Confirmed Speakers:   Keynote Speaker, Tuesday 5 October, Angela Saini (Award-Winning Science Journalist, Broadcaster and Author);   Keynote Speaker, Wednesday 6 October, Dr Karen Salt (Deputy Director, R&D Culture and Environment, UK Research and Innovation);   Keynote Speaker, Thursday 7 October, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser (Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation);   INORMS Congress: Reflections From Hiroshima and Towards a Utopia in Durban, with Dr Norifumi Miyokawa (Chair, INORMS 2020 Planning Committee) and Dr Therina Theron (SARIMA President 2019-2021, INORMS 2023 Conference Chairperson);   Study Tours Revisited! with Dr Catherine Dennison (Programme Head, Welfare, Nuffield Foundation), Dr Tamsin Burland (Head of Product, Jisc) and Dr Lucy Wheeler (Senior Programme Manager, Awardee Engagement, Royal Academy of Engineering);   Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the African Research Management Ecosystem with Eva Kagiri-Kalanzi (Programme Manager, ARMA UK), Sapna Marwaha (Senior Legal Counsel, LifeArc and Deputy Chair-Elect, ARMA UK), Allen Mukhwana (Manager, Research Systems, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa), Vincent Nkundimana (Programme Officer, Research Systems, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa), Rose Wepukhulu (Programme Officer, Research Systems, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa), Vicky Nembaware (Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center, University of Cape Town) Grace Mwashigadi (Project Coordinator, PRECISE Study at Aga Khan University) and Dr Anna Brown (Research Development Manager, Durham University);   Building Research Management Across Distance, Time and Cultures with Dr Julie Bayley (Director of Research Impact Development, University of Lincoln), Dr Elizabeth Gadd (Head of Research Operations, University of Glasgow), Dr David Phipps (Assistant VP Research Strategy & Impact, York University, Toronto) and Dr Simon Kerridge (Principal Consultant, Kerridge Research Consulting);   Navigating Horizon Europe Opportunities with Christina Miller (Director, UK Research Office);   How Funders are Driving the Research Culture Agenda with Vanessa Cuthill (Director of Research, British Academy) and Dr Diego Baptista (Head of Research and Funding Equity Lead, Wellcome);   Leading and Reimagining Equitable and Inclusive Research with Annette Hay (Senior Research Delivery Support Partner, Coventry University), Sapna Marwaha (Senior Legal Counsel, LifeArc and Deputy Chair-Elect, ARMA UK) and Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse, Research Fellow, Research Policy and Impact, Teeside University;   Exploring the Value of QR in Supporting Researcher Scale Activities with Dr Steven Wooding (Senior Policy Analyst, Research Strategy Office, University of Cambridge) and Dr Lewis Dean (Head of Research Funding, Research England)

  • Join from anywhere in the world
  • Keynotes, parallel sessions, on-demand content & posters
  • Share your knowledge
  • Exhibition, networking & games
  • Access for one month

ARMA 2021: Responsible culture in a post Covid world - inclusion and change

In a first for ARMA, our next conference, ARMA 2021, will take place virtually over three days from 5-7 October. The theme is equity, diversity and inclusion and the title is ARMA 2021: Responsible culture in a post-COVID world – inclusion and change. We’ve teamed up with leading global virtual event platform, vFairs, to deliver a new and different type of virtual conference experience.

Featuring 3D visual designs and animation, ARMA 2021 will provide the virtual experience of visiting a conference centre and seeing the different areas you would expect at a physical event. The experience starts with you arriving outside the virtual conference centre before entering the lobby. From there you move around the building, visiting the poster and exhibition halls, networking lounge and auditorium. In the auditorium, live sessions use Zoom technology integrated into the platform.

ARMA conference has always been synonymous with its social side and sense of fun. This year will be no different. To maximise the conference experience, ARMA 2021 will feature ‘gamification’ including Quiz, Scavenger Hunt and a real-time Leaderboard. Delegates collect points for completion of pre-determined of actions and prizes will be awarded. Guaranteed fun for those with a competitive streak– you know who you are!

