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Research support services

International Research - IRPO



The International Research Project Office (IRPO) supports the internationalisation of DEUSTO’s research, promoting the generation of an attractive environment of excellent connected science, with strong projection and social impact.

IRPO, as central office, assists and offers researchers a wide range of services covering the entire life cycle of an international research project: from the identification of participation and funding opportunities to the valorisation of results and social impact, passing by the management and the economic and financial supervision of the funded projects.

IRPO is organised in two units of support:

1. Positioning, proposal development and valorisation unit

Based on a culture of collaborative and participative work, we promote international, interdisciplinar, intersectoral, inclusive and impactful research. Our goal is to help researchers maximise the potential of its research, support the development of lasting international collaborative partnerships and to facilitate the access to funding opportunities worldwide. Likewise, we actively contribute to the communication, dissemination and valorisation of results and social impact of research, both during and after the conclusion of the projects.

We support our researchers:

  • in the identification of international funding opportunities through a early warning system;
  • in the design of high-quality proposals for international funding, ensuring they meet the different evaluation criteria;
  • to participate in international networks and knowledge exchange activities;
  • with the different award procedures and grant agreement preparation requirements;
  • in the communication, dissemination and valorisation of results and social impact through our webpages, social networks, newsletters and actions promoting the social impact of research;
  • through training and career development related activities.

2. Project management unit

With the support of an experienced team, the management unit is in charge of coordinating the processes for the execution of international research projects from their launch until completion. It works with the research and management staff, as well as with the different units participating in the projects, with the aim of optimising resources, channeling synergies and expertise.

The unit supports the different international research project teams in management tasks. Depending on the role of the University of Deusto as coordinator, partner or third party these tasks include:

  • Launch of the project, internally at the University, supporting the project team on issues related to the Feasibility Plan, its inclusion in the internal accounting and monitoring tools, as well as organising the internal kick-off meeting in order to ensure communication across all relevant departments of the University;
  • Resolution of specific questions (for example, costs eligibility, evaluation of contracts, etc.). We are in contact with the different University departments, with external experts, National Contact Points, etc.;
  • Monitoring the project implementation through the checking of the different internal accounting tools;
  • Preparation and/or review of financial reports according to the different requirements of the funding entities;
  • The reconciliation and closure of the grant/contract at the end of the project, including the review of the observations/ non-conformities identified during the audits, meeting with the project team to respond to these observations, etc.

Our team

The International Research Project Office is led by Toñi Caro and counts with a team of experienced and professional research advisors with a sound track in proposal development and management of international projects and social impact. 

Toñi Caro González

Toñi CaroToñi Caro González, Head of International Research Project Office at the University of Deusto, has sound experience in boosting interdisciplinary and intersectoral research collaborations with multiple players (academic, government, private sector and civil society). With over 20 years of experience, Toñi is responsible for the internationalisation of research, focusing mainly in the promotion of the social impact and interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaborations through the Interdisciplinary Platforms, in alignment with DEUSTO 2022 Strategic Plan. Toñi supports the Rector’s team in the strategic planning of the internationalisation of Deusto’s research. Amongst her main tasks, there is the development of an early warning system with key players and initiatives at the international level in the field of research and innovation (Horizon Europe, European Innovation Council). She is evaluator for the European Commission (Horizon 2020, COSME) and researcher in Horizon 2020 projects. Her research interests focus on Social Innovation, employment transition, the social impact of research and innovative research management models (see scientific production). Dr. Caro is member of the Board of Directors and scientific director at ESSI (European School of Social Innovation), the Covenant on Demographic Change and the GaragErasmus Foundation.


Positioning, proposal development and valorisation unit

Glória Nunes Rodrigues

Glória holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations, a Master in European Policy (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and a Diploma from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. She has more than 16 years of experience in research and innovation related activities. She has worked for 6 years at the European Commission, DG Education and Culture, in the unit "European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions", supporting the selection of new KICs and coordinating EIT activities with other EU research and innovation initiatives. Previously, at the European Wind Energy Association (WindEurope), she was head of the projects and policy analysis unit and was in charge of the preparation of proposals, negotiation and implementation of FP7 renewable energy projects. In IRPO, she is responsible for communication and dissemination activities, Social Impact and the Strengthening Participation Interdisciplinary Research Platform.


