The EARMA Conference was held in Prague April 24-26, 2023, and was a resounding success with an unprecedented attendance of almost 1,400 participants. This annual event served as a platform for the research management, administration, and support community to gather and share valuable insights and information.
The theme of the conference, "Widening and Deepening of the RMA Profession," explored both geographical and professional widening, while emphasising the professional development of RMAs in Europe and beyond.
The conference began with a video keynote address by Anna Panagopoulou, the European Commission Director for ERA & Innovation, DG Research and Innovation, European Innovation Council. She delved into ERA Action 17, highlighting its significance for the European research and innovation ecosystem. In addition, Ladislav Krištoufek, Vice-Rector for Research at Charles University Prague, delivered an inspiring in-person keynote speech on Capacity Building and Research Management.
One of the notable sessions was a panel discussion titled "The Future of Research Management." Esteemed panelists, including Stephane Bergmans from the EUA, Lidia Borell-Damian from Science Europe, and Nik Claesen from EARMA, shared their insights on the role and importance of research management in the ever-evolving R&I system.
Thematic Group sessions
Thematic Group sessions were a highlight of the conference, offering specialised forums for knowledge-sharing and collaboration. The EARMAimpact community, dedicated to research support, aims to foster a culture of impact-driven research within the European Higher Education sector. The session served as an introduction for potential newcomers to the group.
The Post-Award Project Management Group focused on providing support and services for research and innovation projects. As the demand for research project management continues to grow, the session aimed to attract new members and showcase the diverse career opportunities in this field.
The Open Science thematic group emphasised the broader implications of Open Science beyond open access. Researchers, institutions, and funders are increasingly adopting Open Science as a means to promote a constructive and effective research culture. This conference session aimed to encourage more research managers to join this thematic group.
RM Roadmap sessions
The RM Roadmap sessions highlighted the co-creation exercise and the role that ambassadors will play across Europe as part of this project. With over 80 ambassadors across nearly 40 countries, the RM Roadmap project aims to facilitate a major co-creation exercise and consultation process. The launch of the Research Management Helix, a part of the RM Roadmap project, presented by Crowdhelix, showcased its utility as a central channel for research management resources, posts, opportunities, and training. This Helix will be crucial in the discussion part of this project.
The conference also provided ample opportunities for sightseeing with boat and walking tours around the beautiful city of Prague. Relaxation spaces at the conference venue allowed attendees to catch up on emails or take a break from the bustling sessions.
The Gala Dinner, held at the Zofin Palace in Prague, provided a delightful culinary experience for participants. The exceptional waiting staff impressed attendees with their eclectic presentation. The evening continued with a lively band and dancing, adding a celebratory touch to the event.
During the closing ceremony, several individuals were recognised for their exceptional contributions. Emma Lythgoe, the EARMA Executive Director, was honoured for her 10 years of dedicated service to the Association and the RMA community in Europe. Sharon Bailey received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her unwavering commitment to EARMA. Daniel Spichtinger was recognised with the Voluntary Service Award for his outstanding work with the EARMA Policy and Representation Standing Committee and the Open Science thematic group. Stefania Grotti was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award for her tireless efforts and dedication to research management.
Furthermore, the conference celebrated the achievements of CRM graduates, announced the poster award winners, and acknowledged the recipients of travel grants and widening bursaries.
EARMA Conference 2024
Looking ahead, the next EARMA Conference is scheduled to take place in Odense, Denmark, in April 2023. We very much hope that you will join us in Denmark for the next event and look forward to seeing you there. Please note that the Call for Abstract Submissions for the EARMA Conference Odense will open during August 2023 and we would encourage all of our community to get involved.