ARMA 2021 may sound a little different but, please be assured, the platform is simple to use. It doesn’t require a download or the installation of any software. Its browser based and can be enjoyed on any device. We look forward to seeing you there!


Historically, ARMA annual conference has been a two-day event but, in another first for this year, ARMA 2021 will take place over three days.

Amongst 34 sessions scheduled over the three days, we’ve an outstanding Keynote line-up with UKRI CEO Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, author and journalist Angela Saini, and Karen Salt, Deputy Director, R&D Culture & Environment, UKRI.

In addition to the scheduled programme, on-demand library and Special Interest Group on-demand webinars and drop-in sessions, you’ll find lots of social activities and games to get involved in.

Prizes are awarded for completing the Exhibitor Quiz and Scavenger Hunt. You can join our live Clubbercise® Class for a full fun body workout with banging soundtrack! We’ll even supply the trademark LED glowsticks, virtually free of charge! Or, if you’re looking for something a little less energetic, join our gentle yoga class available on-demand.

For those who like to get active in the kitchen, you can make your lunch with GBBO star Mark Lutton, and you’ll also see the return of the legendary Emerald Quiz, back by popular demand and hosted by our favourite quiz master John Eggleton of Emerald Publishing.

Nothing makes ARMA conferences fun like rising to a challenge! This year, its achieving 120,000 moves over 3 days! That’s the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats! And we’re inviting all those attending this year’s virtual ARMA conference to join Team #ARMA2021 to help us smash this challenge!

o help us all cover this amazing virtual journey from one end of the country to the other in just 3 days, all you need to do is register an account, download the app and join the challenge! Tracking your moves can either be done directly through the app, or by connecting a smartwatch/ fitbit to the app, allowing you to automatically upload your moves.

If you’re joining the Clubbercise® Class, that’s a great way to get your moves in – yes, they count! If that’s not your style, then the yoga class or simply walking your dog also counts! So, let’s get moving and see how far we can travel together as an ARMA community. Follow this guide to register!

Click the tabs below to view the ARMA 2021 conference programme.

10:00 - 10:30

Welcome and Introduction

Jennifer Stergiou
Director, Research & Innovation Service, Northumbria University and Chair, ARMA UK
Linsey Dickson
Director of Conference and Chair of Conference Working Group, ARMA UK
10:30 - 11:15


Why Do We Categorise Humans and What Do These Categories Really Mean?

Angela Saini
Award-Winning Science Journalist, Broadcaster and Author of Superior: The Return of Race Science and Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong

An intrinsic part of research into humans involves categorisation, often by race and sex. But where do these categories come from, and how reliable are they at describing who we are? When we look through history, we can see the limits of grouping people and stereotyping them. If we want to build a more equitable, reliable understanding of humanity, do we need to interrogate them more? Award-winning science journalist explains from her research from her two most recent books.

11:30 - 12:15

Culture, Environment & People

Talking Menopause: What Managers and Employers Need to Know

Steph Bales
Teeside University
Saskia Walcott
Walcott Communications
Margaret Rees
European Menopause and Andropause Society

Once only ‘mouthed’ in a Les Dawson style, menopause is at long last coming out of the shadows and becoming a feature of popular culture as the likes of Mariella Fostrup and Davina MaCall lift the lid on an experience that affects 657 million women worldwide. And, whatever your gender, it will affect you directly or indirectly as some point in your life.

Hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, and brain fog are all symptoms of menopause but what does it mean for RMA careers and how can employers recognise and help?

New ARMA Board member, Saskia Walcott and previous ARMA Chair Steph Bales share how menopause has affected their working lives. Professor Margaret Rees, Executive Director of the European Menopause and Andropause Society, will give insights how employers can support the careers of menopausal women. She will present new global consensus recommendations on menopause in the workplace from the European Menopause and Andropause Society. Please don’t think this is a session just for women every man needs to understand what the women they work with are experiencing.

