EARMA Conference Oslo

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Bringing an century old institution into modern science landscape

The case of University of Coimbra Institute of Legal Research

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Case Study

Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building

Fernando Borges

The University of Coimbra Institute of Legal Research (UCILeR) has two official starting dates: the first in 1911 and the other in 2013. This double birth still marks the identity and the understanding of how science is done at this research institute. The analysis of institutional history is important to define its position in the scientific field, and to understand researcher’s identity. It is relevant because institutional history is one of the great conditions for science management.

Impact driven multidisciplinary research proposals – challenge for RMA

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: Proposal Development

Vesna Bozanic

Adjusting the pre-award process early enough to implement the structure leading to impactful outcomes is often a challenging task for the pre-award RMA supporting the multidisciplinary proposals. Diversified scientific teams participating in multidisciplinary proposals view differently their contributions to the expected impact of the research project. Experienced pre-award RMA will support multidisciplinary team in finding focus on distinct contribution to the expected impact, while meeting the specificities of the particular funding call/program.

The ERC game: grant assignment mechanism and choice to apply

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: Proposal Development

Arina Shadrikova

We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of grant assignment mechanisms, in particular the ERC bottom-up approach. The bottom-up assignment mechanism avoids arbitrary prioritization across fields and domains. However, it ends up penalizing fields with smaller uncertainty about applicants ranking. In such fields, applicants below the winning threshold are less likely to apply, reducing the number of applications and—by the bottom-up approach—also reducing the number of awardees in the field. In contrast, the top-down approach avoids that researchers’ “choice to apply” affects the distribution of grants across fields. However, this requires a decision about how to assign grants across fields.

What is grant writing?

Grant writers’ key skills and expertise

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Interactive Session

Topic: Proposal Development

Dr. Johanna Toivonen de Gonzales

Grant writing covers a diverse range of support services for researchers in the grant proposal preparation, but its definition is not well established. In this work, we aim at clarifying the definitions of the term, focusing on the nature of the tasks and expertise needed at different levels of grant writing.

What makes research support excellent?

Research support’s irreversible relation with excellence

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Interactive Session

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Olaf Svenningsen

The session will investigate and problematize some common assumptions in research and research support, for example "talent" and "excellence", relating them to scientific evidence rather than political declarations. Through reflection and debate, participants will gain deeper insight into the core mission of research support.

Applying eight communication management principles in a research organization

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Operational Lessons Learned

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight

Olli-Pekka Smolander

The discussion on how to manage organizations effectively has been ongoing for decades but problems persist and the research organizations make no exception here. “My door is open” is a sentence that belongs to every manager's vocabulary. What does it mean in reality? And how can a manager apply this policy in virtual teams? This study dives into these practices and experiences gained through experimentation with creating strong communication practices at TalTech, Estonia. 

Challenges for RMA involved in a European University Network, the case of Ghent University in the ENLIGHT consortium

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building

Dirk De Craemer

The European University Alliance, called ENLIGHT, won
extra project funding through the SwafS call under H2020. This project (named
ENLIGHT RISE) is coordinated by the University of Bordeaux.

The goals of this project are put forward at the level
of the alliance: 1) empower R&I transformation; 2) increase the research
capacity; 3) strengthen the innovation capacity; 4) increase the capacity to
attract and retain talents; 5) create impact for society; 6) contribute to the
longer-term deployment of European Universities.

At Ghent University, most activities will be performed
at the central research department. There are 9 work packages leading to 47
project deliverables within a timeframe of 3 years. This adds an extra workload
on the shoulders of the Research Managers and Administrators (RMA) at each of
the 9 ENLIGHT partners.

Unfortunately, the project funding is too limited to
significantly reduce this workload. In addition, the international aspect of
the project adds an extra layer of challenges and potential issues on top of
the daily tasks of the RMAs. The RMAs hardly knew their colleagues from the partner
universities and had even never before worked together in the context of a
joint international project.

Within the partnership, the difference in size,
organisation and available personnel at each partners’ Research Support Office
(RSO) and Tech Transfer Offices (TTOs) has equally played its role and proven a
challenge to quickly identify the most indicated contact person for each work
package.

With 9 partners (with 2 different time zones) and 9
work packages leading to 47 deliverables, the project is work intense including
a speedy and vast sequence of meetings which further stresses the RMAs
availability. Furthermore, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the RSOs/RMAs
have been unable to physically meet during neither the proposal nor the start-up
and execution phases of the project, thereby slowing down the mutual
acquaintance and possibility to lengthy talk some issues through and thoroughly
outlay and discuss each other’s priorities, work organisation and institutional
strategies.

