Research administration offices generally have been leanly staffed, but today more than ever, we have to get more done with fewer people and resources. One if the hardest things to do is to stay abreast of the constant flood of information – new government rules and regulations, sponsors with whom we aren’t familiar, new forms of research requiring specialized facilities and equipment – and reviews and approvals by an bewildering array of committees, offices, auditors and the like. We are supposed to know it all – but how do we keep up when we have full-time day jobs processing proposals, protocols, and disclosures?
Our professional organizations are key, offering training, webinars, conferences, newsletters and journals. A few such resources include the Society of Research Administrators (SRA), whose annual meeting just concluded, and the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), whose annual conference is coming up in early November. Each of these organizations sponsor regional and sectional meetings, webinars, topical meetings – such as Pre-award Research Administration (PRA) and Financial Research Administration (FRA) – and NCURA hosts the newly launched NCURA Collaborate networking forum. SRA’s Journal of Research Administration and the NCURA journal, Research Management Review, publish substantive articles relevant to our work. And, for many, the Research Administration Discussion List (ResAdm-L) listserv is an indispensable resource.
An array of organizations exist in countries other than the US as well, and they host conferences and workshops with special focus on issues affecting research administration in their geographic region. These include:
- Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA)
- Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS)
- Canadian Association of University Research Administrators (CAURA)
- Danish Association of Research Managers and Administrators (DARMA)
- European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA),
- South African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA)
- West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA)
Many of these are members of the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS). InfoEd Global is represented at many of the conferences sponsored by these and other organizations.
In the US in particular, a number of organizations exist that specialize in particular areas of research management such as:
- Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) supports advancing academic technology transfer globally
- Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R), devoted to advancing ethical conduct of biomedical research with meetings focused on protection of human research participants and laboratory animals, biosafety and research ethics.
- Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW), focused on promoting best practices in animal research and testing
- Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) provides continuing education for clinical research professionals
And myriad organizations exist that focus on particular segments of the research space such as:
- Association of Independent Research Institutes (AIRI) works to promote the common interests of independent, not-for-profit biomedical and behavioral research institutes.
- Council on Government Relations (COGR), focuses on informing and educating its member universities and federal agencies with the goal of reducing regulatory burden.
- Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP), a cooperative initiative between federal agencies and universities and non-profits to reduce administrative burden associated with managing grants and contracts.
- University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP) fosters relationships between universities and companies around contracting, intellectual property and publications policies, and other issues.
As a company that has been devoted 100% to supporting the field of research administration since it was founded in 1991, InfoEd provides a number of resources for research administrators. You can follow InfoEd Global on Twitter (@InfoEdGlobal), Facebook, or LinkedIn. Our product manager blogs focusing on news and information relevant to research administration are available on the InfoEd Global website in the News & Events section or you can subscribe to our combined blog feed at http://infoedglobal.com/feed/rss/.
InfoEd Global’s annual User Group Meeting is also a great resource offering talks and discussions on topics relevant to research administrators such as these from our 2012 meeting: Collaboration Tools for Research Development, Implementing the 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and Responding to Changes in Conflict of Interest Obligations. Along with training workshops on using InfoEd systems and an exciting poster session with topics focused on business processes, implementation strategies and novel approaches to research administration, InfoEd Global’s 2013 User Group Meeting in Orlando, Florida promises to be a great opportunity for learning and advancement. Additional information on the 2013 User Group meeting will become available in upcoming InfoEdge editions, so stay on the look out!