Knowledge sharing inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)

A communication platform designed to facilitate the exchange of information among staff working in various institutions that support international academics and PhD students. Knowledge sharing involves a multi-directional exchange of information resources where each institution is both a donor and a receiver of knowledge. Therefore every institution involved should have the possibility to profit from as well as contribute to the knowledge-sharing platform. A community of experts from across different HEIs and research organisations can be created via such a platform.



Improved access to information Better communication and cooperation Improved procedure/efficiency

Basic information
Categories Institutional Processes Administrative & Legal Support
Mobility stages Institutional setup Pre-arrival phase During mobility phase Pre-departure After-leaving Upon arrival
Delivery schedule Continuous
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups Administrative staff Management staff
Practice setup

Phase 1: Defining the scope 

When considering establishing the such knowledge-sharing platform - think about

  • goals that such platform shall fulfill,

  • who/what type of staff shall be users of the platform (what departments, from what HEIs - city/regional/national scope)

Define functions the platform shall optimally have. E.g. platform enabling

  • Fast messaging with formatting the text

  • Deleting/editing posts by authors/administrator

  • Documents sharing (only as attachments or allowing co-creation on a shared drive)

  • Creation of specific cooperating teams/groups

  • The search system enabling users to find topics, posts, and other users

  • Organisation of the contributions/questions around specific topics/categories and sub-topics/sub-categories to create a searchable library/database (discussion forum with a moderator checking the posts)

  • Audio/video communication

  • Individual or group meetings scheduling (interconnection to and interoperation with other personal/institutional calendars)

  • Email/app notifications about new messages (general or only subscribed specific topics/categories of interest)

In addition, some general features might be important too:

  • Users administration (administrator of the platform assigning access and possibly also roles of other users)

  • Overall security

  • Personal data protection compliance

Based on the desirable features and also considering the goals and possible efforts put on long-term platform management, look for suitable technical solutions (e.g. commonly available systems might be tested first not requiring much extra set-up costs).


  • develop the platform’s architecture including access and usage rules,

  • acquire (build) appropriate infrastructure for the platform, define user roles,

  • prepare additional documents such as terms and conditions of use.

Phase 2: Planning the delivery

  • think about relevant topics and create several relevant forums (discussion areas - specific topics/categories), each dealing with some aspect of an internalization-related topic. For example, you can have a "Visa&EntryConditions" group/forum, or "Social security", or "Recruitment, promotion and admission practices" groups, etc

  • gain partners from different institutions that support international academics and PhD students,

  • give platform access to a selected group of users,

  • appoint an experienced and keen support staff members/team to administer the work in the respective forum according to their area of expertise

  • (optional) set up a helpdesk.


Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • IT support department
Partners involved in practice setup
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
  • EURAXESS centre
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • User procedure and manual designed
  • Database structure designed

In the set up phase the external partners’ role is to review the platform's architecture and test its functioning. 

Practice delivery

Delivery activities are mainly connected with:

  • moderating the platform’s communication,

  • checking the compliance with terms and conditions (preventing unrelated and inappropriate comments)

  • answering requests and questions from the users,

  • operational maintenance of the platform,

  • quality check of the uploaded and shared documents.

Challenges (factors to consider): In order to encourage activity on the platform regular advertising of its services could be undertaken for example in the form of email alerts or newsletters. Organising thematic webinars via the platform could also motivate users to be active.

Encouraging the active interaction of users, and responding to queries is essential for efficient operation.

Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • HR Department
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • PR department
  • Study department
  • Career development centre
  • Legal department
  • IT support department
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
  • EURAXESS centre
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Average satisfaction rate
  • Number of software users
  • Number of support staff assisted
  • Database filled-in with data
  • Peer learning activity (s) set up

In the delivery phase the external partners’ role is mainly to regularly contribute to the platform and answer requests and questions from the users.

Examples of practice

Interinstitutional communication and knowledge-sharing platforms in the Czech Republic


In the Czech Republic, there are several active inter-institutional communication and knowledge sharing platforms enabling support staff members from various Czech HEIs to communicate and collaborate based on common interests (closed groups).  E.g., the group on the support of international researchers and academics is run and administered by the EURAXESS Czech Republic BHO (coordinating organisation), group on gender issued is coordinated by the respective National Contact Point, etc. The group uses a mailing list that contains the email addresses of its members, but also has its own address. Using just the one email address for the group, they can:

  • send email to group members,

  • invite group members to meetings/webinars,

  • share their content with group members.

The commonly available system they use enables also archiving discussions between group members discussion, reading past messages and even post and reply to group messages.