Other challenges include the (non)existing fields of
expertise, how to include/interest researchers to the centrally led project, the
different (level of) experiences between the partnership concerning valorisation,
the re-assessment within RSOs of self-created work tools and work processes,
communicating the broader European University Network strategy amongst administrators
and researchers, linking different strategies on topics as e.g. young researchers,
etc.

To tackle many of these challenges, the network has – amongst
others – highly engaged in consortium wide mapping and internal surveys.At the EARMA conference 2022 we will share and discuss
our experiences at Ghent University with regard to the start of this project
and the execution of a first set of project activities during the first half
year of this project.

DESIGN OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH PROJECTS WITH SOCIAL IMPACT

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Theoretical

Topic: Impact

Milica Lilic

Academic research cannot be oblivious to social problems and needs, so projects with the capacity for transformation and impact have to prevail, especially in a context of uncertainty and change. In order to design projects with social impact, we will introduce the Theory of Change, as a project design methodology used to explain how and why the activities of a project will lead to the desired changes, expressed as a medium and long-term benefit obtained by the target population.

Easy access to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: A toolbox for researchers and research managers

A set of of useful documents and tools, prepared by the MSCA National Contact Points

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Proposal Development

Dr Julie Sauer

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are among the most attractive yet most competitive funding schemes of Horizon Europe. In order to lower the entry barrier for researchers and RMAs to obtain MSCA grants, the MSCA National Contact Points develop within the EU project MSCA-Net a set of tools for applicants and supporters, e.g. writing guides for the different actions or an FAQ Blog. Attendees to this session will learn about the toolbox, where to find it, how and when to use it.

European Union Research and Innovation policy: Implementation of Technology Transfer network for research projects

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Theoretical

Topic: Open Science & Responsible Research & Innovation

Serena Mancini

Authors: Serena ManciniAffiliations: University of Padova - Department of Women’s and Children’s HealthPresenting author: Serena ManciniVia Giustiniani 2, 35128, Padua, Italye-mail: serena.mancini@unipd.itPreferred Presentation type: Oral Presentation or Poster presentationAbstractBackground: Most HEIs need to be part of networks to get their innovations and develop special research projects focused on technology transfer and to rapidly create new collaboration and synergies with SMEs. The creation of “joint labs” between university (HEIs) or public research bodies (PRIs) and industry (SMEs), in a specific area (e.g., biotechnology) is crucial to sustaining new high–tech industries.Although there exists a well-developed tradition of industrial network research there is a lack of individuals who are appropriately trained with high-level technical and academic skills, complemented with business-oriented professional skills and a creative, independent entrepreneurial spirit which could be crucial to implement an EU strategy on Biotech and Health fields. This is one of the Innovation policy priority areas for the EU as well as an area of research that is scoring high concerning R&D expenditures.Needs: However, the valorization of the research outputs in the Biotech and Health fields is very low and does not fully exploit its potential to support innovation levels within the EU and beyond.Further funding focused on technology transfer of academia into the commercial world are therefore crucially important. Universities teach basic sciences, such as genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. with a rather narrow academic perspective and often without a sufficient reference to the possible commercialization of ideas and new technologies. According to COM(2017) 2476 final in comparison to the US and Japan, too few Ph.D. holders in the EU go on to work outside academia. Up to 75% of Ph.D. graduates remain in higher education, state research institutes, or public service. Therefore, relatively few highly qualified students currently consider the industry as a future employer or even consider setting up an independent spin-off/start-up company. HEIs need to promote this through greater focus on funding programs on the application of knowledge transfer and interaction with future employers and promote creative entrepreneurial thinking. This approach has been promoted since 2006 (COM(2006) 337) implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: fostering entrepreneurial mindsets through education and learning, requiring universities and technical institutes to integrate entrepreneurship as an important part of the curriculum, spread across different subjects, encourage students to take entrepreneurship courses and promote mobility between the university and the business world.Among the most recent documents, the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan identifies entrepreneurial education and training as one of the three areas, requiring immediate intervention. According to the Plan, entrepreneurship education should be accomplished through hands-on, real-life experiences, and research projects, as well as promoted beyond educational institutions to businesses and the wider community.Conclusions: Therefore, the relevance of the technology transfer network has been greatly increased due to interdisciplinary modern innovations, and cross-sectoral collaboration in research projects implementation. This allows to development perspective national technology transfer model based on the concept of the innovation ecosystem and open innovation. Being knowledge actors, HEIs, PRIs, and SMEs play a vital role in technology transfer. The results of this analysis address an empirical study to develop a systematic conceptual Model of Innovation network of technology transfer that will help academics, policymakers, government, and business owners with a more depth understanding of the practical mechanisms that support innovation policy strategy.Abstract topic: Technology transfer; Innovation; Networks; Biotech; Health

VITO Researchers find supporting information without searching, thanks to Voogle.

