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Research Administration around the World

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The purpose of the Research Administration as a Profession (RAAAP) project was to obtain a snapshot of the research management and administration (RMA) profession around the world. This included collecting basic demographics, which is the focus of this paper. Here, we present the results of a worldwide survey of RMAs conducted in 2016. We compare and contrast the demographics of RMAs across different regions of the world. Findings from previous national surveys, such as those by Roberts & House (2005), and Shambrook et al (2015), are upheld and expanded in an international context-for example, that the profession is predominantly female. In addition, a high level of academic attainment is also reported, in line with findings from D'Agostino et al. (1991). There are some significant differences in responses between regions of the world which reflect the differential maturity of the profession. For example, the U.S. has by far the highest number of respondents with over 20 years' experience in research administration as compared to the other regions. The reasons for joining and staying in the profession are also explored, with positives including working with faculty, the challenging work, and the fun. The extensive datasets are not fully explored in this paper and others are invited to use them for their own research and analyses. Overall, we conclude that research administration is becoming a global profession and argue that in some regions it is more advanced than in others, as reflected in the composition of the workforce and the availability and uptake of certification.
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Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
1
Research Administration
around the World
Simon Kerridge*
University of Kent
Stephanie F. Scott
Columbia University
ABSTRACT
The purpose of the Research Administration as a Profession (RAAAP) project was to
obtain a snapshot of the research management and administration (RMA) profession
around the world. This included collecting basic demographics, which is the focus of this
paper.
Here, we present the results of a worldwide survey of RMAs conducted in 2016. We
compare and contrast the demographics of RMAs across different regions of the world.
Findings from previous national surveys, such as those by Roberts & House (2005), and
Shambrook et al (2015), are upheld and expanded in an international contextfor
example, that the profession is predominantly female. In addition, a high level of
academic attainment is also reported, in line with findings from D’Agostino et al. (1991).
There are some significant differences in responses between regions of the world which
reflect the differential maturity of the profession. For example, the U.S. has by far the
highest number of respondents with over 20 years’ experience in research administration
as compared to the other regions. The reasons for joining and staying in the profession are
also explored, with positives including working with faculty, the challenging work, and
the fun. The extensive datasets are not fully explored in this paper and others are invited
to use them for their own research and analyses.
Overall, we conclude that research administration is becoming a global profession and
argue that in some regions it is more advanced than in others, as reflected in the
composition of the workforce and the availability and uptake of certification.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
2
INTRODUCTION
Research Administration (Kaplan, 1959) is
becoming recognized (Campbell, 2010) as
a profession in various parts of the world
(see also Atkinson et al., 2007; Kirkland,
2009; Langley & Ofosu, 2007; Szekeres,
2011). However, far from being widely
acknowledged, not only are there
different expectations of and boundaries
to what a research administrator does
(Shelley, 2010), there are different
monikers for them. In North America,
research administrator is the most common
term, but in other parts of the world the
equivalent roles are occupied by research
managers and by research manager and
administrators, often referred to as RMAs.
The rationales for these geographic
differences are discussed in Kerridge
(2012) and the definition of “the
leadership, management or support of
research activities” is derived from
Beasley (2006), Chronister & Killoren
(2006), and Stackhouse (2008), and was
used as the basis for this project. We
utilized the acronym RMA to encompass
all of this nomenclature.
The Research Administration as a
Profession (RAAAP) project (Kerridge &
Scott, 2016a) set out to survey Research
Managers and Administrators (RMAs)
from around the world with the aim of
eliciting a snapshot of the profession and
the skills valued by RMA leaders. This
paper focuses on the former; we aimed to
explain the various findings by
considering historical and cultural
differences in the various regions, as well
as previous work in the area, such as
Roberts & House (2005), Shambrook &
Roberts (2011), and Shambrook et al
(2015).
METHODS
The authors developed a
questionnaire to survey RMAs around the
world on their perceptions of the relative
importance of technical (“hard”) skills and
more generic (“soft”) skills. Another
component of the questionnaire was
designed to collect demographic
information. This paper focuses on the
results of the demographic data collected.
The questionnaire was initially created
and developed in collaboration with the
RAAAP Advisory Group (see below)
during the early part of 2016. The
questionnaire (Kerridge & Scott, 2016b)
was then constructed using the Qualtrics
(2017) online survey platform and tested
by the advisory group to identify and
correct any technical issues, and to
enhance ease of use. The advisory group
assisted in the wording of questions to
account for RMA terminology differences
in different regions of the world.
Before and during the development of
the questionnaire, a number of RMA
societies were approached to solicit their
support for the survey. Some of these core
associations also were asked if they would
like to have a representative on the project
advisory group (see below). The
associations approached were members of
the International Network of Research
Management Societies (INORMS, 2018)
umbrella association, a collection of 18
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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research management and administration
societies from across the globe. Their
participation maximized geographic
coverage and the respective number of
questionnaire participants.
Advisory Group
The initial project proposal had
envisioned an advisory group, partially to
guide the questionnaire development, but
also to stimulate interest within the
respective associations. The principal and
co-investigators represented the United
Kingdom (UK) through the Association of
Research Managers and Administrators
(ARMA, 2017) and the U.S. through the
National Council of University Research
Administrators (NCURA, 2017),
respectively. The Association of
Commonwealth Universities (ACU, 2018)
has a much wider remit than just RMA, so
their members were not surveyed through
that avenue, although many were covered
by other geographic associations such as
the Australasian Research Management
Society (ARMS, 2017), Canadian
Association of Research Administrators
(CARA, 2017), Southern African Research
and Innovation Managers Association
(SARIMA, 2017), and West African
Research and Innovation Management
Association (WARIMA, 2018). However,
they were included on the advisory group
to ensure as broad a perspective as
possible. The European Association of
Research Managers and Administrators
(EARMA, 2017) was given two places to
better represent the numerous European
national associations such as the Danish
Association of Research Managers and
Administrators (DARMA, 2017), Finnish
Association of Research Managers and
Administrators (Finn-ARMA, 2018),
German Association of Research
Managers and Administrators (GARMA,
2018), Icelandic Association of Research
Managers and Administrators (Icearma,
2018), and Norwegian Association of
Research Managers and Administrators
(NARMA, 2018). Similarly, the Society of
Research Administrators International
(SRAI, 2017), the second largest
association after NCURA, was offered an
advisory group position, meaning two
associations headquartered in the U.S., in
recognition of the fact that over 50% of the
research administrators being surveyed
work in that country. The remaining
places were taken up by ARMS and
CARA, the Australasian and Canadian
associations, respectively. The final
advisory group make-up (including the PI
and Co-I) was perhaps rather
Anglophone- and Western-biasedthis is
something to be considered for any future
iterations of the questionnaire. However,
it is not seen as a structural weakness of
the survey development, as a large
proportion of the target audience for the
survey was from those regions. See Table
1 for the membership sizes of the various
associations in the survey.
