures. We present four major points: First, prior to the beginning of the project, the Consortium Agreement needs to be well elaborated to prevent conflicts during the project lifetime. Second, a strong role for national and EU policy-making authorities in the administrative governance structure enhances the interest of recipients of project results. Third, large-scale international collaborative projects need an elaborate and well-financed scientific governance structure. Fourth, a differentiation of funding rates among project activities threatens to create conflicts. HBM4EU provides a prototype for EU funded large-scale projects targeting future policies for realizing the Green Deal and Zero Pollution Ambition in the field of chemicals, health, and environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114072
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Coordination
  • HBM4EU
  • Horizon2020
  • Large scale EU project
  • Management
  • Project governance


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