Voogle is an internal research information system that combines internal data with external data.

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Open Science & Responsible Research & Innovation

Bart Dooms

VOOGLE makes it possible to search and discover research support information (calls/projects/researchers/…) with one search in regardless of whether the data is managed within or outside our research organisation.

VOOGLE connects internal structured (e.g. Data bases) and unstructured (research) data (e.g. pdf, word, ...) with external (open/fair) data based upon unique (open) ID. A knowledge graph, inspired on the Eurocris model, but extended with other useful objects, such as funding calls / project documents / …, is the start of everything within Voogle.

Linking internal data with external data, brings challenges like where to store/update your data? Which unique IDs do we use to link data? Can we reduce the amount of data that we manage internally? (Some data is kept more up to data outside our organization then inside, think about address data from companies which could be retrieved from ROR.org). How to generate in-depth meta-data automatically, especially from legacy unstructured data?

In an attempt to meet these problems, our organisation switched to a Microsoft Teams environment, But we were able to convince our management to an Data Governance approach to feed, VOOGLE with good data.

In this presentation, we illustrate how to roll out such an approach, not with one big bang, but with a coalition of believers working out a good proof of concept, and then scaling it up with consistency. We will also look further and explain the next steps in Voolge, and how this will help us realising our dream: "VITO researchers find the right information without searching".

The transformation of basic research governance in Hungary: implications for research management

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Category: Case Study

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight

Mr Miklos Gyorffi

The presentation aims to analyse the interplay between organizational transformation, staff development and regulatory framework in case of the transformation of the research governance of a given country. The focus is on Hungary, where a new actor, the Eötvös Loránd Research Network was established two years ago.

A holistic approach to researcher’s career development

The role of the Office for Coordination and Research Management

Format: Pecha Kucha

Category: Case Study

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight

Eva Casamitjana

The Office for Coordination and Research Management promotes researchers career development, facilitating and aligning actions from the different departments, especially Education and Training and Human Resources.
We will present ISGlobal’s holistic approach for researcher’s career development covering the whole track from predoctoral researchers to research professors. We will discuss the training, mentoring, career development activities and periodic research assessments all along the research career track.

How can EAIC members and EARMA members can cooperate together

EAIC: promoting the role of Innovation consultants in Europe

Format: Pecha Kucha

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Marie Latour

The purpose of this presentation is to present the recently established EAIC, the European Association of Innovation Consultants to EARMA members and present various collaboration opportunities: project management; conference organisation in common; training; common policy position promotion...
EAIC currently gather 50 companies established in more than 20 Member States, its purpose is to elaborate synergies among consultancy companies in Europe. By joining forces on goals of common interest, the currently fragmented landscape of consultancy companies could enhance the impact of actions at European level. EAIC's missions are:
1. Create synergies between European consulting companies specialized in research and innovation (R&I) financing and management to promote the added value their professional services bring to R&I collaborations in Europe and carry out actions of common interests and benefits for its members. ​
2. Enhance a positive image of European professional innovation consulting companies by ensuring and maintaining high professionalism and ethical values among members.​
3. Represent the EAIC towards European institutions and stakeholders to defend the specific expertise and professionalism of EAIC members and acknowledge the increased project impact they deliver to the European research community. ​
4. Identify common issues and goals of its members and pursue them in a coordinated manner on a national level by contributing to national concertation and enhancing direct dialogues with the different representations of the EU Member States. ​
5. ​Facilitate knowledge sharing on best practices and information between members on latest evolutions in the European R&I ecosystem. ​
6. Foster the participation of the private sector to European R&I programmes for stronger impact and exploitation of results. ​
EAIC and EARMA have a lot of common interest in common!

