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Dr. Viktória Eszter Zalányi


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.


Katalin Hegedüsné

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

She graduated from the College of Finance and Accounting with a degree in budgetary finance, has also completed specializations in accounting and auditing.

In the 26 years prior to her appointment as Head of the Department of Financial Management at the HUN-REN Secretariat in September 2019, Dóra Kerkai worked in various areas of finance management of the research network at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS). From 1993 to 1994 she was the financial administrator at the Office for Supported Research Groups. In 1994 she joined the Secretariat of HAS where she worked as a chapter administrator until 2006, and from 2006 as the deputy head of department.


Dr. Beáta Nyitrai-Povolnik

Head of Department
Department of Legal Affairs & Administration

She graduated as a lawyer from the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Law and Political Science in in 2002, completing the legal examination in 2007. For a short time she worked as a candidate lawyer, then as a legal counsel at the National Directorate General for Disaster Management of the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior. She was then appointed as head of the Legal Department of the Legal and Administrative Department of the Secretariat of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She speaks intermediate German and English.


Gyula Sümeghy

Head of Cabinet
Cabinet for International Affairs

After graduating from the College of Foreign Trade in Budapest, he obtained his master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science of the University of London in 1993. During his career he has worked at various fields of international relations; for close to 15 years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for more than 10 years in higher education. As a diplomat, he was posted abroad twice: he served as the deputy head of mission at the Embassy of Hungary in Dublin between 2002 and 2006 and as ambassador to The Hague between 2011 and 2014. During his tenure in the Netherlands, besides being accredited to the Dutch Government, he also represented Hungary in international organisations having their seat in The Hague. Between 2007 and 2010, he worked as the director of international relations at Semmelweis University. He held the same position at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary between 2015 and June 2021.


Dr. László Nádai

Head of Department
Department of Network Development 


Dr. Nóra Abrankó-Rideg

Head of Department
Department of Innovation


Krisztián Hegyi

Head of Department
Internal Audit Department 

He graduated from Szent István University in 2002 with a degree in finance and accounting. In the nearly 20 years prior to his current appointment he performed the duties of internal auditor and head of internal audit at central budgetary bodies and local governments. He is a registered chartered accountant and is listed in the official registry of internal auditors. He has a specialist examination in public administration. He speaks German.


Noémi Harnos

Head of Department
Department of Information Technology

She graduated from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Eötvös Loránd University. She began her career at the Institute for Agricultural Research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, where she studied the expected effects of global climate change on grains using simulations. In addition to her research work at the research institute, she was also responsible for the operation of the IT infrastructure. She defended her PhD dissertation at Szent István University in 2003. In the Phytotron Department of the Research Center for Agriculture of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, established in 2012, she played a significant role in providing the phytotron planting chambers with new technologies and developing the central IT infrastructure to support the research of the institutes of the center as head of department and leader of the IT team. Since 2017, she has been working as an IT coordinator at the HUN-REN Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences. She joined the HUN-REN Secretariat in 2020, where she has been leading the IT Department since March 2021.


Éva Hencz

Head of Department
Department of Communications

She graduated as an English language teacher from the Berzsenyi Dániel Teacher Training College in 1994. In 1996 she also obtained a degree in marketing communications from the College of Foreign Trade. Her extensive professional experience of nearly 28 years in various management positions in the business sector covers a wide range of areas of communication, including media and community relations, external and internal communications, event organization and sponsorship, as well as video production and publications. She has advanced level English skills.

Organizational structure

The organizational structure, governance and decision-making bodies of HUN-REN

  • Pursuant to Article 42/C (3) of the RDI Act, the main decision-making body of HUN-REN is the Governing Board. It is responsible for managing the network, allocating the central funds in a well-grounded and predictable manner, setting and continuously reviewing the research directions. The President of the Governing Board is also the primary leader of HUN-REN.
  • The Operative Committee is a consultative body with members elected by the leaders of the research sites. It supports the HUN-REN Secretariat in performing its strategic and management tasks.
  • The HUN-REN Secretariat prepares the submissions presented to the Governing Board for decision-making, ensuring the soundness and elaboration of the content in these documents. As the governing body responsible for operating the research sites, it is accountable for the achievement of strategic goals and the monitoring of compliance with legal regulations.