Participating Organizations
In the early part of 2016, when the
questionnaire was being developed and
the advisory group was formed, a number
of research management and
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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administration associations were
contacted to solicit their assistance in
asking their members to complete the
questionnaire. In addition to the
associations directly represented on the
advisory group (ARMA, ARMS, CARA,
EARMA, NCURA, and SRAI) a further
five - the Brazilian Research
Administration and Management
Association (BRAMA, 2018), U.S. National
Organization of Research Development
Professionals (NORDP, 2017), Research
Manager and Administrator Network
Japan (RMAN-J, 2018), SARIMA, and
WARIMA - also agreed to support the
work and requested that their members
participate in the survey. In addition,
EARMA requested that the other (non-
UK) national associations in Europe that
are members of the “Leiden Group” -
including the Austrian Universities’
Research Administrators and Managers
association (AURAM, 2018), DARMA,
Finn-ARMA, GARMA, Icearma, and
NARMA) also ask their members to take
part in the survey.
Questionnaire
A questionnaire was developed to
elicit the information required for the dual
purposes of creating a snapshot of the
profession and determining the skills
most prized by RMA leaders. Informed by
best practice from Fink (2016), it was
constructed in three parts with the initial
(part A, 12 questions) requesting
information on current role and entry into
the profession; part B included 32
questions about the skills necessary to be
an RMA; and part (C) was comprised of
10 questions to collect demographic
information. The final questionnaire
(Kerridge & Scott, 2016b) contained 54
questions, many of which were multi-part,
providing up to 222 data points per
respondent. When referring to questions
from the RAAAP questionnaire in this
paper the actual question text is quoted.
Survey
After the advisory group tested the
questionnaire, it was finalized and made
available for distribution on May 20, 2016,
and advertised by the participating
associations to their members. For each
association, a membership size was
elicited and used as the basis to calculate
(CRS, 2017) a target number of responses
in order to be able to undertake
statistically significant analysis with a 95%
confidence level and a 5% confidence
interval. Number of responses by
association was compared with
membership level provided by the
association. Email reminders were sent to
members of each association at least once,
but more often as necessary to attempt to
reach the target number of responses
needed for statistical significance.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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Table 1. Confidence Levels for Each RMA Association with Desired and
Actual Response Rates
As shown in Table 1, while the ARMS,
CARA, and EARMA response levels were
nearly high enough, only ARMA,
NCURA, and SRAI membership analysis
could provide statistically significant
analyses at the 95%, or better confidence
level. However, since the aim was to look
at the demographics of the profession
worldwide, larger regional groupings
were created to demonstrate differences,
in addition to the groupings of
professional organization memberships.
Response Rates
Overall 2,691 responses were collected
from 64 countries. The threshold for a
general population (with 95% confidence
level and 5% confidence interval) is 384,
and while the UK and U.S. provided
sufficient numbers, all other countries did
not. Therefore, for comparative analysis,
responses are grouped into geographic
regions such that most fall above this
level. This new
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment [note that
throughout the paper, field names from
the data sets are shown in italics] data
point was created and computed from the
CountryOfEmployment. Canada, UK, and
USA map directly [also note that ordinal
values from the data sets are shown in
italics]. Europe (excl UK) includes all
countries in the geographic region of
Europe excluding the UK (25 countries
with responses). Oceania comprises
Australia and New Zealand. The Rest of
World includes responses from 24 other
countries with responses. Overall, there
were responses from 64 different countries
(see Table 2), but only 19 countries had
more than 10 responses, and 5 (Australia,
Canada, Norway, UK, and the USA) had
over 100 responses. During the survey
window, associations invited participation
at different times and used a different
number of reminders, so the response rate
from the various associations should not
be seen as indicative of membership size.
Any future survey of this type should be
sent directly to all associations rather than
relying on one member of a regional
grouping to share it with their sister
associations.
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Table 2. Response Rates by Participating Country, Mapped to
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment
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Figure 1. Geographic Coverage of Responses
The map in Figure 1 shows the geographic
distribution of responses color-coded to
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment, as shown in
Figure 2.
Figure 2. Response Rates by Region of Employment (AnalysisRegionOfEmployment)
Limitations
It should be noted that while we
aimed for representative survey
responses, there are a number of potential
limitations. First, the geographic coverage
of responses should not be seen as
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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representative of the distribution of
RMAs. Other national and larger
geographic regions did not participate,
such as the Association of Research
Administrators in Africa (ARAA, 2017),
Central African Research and Innovation
Management Association (CARIMA)
(CAAST-net-plus, 2017), EARIMA (2017),
and Caribbean Research & Innovation
Management Association (CabRIMA).
Anyone continuing the work of RAAAP
may wish to increase international
representation, while noting that some of
these new associations are still early in
nature, making participation problematic.
In addition, the response rate from the
Leiden Group members was generally
low, perhaps because of how the survey
solicitation was conducted, which was
through EARMA rather than directly from
associations that are part of the Leiden
Group. A direct approach to all
associations might have proven to be
more fruitful.
Second, since only association
members were targeted [it should be
noted that some associations allow for
group/organizational membership], it
should be assumed that, generally, those
who responded are members of (at least
one) association, and perhaps more likely
to be advanced in their professional
careers. This was revealed by the large
percentages of managers (41.0%, 1,102)
and leaders (20.8%, 559) who responded
to the survey. In terms of a representative
picture of the profession, these are
potential weaknesses. However, it also is a
strength when analyzing the skills most
valued by leaders in the professionthe
other main purpose of the survey.
Pragmatically, this approach was taken as
there is no mandatory registration for
RMA professionals, leaving no easy way
to identify and contact those outside the
professional associations. One approach
could have been to utilize open mailing
lists such as the U.S.-based RESADM-L [
resadm-l@lists.healthresearch.org -
Research Administration Discussion List]
but at just over 5,000 subscribers this has
fewer members than each of the two
major U.S.-based associations.
Third, since the questionnaire
preamble, informed consent, and
soliciting emails focused on the views of
RMA leaders, it seems likely that a higher
proportion of leaders as compared to
operational staff would have participated
in the survey. Therefore, the proportion of
leaders in the response population is
almost certain to be higher than the
overall proportion of RMA leaders in the
RMA population. This likelihood is
exacerbated by the second issue noted
earlier.
Fourth, the soliciting emails and
informed consent concentrated on the
benefits of completing the survey for
individuals looking to contribute
information to the professional
community to help those seeking to
further their careers, those mentoring
others to do so, and to the profession as a
whole. It is possible that the responses
were not representative in terms of
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
9
satisfaction, with perhaps a higher
proportion of responses from those
content with their profession and wishing
to learn how to advance in it, rather than
those who feel disenfranchised and are
looking to leave.
Fifth, while each association was
asked to provide the number of members
on their mailing lists, the actual number of
emails sent to valid addresses was not
checkedit is possible that between
providing the membership numbers and
sending out the solicitations, the
membership sizes may have changed.
Therefore, there is a degree of uncertainty
over the exact number of responses
needed for statistically significant
analyses. However, due to the large
number of responses, this is not an issue
for the main analyses, but care should be
taken when looking at subsets of the data.
Finally, as with all questionnaires, the
responses may not be 100% accurate. For
example, one respondent indicated that
they were a member of all 21 associations
on the listthis seems highly unlikely.