Adapting to the new policies – turning IBEC into a fully open institute

Format: Poster

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Open Science & Responsible Research & Innovation

Cristina Arimany

Open science is a policy priority for the European Commission and the standard method of working under its research and innovation funding programmes.
As open science is one of the strategic areas of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Strategic Initiatives unit at IBEC, in charge of the overall institutional positioning strategy of IBEC, has adapted its structure to foster our work on this field.

Automatic Thesis Agreement Generator Tool for Supporting Fresh Researchers

Format: Poster

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Open Science & Responsible Research & Innovation

Anttoni Lehto

As the operating environment of universities of applied sciences becomes increasingly complex, it is useful to adopt holistic approaches to students’ thesis work. As potential future researchers, their thesis work emerges as one of the focal points of many issues contributing to this added complexity. These issues include rapidly developing data protection regulations and methods, varied business cooperation, the open science paradigm shift, increasing awareness of ethical and IPR issues as well as the diversification of education due to multimodal learning environments and e-learning methodologies.To overcome these accumulating challenges, Turku University of Applied Sciences is in the process of adopting a new self-developed tool for all students and their thesis supervisors. The background juridical material for the tool has been created in the “Open RDI, learning, and the innovation ecosystem of Finnish UAS” project co-funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Thus far, the tool has piloted by a total of 25 thesis supervisors.

Developing Support for Clinical and Health Researchers

Format: Poster

Category: Case Study

Topic: Proposal Development

Dr Ashleigh Byrne

The College of Medicine and Health (CoMH) in University College cork, Ireland, spans 6 schools and is the academic hub for 11 hospitals. In 2019, a Research Support Officer role was created, and a clinician was appointed as the Vice Dean of Research and Innovation – normally an academic appointment. This is our story so far – on how we are developing research and research support strategies for both our academic and clinical researchers, including those who wish to become research active. While the college is affiliated with a number of hospitals in the region, many researchers based at those hospitals do not receive/seek out university/college-level support for their research efforts. Aside from 2 large research centres, there has been little collaboration between the college and the hospitals. The hospitals are often considered as separate entities to the college, and many academic researchers are unaware of the research efforts within the hospitals (and vice versa), despite studies being similar with potential for collaboration. The reasons for such disconnect are many, and historical.Since 2019, we have been developing a mechanism to provide research support across the college and our affiliated hospitals. Our aims include increasing awareness of the local research supports available, increasing local academic-clinical collaborations, helping researchers navigate the funding landscape and map out a career path, and ultimately, to increase the research outputs and impact of the college. Here, we present some of the challenges we have met and continue to meet, some of our efforts and achievements to date, and what we hope to achieve in the future.

Development of a national standard research classification system in Ireland

Format: Poster

Category: Case Study

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight

Claire Mckenna

This project is developing a national standard research classification system in Ireland. It is being designed for the primary purpose of the categorisation of all exchequer-funded research in the Republic of Ireland, but will have the potential to be used more broadly in categorising all research being undertaken nationally. The classification will be inclusive of all research performing sectors in Ireland. It will contribute to the development of evidence-based policy and contribute to the discussion of the impact of research funding.

From Need Identification to Impactful Projects – Co-Creative Process to Support Project Idea and Proposal Preparation

Format: Poster

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Impact

Hanna-Greta Puurtinen

World’s multidimensional global challenges need to be addressed using all intertwined potential of science and research, innovation, business, public sector and civil society. Identification of the large-scale challenges and more specific needs at local level is a joint effort. Utilisation of foresight information is of utmost importance in finding the pathways towards sustainable and inclusive solutions and impact for societies.

To capitalise the value of impact, it’s essential to ensure that impact is considered as the starting point for project ideation process. The link between project portfolio and institutional strategy needs to be strengthened, as strategy defines the pathway towards desired impact On the other hand, it also constitutes the main tool to prioritise operative actions during times of scarce resources.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) implements the project idea process and platform (EARMA Conference 2021). New elements include incorporation of a pre-ideation phase and clarification of impact targets of project ideas. Yet, the main aim remains to be to secure the alignment of externally funded project portfolio with the institution strategy. The objective of the new elements is to increase the number of new, more mature project ideas, to improve the quality of early-stage idea expert support, and to guarantee an open, collaborative platform for staff members for cross-disciplinary project idea maturation.

In the new phase regarding raw project ideas, idea description can still be short and unorganised. The online platform is accessible for all staff members offering the opportunity for collaborative and cross-disciplinary reflection among peers and early support from RDI experts. There is a direct channel to the second phase where the project idea is elaborated in more detail. The main project objectives must be described, and a financial plan defined. Alignment with institution’s strategy is ensured, and targeted impacts have to be described. The process also requires reflecting the idea against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In the transparent decision-making process, the Vice President and Head of External Funding give either approval to proceed with the application preparation with necessary resources, or the idea is returned with constructive feedback.