The Scientific Council and the Advisory Board are bodies comprising internationally recognized scientists who directly assist the Governing Board and provide opinions on strategic issues.

Executive Secretariat

Executive Secretariat

The Executive Secretariat is an independent organizational unit that performs the administrative, organizational and coordinating functions of the President, the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General.

Duties of the Executive Secretariat: it performs administrative and organizational activities related to all tasks assigned to the competence of senior management by law or the internal regulator of the Secretariat. The Executive Secretariat also contributes to the coordination of senior management activities related to the organizational units of the Secretariat and external bodies (or persons). It performs the secretarial tasks of the Governing Board and also carries out coordination activities in order to implement the decisions of the Governing Board. The Executive Secretariat also participates in the coordination of senior management activities related to the work of the bodies and committees supporting the operation of HUN-REN, and prepares, organizes and registers the domestic and foreign programs of senior leaders.

Cabinet for International Affairs

Cabinet for International Affairs

In order to facilitate the development of its international activities, HUN-REN has bolstered its resources to support the establishment and operation of international relations and co-operation through the establishment of a Cabinet for International Affairs, which operates as a separate organizational unit within the Secretariat.

Duties of the Cabinet for International Affairs: to support the work of the representatives of HUN-REN at international forums and bodies, to cooperate and liaise with intergovernmental scientific organizations and international scientific and partner organizations. The Cabinet for International Affairs coordinates the scientific diplomacy activities of HUN-REN and, in cooperation with the Department for Network Development, the professional representation of HUN-REN in the field of international scientific diplomacy. The Cabinet for International Affairs liaises with Hungarian diplomatic missions and promotes international and European Union relations, as well as the participation of the research network in bilateral and multilateral scientific research programs. The Cabinet also performs secretarial services for the Advisory Board.

The extended remit of the Cabinet for International Affairs includes the development of measures necessary to encourage the successful participation of HUN-REN research sites in international support programs, in particular the Horizon Europe program and other European Union programs that can be applied for by non-domestic organizations. In particular, it promotes the international networking of HUN-REN research sites, organizes partner-finding and information events for the research network, and organizes EU tender training programs and also coordinates data provision activities related to this task.

Department of Network Development

Department of Network Development

The Department of Network Development is an independent organizational unit that performs the scientific organization tasks of HUN-REN and supports the performance-based financing of the scientific and public tasks of the research sites.

Duties of the Department of Network Development:

The department performs tasks related to the regular scientific and organizational performance measurement of HUN-REN, develops network management, research methodology and, in cooperation with the Department of Innovation, the evaluation methodology and tools of the research applications. It performs the strategic, planning, decision-making and operational tasks of research sites related to organizational development, as well as initiates and maintains collaborations with Hungarian research, development and innovation institutions for the purpose of network development, in cooperation with the Department of Innovation. It makes proposals for the development of professional development and career models and related application programs, and also performs management functions in relation to researchers employed in youth research positions. It performs tasks related to the preparation of reports to be submitted to the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian Government, as well as the secretarial tasks of the Scientific Council. It also evaluates the organizational and operational rules submitted by the research centers and independent research institutes, with the involvement of the relevant secretariat departments (in particular the Department of Financial Management and the Department of Legal Affairs and Administration) and ensures that they are submitted to the competent decision-making body. It proposes the design of the scientific pillars of budget planning. In co-operation with the Department of IT, it participates in the coordination of HUN-REN's strategically important IT projects, as well as in the promotion of open and data-driven science, and in the creation of its infrastructural conditions. It performs data collection and coordination activities related to the research infrastructure of research sites, in connection with which it formulates proposals as necessary, and also performs tasks related to the public research activities of research sites.