Conversely, notwithstanding that the
questionnaire was only sent to members
of the participating associations, 9.8%
(264) of respondents did not report being
members of any of the listed associations;
this could be due in part to some
respondents not completing the
questionnaire, but not all, as only 14
respondents did not answer the gender
question which came afterwards. It also is
likely that some respondents who were
not members of professional associations
received the questionnaire from
individuals who forwarded it to them.
As indicated above, these and the
other probable biases should be
considered when reviewing the results.
However, notwithstanding the imperfect
nature inherent in research of this type,
the extremely high response level overall
provides confidence in the overarching
findings.
DATA CLEANSING AND ANALYSIS
The data cleansing process (see
Kerridge & Scott, 2017a) included a 20-
point data analysis plan (see Kerridge &
Scott, 2017b), starting with SPSS Statistics
(IBM Corp., 2016) orientation. An SPSS
data file was exported from the Qualtrics
survey tool used for the questionnaire
with the 2,691 responses and 282 data
fields. A number of data fields in the SPSS
data file were the actual question text
rather than responses from the survey;
therefore, the data fields were pruned to
222 data points. Each variable was then
renamed from their original SPSS system-
generated variable names to more
meaningful names for ease of conducting
analyses. Variable values were also
renamed. For example, for
CurrentRoleLevel, a value coded as 1 was
then labelled as “Leader”, and -99s
mapped in SPSS as “Missing Value” and
so was labelled as “No response”, in order
to aid analysis. Conversely, some default
codings were reordered so the numerical
values reflected the ordinality of the
values. Measurement levels also were
corrected where necessary. For example,
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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some were changed from Ordinal to
Nominal.
A number of fields were back-coded
from other data. For example, if a
respondent left the CountryOfEmployment
blank, but other data collected (e.g., if the
respondent indicated the name of their
employing institution) would
unambiguously allow identification of the
country, then a back-coding was
performed to include a response. This
resulted in the addition of 112 country
entries. The CountryOfEmployment
variable is important in this paper as it
determines the often used
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment variable.
Some data points were grouped. For
example, on the questionnaire we asked
for number of years employed as an RMA.
Inspecting the data showed a spike at
“round numbers”, with a higher
proportion selecting 10 rather than 9 or 11.
To allow for more robust analysis, this
“spurious accuracy” issue was addressed
by grouping the responses into 5-year
bands, creating a new variable,
YearsEmployedGrouped.
Another area of back-coding and data
cleansing was open-ended responses to
free-text questions, including those
questions with an option to select “other”
from the list of possible answers. For
example, looking at the membership of
associations, one selectable option was
“CARA”, the Canadian association. Forty-
two people selected “other” and typed in
“CAURA”—a previous acronym for the
same association; these responses were
back-coded to reflect that they were
CARA members.
The survey was developed with
anonymity in mind. The collection of IP
addresses and geo-locations was turned
off in Qualtrics to ensure that these data
were not automatically collected by
default. Names and email addresses were
not requested, and all questions were
voluntary. However, some respondents
provided information that could
potentially be used to identify them. For
example, several individuals provided an
exact job title with the name of the
institutions that employed them.
Therefore, to preserve anonymity in
the publicly released datasets, some
responses were redacted. Open-ended
responses were released as separate files
in the publicly released datasets to ensure
that potentially sensitive data could not
somehow be re-identified with
individuals by connecting open-ended
responses with other data points in the
main dataset.
The analyses for this study are based
on Pearson chi-square to (a=0.005) level of
significance.
RESULTS
Presented below are the results on
survey responses. As noted earlier, this
sample was not fully representative of
RMAs around the world, but skewed
towards those who were members of the
professional associations approached and,
further, towards leaders within those
groups. However, due to the high volume
of responses, a number of results still can
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
11
be seen as being broadly representative of
the profession. As discussed previously,
the results are presented as comparative
between regions (using the
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment variable that
is common to all of the datasets).
Current Role
In the questionnaire, respondents
were asked to self-identify as: Leader
(“head of office, or responsible for leading
strategic function(s)”); Manager
(“subordinate to a leader but responsible
for a team or functional area”);
Operational (“responsible for undertaking
specific duties, with no line
management”); or Not sure (“none of
these options seem to fit my role”). This
was coded into the CurrentRoleLevel
variable.
Overall, as shown in Figure 3, 20.8%
(559) of respondents self-identified as
being RMA leaders, with 41.0% (1,102) in
managerial roles and 35.1% (944) in
operational roles. When comparing results
between the regions (see Figure 4), the
overall pattern is broadly similar, with
perhaps a higher proportion of leaders
responding from the USA and the Rest of
World. As indicated, this is not necessarily
seen as being representative of the
population as a whole and therefore does
not imply that there is a higher proportion
of RMA leaders in the U.S. as compared to
the UK.
Number of Years
Figure 3. Respondents
by Current Role
Figure 4. Current Role by Region
of Employment
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
12
Figure 5. Approximate Years (Banded) as a Research Administrator (RMA)
Survey participants were asked,
Approximately how many years in total have
you been employed in the field of Research
Administration? [Does not have to be
consecutive years and can be full or part
time]. The data presented here (see
Figure 5) are grouped in ranges
(YearsEmployedGrouped), rather than as
individual years of experience. For
example, a response of “11” would be
reported as part of the 19.9% in the “10-
14” column of the ‘Approx Years (Banded)
as a Research Administrator’ bar.
The mode was 5-9 years (27.7%, 745
respondents), with a reasonable number
having been in the profession for 20 years
or more, and 0.1% (2 respondents)
reporting over 40 years’ experience.
Again, there appear to be differences
by region.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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Figure 6. Approximate Years (Banded) as an RMA, by Region
As shown in Figure 6, the USA had the
highest proportion of respondents with
over 20 years’ experience in RMA (20.7%,
188 respondents), as compared to 6.8%
(32), 7.8% (18) and 10.6% (40) from the UK,
Canada, and Europe (excl UK), respectively.
This seems likely to be due to RMA as a
profession having existed longer in the
U.S. (Beasley, 2006) than other parts of the
world, such as the UK (Taylor, 2001). This
is perhaps supported by comparison to
the Roberts (2005) data for the U.S., from
about ten years prior, showing 15% with
over 20 years’ experience; the proportion
of long-serving RMAs has increased over
time. Using the null hypothesis (see Boone
& Boone, 2012; Fink, 2016) that
approximate years employed in the
profession (YearsEmployedGrouped) and
geographic region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment) are not
related, a chi-square test of independence
was performed. The relationship between
these variables was significant, χ2(45,
N=2,456) = 206.812, p<0.001. There is
strong evidence of differences in length of
time in the profession for individuals
between regions.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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Number of Roles
Figure 7. Number of Jobs/Roles as an RMA
When asked, Approximately how many
research administration job roles in total have
you had during the years you were/are
employed …, a small number (1.3%, 34) of
respondents did not consider themselves
to be or to have ever been research
administrators (RMAs), but a large
proportion had been employed in
between one to three RMA jobs, with a
mode of 2 (see Figure 7). However, many
respondents reported four or more jobs,
with 1.7% (47) reporting ten or more RMA
positions. A further 2.3% (63) noted that
they had a “complex history,” which
sometimes included a transition from
another role type (e.g., researcher) and not
knowing which their first RMA role was.