The coverage of project idea management with one process and platform supported by RDI specialists effectively supports TAMK’s strategic, managerial, financial and quality processes and facilitates impact creation. Systematic supportive approach from project idea need identification to early-stage impact consideration has ensured that TAMK’s project portfolio has grown both in number and in quality. Process also strengthens joint institutional values such as co-creation, transparency, equality, cross-disciplinarity and openness. TAMK is more ready to identify and tackle multidimensional local and global challenges with the collaboration of relevant actors to achieve impactful solutions.

The strategic idea process has been implemented in TAMK since 2014. Besides the successes, there still are obvious places for improvement. These include the growing demand for continuous competence development of RDI support experts and research managers in areas such as impact thinking, early-stage idea facilitation, forecasting capabilities, and knowledge of various funding schemes and the policy frameworks behind them.

Global Collaboration: The Bitter, Sweet & Keys to Success

International research collaboration challenges, pandemic effects and implications for research support strategies

Format: Poster

Category: Interactive Session

Topic: International

Jagdees Pabla

The session reveals the results, findings and implications of a collaborative international researcher survey conducted jointly in UK and Malaysia. The session will highlight the main international collaboration drivers, the challenges faced across the project lifecycle and the effects and impact of the pandemic on international collaboration, all from the perspective of a cohort of researchers at different levels of experience in the UK and Malaysia.  The role of research support services is featured and ideas and suggestions shared indicating how research support service practitioners could enhance contributions to their institution's strategy for international research collaboration. 

How I Became a Research Manager and Administrator (HIBARMA)

The third iteration of the international Research Administration as a Profession (RAAAP-3) survey focuses on how people came into the profession

Format: Poster

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Cristina Oliveira

You knew from the time you were a child you wanted to become a research manager and administrator when you grew up, right? No one in the history of ever has probably uttered those words. Everyone is different and seems to fall into or meander into the profession along different paths. Unfortunately, there is no degree course to get you into the profession - it is not something that is (yet) on the horizon of most undergraduates. The entry into the world of research management and administration is still uncharted territory, so how do we end up here, in “The best job of all”? This is the question we aim to answer with the 3rd iteration of the Research Administration as a Profession (RAAAP) survey, to be launched in early 2022.Previous surveys (including previous iterations of RAAAP) have provided some information about routes into the profession and recent initiatives for collecting testimonials and personal stories are in place (eg. SRAI call for participation) have added some colour. Our poster will summarise some of these findings and initiatives, and call on the RMA community to actively participate in them.With easy QR Code access, visitors will be called to fill in the RAAAP survey with their data, but also will be able to record and write their personal stories about “How they became RMAs”. The data collected during the EARMA Conference will be part of the overall RAAAP-3 data collection exercise and later anonymised and disseminated to the whole community. There will also be an opportunity to leave details for possible follow-up interviews.In this burgeoning profession, learning more about the pathways leading into our particular craft can help inform future curriculum developers, policymakers, institutional administrators, and indeed those trying to find the right profession for themselves. It will also be interesting to look at the geographical contexts in getting to the profession and to suggest target actions, relative to each context.

Implementation of European Charter for Researchers by Estonian research institutions

Format: Poster

Category: Case Study

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight

Kristel Toom

The European Commission ‘Human Resource Strategy for Researchers’ supports research institutions and funding organizations in the implementation of the Charter & Code in their policies and practices. The aim of the study carried out in 2021 was to analyse the implementation of the Charter & Code principles by research institutions in Estonia, also if and how the implementation is supporting the goals of the national Research and Innovation Strategy. 10 institutions in Estonia took part of the study. The outcome of the project were recommendations to the R&D institutions and policymakers.
The poster gives a comparative overview of the outcome.

