Professionalisation of Research Management

What is Professionalisation?

SARIMA recognises the significant and sustained professional work a research manager has undertaken, the competencies that they have acquired and the development of professional learning within the context of research management. Professionalisation constitutes an award or endowment which acknowledges the expertise and accomplishment of the research manager in accordance with set standards that are normatively determined by the profession itself, based on long-standing competencies, professional code of conduct and other central practices.

As an accomplished practitioner, there is recognition, within the system, that the practitioner has intellectual, technical/ functional and transferable (cross-cutting) expertise which delivers value.


About professional recognition

SARIMA, through its International Professional Recognition Council (IPRC), promotes professional recognition as one option for the professionalisation of research managers in Africa. By submitting a portfolio of evidence, candidates can have their prior learning and experience, as well as their current competencies reviewed by their peers on the IPRC. The submission of portfolios is voluntary, and candidates can apply for recognition in one of two designations.


Two options for the recognition of prior learning and experience:

  1. Research Management Professional (RMP).

This category is for mid-career to experienced research managers who hold either an undergraduate qualification and have a minimum of three years of relevant work experience OR have a minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience as a mid-career research management practitioners. They are typically employed in a research management position in which they support the research mission and intentions of their organisation. They either support researchers directly or indirectly through aspects of the research process or they support research-policy and strategy development within their organisation.

  1. Senior Research Management Professional (SRMP).

This category is for senior research managers serving in a leadership or strategic capacity in research-management. They hold a postgraduate qualification at a Masters level or beyond with more than 5 years of relevant work experience. Seniority in this context is based on achievement, and not necessarily on time spent in the profession.

Portfolio of evidence – employment history, details of qualifications and relevant training completed, professional activities, description of the organisational type and background, self-assessment of competencies, statement of professional commitment.

After being awarded, the designations RMP and SRMP remain valid for five years. A re-recognition process after this period can be followed if they maintain their membership; accumulate sixty continuous education points and provide evidence of their ongoing leadership and contributions to the profession.


Applying for professional recognition

1. Download the relevant application form from the SARIMA website, complete and submit the application and proof of payment of the application fee

2. The review panel will verify the information provided and use established evaluation criteria to make a determination. Your experience, training and qualifications will be assessed on a flexible case-by-case basis

3. If your application is successful, you will be notified of this via a formal letter and a certificate confirming your professional status

4. If your application is not successful, you will receive written feedback. If you are unsatisfied with the panel’s finding, you can lodge an appeal


Benefits of Professionalisation

  • Professional recognition demonstrates to current or potential employers that an individual has been reviewed and granted a status by experts in the field
  • The international nature of the IPRC can assist to develop an understanding of one’s standing in the global research management space and the feedback provided by the IPRC can advice on career progression and opportunities globally
  •  Provides professional satisfaction of achievement of meeting criteria of the peer review process and demonstrates commitment to the profession and to one’s peers that an individual has taken the time and effort to document contributions and achievements and being subjected to review by experts.
  • Furthermore, it demonstrates that you have demonstrated key competencies and achievements in research management.



Research Management Professional Senior Research Management Professional
Initial Application
Africa R5 000,00 R8 000,00
Other Continents R10 000,00 R16 000,00
Re-recognition in the same category
Africa R4 000,00 R6 400,00
Other Continents R8 000,00 R12 800,00




The relevant application form should be completed and submitted together with the required supporting documents. The application forms of the different categories will be accessible through the SARIMA website and will be completed online. The application fee must be paid before the closing date of an application round. After the application is submitted, the candidate will receive confirmation. Successful candidates will be notified within three months after the closing date of submission. Successful candidates will receive a formal letter and a hard-copy certificate confirming the professional recognition status.


For more information you can download the full document here: or