This blurring of roles appeared to be quite
common and has been reported
elsewhere; see, for example, Whitchurch
(2009).
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
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Figure 8. Number of Jobs/Roles as an RMA, by Region
Figure 8 shows the variation in the
number of roles that RMAs have held
depending on their region of employment.
For example, 59.3% (557) of USA
respondents reported three or more RMA
roles, whereas in Canada and Europe (excl
UK), this dropped to 42.1% (102) and
42.3% (164), respectively. A chi-square test
of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between number
of roles that RMAs have had
(NumRARoles) and region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(55, N=2,542) = 145.888,
p<0.001. There is strong evidence that
there are differences between regions in
the number of roles held by individuals in
the profession.
This may reflect the relative longevity
of the profession in the U.S.; see, for
example, Beasely (2006) as compared to
Taylor (2001) for the UK.
Why people become research
administrators (RMAs)
Respondents were asked, “How
important were the following factors in your
choice to become a research administrator?,
and were provided seven factors to which
they responded using a Likert-type scale
with 1 being Not Important/Relevant and
5 being Really Important/Relevant.
Looking at why people become research
administrators, there appears to be a low
understanding of what the profession is to
those outside it. Only around 20% of
responses indicated, It was a profession I
was interested in while studying, with a
Likert-type scale response of 3 or higher.
In examining this factor by region (see
Figure 9), responses from the rest of the
world assigned it the highest importance,
with 15.0% (25 respondents), as compared
to 1.3% (3) to 5.2% (19) in the other
regions. A chi-square test of independence
was performed to examine the
relationship between the extent of one’s
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
16
interest in the profession was a reason for
becoming an RMA (JoinRAInterested) and
region (AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(20, N=2,431) = 151.238,
p<0.001. There is strong evidence of
differences between the extent to which
individuals joined the profession due to
their interest in it while studying, between
regions. While RMA is generally newer in
the Rest of World region, it seems possible
that the professional brand is growing
this could be an interesting area for
further research.
Figure 9. How Many Individuals across Regions Became RMAs
Due to Interest in the Profession Gained during Their Studies?
Another option provided as a reason
for joining the profession was, It was a
profession I felt my skills would be a good
match for. Perhaps unsurprisingly,
respondents reported this as being of
much higher importance than being
interested in the profession during their
studies. This was consistent across the
regions (see Figure 10). A chi-square test
of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between how
much having the skills for the job was a
reason for becoming an RMA
(JoinRASkillsMatch) and region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
not significant (a=0.005), χ2(20, N=2,464) =
19.045, p=0.519. There was no evidence of
differences between the regions in the
extent to which individuals joined the
profession because it matched their skills.
Similarly, there appeared to be a fair
amount of serendipity in why people
became research administrators, with “A
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
17
position was available, so I applied and got the
job, even though I did not have any
experience” scoring relatively high on the
5-point Likert-type scale (see Figure 11). A
chi-square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between how much the availability of a
job was a reason for becoming an RMA
(JoinRAJustApplied) and region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
not significant (a=0.005), χ2(20, N=2,458) =
32.387, p=0.039. There was little evidence
of differences between the regions in the
extent to which the reason that
individuals joined the profession was
serendipity.
There did seem to be a regional
difference when examining the
importance reported for “I was previously a
researcher and moved into research
administration (see Figure 12). A chi-
square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between the extent to which having
previously been a researcher was a reason
for becoming an RMA (JoinRAResearcher)
and region (AnalysisRegionOfEmployment).
The relationship between these variables
was significant, χ2(20, N=2,422) = 199.689,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between the regions in the
proportion of respondents who joined the
profession after having been researchers.
USA respondents assigned lower
importance to taking this route compared
to other parts of the world such as Europe
(excl UK), Oceania, and the Rest of World.
This higher importance in some regions
could be attributed to RMA being a
developing profession and the possibility
that researchers often find themselves
becoming RMAs because they are
Figure 11. How Many
Individuals across Regions
Became RMAs Because a
Position was Available?
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
18
required to undertake RMA duties
because there is no one else to do this for
them. This is supported by the higher
proportion of joint RMA-Researcher roles
in these regions (see Figure 13). For
example, in the Rest of World region, 16.9%
(31 respondents) were currently in (full- or
part-time) roles that combined research
and RMA; the next highest proportion
was in Europe (excl UK) with 5.1% (20
respondents), compared to the USA with
3.1% (29 respondents). A chi-square test of
independence was performed to examine
the relationship between the current
employment status
(CurrentEmploymentStatus) and region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(40, N=2,549) = 286.496,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between the regions in the
working roles / employment status of
RMAs.
The survey also provided respondents
with the opportunity to provide open-
ended responses. When asked about other
factors that led respondents to join the
profession, 346 provided additional
textual reasons that were highly important
to them. These analyses are not provided
here due to space considerations but could
prove to be an interesting avenue for
future research.
Figure 13. Current Employment
Type, by Region
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
19
Why Have RMAs Continued in the Profession?
Respondents were asked, “Why have
you stayed in research administration? They
were then provided with nine statements;
answers were reported according to a
Likert-type scale with 1 being Not
Important/Relevant and 5 being Really
Important/Relevant. When it came to why
people had stayed in RMA, there were
mixed views. This included “It pays well”
(see Figure 14), but a lower proportion of
those in Europe (excl UK) (18.6%, 67
respondents) and the Rest of World (21.5%,
34 respondents) regions were satisfied (4
and 5 on the Likert-type scale) with their
compensation for their work than those in
other regions, such as the UK (40.6%, 176
respondents) or the USA (41.2%, 377
respondents). A chi-square test of
independence was performed to examine
the relationship between how important
good pay was in RMAs’ decision to stay in
the profession (StayRAGoodPay) and
region (AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(20, N=2,412) = 139.268,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between the regions in
satisfaction with pay levels.
Overall, it appeared that those higher
up in the profession are generally more
satisfied (4 and 5 on the Likert-type scale)
with their pay (see Figure 15): Leaders,
40.8% (213 respondents); Managers, 36.7%
(382 respondents); and Operational-level
RMAs, 32.8% (293 respondents). A chi-
square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between StayRAGoodPay and
CurrentRoleLevel. The relationship
between these variables was significant
χ2(12, N=2,533) = 41.830, p<0.001. There
was strong evidence of differences in the
Figure 15. How Many
Individuals at Different Levels
Continue as RMAs Due to Pay?
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
20
seniority of RMAs in terms of satisfaction
with pay levels.
Figure 16. How Many Individuals across Types of Employers
Continue as RMAs due to Pay?
