Research Management

Leadership and Portfolio Management:

The Research Management Portfolio of SARIMA, led by Vice President, Prof Sibusiso Moyo, of the Durban University of Technology, South Africa, has attended to the needs of the SARIMA members in a number of ways. The portfolio benefitted from having a dedicated Sub- Committee of Research Management experts from across SADC. The portfolio also has had focused project management since 1 September 2015, when Dr Charmaine Williamson was appointed to support the portfolio as Project Manager for Research Management.

SARIMA acknowledges the work of former Vice President of Research, Ms Maryke Hunter-Husselmann and SARIMA Project Manager, Dr Karin Dyason. This coverage of strategic initiatives reflects equal measures of their work and indicates the strong foundation that these colleagues built within the portfolio.

Professional Development and Training:

The Portfolio delivered seven professional development and training opportunities since July 2015: These topics ranged from Research Ethics Committee Fundamentals, Building a Research Profile, Developing the next generation of Researchers to Grant Formulation and Proposal development, to Communicating Science. All workshops were well attended and positively received. Two of the workshops included the expertise of Ms Alison Mitchell from VITAE, in the United Kingdom: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/ . Ms Mitchell covered the highly relevant VITAE ‘researcher development framework’: https://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers-professional-development/about-the-vitae-researcher-development-framework

In addition to the training opportunities, the portfolio has also contributed a key question to the survey formulation for the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) world-wide survey on Research Management, ACU Measures: https://www.acu.ac.uk/membership/acu-measures/. We have also ensured that SARIMA members who are not ACU members may complete the survey and receive a summary report and slides in respect of their institution’s performance on research management. Full reports are possible through ACU membership. The survey was launched on the 1 February 2016. If you are a SARIMA member, but not an ACU member and you would like to participate in the survey, please contact the research management portfolio on pm-rm@sarima.co.za

One of the overarching objectives of SARIMA is to develop the discipline of R&I management, including professional development and the promotion of best practice. Through the generous support of the Department of Science and Technology, South Africa and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) at the World Health Organisation (WHO), SARIMA is embarking on a project to pave the way for the professionalization of research management in Southern Africa. A Project Advisory Committee (PAC) with representation from key stakeholders was established to champion and guide the implementation of the project. Research Managers from across Southern Africa are actively contributing to this project through focus groups and consultations with SARIMA. Dr Karin Dyason is the special project manager for this innovative initiative.

Annual SARIMA Conference:

The portfolio has also contributed to the contents of the Annual SARIMA Conference, ensuring that topics relevant to Research Management, such as internationalisation, ethics, fund-raising and research impact are covered. For the programme, see: http://www.sarimaconference.co.za/ The portfolio also has been supporting the calls for submissions to the SARIMA-Department of Science and Technology, Excellence Awards in Research and Innovation Management, as well as Travel Grants for attendance at the conference.

SARIMA-working in an integrated fashion to support members:

The portfolio also works with other portfolios of African Engagement and Innovation and Technology Transfer in ensuring that SARIMA members receive complementary support.

Please be in touch with the members of the Research Management portfolio to air your views:

pm-rm@sarima.co.za

Compiled by Sibusiso Moyo and Charmaine Williamson

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