The EARMA Conference this year took place in Odense, Denmark between April 23-25, where the main highlights and novelties of the RMA profession were presented.

The conference was attended by more than 1,400 participants from 52 countries. The results of the RM ROADMAP survey  focusing on the current status, needs and obstacles of Research Managers across Europe were presented by HÉTFA colleagues in the form of a poster session and also on a panel discussion. HÉTFA was represented by Virág Zsár senior grant advisor and Blanka Csite junior project manager.

The survey reveals that in line with previous surveys, research managers are predominantly female and highly qualified: over 90 percent have either Master’s or PhD degree. Their academic qualifications are just as diverse as the fields covered during their daily work. It is also visible that most of them need expertise from different fields backed by a huge diversity of skills and competences as  45% of them cover 2 or 4 fields of Research Management during their daily work. The most preferred umbrella terms for this group of professionals are Research Manager, Research Manager and Administration and Research Management and Support Professional. Opportunities for career advancement often involve promotional aspirations towards leadership positions or moving to another institution. The biggest challenges in the profession are the demanding and stressful environment, low salaries and the lack of opportunities for professional development. The final and more detailed results will be available this autumn.

Beside Nik Claesen, Managing Director of EARMA provided an update on efforts to develop the profession and professional recognition in the frame of ERA Action 17, the research management initiative, by raising standards across research management and having a dedicated action in the 2025-2027 ERA Policy agenda.

Additionally, the topics presented at the conference included Responsible Research and Innovation, open science, research collaborations, and also recognition, upskilling, and better career frameworks for RMAs. Another focus point of this year was put on new technological opportunities and challenges provided by emerging technologies such as AI.