Overall, the type and size of the
institution did not appear to have much
bearing on pay satisfaction (4 and 5 on the
Likert-type scale)see Figure 16:
Predominantly Undergraduate
Institutions (PUIs), 36.5% (115
respondents); Research Active (middle
tier) Universities, 35.0% (270 respondents);
and Research-Intensive Universities,
35.8% (409 respondents). Much higher
satisfaction scores were reported by those
working in government departments (that
are not research funders/sponsors)
71.5% (10 respondents)but the number
of responses was low, and this was not
statistically significant. A chi-square test
of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between
StayRAGoodPay and the type of institution
in which RMAs work
(InstitutionCharacter). The relationship
between these variables was not
significant, (a=.005), χ2(36, N=2,523) =
31.765, p=0.670. There was no evidence of
differences between types of institutions
in terms of satisfaction with RMA pay
levels.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
21
In continuing to examine why RMAs
stay in the profession, the majority of
respondents reported enjoying their work
(“I enjoy the profession, it’s fun”) (see
Figure 17), with some regional variations,
and enjoy the challenge (“I like the
challenging work”) (see Figure 18), and
working with academic colleagues (“I like
working with faculty / academics) (see
Figure 19). A chi-square test of
independence was performed to examine
the relationship between those staying in
the profession because they enjoy it
(StayRAFun) and region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(20, N=2,477) = 59.626,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between regions in terms of
how fun the profession is perceived to be.
A chi-square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between those staying in the profession
because they enjoy the challenge
(StayRAChallenging) and region
(AnalysisRegionOfEmployment). The
relationship between these variables also
was significant, χ2(20, N=2,477) = 49.616,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between regions in terms of
enjoying the challenging work. A chi-
square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between those staying in the profession
because they enjoy working with
faculty/academic staff (StayRAFaculty) and
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment. Again, the
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(20, N=2,462) = 48.145,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between regions in terms of
enjoying working with faculty.
Figure 18. How Many
Individuals across Regions
Continue as RMAs because the
Work is Challenging?
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
22
Conversely, few RMAs were stuck and
unable (if they wanted) to move into
another profession (“Unsuccessful in
trying to move into another field”) (see
Figure 20). Although the proportions of
those giving high (4 and 5 on the Likert-
type scale) scores to this question were
low, these were still noteworthy numbers.
For example, in the Rest of World region,
7.7% (12), and in the UK, 8.2% (35), of
respondents found themselves in this
position. A chi-square test of
independence was performed to examine
the relationship between those unable to
leave their current job
(StayRACouldntMove) and
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment. The
relationship between these variables was
not significant (a=0.005), χ2(20, N=2,383) =
33.504, p=0.030. There was little evidence
of differences between regions in terms of
being stuck in the position.
However, it was visually clear that in all
regions RMAs were more likely to enjoy
their work than to feel stuck in the job.
Highest Degree
With regard to formal training and
highest degree earned (Figure 21), we can
see that those in the profession were
highly qualified, with 26.4% (709) holding
doctorates, 66.9% (1,795) with at least a
master’s degree, and all but 6.6% (178)
holding at least a bachelor’s degree. A
smaller survey (n=221) conducted in 1968
(D’Agostino et al., 1991) reported a similar
proportion26.7% (59), with doctorates
but a lower proportion46.6% (103)
with master’s degrees, and a similar
proportion7.2% (16)without an
undergraduate degree. The current 93.4%
(2,504) proportion of RMAs who
responded in the RAAAP survey held a
degree (or better), comparing favorably
with the Organisation for Economic Co-
Figure 20. How Many
Individuals across Regions
Continue as RMAs Because They
Have Been Unsuccessful in
Trying to Leave?
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
23
operation and Development reported
(OECD, 2017) average of 35.7%. There
were regional variations with 56.3% of
Canadians holding a degree (OECD,
2017), as compared to 95.0% (229) of
RMAs working in Canada (see Figure 22).
A chi-square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between RMAs highest academic
attainment level (HighestQualification) and
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment. The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(20, N=2,547) = 305.661,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between regions in the
academic qualifications of RMAs. Other
regional differences included the
proportions with doctorates53.8% (99
respondents) in the Rest of World, perhaps
reflecting the large proportion of
researchers who became RMAs. The high
proportion of those holding masters and
doctorates (91.1%, 255 respondents) in
Europe (excl UK) perhaps reflected the
propensity for European students to study
to the masters level before seeking jobs.
In an early study of one U.S. region,
Roberts (2005) reported that 12% of RMAs
had doctorates, and 44% a master’s or
above; the data presented here (16.9% and
63.5%, respectively) for the USA suggest
that RMAs have become more
academically qualified over the elapsed
eleven plus years. It also can be seen that
those in Leadership roles are more likely
(36.5%) to hold a doctorate than those in
Managerial (24.2%) and Operational
(23.3%) roles (see Figure 23). A chi-square
test of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between
HighestQualification and CurrentRoleLevel.
The relationship between these variables
was significant, χ2(12, N=2,677) = 100.221,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences in the academic qualifications
of RMAs at differing levels of seniority.
Figure 22. Highest Academic
Qualification by Region
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
24
Figure 23. Highest Academic Qualification by Current Role Level
Certification
The proportion of respondents with
professional certification (i.e., who
selected at least one option under the
heading, Please select all professional
accreditations that you have related to research
administration.) in RMA varied between
regions (see Figure 24). A chi-square test
of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between those
with any professional accreditation (see
the list in the questionnaire - AnyCRA”)
and AnalysisRegionOfEmployment. The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(5, N=2,552) = 200.624,
p<0.001. There is strong evidence of
differences between the professional
Figure 25. Proportion of RMAs
with RMA Certification, by
Current Role Level
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
25
accreditation of RMAs between regions.
The main reason is likely to be the
availability of these certifications. For
example, in the USA, the Research
Administrators Certification Council
(RACC, 2017) Certified Research
Administrator (CRA) has been available
since 1993 and the benefits seem clear
(Ritchie, 2017). Shambrook & Roberts
(2011) reported a 14.1% (n= 161)
certification (CRA) level in the U.S. in
2010, the 2016 data collected here showed
an increase to 31.6% (n = 297), suggesting
that certification is increasing in
importance. In the UK, the ARMA-
certified CRA has only been available
since 2014. Similarly, while Canadian
RMAs have been able to study for the
U.S.-based RACC CRA, there appears to
be little demand for it. It seems that the
national context is important. A localized
version of the ARMA-certified CRA is
now available in Canada and Europe. It
would be interesting to see if the
proportions of RMAs in the regions
increases over time. Looking at the
proportions of respondents with a
professional certification when comparing
staff at differing levels, more Leaders
(32.0%, 179 respondents) than Managers
(22.5%, 248) and Operational staff (20.6%,
194) were certified (see Figure 25). A chi-
square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between “AnyCRA” and CurrentRoleLevel.
The relationship between these variables
was significant, χ2(3, N=2,685) = 27.425,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between the professional
accreditation of RMAs at different levels
of seniority. While no causality is implied
here, there does appear to be a link
between professional certification and
advancement within the RMA profession,
as alluded to by Smith & Shambrook
(2015).
Age
Figure 27. Age Range of RMAs,
by Region
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
26
The overall age profile of the
respondents is shown in Figure 26. There
were very few (0.4%, 10 respondents)
below 25 years of age, but a reasonable
number (2.2%, 56 respondents) over 65;
the mode was the 3544 age bracket. This
is broadly reflected across the regions (see
Figure 27); however, the UK appeared to
have a younger age profile than the other
regions. A chi-square test of independence
was performed to examine the
relationship between age range of RMAs
(AgeRange) and
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment. The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(30, N=2,548) = 164.743,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between the age profiles of
RMAs in different regions.