Funding & Development

Inspiring Inclusive Collaboration and Engagement

Sue Starbuck
Royal Holloway, University of London
Jessica Guennewich
University of Surrey

Changes in the requirements placed on researchers by funders and employers and the need to develop skills to address global challenges through research, access funding through cross disciplinary collaborations and engage with partners outside Higher Education mean that researchers increasingly have to collaborate with others. As Research support professionals, we are often in the position of facilitating groups of researchers from early stages of collaboration to actively writing funding applications. This is not always easy: researchers often do not want to engage or find the process challenging.

How do we engage with those who are resistant? How do we ensure that we foster inclusivity and are not inadvertently excluding colleagues? Resistance to collaboration and engagement can take many forms and may be due to lack of confidence, lack of the necessary skills, disciplinary issues, an unconducive environment or (for ECRs) an unsupportive supervisor or PI.

What can we do? This session will explore our role and consider how we can inspire collaboration, how we can understand, recognise and overcome resistance and how we can ensure that we take this into account when developing processes and activities designed to promote collaboration.


Identifying and Managing Risk in UKRI Funding Assurance: How It All Works

Gareth MacDonald
United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI)

The session is intended to provide an update to research administrators on UKRI Assurance risks to help them better prepare for Funding Assurance assignments. This refreshed session will include relevant information on new and emerging risks including Covid and International Funding. No particular background research is required but it would be helpful for delegates to come prepared to talk about how assurance has operated in their own administrations over the past year.

12:30 - 13:15

Digital Transformation - The Top 5 Challenges Facing Research Teams in 2021 and Beyond

Bryan Littlefair
Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Cyber Advisers (CCA)
Richard Forrest
SVP of Global Operations, Cayuse

Please join us as we debate the challenges faced by teams when transforming and modernising the research lifecycle to suit today’s operating environment. Our expert presenters, Bryan Littlefair, CEO, Cambridge Cyber Advisers and Richard Forrest SVP, Global Operations, Cayuse will be debating the requirements from both sides – Research transformation vs security and compliance implications!

Bryan has advised the UK’s top academic research establishments over the past 2 years on strategies to digitally transform operations whilst remaining secure without impacting researcher interaction. Richard Forrest with over 20 years of educational and research ecosystem experience will highlight the key operational requirements of teams.

In this session our experts will debate:

  • Why digitally transformation is critical to research programs, how it increases efficiency, minimises risk and optimises operations for researchers and administration teams alike
  • The challenges of enabling a newly remote workforce with the technology and tools to drive efficiency whilst meeting compliance and information security requirements
  • Why and how to protect your research data, does hosting in a secure SaaS solution enables this? Examples of how a clear strategy can avoid miscommunication and incorrect information across all stages
  • Integrating technology to create a secure connected research administration platform while still providing flexibility, reporting and access
  • Transforming the full research lifecycle from funding to researcher success, through to marketing intellectual property. How moving from multiple disconnected tools to a consolidated technology platform is the future.
14:00 - 14:45

INORMS Congress: Reflections From Hiroshima and Towards a Utopia in Durban

Dr Norifumi Miyokawa
Chair, INORMS 2020 Planning Committee
Dr Therina Theron
SARIMA President 2019-2021, INORMS 2023 Conference Chairperson

During this session delegates will hear from Dr Norifumi Miyokawa on the highlights of the most recent INORMS Congress, discussing key messages that surfaced across the breadth of congress sessions – what the opportunities and challenges they present for the RMA international community and the legacy that RMAN-J our host hope to achieve from INORMS 2021. Followed by a forward look to the INORMS 2023 hosted by SARIMA, in Durban. This event has an ambitious theme: Towards a Utopia in Research and Innovation Management… so what will be included and what can we expect to discover on that journey.

Study Tours Revisited!

Dr Catherine Dennison
Programme Head, Welfare, Nuffield Foundation
Dr Tamsin Burland
Head of Product, Jisc
Dr Lucy Wheeler
Senior Programme Manager, Awardee Engagement, Royal Academy of Engineering

During the course of the past year, ARMA’s Study Tours have become digital! Now more accessible and capable of hosting larger numbers than previously, the new Virtual Study Tours have proved extremely popular. In this session, we bring together three previous Study Tour hosts, Catherine Dennison from The Nuffield Foundation, Lucy Wheeler from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Tamsin Burland from Jisc to relive the moment, compare notes, and talk about what’s happened since their Study Tour. We’ll be asking them what they found most interesting about the Tour, what might be coming down the pipeline as a result and how they might be planning to engage ARMA members in future. The panel format of this session will give Conference delegates ample opportunity to pose questions of their own.  

