The Centre for Earth System Science Management (CESSMA) is a hands-on network consisting of science managers with various expertise in the coordination of Earth system science projects. It is and has been funded through the BMBF FONA initiative by the projects ClimXtreme, PalMod, and HD(CP)². It is dedicated to improve the management of interdisciplinary, large-scale research programmes and similar publicly funded research structures in the field of Earth system science. It is built on the conviction that these research programmes must be managed well to meet the justified expectations of the public, stakeholders, and project carriers. At the same time, such programmes constitutes a unique and challenging management task as operations on the project's tasks are in large parts not enforceable. Thus science projects do not meet the underlying basic premise of standard project management methods. Scientific management in the Earth system sciences must therefore balance the demands of multiple stakeholders and must work primarily to connect and enable all scientists involved in the project.
CESSMA aims to
a) Establish a system of knowledge exchange between science managers working on project management issues in Earth system sciences and similar fields.
b) Lay the foundation to establish a long-term platform which can articulate best-practice recommendations for specific tasks of scientific project management in this field.
c) Act as a contact point for projects and science managers to request advice, help or consulting services in order to improve the management of their own projects.
CESSMA focuses explicitly on creating opportunities of exchange in physical and virtual spaces between different science managers. While currently in the start-up phase being a small network of experienced scientific project managers, CESSMA is envisioned to develop support on specific aspects of scientific project management, e.g. funding applications, organisation of project meetings and similar events or the development and implementation of a project strategy, to a broader community in the near future.
CESSMA members come together in regular meetings, embedded either in professional trainings or in workshops.