Department of Innovation

Department of Innovation

As a prominent participant in the Hungarian research, development, and innovation ecosystem, the Hungarian Research Network delivers cutting-edge and internationally competitive research performance in Hungary, as evidenced by the output and citation index of its publications. Numerous research findings are generated with HUN-REN, which have the potential to be transferred and utilized in the creation of intellectual works that directly benefit the economy and society.

In order to increase the competitiveness of research sites, the Hungarian Research Network has created an internal Innovation Program 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 Program are:

  • the HUN-REN advisory network to support research utilization and external fundraising,
  • the HUN-REN 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)
  • supporting the acquisition of knowledge and increasing awareness related to intellectual property protection,
  • tendering resource map and specialist events to provide the general conditions to support the involvement of external resources,

The HUN-REN Innovation Program was developed and it is operated by the experts working at the Innovation Department within the HUN-REN 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 and Operations

Department of Financial Management & Operations

The Department of Financial Management & Operations is an independent organizational unit responsible for planning the management of the HUN-REN Secretariat as a budgetary body and HUN-REN 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 HUN-REN's institutions and the chapter-managed appropriations assigned to HUN-REN. 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 HUN-REN'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
  • Budget Management Division
Department of Legal Affairs and Administration

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 HUN-REN Secretariat, the decisions of the Governing Board 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 HUN-REN Secretariat, as well as employment-related tasks associated with the President of HUN-REN as an employer with regard to the site directors and finance managers of the research sites.

Internal Audit Department

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.

Pursuant to Section 21 (2)-(3) of the Control System Decree, the Internal Audit Department performs, in particular, the following tasks to certify compliance with law
  • 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.
Pursuant to Section 21(4) of the Control System Decree, the Internal Audit Department may have tasks that can be performed within the framework of consulting activities, in particular:
  • 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.
Pursuant to Section 21(5) of the Control System Decree, the Internal Audit Department performs the following duties for the budgetary bodies under the management or supervision of the Secretariat – in addition to the tasks specified above:
  • 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.
The Internal Audit Department also performs the following tasks
  • 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 Information Technology

Department of Information Technology

The main tasks of the Department of IT include the planning, coordination and control of strategically important IT developments supporting research, as well as the operation of the IT systems of the Secretariat.

At the level of the research network, it maintains continuous contact with the IT specialists at the research sites, supports their work with professional advice, and makes proposals for the development of the basic and research IT infrastructure of the research network. It aims to consolidate basic IT services and make infrastructures sustainable and secure.

As part of its strategically important developments for HUN-REN and in cooperation with the Department of Network Development and HRDA (Hungarian Research Data Alliance), it plays an important role in promoting open and data-driven science, creating a research data management culture and its infrastructural conditions. It provides support to the development of the research network’s cloud architecture, the HUN-REN Cloud and the HUN-REN Data Repository, and the organization of informative lectures. The aim of all developments is to encourage international cooperation between research sites and to create the conditions for participation in European Union projects.

Another task of the Department of IT is the operation and development of the IT infrastructure of the HUN-REN Secretariat in accordance with the IT Security Regulations and the Data Protection and Data Security Regulations, and the high-level support of users.

Department of Communications

Department of Communications

It is the responsibility of the Head of the Department of Communications to ensure that the external and internal communications of HUN-REN is consistent with HUN-REN'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 HUN-REN

External and internal communications

Management, organization and coordination of the external and internal communications of the HUN-REN Secretariat

Media relations

Management, organization and coordination of press communication for the HUN-REN Secretariat and HUN-REN regarding the strategy, financing, operation, management and other common affairs of the research network

Dissemination of scientific knowledge

Supporting the communications of scientific contents, research projects and results of HUN-REN in the media, on the website and social media platforms of the HUN-REN Secretariat

Digital channels

Design, editing, and development of the HUN-REN Secretariat's website, intranet and social media platforms


Editing and production of the publications of the HUN-REN Secretariat

Community relations

Liaising with external organizations particularly public administration bodies, civil society organizations, educational institutions, scientific, and other professional communities


Assistance in the preparation, organization, and execution of HUN-REN's external and internal programs and events