15:00 - 15:45

Impact & Public Engagement

“Put Down the Prosecco, We’re Not Done Yet”. Recentring Approaches to Impact Post-REF21

Dr Julie Bayley
University of Lincoln
Dr Anne Jolly
University of Lincoln

As the curtains closed on REF21, the sector took a moment to exhale, reflect, and finish the gin. We knew it would be taxing, but adding a pandemic was definitely an unexpected plot twist. For many impact professionals, the intensity of the final straits of REF was made worse by the dialling tone of contracts now ended and an academic community distrusting and exhausted in equal measure. We know we’re post-REF, but don’t know ‘where next’. How do we learn not only from this REF but draw on the reflections unchanged from 2014? How can we strategically refresh and realign not only in pursuit of future impact, but addressing the pressure and effort needed to generate meaningful change.

In this session, the University of Lincoln will reflect on some of the collateral damage from REF-dominated impact agendas – including resource depletion, staff disenfranchisement and burnout - and draw on its Civic University and Permeable University missions to establish principles for healthy and connected university strategies. Whilst there can be no one size fits all, recentring our approaches not only on the people who benefit but the people who facilitate the benefits, is pivotal in developing engaged and sustainable operations for impact.

Open Research

Open Access Toolkit for Books

Valerie McCutcheon
University of Glasgow
Niels Stern
OAPEN Foundation

There is growing interest in making books open access (OA), however, this often comes with a high cost. It can be difficult for authors to find out what options are available to them.

This session will give you the opportunity to review resources that explain the process and benefits of publishing OA books, and facilitate the workflow (e.g. obtaining funding, support available from research organisations), and support uptake (e.g. finding a publisher). You will find out more about open access to books and help improve the resource for researchers.

We will provide an overview of the OAOPEN Books Toolkit: a free to access resource to help authors better understand OA for books launched in October 2020. The feedback from this session will be considered along with feedback from other events both in the UK and internationally to further develop the OAPEN OA books toolkit. Our aim is that delegates will come away inspired and equipped to use the resources to support authors in their own organisations.


The Role of Research Evaluation in Research Culture

Hilary Noone
Research & Innovation Culture Lead, UKRI and Research Culture Lead, ARMA
Dr Elizabeth Gadd
Head of Research Operations, University of Glasgow
Dr Sophie Collet
Director of Strategy, Information and Operations, Research & Enterprise Division, University of Bristol
Malcolm MacLeod
Professor of Neurology and Translational Neuroscience, UKRN Steering Group member, University of Edinburgh
Candy Rowe
Professor of Animal Behaviour and Cognition, Dean of Research Culture and Strategy, University of Newcastle
Saskia Walcott
Director, Walcott Communications

In this session a panel of researchers, research managers and specialists will explore the role research evaluation plays in shaping our research culture with a view to informing a collective understanding of best practice. It will address a range of topics including whether and how institutions can plan for a better research culture, the benefit of value-led approaches to evaluation, and the role of open research in the future of research evaluation and culture.

19:30 - 21:00

Emerald Quiz

Back by popular demand – the ARMA Quiz hosted by our favourite quiz master John Eggleton of Emerald Publishing.

Pit your wits against the biggest brains in the ARMA membership in a fun quiz covering all manner of things (except sport!).

Any requests for specialist rounds, please tweet John @Emerald_JEgg prior to conference – you never know, they might get included!

10:00 - 10:45

Culture, Environment & People

Two Heads are Better Than One: Jobsharing in Research Management

Natalie Fullwood
University of York
Helen Jones
University of York

This session will examine the benefits and challenges of jobsharing in Research Management, through the example of Faculty Impact Manager for Arts and Humanities at the University of York, which is currently a jobshare. Helen and Natalie will share their reflections on the highs and lows of jobsharing, aiming to inform and inspire others that this way of working is not only possible but beneficial - including at a senior level - with various advantages for both employees and the University.

