EARMA Conference Oslo

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Career development programmes for researchers: A strategic approach

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Case Study

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Malena Bakkevold

Why do institutions establish career development programmes for researchers? Are such programmes necessarily a privilege for the select few that already have a solid financial platform? May they help institutions reach strategic goals? If so, what goals are more important: Ensuring that academic staff are acquainted with research ethics, regulations and laws; increasing external funding; or creating a better connection between research, education and innovation? Should programmes be shared with others – across disciplines and institutions – to enhance understanding, or should they be aimed at increasing one’s own competitiveness? These questions do not have a definite answer, and need to be revisited regularly.

Research leadership programmes

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Case Study

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Ms Anna Buverud

The University of Oslo Research Leadership Programmes have run since 2007, and offer one course (“Starting Level”) for researchers who recently have been given leadership responsibilities and one (“Consolidating Level”) for more experienced research leaders. The programmes are tailored specifically for research leaders on the operational level, with an emphasis on personal development and peer learning. About 700 research leaders have participated over the years, one fourth of these coming from other Norwegian institutions.

Talent development for young researchers

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Case Study

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Solveig Fossum-raunehaug

The NMBU Talent Program is a career development program that supports young, talented researchers in their effort to develop as researchers. The program provides an opportunity to build on skills and competences that will improve the chances for attaining funding from top research programs nationally and internationally. The duration of the program is three-years and includes support per participant with (1) Funds for competence building, (2) Allocation to a mentor, and (3) Participation in biannual meetings.

Transnational approaches for strengthening early stage research administrators

Questions and experiences from the ADMIN project

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Stefan Apitz

The main objective of the ADMIN project (Boosting Research Administration Skills and Services) with partners from five European countries (2020-2022) is to contribute to capacity building of research support staff and enhancing the prospect for Research & Innovation (R&I) projects and initiatives in European funding schemes. The second objective is to strengthen and expand the network of research support staff across project partner countries and beyond so as to allow free flow of information, knowledge and exchange of best practices hence increasing the prospects for excellence in research administration. The overall aim is to boost the capacities of research administrators by improving their performance, highlighting the visibility of their work and outcomes and strengthening relations with academic/scientific staff. The target groups are early stage research administrators who are faced to the challenge to respond to every-day tasks on R&I projects, academic staff, stakeholders and students. We would like to discuss some major questions central to the project with conference participants: Are you familiar with innovative best practice approaches for research management (case studies from various institutions)? What are daily challenges/problems you are facing in your work environment? Results of the discussions will be incorporated in project outputs: an educational video "alone in the office" and a project management handbook including case studies with best practice approaches from varous countries, among them the Application Lab at Harz University/Germany.

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.

Working Together: A Call to Create a Transnational Research Management Support Community for Universities of Applied Sciences

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Interactive Session

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Hanna-Greta Puurtinen

The expectations and demands concerning the societal, economic, and environmental impact of all types of research is continually growing in Europe and around the world. In order for the European Higher Education Institutional community to meet these expectations, it is necessary that contributors of varied expertise be fully engaged. While the role of fundamental universities in the quadruple helix process is undisputed, the role of UASs continues to play a less visible role despite the fact that Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) now have two decades of research experience behind them. Our strengths in the innovation ecosystem, namely close and constant dialogue with local and regional actors such as SMEs as well as our thorough understanding of regional development have made us unique. However, to date, this has not always been effectively capitalized and consequently, requires competencies and tooling to bring it to fruition.

For UASs to increase their role, the research achieved at UASs needs to be properly supported by professional Research Managers (RMs) with an understanding of the unique nature of the research taking place at UASs. While research in the UASs has matured and simultaneously the support we, as Research Managers of the UASs, provide, RMs in UASs continue to struggle to offer the optimum level of support necessary for research. This struggle concerns time and resources as well as expertise. Professional competences and skills necessary for RMs in UASs are often different from those in fundamental universities pursuing basic science research because of the short history of UAS research and its different mission. In addition, issues like making science Open, evaluating Research impact and making it visible, and creating UAS-specific tools and systems such as a CRIS continue to be a challenge. One size does not seem to fit all.

Fortunately, we often have national collaborators to provide a sounding board for ideas. Occasionally, we discover a partner UAS in another country, but UASs struggle with the same issues international and we should collectively be able to support each other. As a result of these perceived deficiencies in the current system, we would like to create a transnational network for research support advisors that provides a platform for sharing and learning together; a network that is open, transparent, and has added value for members that leads to support, change and professionalization of the RM role in UASs.

In our 15-minute interactive session we would like to brainstorm and reflect with RMs of all types of institutions, whether they are from fundamental universities or UASs, about how we can successfully, collectively, work together to provide an established support community specifically focused on UASs.

Developing Project Managers' Competence at Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Henna Kemppainen

The discussion table session will give a quick sight into Laurea University of Applied Sciences' (Finland) actions to develop competence in project management. These measures include a training programme for project managers and informal coffee and sympathy discussion sessions for project experts. Laurea’s in-house training programme, Certified Project Manager (CPM), and informal discussion sessions are open for project managers and research and development (R&D) experts.