Insights from a pilot multi-phase study to increase researchers' engagement in the Italian scientific research and treatment institutes (IRCCS)

Format: Poster

Category: Case Study

Topic: Research information systems (CRIS)

Giulia Mollica

Research engagement is the interaction between researchers and research end-users and/or partners. Decision-makers and scientists have paid little attention to define strategies for increasing research engagement in Countries of Southern Europe, such as Italy.In Italy, research activities in healthcare are mainly performed by the Scientific Research and Treatment Institutes (named as IRCCS from the Italian acronym of these organisations). IRCCS hospitals represent the excellence of the Italian research and healthcare system with high standards of health research and staff training. Regardless of their public or private nature or their affiliations with local Universities, IRCCS hospitals receive economic and practical recognitions only by the Italian Ministry of Health. Currently, 51 hospitals obtained recognition as IRCCS hospitals in Italy, of which 21 are public and 30 private.In this context, the General Directorate for Research and Innovation in Healthcare of the Italian Ministry of Health started to organise periodical round tables to map the activities and the specific needs of Senior Researchers and Junior Researchers within the network of IRCCS hospitals. The need to determine a strategy for enhancing the engagement of researchers was the rationale underpinning the round tables. Moreover, following the European strategies and recommendations, the Scientific Departments of IRCCS hospitals and the Grant Offices (GO) also promoted initiatives to sustain research engagement in order to improve the strategic support of researchers in the design management and in the implementation of research activities.This pilot and multi-phase study aimed at developing and initially validating a brief questionnaire to explore research engagement, providing an initial mono-centric description of the research engagement's levels, preliminary identifying clusters of researchers' engagement and identifying an initial theory-grounded framework for guiding future research endeavours in the field of research engagement in Italy. The developed questionnaire measured "Project-oriented engagement" and "Organisation-oriented engagement". Fifty researchers were enrolled. Among responders, two main clusters were identified: one with a trend of higher project-oriented engagement (characterised by a higher number of senior researchers), the other one with a slightly higher organisation-oriented engagement. A two-level framework was hypothesised to study the research engagement in future research, considering the theoretical interconnection between the individual-level engagement, its consequences and its organisational characteristics. Further research is required to provide an in-depth description of research engagement and its antecedents and outcomes.

Lockdown as a catalyst for researcher engagement

Reimagining effective strategies

Format: Poster

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Proposal Development

Sinead Gorham

In this poster the ADAPT Research Development team (RDT) reflects on how researcher engagement was re-imagined throughout the Covid lockdowns. We invite you to share your ideas on novel hybrid/blended solutions of providing RMA. What worked well for your institutions during these times? What didn’t? With the re-emergence from lockdowns will it all be online from now on? This session will explore strategies used, and how to retain best practices in our post-Covid world? Since the emergence of Covid and the move to working from home the multi-institutional ADAPT RDT (which includes eight Higher Education Institutions spread across three provinces in Ireland with over 300 researchers from numerous disciplines) instigated a number of tools and techniques to assist with effective researcher engagement in remote working environments. Traditionally pre-Covid, a significant amount of the team’s engagement with researchers was via formal pre-organised and informal in-person meetings, as well as open door drop-ins in the office, resulting in strengthened relationships and engagement. In our Research Centre, this is particularly pertinent with the RDT working side-by-side with academics, postdocs and PhD students all sharing the same space. With the forced move to work off-site, these interactions were lost. To begin addressing this void during Covid, the team implemented several new processes to connect in a novel way with researchers. Tailored virtual call information sessions were scheduled, after exercises to map activities for specific calls. Virtual writing sprints, proposal intelligence workshops, recorded training sessions, feedback loop/s for draft material and portal guidance were all incorporated into our practices. These virtual processes were promoted through various channels, from mailing lists, collaborations with both Education and Public Engagement, Marketing and Communications colleagues within the Centre, to directly through PI’s leading groups across the Centre. In addition, the RDT became increasingly aware of the importance of researcher well-being at this time. This was emphasized by the results of several questionnaires circulated to research staff via Centre management and observed in our day-to-day internal interactions. The focus on researcher well-being led to a softer engagement strategy; not only call/opportunity based but in the form of light touch weekly “drop-in” coffee sessions, focussed on free discussion, as well as one-to-one follow-up sessions when and where necessary. The well-being of the members of the RDT was also brought into focus with bi-weekly check-in sessions scheduled, as informal catch-ups with emphasis on team welfare. Learning outcomes: The researcher-managed process sessions have generated strong interest, been well attended and submission numbers in those calls have remained steady and in some cases increased throughout the pandemic period. The “drop-in” coffee sessions have led to a number of fruitful discussions between researchers, in particular some collaborative transdisciplinary research opportunities have stemmed from these weekly interactions, as well as building and sustaining relationships during difficult times. This session is aimed at pre-award research managers in any stage of their career (beginner to expert). The focus is to share ideas on novel blended solutions of providing RMA and retaining best practices on a return to office settings.