Emma Watton and Sarah Stables, who jobshared a senior Research and Enterprise role at the University of Cumbria for three years, argued in a 2019 THE article that jobshares can create greater equality at work, create more female rolemodels for others to follow, and help plug the leaks in the female leadership pipeline. Our experience suggests that a role offering strategic and operational research support can be performed competently, and arguably even better, through a job share: combining two brains, skillsets and experiences - two heads - is better than one! Come and hear from two women currently jobsharing in HE how to set up, and make a success of, a way of working that could transform inclusion at senior levels in Universities.

Funding & Development

How Do We Make Research Funding Equitable and Inclusive?

Jenny Gladstone
University of Oxford
Dr Lisa Schipper
University of Oxford

Building an academic research career relies largely on personal success in highly competitive, peer-reviewed funding schemes from external research funders. Existing data such as the UKRI Diversity Data shows that applicants with some protected characteristics are significantly less likely to win research funding. We are undertaking a project to understand the barriers faced by researchers in marginalised groups (including women, minority ethnic, LGBTQ+, and disabled researchers) and to propose solutions.

We will present the findings of:
(a) A detailed analysis of a sample of major research funding schemes for features that may disadvantage marginalised groups; and
(b) Focus groups of researchers in marginalised groups including a co-produced map of barriers and feedback loops in the research funding system.

We will set out our recommendations for addressing the disparities, both for funders and universities, and our plans for supporting researchers in minimising the impact of ongoing inequities on their careers. The webinar will include opportunity for live participants to comment on the findings and recommendations through the live chat function.

Funded by the University of Oxford Diversity Fund and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (204826/Z/16/Z).

Policy & Strategy

'Don't Make Me Do This Again' – What Changes Should We Make to REF

Anna Grey
University of York

The REF has been submitted and the launch of the Future Research Assessment Programme, thoughts are turning to what a future assessment exercise might look like. Whilst research managers will be able to feed into this combined review of REF and the discussions on options for future assessment, these discussions are overlooking the operational and practical aspects of managing research processes on which a REF system is based.

The aim of this session is to provide an opportunity to discuss what is working in the current system, what needs changing and what could be removed from the exercise. This will be an interactive session and attendees will be encouraged to think about alternative models for research evaluation, the operational implications of some of these proposal and different ways of working. This session is part of the REF Special Interest Group.

11:00 - 11:45



Dr Karen Salt
Deputy Director, R&D Culture and Environment, UK Research and Innovation
12:00 - 12:45

What Works - Research Inclusion & Diversity

Silvia Dobre
Research Evaluation Manager, International Center for the Study of Research (ICSR), Elsevier
Dr Tanita Casci
Head of Research Policy, Institutional Co-Lead for Research Culture, and Co-Lead of the Lab for Academic Culture Office of the Vice Principals, University of Glasgow
Dr Lesley Thompson
Vice President Academic Relations, Elsevier
Dr Clare Stevenson
Senior Scientist, Lead for the Technician Commitment, John Innes Centre
Professor Colette Fagan
Chair of the PVCR Network, Russell Group
The UK is at the forefront of discussions on how to improve research culture, examples include the work of - Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, Russell Group, UKRI and most recently the UK Government’s People and Culture Strategy. An important element of research culture is promoting inclusion, so diversity in all its guises can flourish. In this panel session spurred on by the work that Elsevier has been doing though it’s Inclusion and Diversity Board we will explore why research culture needs to centre on inclusion and how that leads to better outcomes. We will explore this through a discussion with 4 champions who hold different roles and positions of influence in the research ecosystem and will identify positive actions we can all take to build a more inclusive research culture.
13:15 - 14:15

Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the African Research Management Ecosystem

