EARMA Conference Oslo


Paths towards the creation of RMAs professional communities

A comparative perspective between Italy and Portugal


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition


This presentation will focus on possible paths towards the creation of RMAs professional communities in European countries where formal RMA associations do not exist, on the basis of two case studies: Portugal and Italy.
Starting from an overview of the main RMA associations worldwide, we will describe the paths developed by the two countries towards the establishment of a community of professionals, focusing on the main activities implemented so far, similarities and differences. Eventually, we’ll make some considerations on the expected impact on professional recognition.

In particular we will present the experience of two informal networks of professionals working as research support staff:
• the Platform of Professionals at the Interface of Science, established in Portugal in 2016
• a working group on RMAs under the Research Unit of the Italian National Association of University General Directors (CODAU) created in Italy in 2019/20.
The Platform of Professionals at the Interface of Science (PIC) is an informal Portuguese network, that integrates research managers and administrators working in the different areas of R&I management and communication, technology transfer and value creation. With the mission of promotion and enhancing the professional recognition of such professionals, PIC has engaged in several policy actions aiming at promoting the inclusion of RMAs in the R&I decision-making processes in Portugal.

The Italian working group is a network of Italian professionals who work in universities in different areas of R&I management, communication and evaluation activities. It has been established with the aim of analyzing and endorsing the professional role of RMAs in Italy, in particular through the creation of a professional development framework, which identifies and maps the skills, areas of activity and training needs of Italian RMAs. The purpose was that of increasing awareness about the role and the potential of this activities within the national RMA community.

We will present a comparative analysis among the two experiences at the national level and lessons-learned on the following:
• Mapping the community and professionals’ definition
• Raising awareness and Communication
• Training initiatives
• National context and policies toward professional recognition

Results will show common traits and differences and highlight the importance of a bottom- up or co- creation approach in raising awareness about the RMA profession. Suggestions will be offered to colleagues who wish to implement similar activities in their own contexts.