According to the National Day Calendar, on 25 September, National Research Administrator Day is celebrated. This day is defined as “a day to recognize the contributions made by administrators every day”. Starting with a small number of individuals in the late 1940s until present day, with thousands of acknowledged professionals worldwide, Research Administrators and Managers (RMAs) serve an important role in supporting research, as they usually deal with developing, administering, accounting for and complying with requirements, guidelines and laws relating to research projects funded externally.

At HETFA, we were happy to celebrate this day with our RMA professionals at the Division for International Cooperation. Our institution realized the growing importance of professionals working at the intersection of science and management. HETFA defined as one of its missions to support Research Managers and Administrators in gaining new skills, exchanging knowledge and achieving more recognition for their work. HETFA is involved – as a partner or a coordinator – in a number of networks and projects to fulfil its objective to improve excellence and quality of research management. More information is available here. Currently, we are working on two projects supporting RMAs.

foRMAtion (Innovative and smart module for potential Research Managers and Administrators in higher education, funded by the Erasmus+ programme) aims to support students in higher education as potential research managers and administrators (RMAs) by reinforcing their high-level and transversal skills needed for developing and managing excellent European research, innovation and educational projects. While the application of the foRMAtion curriculum (part II) has started in September at partner universities, we are tirelessly preparing for the Multiplier event to promote the foRMAtion mentorship programme and the blended learning platform.

The V4+WB Network of Research Administrators project (funded by the International Visegrad Fund aims to strengthen the network of Researchers Managers and Administrators from Visegrad Four (V4) and Western Balkan (WB) countries to contribute to their more successful participation in the next EU funded Research and Innovation Framework Programme, Horizon Europe. The project seeks to decrease the excellence and networking gap within the region by improving the skills of RMAs and researchers and by reinforcing the network of RMAs at regional level. Within this project, three main outputs will be realised, the first one being the webinar series. 12 webinars are organised on a monthly basis starting from February 2021. The following, 8th webinar will be held on 20 October, and will cover the topic of Technology and Market Assessment for projects aiming at technology transfer. Registration is free of charge, please find more information here. The Online Expert Pool is a database to share profiles of RMAs, funding advisors, National Contact Points of EU Research and Innovation Framework Programmes and any relevant expert working on the interface of science to reinforce a sustainable network and knowledge sharing of RMAs in V4+WB countries. You are encouraged to register here. The third output is the Learning Material Platform, which a repository of materials that can support the participation and performance of V4 and WB countries in Horizon Europe. Tools, presentations and other outputs of the project events are uploaded. You can reach the Learning Material Platform by registering to the Online Expert Pool first.

Source of picture: @myleon on