EARMA Conference Oslo


Impacting Research Management through North-South capacity development partnerships (30 min presentation)


Caryn McNamara


  • M
    Mrs Maryke Hunter-Husselmann


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Topic: Impact


There is rigorous debate as to where "academic impact" (i.e. peer-reviewed publications) ends and "research impact" (i.e. beyond the academe) begins, or whether the former is a subset of the latter. Colleagues have distilled the definition of research impact down to "the provable effects of research in the real world" (Bayley and Phipps, 2019) thus leaning towards the former definition.

In the Southern African context, there is great competition amongst institutions to show their competitive edge through research, quality graduates, research impact and social engagement. New pressures on the system inevitably place new demands on institutions to perform and distinguish themselves, to showcase relevance and applicability of their research, how it responds to societal needs, national and international development agendas, while still staying true to the core values of academic quality and excellence (Altbach et al. 2010). Furthermore, we are living in a world with great demand for research funding, which includes multidisciplinary, international collaboration and partnerships. These developments confront the research support offices with a range of new challenges. The role of Research Management (RM) has changed from primarily providing administrative support towards an active and visionary role in the positioning of their universities (Shelly, 2010). It is important that Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) have the necessary skill sets to effectively support the institutional research portfolios.

The Strengthening of Research Management (StoRM) Project and the Toolkit for Research Management Online Resources (TReMOR) Project are two recent, international North-South partnerships towards improving RM capacity across the participating countries across Southern African Development Community (SADC), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). These projects have contributed to the creation of a space for knowledge production in the field of RM, and the creation of capacity development opportunities for RMAs to enhance the profession and provide the support that is required to effectively contribute to impactful research and the development of institutional research-related activities. This presentation showcases the capacity development initiatives of the StoRM and TReMOR Projects, and how these (and their online resources, under the "new normal") have impacted RM capacity development on the African continent and further afield.

StoRM Project - https://sites.google.com/view/projectstorm/home (funded by Erasmus+)
TReMOR Project - https://sites.google.com/view/projecttremor/home (funded by the African Academy of Sciences and ARMA-UK)