EARMA Conference Oslo


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The European RMA Community: The Leiden Group

A dialogue and discussion about building a broad European RMA community

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Dr John Donovan

In 2015 various European RMA networks, including EARMA, gathered in Leiden, The Netherlands, to consider the establishment of a pan-European network of networks with the specific objective of working together to support RMAs working across the continent.

The Leiden Group was never conceived of as an umbrella-association or a 'one ring to rule them all' association but as a shared workspace promoting mutual collaborations where, critically, each member maintains their own identity and role but pools our shared experiences and requirements.

Now we, the originators of the idea, want to bring the idea to the wider RMA community, all of our members and give colleagues the chance to be part of a wider discussion.

The rise of the Italian Research Managers and Administrators Association

A SWOT analysis

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: 1. Case Study

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Adele Del Bello

presentation aims to analyze the case study of the creation, establishment, and
development of the envisaged
Italian Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) Association, under an
innovative perspective, not previously covered at a national level.

we are carrying out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
Analysis of the internal and external factors that have a potential positive or
negative impact on the launch of the Italian RMAs Association by an RMAs
informal working group. 

What to expect when organising a conference?

Experience gathered over years of conference organisation

Format: Oral 30 Minutes

Category: Operational Lessons Learned

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Eleonora Zuolo

EARMA organises a professional conference every year and the main actor on the substance of the conference is the Annual Conference Programme Committee (ACPC). Both Zuolo and Maunula are long standing members of this committee and have years of experience in organising international and national live and digital conferences. Maunula is the current Chair of the ACPC. The Annual Conference aims at bringing together the most relevant and informative speakers in research management and administration, sharing their knowledge with the largest community of Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) in Europe. Over the last years, we have gathered close to 1,000 people in different locations and close to 700 people fully online in 2021.

How Research Management Associations can play an ever so important Role in the New Normal

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Category: Discussion Starter

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Dr Ara Tahmassian

Shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a “COVID-19 Pandemic” on March 11, 2020, country after country followed suit declaring a state of emergency. In their efforts to stop the spread of a virus the declaration of emergencies included imposing restrictions on social interaction and closing non-essential businesses. With these declarations, the majority of universities across the world moved their teaching activities and majority of research projects to a virtual environment. The impact of this global shift to virtual operations was unprecedented as researchers, local and international collaborators, funding and governmental agencies, and research administration professional all moved towards a virtual work environment primarily working alone and from home.

Over 18 months after the initial declaration, the world is moving towards what is being called the “new normal”, with continued precautionary restrictions (e.g. vaccination requirements, use of face masks, periodic testing of employees for COVD-19 virus, etc.). One of the major changes in this new normal impacting the employees, especially also research managers and administrators is the move towards alternative work schedules which include a continuation of working remotely or a hybrid work schedule in which employees split their times between working remotely and in their offices. The experiences of the past 18 months have shown that research managers across the globe have continued to provide their research community with the support needed effectively and efficiently and that the new work schedules offer them to balance their needs with those of their jobs.

While a remote or hybrid work environment provides many benefits for both employers (e.g. ability to recruit employees from a wider geographical area or retain the existing workforce) and employees, it also offers some disadvantages for the employees as they become somewhat isolated from their colleagues at work. This is where the important role of Research Management Associations across the globe grows significantly in the “new normal”! Associations have played an important role in bringing the research management and administration communities together and help connecting them; this is the moment where this role becomes critical and where the Associations can become the solid bridge between the membership in exchanging experiences, foster knowledge transfer and reciprocal learning.

In this discussion session we hope to initiate a spark exchange amongst participants on this important topic to identify specific actions that the Associations can take individually, or collectively, to help the research management and administration community to stay connected with each other for the benefit of the researchers whom they serve.

Forming a professional association – REGON Case Study

Format: Pecha Kucha

Category: 1. Case Study

Topic: EARMA and professional associations

Ida Souckova Olsova

Czech Republic, South Moravia, around 2010 - vast investment from the structural funds rapidly improves the research infrastructures of local research centres and attracts many excellent researchers. However, the Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS) recognizes that such investments, in isolation, are not sufficient for sustainable development of research and innovation potential of the whole region. The RIS also highlighted the fact that there is a lack of experience in supporting research projects and in research management in general.
Around the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) as the RIS coordinator has formed a group of experts willing to meet and share best practices, discuss common problems and find solutions to them. A Regional Grant Offices Network (REGON) was created. At the begging of 2020, Masaryk University, the most successful Czech institution in the obtaining the projects from the Framework programmes, took a lead of the group and was about to launch the new chapter of REGON. However, COVID-19 suddenly changed plans – the physical meetings were not possible.
Paradoxically, this helped in the end - online platforms created new forms of communication and opened meetings to the research management community from the whole country. The ability to regularly bring together probably the largest group of RM professionals raised the question of how to take advantage of this movement, concentration of skills, great ideas and common goals and benefit together in the long term. This led us to the idea of establishing a professional association - the Czech Association of Research Managers and Administrators (CZARMA). I will guide you through the REGON journey from a regional meeting of a few international project management enthusiasts to an attempt to create a broad professional platform.

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!

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.