EARMA Digital Event: The Future of the RMA Profession

  • 04 Mar 2021
  • 2:10 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Zoom: Link by e-mail upon registration


  • Free using your code.
    Not a subscriber? Register for EARMA Digital at www.earmaconference.com including the conference
  • Belgian Organisations must request an invoice with VAT at earma@earma.org
  • Belgian Organisations must request an invoice with VAT at earma@earma.org

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Event details

The Future of the RMA Profession

This event will be a discussion on the future of the RMA profession. We will focus on the current role of RMA’s, how we are perceived and how can we improve the understanding of our role in working towards recognition of the profession.

The first panel will explore the perception of the role of RMAs from the perspectives of an academic leader policy maker, a researcher, and an RMA leader. Is that perception changing and if so, what are the consequences and opportunities arising? How should RMAs approach institutional research leaders and researchers in order to have their voices heard within a research performing organisation? Is there power in the collective voice of RMAs, and if so how could this be organised?

The role of the RMA is widening and deepening as RPO’s research ambitions develop further. Researchers are confronted with an ever-growing number of challenges and responsibilities. They need expertise and support to address those challenges and responsibilities. The panel will discuss the skills, expertise, and experience that RMAs need, how they obtain them, and how those attributes are recognised, for example through certification. Valentina Romano (POLITO, Italy and member of the EARMA PDRC) will present the development frameworks of various RMA associations from around the world [pre-recorded]. The panel will discuss the European situation, including the current offerings, and consider how these might be advanced. How are RMAs trained and is that sufficient? Should there be more training or education and what is the best way to do that. Is certification of RMAs desirable?

The two panel sessions will be followed by an optional 30 min Zoom networking session in breakout rooms. 5-10 colleagues will randomly be put into a group. The purpose is to discuss the session in an informal ‘networking coffee’ mood to get to know each other and share thoughts.


Read the full agenda for this session here.


Ludovic Thilly is Full Professor and Executive Vice-Rector for EC2U Alliance and European Networks at the University of Poitiers (France). He also serves as Coordinator of the EC2U Alliance and Coordinator of the HRS4R label. Member of the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group of Universities since 2015, he was elected Chair in June 2017 and renewed in June 2020. Ludovic Thilly is a Physicist and works on the deformation mechanisms of (nano-) materials. He has co-authored 70 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (incl. 4 book chapters) and given 50 invited lectures at international conferences and institutions.

Simon Kerridge is Director of Research Policy & Support at the University of Kent in the UK, and a board member of EARMA. He has over twenty-five years’ experience as an RMA – a research manager and administrator – and over the past few years has led the international Research Administration as a Profession –the RAAAP initiative. He has presented, trained, and consulted widely on many aspects of RMA around the world including in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. Simon holds a professional doctorate in Electronic Research Administration, is an adjunct lecturer on the Johns Hopkins University international masters’ program in Research Administration, and an editor of the Journal of Research Management and Administration.

Agatha Keller started her career in business administration in the private sector in Switzerland. She studied at the University Zürich (UZH) where she graduated with a Masters in History and Political Sciences.  She received her postgraduate degree in University Policy and Research Policy from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne. During her studies she started working at the University of Zürich and Swiss Federal Institute of Zürich grants office as a pre‐award administrator. Since 2001 she serves as the Co‐Head of EU GrantsAccess. She expanded her expertise in leadership and research management at Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Agatha is a member of NCURA since 2011 and has served in various committees.

Stephanie Fogel has been working in the University of Vienna’s Research Services Unit in the EU & International Funding team as an expert in both pre- and post-award management of EU funded projects since 2016, including managing the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions COFUND “REWIRE” on behalf of the University. Stephanie has been working exclusively on the acquisition, implementation, and management of large, complex international projects since 2012.

Valentina Romano has more than 15 years’ experience as a research manager and administrator at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. She was responsible for the management of several EU projects, not limited to her organization, and she is currently leading a team of experts in pre-award activities. She has been involved in several initiatives on implementation and management of major policies on research within Politecnico. She spent a one-month secondment in Hokkaido University, Japan, exchanging best practices between grant offices. She holds an MA in International and Diplomacy Sciences from University of Bologna, Italy (2002) and an advanced master’s degree in University Management from Politecnico di Milano- School of Business, with a project work on the organization of Grant Offices in US and Europe based on on-site interviews in 30 universities across EU and US (2016). She is currently member of the EARMA Standing Committee on Professional Development and Recognition and of the Awards Committee. Since January 2020 she has been leading a working group of 12 Italian whose aim is to raise awareness among the Italian RMA community and set up a common Professional Development Framework in order to pave the way for the recognition of Research Management and Administration as a profession in Italy.

Virág Zsár Expert of International Relations, Head of Division for International Cooperation at HÉTFA Research Institute. She gained experience in the preparation, administrative and thematic management of EU and internationally funded projects. She was co-leader of Working Group 1 in BESTPRAC COST action. Currently, she is coordinator of the project foRMAtion “Innovative and smart module for potential Research Managers and Administrators in higher education” funded by Erasmus + programme KA2 and of the project V4+WB Network of Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) funded by the International Visegrad Fund. She holds EU project management seminar at Péter Pázmány Catholic University

Panagiotis Kavouras is a physicist with an MSc and a PhD in Materials Science and Technology. For several years, Panagiotis was involved in research on industrial solid waste management. He has also been a commissioned researcher at the Hellenic Institute of Metrology. Currently, Panagiotis is involved in the development and application of experimental protocols for materials characterization, as well as in research on Research Integrity, through his participation in several H2020 projects. In addition, Panagiotis is involved in capacity building and awareness-raising activities for Research Integrity in Greece.


EARMA represents the community of Research Managers and Administrators within Europe. Our members work at the forefront of building the European Research Area.


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