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Loughborough co-leads international project to support early-career research managers

Loughborough University is co-leading an international project with the Namibia University of Science and Technology to develop an online toolkit for early-career research managers.

The TReMOR (Toolkit for early-career Research Managers Online Resources) project is supported by the International Research Management Staff Development Programme (IRMSDP).

The programme has bought together six teams drawn from over 50 research management professionals from across the UK and Africa to:

  • Strengthen the cultural understanding and collaborations between UK and African partner institutions, and
  • Improve the capacity of research managers within institutions.

The African participants are based in countries including South Africa, Namibia, Somalia, Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. UK participants are based across various regions including London, the East Midlands and the North West.

The programme commenced last month, with participants gaining practical skills and co-creating resources to support a more vibrant research culture across their institutions. They have also begun to focus on the following themes: funding and collaborative research, research impact, professional development, and support and infrastructure. The course is expected to run until April 2021.

The International Research Management Staff Development Programme has been made possible thanks to the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) - a programme management initiative produced by a number of global partners – as well as ARMA, the UK’s professional body for research managers and administrators.

Research Development Managers Clare Edwards and Kate Clift are co-leading Loughborough University’s contribution in a job-sharing arrangement so they can continue to balance work and home commitments whilst meeting the needs of the project.

They will be contributing their expertise in areas such as grant writing, research impact and funder requirements. The co-lead for the project from Africa is Bas Rijnen from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. The rest of the team is made up of experienced colleagues from Cranfield University, De Montfort University, Stellenbosch University, Botswana Open University, University of Witwatersrand and the University of Namibia.

Speaking about the project, Clare and Kate commented: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us to exchange our knowledge with our African colleagues and to learn from our different experiences. We are looking forward to learning more about how our African partners operate in Research Management and to sharing best practice.

“Our African partners’ take different approaches which could be useful for us at Loughborough and in turn, we hope that we can provide some valuable insights into the UK approach.”

A full list of the participating institutions and the chosen teams can be found online here.

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