Gender Profile of RMAs
Data showed that the profession is
unbalanced gender-wise, with 76.6%
(2,062 respondents) identifying as being
female (see Figure 28). While this female
prevalence was reflected across the
regions, the degree of imbalance was quite
varied (see Figure 29), with only 54.1%
(99) in the Rest of World reporting being
female compared with around 80% in all
other regions apart from Europe (excl UK)
at 66.2% (258 respondents). A chi-square
test of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between the self-
identified sex of RMAs (Gender) and
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment. The
relationship between these variables was
significant, χ2(10, N=2,545) = 146.640,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences between the gender profiles
for RMAs in different regions. There may
not be a simple explanation for these
variationspossibly the higher
Figure 29. Gender of RMAs,
by Region
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
27
proportion of researchers (where in most
areas there is a male bias) becoming
RMAs is one contributing factor. The
overarching culture may be another
factor. An additional possible explanation
is the maturity of the profession. In the
U.S., the field moved from a male-
dominated (see D’Agostino et al, 1991), to
a female-dominated profession over time
(see Shambrook et al., 2015). There are
undoubtedly other cultural issues at play.
Overall, 19.9% (187 respondents) of
Operational-level staff were malethis
was very similar to the 20.0% (219
respondents) of Managerial staff, but
lower than the 27.7% (154 respondents) of
Leaders (see Figure 30). A chi-square test
of independence was performed to
examine the relationship between Gender
and CurrentRoleLevel. The relationship
between these variables was significant
(a=0.005), χ2(6, N=2,672) = 21.411, p=0.002.
There was strong evidence of differences
in the gender balance of RMAs at different
levels of seniority. One possible
interpretation of these data is that more
males self-identify as leaders than do
females. If this were the case, then one
could expect a similar view about the
difference between operational and
managerial roles, but this was not seen.
Therefore, a more likely reason is that
there was a greater proportion of males in
leadership roles. These findings appear
consistent with the widely reported ‘glass
ceiling’ seen in other professions—see, for
example, Jackson & O’Callaghan (2009).
Again, there appeared to be regional
variations in terms of the likelihood of
having female leaders (see Figure 31). A
chi-square test of independence was
performed to examine the relationship
between Gender and
AnalysisRegionOfEmployment for the subset
of respondents who self-identified as
being RMA leaders (CurrentRoleLevel=1).
The relationship between these variables
Figure 31. Gender of RMAs,
by Region
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
28
was significant, χ2(10, N=527) = 44.797,
p<0.001. There was strong evidence of
differences in the proportions of female
leader RMAs across regions.
CONCLUSIONS / DISCUSSION
Notwithstanding the limitations
identified above, the results presented
here are, due to the large number of
responses, broadly representative of
research managers and administrators
around the world. The profession is
predominantly female, as reported
elsewhere (Roberts & House, 2005;
Shambrook et al., 2015); however, there
were differences between regions, with a
much higher proportion of males in the
Rest of World region than elsewhere. As
reported by Shambrook et al. (2015), early
in its history in the U.S., RMAs were
predominantly maleperhaps this was an
early regional characteristic of the RMA
profession. It has been argued that before
the profession was recognized as such, the
role of RMAs was often undertaken as
part of another role (an added duty); the
Rest of World region had the greatest
proportion of such roles. Similarly, there
was a lower proportion of full-time RMAs
in the Rest of World region, supporting this
hypothesis.
In terms of overall gender balance,
notwithstanding that the majority of
RMAs were female, consistent with other
glass ceiling findings, there were fewer
female RMAs in leadership roles than in
the general RMA population.
Overall, the profession was highly
academically qualified, with two-thirds of
respondents having a master’s degree or
higher, and with RMA leaders more likely
to have a doctorate than other RMAs.
However, even at the operational level,
more than a quarter of RMAs held
doctorates, suggesting a close tie with the
researcher profession. Indeed, 21.2%
indicated that they had moved from
research into becoming an RMA.
Interestingly in the USA, this was only
11.9%, further supporting the idea that as
the profession developed it attracted
professional staff, rather than just being
something that researchers “fall into”.
However, only 3.5% indicated that a top
reason for becoming an RMA was that
they were interested in the profession
perhaps because of the lack of visibility of
what an RMA does. Counterintuitively,
the Rest of World region had the highest
proportion (15.0%) reporting interest in
the profession as a top reason for
becoming an RMA. This perhaps warrants
further investigation.
Another indicator of the maturity of a
profession or semi-profession is,
according to Etzioni (1969), the
requirement or availability of certification
in order to practice. Morris et al. (2006)
argued for the importance of a body of
knowledge, such as that tested in the
RACC CRA. The USA had the highest
proportion (over a third certified),
supporting the supposition that it is the
most mature region. However, the next
highest proportion was Rest of World;
further work is needed to explain this. The
importance of certification to RMAs was
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
29
discussed by Roberts (2005), and more
generally by others such as Phillips (2004)
and Adams et al. (2004). The data
presented in this paper show that a higher
proportion of RMA leaders have a
professional certification than managers
and operational staff. This is at odds with
the data reported by Roberts (2005), where
certification was rarer at more senior
levels. Perhaps certification has helped
individuals progress into more senior
RMA positionsthis also could be an
interesting area for future research.
In summary, it is argued that the RMA
is indeed a profession, at least in the USA.
Some other parts of the world can perhaps
also make a claim for this status, or semi-
profession at the least, but other areas
such as Rest of World still have some way
to go. It is hoped that these newer regions
can learn from the more established ones,
to accelerate their development of the
profession.
FUTURE WORK
The data from the questionnaire are a
rich source for future analyses. Overall,
2,691 respondents each supplied up to 222
data points. In this paper we only used a
few of those; clearly, more work is
required to analyze and report on other
findings. These data (Kerridge & Scott,
2018) are freely available for others to use.
It should be noted, however, that to
preserve anonymity, the textual responses
have been partially redacted and a
number of the variables have been
disaggregated into unlinked datasets
(with AnalysisRegionOfEmployment being
the only variable common between the
datasets).
With regard to specific findings
presented here, there is clearly an
opportunity to create a longitudinal
dataset to help map the development of
the RMA profession over time. The
authors have proposed biennial surveys.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors would like to thank the
NCURA Research Program for generously
funding this project, and particularly
Denise Wallen and Denise Moody for the
creation and delivery of the Program. A
huge debt of thanks also is due to our
advisory group, who helped guide us
through the minefield of developing an
international survey: Patrice Ajai-Ajabe,
Jan Andersen, Janice Besch, Cindy Kiel,
Susi Poli, and Deborah Zornes. Many
thanks to the eleven associations around
the world (ARMA [UK], ARMS
[Australasia], BRAMA [Brazil], CARA
[Canada], EARMA [Europe] and other
members of the Leiden Group, NCURA
[U.S.], NORDP [U.S.], RMAN-J [Japan],
SARIMA [Southern Africa], SRAI [U.S.]
and WARIMA [West Africa]) who
distributed the questionnaire on our
behalf, and of course to the thousands of
RMAs who took the time to complete it.
