Research Management and Administration

HETFA Research Institute, realizing the growing importance of professionals working at the intersection of science and management, has defined as one of its missions to support Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) in gaining new skills, exchanging knowledge and achieving more recognition for their work.  HETFA is involved in or coordinating a number of networks and projects to fulfil its objective to improve excellence and quality of research management.



Vol.1.: Research Management and Administration: a profession still to be formalized (March 2019)

Authors: Enikő Virágh, Virág Zsár, Zsuzsanna Balázs

The aim of the paper is to identify those conditions, skills and competences that are necessary for the preparation and implementation of excellent European educational, research and innovation projects. It also examines training needs possibly implemented through higher educational programmes which can support the training of future experts working on such projects.

There are huge differences in the recognition of the profession, educational and training opportunities as well as possible carrier paths even among EU Member States. While in the Anglo-Saxon countries and in North-western European countries there is a broad scale of opportunities available for people working in this fields, in many other countries even their position is not clearly defined. Nevertheless, the role of Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) and/or Funding Advisors is getting more and more important due to the increasing competitiveness in the field of research, innovation and educational funds.

The paper provides a brief overview of the literature of dealing with research management and persons working in this profession. Then it analyses the survey circulated among research managers working on educational, research and innovation projects throughout Europe. Based on this it summarizes the findings and formulates recommendations for possible interventions at national and EU level.

The paper is available here…

Vol.2.: Research Management and Administration: the relevance of specific education and training programmes (March 2020)

Authors: Enikő Virágh, Virág Zsár, Zsuzsanna Balázs

The study presents analysis the current state-of-the-art of the profession of research managers and administrators (RMA). This in-depth analysis was carried out to check the feasibility and potential directions of an educational programme to be developed for RMA training underpinning the improvement of management capacities in the field of excellence-based research.

The aim of the working paper is two-fold: first, to identify those conditions, skills and competences that are necessary for the preparation and implementation of excellent European educational and research projects; second, to gather empirical information on training and education needs and existing opportunities to prove the relevance of specifically developed programs.

The paper is available here…


RM ROADMAP: Creating Framework Conditions for Research Management to Strengthen the European Research Area

2022-2025 (Horizon Europe)

RM ROADMAP project aims to create a roadmap for the future of research management (RM) in Europe and a community to support its delivery.

The main objective of the project is to identify and adapt the research management capital base of the EU, including the widening countries, and emerging needs of its current and future research management workforce. RM ROADMAP project will connect existing European networks on a smart community platform which will enable an unprecedented co-creation process in research management in the world. This co-creation process will gather the existing communities and expand upon them to reach two main objectives – To create and inform a bottom-up consensus on the future of RM in a roadmap, and to inform the community about existing training, networking, funding, and mobility opportunities.

BESTPRAC: the voice of research administrators building a network of excellence

2014-2019 (COST Action)

BESTPRAC was a COST Targeted Network, operated between 2014 and 2019,that gathered administrative, financial and legal staff at universities and research-driven institutions who are carrying out different tasks to support transnational external competition based (in particular EU funded) research projects.

The network served as a platform for exchanging experiences, sharing and developing best practices, encouraging knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer and increasing efficiency in these fields.

BESTPRAC activities can be divided into three groups: Working groups, Training schools and Short-term mobilities.

Virág Zsár, Coordinator of the Division for International Cooperation was involved in the action as Vice-Leader of Working Group 1 focusing on administrative issues related to the preparation of research and innovation projects. Our colleagues generally took part in the preparation, implementation and follow up of BESTPRAC meetings, compilation of useful materials as well as through the cross-cutting groups, in paving the way for the sustainment of the action.

We worked together with research managers and EU funding advisors from 38 European countries in knowledge and experience exchange programmes to draw up EU research and innovation resources more efficiently.

foRMAtion: Innovative and smart module for potential Research Managers and Administrators in higher education

2019-2022 (Erasmus+ KA2)

foRMAtion is implemented under Erasmus+ Key Action 2 promoting strategic partnership in the field of higher education. The project 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. foRMAtion addresses the growing need for professional research support staff derived from the increasing competition for EU funds in the field of R&I projects, the gap between education and labour market needs and the shortage in RMA educational programmes, standardisation and certification.

V4+WB Network of Research Managers and Administrators

2020-2022 (Visegrad Fund)

The project aims to strengthen the network of Researchers Managers and Administrators (RMAs) from Visegrad Four (V4) and Western Balkan (WB) countries to contribute to their more successful participation in the next EU funded Research and Innovation (R&I) Framework Programme (FP), Horizon Europe (HE).

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. The first aim will be fulfilled by a series of webinars offered by partners and invited experts, while the second will be realized based on a new platform, providing networking functions and learning materials for interested staff members working on the interface of science. The main topics covered will include discussing legal and financial issues connected to HE projects, science communication, intellectual property protection and management – and many more. With a view to support safe and smart knowledge exchange in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the project outputs will be available online, free of charge.