Sara Ponce

Sara PonceSara holds a PhD in Pharmacy at the University of the Basque Country and a Master Degree in Innovation and Technology Management of the University of Deusto and Inasmet. Since 2000, she has worked as researcher in the fields of pharmaceutical technology, tissue engineering, genetic and new healthcare models and services at national (University of Basque Country, Inasmet-Tecnalia, Kronikgune) and international research centres (Groningen University, Johns Hopkins University), participating in 26 research projects (7 international) and publishing 15 research articles in indexed journals. In IRPO, she is in charge of Horizon Europe Health work programme and coordinates the Ageing and Wellbeing Interdisciplinary Research Platform, as well as the University participation in the European Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

Barbara Rossi

BarbaraBarbara has a solid background and 20 years expertise in drafting and managing EU-funded projects in the area of social sciences. She has worked at the European Commission in the thematic unit of Migration and Asylum (DG DEVCO) dealing with policy formulation and implementation of migration & development topics, on diaspora and remittances. Previously, she worked for private consultancies managing development cooperation EU-funded projects on themes such as strengthening the capacities of civil society organisations in ACP countries. Currently, Barbara coordinates the Social Justice and Inclusion Interdisciplinary Research Platform, she follows Horizon Europe Cluster 2 about Inclusive Societies and deals with Social Impact. Barbara holds a degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Trieste (Italy).


Osane Uriarte

OsaneOsane joined Deusto International Relations office in 2008 and has been a member of IRPO since its inception in 2011. Her main area of activity is the support to DEUSTO research teams in attracting international talent through Horizon Europe Excellent Science Pillar, notably the Marie Skolodowska Curie Actions and the European Research Council. She also supports the internationalisation of research in the areas of Sustainable and Creative Cities and Communities. In this line, she coordinates the Interdisciplinary Research Platform B-creative. She is in charge of the improvement processes at IRPO. Osane holds a Law Degree from the University of Deusto, a Master in Legal Practice from the Institute of Law and Business (IDEM) and in Euroculture from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.


Project management unit

Silvia Fernández Tobío

SilviaSilvia holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Santiago de Compostela and a Master in Advanced Process Engineering from Loughborough University. She has over 10 years of international management consulting experience and 2.5 years of experience in the academic sector as Research Funding Coordinator at the Research Strategy Office of the University of Cambridge. Silvia has worked in a large number of international projects in the Higher Education, Energy and Transport sectors, in different tasks, from the preparation of project proposals, budget planning, project launch and monitoring. In IRPO, Silvia supports the internationalisation of research through the coordination of the Gender Interdisciplinary Research Platform as well as the management of research projects.

María Ortiz-Coronado

María OrtízMaría holds a degree in English Philology from the University of Deusto. Actively participating since 1990 in the internationalisation of the University of Deusto, she has collaborated in the management of international projects in the area of education. She has a large experience dealing with students for over 15 years as coordinator for incoming and outgoing students in the different mobility projects of the University of Deusto in partnership with Sepie, the National ERASMUS Agency, the European Commission, the Ministry of Education and financial entities: BBK and Santander Bank. For the last 10 years, she has worked in close collaboration with universities from all over the world, mainly Africans, in the framework of the Tuning projects. María was in charge of the day-to-day management, follow-up of partners, organisation of events, payment administration, reporting, as well as follow-up and monitoring of projects’ publications processes.


Garbiñe Zabala

Garbine ZabalaGarbiñe holds a degree in Industrial Organisation Engineering from the University of Deusto and a Master in Quality Systems, R&D&i Management Systems, R&D&i projects management and Technological Surveillance Systems from UNED. She has over 10 years of experience in managing quality and environment systems, processes, projects and R&D projects funding (national and international grants and tax deductions). In IRPO, Garbiñe manages and checks the international research projects from the financial perspective, gives support to the project teams involved in the research projects and assists in the management of IRPO’s budget and in the improvement of internal processes.



Icy Anabo, Luana Ferreira and Joseba Larrea collaborate with the team supporting the internationalisation of Deusto’s research.

International Research Projects Office