Paths towards the creation of RMAs professional communities

A comparative perspective between Italy and Portugal

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Case Study

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Valentina Romano

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 the 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 followings:
• Mapping the community and professionals’ definition
• Raising awareness and Communication
• Training initiatives
• National context and policies towards 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.

Professional development through best-practice exchange for managers and leadership

NARMA professional development program

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Nichole Elgueta Silva

NARMA (Norwegian Association of Research Management) has since its establishment in 2013 put professional development of research administration at the center of its mission by establishing initiatives and forums for best-practice exchange.In 2019 a new initiative was launched; a seminar for best-practice exchange at the management level. In this presentation we’ll briefly present the background and overall aim of this initiative, participants feedback and their experiences and lessons learned based on the initiative. 

Professionalisation of research management in Africa

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Practical Initiatives

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Ms Caryn McNamara

Research management is an emerging profession in Africa, with ongoing efforts to encourage institutional recognition. The Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association, supported by other African associations, initiated a programme as impetus to the professionalisation of research management. The first phase resulted in a Professional Competency Framework and the second phase involved the establishment of the International Professional Recognition Council to lead the development of a framework for a professional recognition programme.

Research management striving to re-invent an up-to-date idea of professionalism in a post-pandemic age

How is going to be professionalism for RMAs in a post-pandemic era? Which skills can we expect to require following the pandemic? What is professionalism for those in RMA overall?

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Theoretical

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Susi Poli

How is going to be professionalism for RMAs in a post-pandemic era? Which skills can we expect to require following the pandemic? Following these questions, this presentation aims to define what professionalism for today’s RMAs is – consisting of qualifications, associations, professional frameworks, among others but not exclusively – but, above all, what we could expect this professionalism – its set of skills and expectations - to be in an early future.We all know that Higher Education worldwide has been experiencing a period of identity crisis and widespread criticism following the pandemic. For this reason, in a post-pandemic age, research managers (RMAs) could be expected to reshuffle their skills and re-invent themselves, not only to cope with an era where even professional knowledge has a limited lifespan (Barnett, 2008); but also to create a new idea of professionalism and up-to-date skills for the times lying ahead.All this may end up requiring the re-design of professional frameworks and qualifications so to reshuffle what we are and what we know so far in today’s research management and administration. This re-designing effort may end up impacting professional associations, institutions and the community of RMAs globally. This is, therefore, a call to action to begin re-inventing these skills as soon as we can.This presentation is meant to be theoretical; it moves from the definition of professionalism to the search for the up-to-date skills to be sought in the early future even to figure out what idea of professionalism lies ahead for all those in today's RMA.

foRMAtion educational module for future RMAs

Lessons learnt and impacts measured

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Operational Lessons Learned

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Virág Zsár

The project foRMAtion developed an elective educational module for university students to provide a glimpse on the RMA profession. The uniqueness of the project and the solutions found aim to support the successful take-up of the educational module by any universities and contribute to the better awareness of the profession and preparedness of potential career entrants. The short-term impacts have already been detected at various levels, such as the level of the students, the teachers and researchers, as well, as of the university administration and leadership underlying the relevance of the module. The questions raised and possible strategies of knowledge transfer to other university settings will be presented and discussed with the audience.

Developing Staff and Their Career Paths in the New Work Environment

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Dr Ara Tahmassian

Over the past decade global investments in research and development (R&D) have continued to grow in what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has termed the move towards “the knowledge economy”. Governments across the world have increased their investments in R&D with the universities being a major beneficiary as recipients of the research funding. This increase in research funding and requirements for proper financial and ethical management of the research enterprise has in turn resulted in continued global growth of research administration as a profession. The expansion of the profession has been helped with longstanding strategies for training of new staff and continued professional development of existing staff to meet the needs of the research enterprise. These strategies have included using internal training programs within the institutions, staff meetings, pairing of staff to work together in the office, as well as attendance in professional conferences and training offerings.
With the changes in the work environment resulting from the COVD-19 pandemic and variations in the schedule that include fully remote or a hybrid of remote and office work schedules, the existing strategies for staff development may not be as effective and need adjustments to meet the needs of the “new normal”.
This session will focus on initiating a discussion amongst participants in order to identify and share good practices in how to address the staff’s professional development needs, such as:

• How to successfully “on-board” new employees in the remote or hybrid environment?
• What are successful strategies used to maintain the team spirit and cohesiveness in this “new normal”?
• In an in-person work environment, staff gain significant knowledge from the routine conversations (“the so-called cross-pollination”) with co-workers. How can this valuable opportunity be maintained in the new work environment?
• Similarly, some of the best information exchange can happen through random interactions (passing in corridors, meeting at the water cooler). Is there an on-line equivalent?
• How can staff gain recognition for their talents where casual interactions and networking opportunities with their colleagues is limited?

EARMA Leadership in Research

A networking event on the EARMA Leadership program for previous participants and interested newcomers

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Jan Andersen

The EARMA Leadership Program is transgressing into a new level and the purpose of this event is to share and build on the experiences of the previous Leadership in Research workshops.
Participants are invited to contribute to the content and format of the next generation of the EARMA Leadership program, facilitated and supervised by the planning team.
Key points from learning from previous events, and discussions with the EARMA Boards and Standing Committee members will be presented.