Eva Kagiri-Kalanzi
Programme Manager, ARMA UK
Sapna Marwaha
Senior Legal Counsel, LifeArc and Deputy Chair, ARMA UK
Allen Mukhwana
Manager, Research Systems, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA)
Vincent Nkundimana
Programme Officer, Research Systems, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA)
Rose Wepukhulu
Programme Officer, Research Systems, Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA)
Vicky Nembaware
Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center, University of Cape Town
Grace Mwashigadi
Project Coordinator, PRECISE Study at Aga Khan University
Dr Anna Brown
Research Development Manager, Durham University
Annette Hay
Senior Research Delivery Support Partner, Coventry University

The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) is establishing an African standard, the GRMP, promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in African institutions. In cooperation with ARMA, they are also implementing an Africa-UK capacity development programme, IRMSDP, in recognition of the challenges that research management professionals contend with as drivers of international research cooperation around cultural diversity, inclusivity, and environmental divide. This session will explore how the two are initiating a culture change in the way international research cooperation is implemented; how they are transforming equality, diversity and inclusion in Africa – UK research cooperation and across African institutions.

Building Research Management Across Distance, Time and Cultures

Dr Julie Bayley
Director of Research Impact Development, University of Lincoln
Dr Elizabeth Gadd
Head of Research Operations, University of Glasgow
Dr David Phipps
Assistant VP Research Strategy & Impact, York University, Toronto
Dr Simon Kerridge
Principal Consultant, Kerridge Research Consulting

Your researchers are collaborating internationally. Your institution has an internationalisation plan. You may have managed research funded by an international funder but how are you collaborating with your colleague counterparts in other countries? This session presents the experience of three trans-national research management and administration collaborations (total countries engaged = 24 countries in North &South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australasia) designed to build the knowledge base and develop some tools to enable collaboration that at the end of the day promises to improve our own performance at home.

In this video recorded for the 2021 INORMS congress, the leads for three collaborations will discuss the work of each group, and share our experiences of the opportunities, challenges, barriers and enablers of working across distance, time and cultures. Join us for insights from the Research Administration As A Profession (RAAAP) taskforce, the Research Evaluation Working Group (REWG) and the Research Impact and Stakeholder Engagement (RISE) group. Panellists will be available for Q&A throughout the session via live chat.

Trusted Research Guidance: Overview and Upcoming Campaign

Sam Price
Strategic Communications Officer, UK Cabinet Office
CPNI Policy and Cross Sector Projects, Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
This session will provide an overview of the Government’s Trusted Research Guidance, focusing on priority areas within the guidance for Research Managers and Administrators. We’ll also introduce an upcoming campaign which aims to promote the guidance among administrative and academic staff at research institutions.
14:30 - 15:15

Funding & Development

Navigating Horizon Europe Opportunities

Christina Miller
Director, UK Research Office (UKRO)

The UK is fully eligible to apply for funding under Horizon Europe. This session is designed to help research managers navigate the opportunities available under Horizon Europe. With the first round of Horizon Europe applications starting to get feedback, this session will help attendees develop a strategic approach to maximising their success in Horizon Europe in the UK’s new capacity as an associated country.

Policy & Strategy

Playing the University Rankings at Their Own Game? The INORMS Research Evaluation Group's Ranker Ratings

Dr Elizabeth Gadd
University of Glasgow

The global university rankings are having an increasing influence over the priorities and behaviours of universities worldwide. Many UK HEIs have aspirations to climb one or more ranking in their Key Performance Indicators without a thorough understanding of what it is those rankings actually measure. Indeed, the methodologies of university rankings are often highly problematic and their indicators do not map well onto the missions of most universities. To seek to expose some of the challenges around the overuse of university rankings, the INORMS Research Evaluation Group developed a methodology for 'rating' the rankings across four key themes: Good Governance, Transparency, Measure What Matters, and Rigour.

The resulting ratings should encourage their users to think carefully about how confident they can be of a university's ranking position. Ultimately it is hoped to encourage the global university rankings to reconsider the way they rank universities and their messaging. This session will present the work of the group and the initial ratings of some key university rankings. A discussion will be held as to how research managers can engage with senior leaders on their engagement with global university rankings, and how the sector might best seek change in this arena.