REDCap a CTMS management solution for Italian Research Hospitals – IRCCS: simplifying the management of research teams

Format: Poster

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Policy, Strategy, Evaluation and Foresight

Sara Boveri

“IRCCS” - Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico - are (private or public) Italian Research Hospitals with excellence qualification partially funded by Italian Ministry of Health (MOH) and in some cases affiliated with public universities.
IRCCS research teams handle projects funded by MOH, pharmaceutical companies and private and/or public research grants. Research Administrators need different types of competences to manage this complex reality and to control the progress of milestones and deliverables of the projects.
Researchers and Scientific Directorate work together to achieve strategic goals, to attract increasingly competitively sought after funding, to engage with audiences within the hospital, and juggling the many administrative requests in between all this. In this scenario, we think it is certainly worth to contrive tailored tools for research management and administration.
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, web-based software platform designed to support data capture for research studies, providing:
1. an intuitive interface for validated data capture;
2. audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures;
3. automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical packages;
4. procedures for data integration and interoperability with external sources
5. fast and flexible production-level database based on requirement
6. sharing of data between different roles in clinical research
Scientific Directorate of IRCCS Policlinico San Donato (PSD), in 2018 decided to use REDCap for eCRF, patient recruiting, patient monitoring, document management but also for investigator research management with national and international projects registry, clinical trials registry and Scientific Library registry.. These registries included technical specific aspects of research area.
Each Team Leader of a Clinical Unit can control online and update his research activities by REDCap, which is organised and managed by the Research Administration. In three years, the Scientific Directorate organized with REDCap the annually reports of 482 trials, 106 MOH and other funded projects and archived characteristics of 1482 scientific papers. The Trial registry includes information about type of study, Ethical committee approval, insurance policy and ongoing update during enrolment. Grant office database contains for each project the type of funding and deadlines, MOH classification, background, aims and annual results. Scientific Library manager updates for physicians every 3 months all papers printed and researchs could classify the property of each publication. PSD Scientific Direction.
Finally PSD use REDCap for institutional survey for education activities.
Based on the first three years, we are implemented this scientific tool as institutional CTMS aspects and important connection way between researchers and administrators.

Research management experiences and needs of researchers in India

Format: Poster

Category: Operational Lessons Learned

Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building

Godwin Fernandes

The scope of public health research is growing in India, creating the need for effective and efficient pre and post grant management systems in research organizations. The growing demand for grant management services is justified considering the responsibility toward funding agencies and other stakeholders. The key to efficient implementation of research projects is a dedicated research office with skilled personnel and efficient systems. Under the India Research Management Initiative (IRMI) Fellowship, an online survey and qualitative interviews were conducted to understand the research management experiences and needs of researchers in India. This survey was conducted to facilitate the setting up of central research office within local research organizations and to build capacity of researchers and support in pre and post award processes. Currently, management of research grants at local organizations in India is entirely dependent on the Principal Investigator (and his/her team). While it is essential for research teams to possess relevant research management skills, in the long term, it creates significant burden on individuals who can be distracted from focusing on the research priorities and goals of the funded projects. Also, although the research teams comprise of qualified clinical/research staff, most do not have grant management training. A good research management practices that are implemented by a project or research group do not systematically get scaled up across the organisation.
India’s growing research portfolio necessitates the development of a bespoke research office catering to the grant management needs across the organisation. A well established research office in an organization will provide strong centralized leadership through personnel with a high level of administrative and financial acumen, and with relevant experience of dealing with research funding. We particularly need to (1) develop and strengthen specialist knowledge and experience of research management (none of our current centralised staff have research management-related training), and (2) expand the numbers of staff to manage the increasingly large organisational workload, and train these staff in basic research management practices.

The online survey was initiated to understand the needs and existing support systems for researchers in India and qualitative interviews were conducted to get insight into the findings from the survey.

The research management survey is aim further to examine the strengths and gaps in the research ecosystem in India. We particularly need to:
(1) Develop and strengthen specialist knowledge and experience of research management in India.
(2) Build capacity of young researchers to respond to growing need for efficient and effective grant management.
The survey and qualitative interview findings will be used to
1. Develop Standard operating procedure (SOP) and policies to guide research organizations locally in the Indian research ecosystem.
2. Develop a report to highlight gaps and opportunities.