Our thanks also to Alfred Kume for some
much needed feedback on reporting our
statistical analyses.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
30
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Simon Kerridge, BSc, DProf, is the Director of Research Services at the University of Kent.
He is responsible for all aspects of research support at the institutional level, including pre-
and post-award, ethics, assessment, reporting, and strategy. He has over twenty years’
experience as a research manager and administrator, and has been involved in many
national and international initiatives in areas such as research information, systems, metrics,
and open access. He is currently chair of the international Consortia Advancing Standards in
Research Administration Information (CASRAI) and immediate past chair of the UK
Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA), and was the principal
investigator of the Research Administration as a Profession (RAAAP) project. He holds a
professional doctorate in electronic research administration from the University of
Sunderland and a bachelor of science degree from Durham University.
Stephanie F. Scott, MS, CRA, is the Director of Policy & Research Development in
Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) at Columbia University. She is responsible for
educating and updating the university community on policies and procedures impacting the
day-to-day management of proposals and awards. She has over twenty years' experience in
all aspects of pre-award sponsored projects administration and has led many special projects
involving the implementation and change management of major policies and systems. She is
currently the co-chair of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Subawards
Subcommittee, and a member of NCURA's Professional Development Committee (PDC),
and was the co-investigator of the Research Administration as a Profession (RAAAP)
project. She holds a master's in epidemiology from the State University of New York (SUNY)
at Buffalo, and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA).
AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
SK and SFS made equal contributions to the paper. Specifically, according to the CRediT
descriptors: SK and SFS together conceived the study, developed the methodology and the
funding bid, administered the project, liaised with and led the advisory group, developed
the questionnaire, coordinated the data collection, undertook the data cleansing, curated the
datasets, undertook the data analyses, prepared the visualisation for and text of the
manuscript, and critically reviewed the manuscript. SK led on the conceptualization,
funding bid, and literature review.
Research Management Review, Volume 23, Number 1 (2018)
34
Simon Kerridge
Roles: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition,
Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Visualization,
Writing original draft preparation, Writing review & editing.
Affiliation: Research Services, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4094-3719
Stephanie F. Scott
Roles: Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology,
Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Visualization, Writing original draft
preparation, Writing review & editing.
Affiliation: Sponsored Projects Administration, Columbia University, New York, NY, U.S.
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0649-9757
... Both the literature and professionals working in the field has use slightly different phrases for the profession and the work. Campbell in his dissertation speaks about research administrators since in North America this is the most common way (Campbell, 2010), Kerridge uses the phase research management and administrators (Kerridge & Scott, 2018), whereas professionals of the BESTPRAC network uses the general phrase of research support staff, and it differentiates three main functions, namely (1) Research Administrator, (2) Funding Advisor / Liaison Manager, (3) Project Manager. 2 In this paper we will use the term Research Manager and Administrator (RMA). ...
... Empirical investigations underline the same: an online survey carried out recently (Davis-Hamilton, 2016) among subscribers of RESADM-L in the beginning of 2016 revealed that according to respondents, research administration is varied in its tasks (76%). The survey of Kerridge and Scott (2018) among RMAs worldwide presented similar results: the vast majority of respondents reported they had fulfilled one to three RMA jobs. ...
... In the survey carried out among research managers and administrators around the world, only 20 percent of respondents aimed to become RMA during their studies. There are more important factors in becoming RMA: either a vacancy, skill match or move from research position (Kerridge & Scott, 2018). ...
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The research focused on the profession of Research Management and Administration. The way it developed, the roles, responsibilities of RMAs, as well as the skills and competencies. It also aimed to revail what kind of educational programme could support the training of potential RMAs and how the professionalization could be boosted.
... Nevertheless, their professional individuality, roles, and impact have been the subject of an increasing number of academic studies (Whitchurch, 2008;Shelley, 2010;Kerridge & Scott, 2018;Enikó et al. 2019). Recently, Agostinho et al. (2018) have explicitly broadened the concept of RMAs to the all the Professionals working at the Interface of Science (PIoS), considered as those who "work in all types of research-performing institutions, from universities to research centres (both public and private) and Research & Development (R&D) performing companies". ...
... However, the increasing professionalization and the mixed profiles of RMAs make it difficult to establish their job their job description and professional identity. For example, some of these professionals have high level qualifications, such as doctorates, and develop "semi academic functions" (Schützenmeister, 2010) and perhaps are identified as "third space" professionals (Whitchurch, 2008), but the majority are purely professional staff, albeit with a high level of academic attainment (Kerridge & Scott, 2018). ...
... ake decisions with reference to scientific knowledge and the societal environment of research.Poli et al. (2018) have recently provided an exhaustive review of roles, professional development, and evolution of the research management profession. Nevertheless, the analysis does not include professionals working at funding and policy making agencies.Kerridge and Scott (2018) use in their studies a broad definition of RMA, however data from their latest survey(Kerridge and Scott, 2018b) revealed a paucity of responses from outside research performing organisations (n=84, 3.1%), and those that explicitly indicate working in a funder or government department being fewer still (n=33, 1.3%). Note however that du ...
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The increasing professionalisation, mixed profiles, and institutional formal recognition of research managers and administrators (RMAs), namely at higher education institutions, has led to an increasing but modest volume of academic studies focused on their professional identity, roles, functions and impact. Based on an extensive literature review, the authors suggest however that current definitions for RMAs miss, or at least do not explicitly address, a crucial part of the research and innovation systems worldwide: the research managers, administrators, communicators, and technicians that work at research funding and policy agencies. It is the authors’ opinion that RMAs working at research funding and policy agencies should be addressed as an intrinsic part of the global community as they provide a unique perspective of the overall research and innovation system. They are in fact a missing link in the RMA ecosystem that needs to be addressed for a holistic evolution of contemporary and future research and innovation systems.
... Both the literature and professionals working in the field have used slightly different phrases for the profession and the work. Campbell in his dissertation speaks about research administrators since in North America this is the most common way (Campbell, 2010), Kerridge uses the phase research management and administrators (Kerridge & Scott, 2018), whereas professionals of the BESTPRAC network uses the general phrase of research support staff, and it differentiates among three main functions, namely (1) Research Administrator, (2) Funding Advisor / Liaison Manager, and (3) Project Manager. 2 In this paper we will use the term Research Manager and Administrator (RMA). ...
... In the survey carried out among research managers and administrators around the world, only 20 percent of respondents had aimed to become RMA during their studies. There are more important factors in becoming RMA: either a vacancy, skill match or move from research position (Kerridge & Scott, 2018). ...
... Shelley (2010) The recent survey carried out by Kerridge and Scott (2018) found on a global scale that with regard to formal training and highest degree earned, RMAs are highly qualified, with 26.4% holding doctorates, 66.9% at least a master's degree, and all but 6.6% holding at least a bachelor's degree. Overall, the profession is academically highly qualified, with two-thirds of the respondents having a master's degree or higher, and with RMA leaders more likely to have a doctorate than other RMAs. ...
Research
Full-text available
The research focused on the profession of Research Management and Administration - its development, recognition and educational, training offers. The aim was to identify what skills,competencies and abilities are needed to fulfill this profession and what the possibilities of developing an educational programme are.