Informal professional learning in supporting lecturer research development and know-how

The Research Career Wheel in a nutshell

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Category: Good Practice

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Lucy Kerstens

We investigated how academic staff move from implicit to explicit professional development, identifying the utilisation of internal and external enablers to support changing from a ‘restricted’ to an ‘extended’ research professional (Evans, 2013). Sampling a cross section of academics and research managers in 15 UK (post 1992 and Russell Group) and 11 Applied Universities a small online survey investigated how increased research quality can be achieved by developing the internal enablers first, helping researchers increase confidence and develop expertise and where internal experienced teacher-researchers mentored and encouraged growth of new researchers. Preliminary results indicate that university driven motivation is a positive and significant predictor of the development of a researcher’s development. Our results also indicate that a lack of institutional reputation has a significant effect on the development of a researcher’s confidence. These key findings are presented in one poster, the ‘Research Career Wheel’– identifying the importance of recognising internal and external ‘enablers’ in academic staff transitioning to research outputs, together with the impact of recognition by formal external bodies accelerating and facilitating the development of internal research policies and development cultures. International accreditations (AACSB, EPAS) and rankings highlight the need for inclusive approaches to developing research capacity of Faculty staff.
Ultimately, Faculty staff that develop into more professional researchers enrich the delivery of their subject matter and the academic curriculum, as well as potentially making novel knowledge contributions to academic fields. The development of scholarly active Faculty staff benefits the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and various stakeholders, including students, teachers, corporate partners, academics, practitioners and policy makers, and simultaneously strongly underpins the HEIs Research Policy and Strategy.
Important learning outcomes of the session will be:
- how to use the Research Career Wheel in a workshop format as a researcher development tool;
- discuss what forms of university driven motivation you could use to enhance researchers’ professional journey
- allowing delegates sharing best practices in a Q&A

Rainbows, unicorns and your super power soft skills workshop

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Category: Interactive Session

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Merel-marlijn Sondervan

By Edwin Kanters UU University Utrecht and Merel-Marlijn Sondervan UMCU University Medical Center UtrechtResearch administration isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Not rarely the research administrator ends up in situations where soft skills are essential to make it through the day alive, these skills should be a large proportion of our toolkit. For some they come naturally but they can also be learned. Sometimes you'll find yourself in a situation where you will have to gear up and put on your super power warrior suit to solve an issue. How to know when to transform and what will actually help you? During our session we will address how to recognise what is happening and identify what is needed to proceed from there. Developing your soft skills requires practice but also experience. In the session you meet different archetypes:The micro managing researcherThe teflon researcherThe clueless researcherThe buddy researcherThe old school researcherThe ''God'' researcherIn this workshop we will use our acting skills to show you 3 hairy situations.After every short play we will go into depth and present the theory and soft skills to manage those situations. The following topics will be addressed: conflict handling, posture/attitude, perfectionism/service level and role/responsibility and played with enlarged archetypes.At the end of the session you will have a better understanding of how to influence behaviour by adapting your communication style to the situation.

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE LEVEL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING AMONG RF AND RA YOUNG RESEARHERS (PhD students)

Format: Pecha Kucha

Category: Methodological Session

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Elina Asriyan

Abstract: The rapid changes, crises, pandemics and wars, that take place in the modern world, introduce new requirements to a person and his/her adaptive resources. All these above-mentioned external factors in the form of separate stressors, and sometimes all together combined, have a complex effect on a person's psychological well-being. We aimed to study the PWB characterisctis among Republic of Armenia (hereinafter, RA) and Russian Federation (hereafter, RF) young researchers.

Research Support Professionals and Lifelong Learning

The core activities of the Professional Development and Recognition Committee (PDRC) of EARMA

Format: Pecha Kucha

Category: Technical Report

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Valentina Romano

The aim of this session is to present the core activities of the Professional Development and Recognition Committee (PDRC) of EARMA. The scope of PDRC is for EARMA to provide a comprehensive and relevant professional training program for our community members, also available for non-members. Considering that professional research managers and administrators (RMAs) worldwide are facing the transition to the “new normal”, we seek a wider understanding of emerging RMA training needs in order to provide input for high quality training.In this session we will present the results of a survey launched in 2021 on training initiatives and needs of RMAs in Europe and beyond. The survey originates from the mapping of existing training initiatives of RMAs associations worldwide, carried out by an Italian RMAs working group in 2020, that pointed out how different is the approach to training in each country. However, data on training at national level are hardly available worldwide, thus hampering studies on common training needs among RMAs in Europe. The survey aims to provide a general overvie of existing training courses for RMAs at national level and to identify relevant topics, emerging skills and preferred training tools, according to RMAs needs. Other surveys on this topic have been considered and the consistence with the RAAAP survey has been investigated.To complement the results of the survey we present the current EARMA training program and how the PDRC works to develop a comprehensive multilevel program where members at all stages can engage and undertake different tasks, as for instance trainers, assessors and mentors. We welcome all input, experience and suggestions from the audience in the discussion following our presentation.

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.