Story of the KAPPA Programme

How it started and how it's going - a story of Czech newbies setting up a schema of European format, that despite all challenges became a resistant and unique programme at the TA CR.

Format: Poster

Category: Good Practice

Topic: International

Dominika Paclíková

The poster shows the timeline of the KAPPA funding programme for applied research financed by the EEA and Norway Grants, with some interesting numbers reached since its launch. The programme is aimed at supporting international cooperation between Czechia and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which makes it a unique programme in many ways. Some of the challenges and newly adopted practices inspired by the European programmes are displayed.

THE ISGLOBAL PROJECTS UNIT: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH OF SCIENCE COORDINATION AND ADMINISTRATION

How to align science and management after the merge of three institutions

Format: Poster

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building

Joana Porcel

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) mission is to improve global health and promote health equity. ISGlobal approach is multidisciplinary, ranging from the molecular to the population level and including disciplines across health sciences, life sciences, environmental, social and climate sciences. It is the result of a large integration process of three previously existing research and translation centers of excellence (CRESIB, CREAL and ISGlobal) which was completed in 2016.Regarding the research and scientific coordination, and the grants management, the previous projects offices of CREAL and CRESIB went through an integration process, involving 1) an analysis of the structures, processes and resources at that time, 2) an analysis of the internal satisfaction surveys, and 3) and a benchmarking analysis, including several national and international institutes. As a result of this process, an integrated approach was proposed: the ISGLOBAL PROJECTS UNIT. The Terms of Reference of the Projects Unit were approved by the Direction Committee in December 2016, as a hierarchically dependent structure both from the Scientific Director and from the General Manager, guaranteeing that science and administration are completely aligned.The Projects Unit includes two offices: 1) the Office for Coordination and Research Management; in charge of scientific and strategy coordination, development and implementation of institutional and scientific internal policies, research integrity and ethics, and quality; and 2) the Grants Office, which provides personalized and anticipatory support to identify and successfully approach the more relevant funders and funding opportunities, and supports researchers and other teams in the preparation and submission of proposals and the follow up of awarded project and fellowships. The key members of the Unit meet weekly to coordinate, plan and review the main activities at the Projects Unit Coordination Committee.The Unit works closely with i) the HHRR area to support the development of the HRS4R accreditation logo and implement procedures that reinforce internationalization, career development, promote gender equality and foster social responsiveness; ii) the ISGlobal teams to prepare grants submissions including costing, management and ethical issues and to provide support to sponsored projects including contracting, financial reports and audits. Since its approval, the Projects Unit has been positively evaluated by the Direction Committee (July 2019) and has received competitive funds (~0.5M€) to deploy its strategy during the period 2019-2023, especially the preparation for the new EU framework programme, Horizon Europe.Thanks to the unique expertise of each office, the Projects Unit provides high-value management support to researchers and becomes a key element within the institutional strategy to promote its international leadership.

Take the customer journey

Pre-award support for EU funding in the new normal

Format: Poster

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: Proposal Development

Heli Honkanen

We present service design methodology as a practical tool for developing user-friendly EU funding pre-award support services in small research organizations. Growing competition for research funding has increased the need to design efficient pre-award support services to provide targeted services to enhance researchers’ fund-raising continuum of their research career in the new normal. We discuss how implementation of research management can benefit from service design and what new challenges entering the new normal brings to the support services and how they could be solved.

The History of EARMA

Format: Poster

Category: Technical Report

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Cristina Oliveira

EARMA represents the community of Research Managers and Administrators (RM&As) in Europe. As such, its history is also the history of the RMAs in Europe and the dedicated individuals engaged in making it a true collaborative and European professional community.
We look back on the first 25 years of EARMA, and will showcase its most relevant milestones, the drivers behind them and the dedicated people that put their heart and soul into bringing EARMA to the enrich and vibrant community that is currently.
Information will be collected from the existing documentation (such as the annual reports, meeting minutes and newsletters) and by interviewing past EARMA Board members and other key actors involved during the years.

The Impact Workshop- Success Story on Collaboration of Research Funding and Innovation Advisors

Format: Poster

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Impact

Leena Sivula

We began the development of The Impact workshop 2013. The starting point was that funding organisations expect research projects to have an impact that is not just innovation development, but a wider concept where the results of projects are exploited by society at large. To meet this need an “Impact Clinic” was developed as a collaborative effort of research funding and innovation advisors at the University of Jyväskylä. In the presentation, we explore the development phases of the workshop from an open event to a tailored workshop offered to support the design of individual projects.