... However we must remember that this is a very university centric view and research managers and administrators can be found in all parts of the research ecosystem -not only in research performing organisations such as universities, research institutes, and research hospitals, but also in research funding organisations such as research councils, charities, government departments; and also in policy making organisations, and of course in the private sector -much research is undertaken by companies. Indeed as Kerridge & Scott (2018) refer to, from their 2016 survey "A research manager and administrator (research manager in some countries, research administrators in others -research support, and research advisors are also common terms) is defined as someone whose role (or a significant part of it) is devoted to support some part of the research lifecycle, including, but not limited to: identifying funding sources and customers, preparing proposals, costing, pricing and submitting funding proposals, drafting, negotiating and accepting contracts, dealing with project finance, employing staff on research contracts, reporting to funders, advising on research impact, knowledge exchange, technology transfer, supporting short courses, postgraduate research student administration, research strategy and policy, research assessment, ethics and governance, information systems, audit, statutory returns, and research office management. It also includes research development 7 and researcher development professionals. ...
... While RMAs come from a variety of backgrounds, research has shown that there are a number broad similarities across the profession and across many geographic regions. Kerridge & Scott (2018) describe a number of these based on their 2016 international survey of research managers and administrators. This survey elicited 2,691 responses, mainly from North America and Europe -where the bulk of RMAs are -or at least those represented by associations that are part of INORMS, through which the questionnaire was distributed. ...
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Published in "Hitotsubashi Business Review" ISSN 1345-9953 [In Japanese]. In this article we explore the world of research management and administration (RMA). First we consider what research management and administration is, in the context of research itself. Then we look at what research managers and administrators actually do, and why – why have they come into existence, and why only recently? Then we consider the attributes and skills of RMAs, and consider their professional status, before looking at the various national and regional associations for and of these professionals. Finally we reflect on the Japanese context and some trends opportunities for Japanese RMAs and their burgeoning profession.
... In many countries, higher education managers have long been established and represent an important group. In Germany, by contrast, they belong to a group that is still in a process of definition and growth (BuWiN 2017; Kerridge & Scott 2018). Compared to the anglophone countries, Germany has introduced the New Public Management reforms that led to restructuring processes at public organisations, with a certain time lapse around the millenium. ...
... To summarise our results, it suggests that the role of HE management has been strengthened (see also Cheng 2017; Degn 2015) as they are a part of strategic decision-making. Germany is therefore following a worldwide trend in which English-speaking countries, the United Kingdom, the US and Australia in particular, are playing a leading role (Kerridge & Scott 2018). The differentiation and specialisation of HE management could be an indication that professionalisation is making progress (cf. ...
Chapter
In Germany, higher education (HE) managers belong to a group of personnel that is still in a process of definition and growth. They can be found in positions located between those traditionally defined in administration and research. In his organisational-theoretical approach, Stratmann (2014) has highlighted that administrators, who were hitherto primarily responsible for the enforcement of rules, are now being transformed into strategic actors who can perform management tasks, prepare decisions and have room to manoeuvre. The newly-launched standardised online survey within the research project "KaWuM-Career paths and qualification requirements in HE management", ask how far this apparent process of change has progressed: To what extent are higher education managers strategically active? What roles do they take on and how do they perceive themselves? Can this process be understood in terms of professionalisation? The survey data allow us to conclude that the newly created tasks in HE management do differ from the administrative tasks in a number of characteristics. The new group does perform different roles in the organisation and does have a greater scope of leeway than those who do not consider themselves as HE managers. The respondents themselves do confirm that they contribute to the strategic development of their organisation. Also, the formation and membership of professional networks point to a process of professionalisation of this group. (For a content overview of the book see: https://brill.com/view/title/60562.)
... RMA is being recognised around the world forproviding support for research in universities (Kerridge and Scott, 2018;Shelley, 2010). African Universities aim to achieve greater research prowess in the world but do not possess the mature RMA structure required for this (Kerridge and Scott, 2018;Popoola and Owoaje, 2012).This paper analyses the top two hundred (200) universities in Africa ranked by Webometrics, using ten (10) parameters of the HEICAT tool, with a view to determining their extant research management capacities. ...
... RMA is being recognised around the world forproviding support for research in universities (Kerridge and Scott, 2018;Shelley, 2010). African Universities aim to achieve greater research prowess in the world but do not possess the mature RMA structure required for this (Kerridge and Scott, 2018;Popoola and Owoaje, 2012).This paper analyses the top two hundred (200) universities in Africa ranked by Webometrics, using ten (10) parameters of the HEICAT tool, with a view to determining their extant research management capacities. The aim of this analysis is to discover the status of RMA in African universities and to point out the areas to improve to achieve global competitiveness in research. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research Management and Administration (RMA) is an evolving profession and practitioners can be found in many universities in Africa. Fundamentally, RMA is support for research and researchers and covers pre-award and post-award administration as well as wider issues such as reporting and ethics. The research infrastructures developed for faculty of many African universities do not fully deliverRMA. This paper discusses RMA using the ten parameters of Higher Education Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (HEICAT) developed by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), USA, to analyse the top two hundred universities as published by Webometrics in 2019. The HEICAT is a benchmarking tool with 18 parameters, however, only the most salient ten have been explored here: Strategic Research Management (SRM), Opportunity Scanning (OS), Research/ Grant Management (RGM), Research Dissemination (RD), Research Ethics (RE), Professional Contribution (PC), Research Incentives (RI), Professional Development (PD), Student Research (SR), Sufficiency of Research Facilities (SRF). Theseconcern research management and knowledge transfer. The results of the analyses showed that most of the universities meet the set standards on RD, PC, SR and SRF but do not meet those for SRM, OS, RGM, RE, RI and PD. The study concludes thatdue attention to the weak links should lead to improvements in the research management capacities of African universities and hence an increase in the quality and quantity of research.
... Such a definitional perspective blurs the boundary between administrative and academic roles and empowers RMA with a multi-disciplinary and multi-level structure. Kerridge and Scott (2018)articulateanother definitional approach to RMA which tries to capture the differing terminology used in various parts of the world for ostensibly the same function. RMA is used here to encompass research administration, research management, research and innovation management, research management and administration. ...
Conference Paper
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This study was premised on two fundamental conceptions including that (1) Socioeconomic structures in rural schools and societies disfavor the success of girls and (2) the success of rural girls in STEM education carry the potential of resolving the long-standing challenge of rural underdevelopment. A mixed methods approach, with an embedded/nested research design was used. Findings revealed that rural girls who pursue STEM education face a range of challenges including gender stereotypes, socio-cultural injustices, high costs associated with STEM education, poverty, lack of funding opportunities, poor curriculum, non fraternized subject combinations and infrastructural deficits. On the other hand, a number, of prospects were identified including a growing base of post high school career options, willingness of young women to inspire and motivate their counterparts to excel in STEM education among others.
... The prevalence of self-reported exposure to sexual harassment, threats of violence, physical violence, and bullying among RAs in the last 12 months was 3.8%, 1.9%, 0.4%, and 32.4%, respectively. (Kerridge & Scott, 2018). ...
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