15:30 - 16:15

Culture, Environment & People

The Privilege Block: Building Inclusivity Through Critical Reflection and Empathy

Sunil Hutchin-Bellur
University of Glasgow
Monique Campbell
University of Glasgow and Glasgow Centre for Population Health

HE institutions are environments that can, through structures, processes, practice, and people, be exclusionary and discriminatory. This session is designed to help participants develop a greater understanding of their own lived experience and the diversity of the lived experience of others with the aim of building empathy to counter prejudices we all have. The workshop will support participants to critically reflect in order to understand our own assumptions which are often based on stereotypes perpetuated by through the media for example, so that we can relate better to others in their personal and work contexts.

Based upon the principles of the ‘Privilege Walk’, an exercise created from the ideas set out in White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (McIntosh, P. 1990), this revised session asks participants to consider the multitude of factors that may have influenced the lives and careers of those around them and challenges participants to critically analyse the assumptions we all make about others. The goal of this session is to encourage individuals to begin the process of reflecting on how their personal and work practices are (or are not) accessible and equitable and to kick-start the sharing of good practice when looking to make improvements.


Creating and Implementing an Interdisciplinary Ethical Review Process

Sam Lewis
University of Lincoln and Ethics, Governance and Best Practice SIG Co-Chair, ARMA UK

As Universities, we are committed to providing a competent, rigorous and externally moderated process of ethical review that is proportionate to the potential risk and, where a high risk is identified, assesses that risk against the benefits. Many funders and professional bodies have their own Codes of Ethical Practice and Conduct therefore any ethical review process an institution adopts must take into consideration these to ensure compliance. With an increasing focus on interdisciplinary research, the ethical review process must reflect this. Ethical review processes typically sit within discipline and do not foster an interdisciplinary approach (although may have one external/ lay reviewer) and may require multiple committee reviews to address any discipline specific concerns - an interdisciplinary approach at the outset mitigates the need for this.

Culture, Environment & People

International Speed Dating: Building and Sustaining an International Network

Dr Simon Kerridge
University of Kent and Kerridge Research Consulting
Melinda Fischer
Clemson University

What do you know about funders in other countries? You apply occasionally – maybe even less than once a year? Can you possibly keep up to speed with the various rules and regulations? What do some of those terms even mean? Perhaps your energy would be better spent on building relationships with people who know all of that stuff like the back of their hand, then when you need to know something you can reach out to each other. The presenters will give an overview of ways for Research Managers and Administrators to develop networks with those from outside their country. How do you link with people you don’t know? While the conference environment will allow for delegates to connect with each other, we'll also cover other options for building your network. We will finish with some reflections on how to build and sustain those networks.


Clubbercise® Class

With conference in virtual form, we can’t quite recreate the infamous ARMA Gala Dinner Dance. However, we think we’ve got the next best thing, certainly with regards to the dance!

Join our live Clubbercise® Class for a fun full body workout with a banging soundtrack! Just one session burns around 600 calories! The routines combine dance, toning and combat moves with options to suit all fitness levels.

From the comfort of your home, this class should be held in a darkened room. The louder the better, so if you can connect your device to a speaker or TV – please do! And don’t forget the disco lights – if you have flashing lights at home, we certainly encourage using them. We’ll even supply the trademark LED glowsticks, virtually free of charge!

There’s just one condition attached to the glowstick offer. We kindly ask that you only order a pair if you are going to join the session on the evening of Wednesday 6 October.

If you’re in, please click the link below, add one pair of glowsticks to your shopping cart, apply the coupon code CLUB100 and checkout. Applying the code leaves an order total of 1p which you’ll be charged. The glowsticks will be sent out by 1st class post.

Click here to order your glowsticks

10:00 - 10:45


By Everyone, For Everyone: Building an Inclusive Research and Innovation System

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser
Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser’s keynote speech argues that for the research and innovation system to tackle twenty-first century challenges and make the most of the opportunities ahead, it should be and be seen as truly inclusive.

Professor Leyser proposes that we must build and invest in a research and innovation system through which people and ideas move more freely, with each part benefitting from and supporting the others. Our ambition should be for a system in which everybody can participate and from which everybody benefits.

11:00 - 11:45

Culture, Environment & People

How to Facilitate Building an EDI Resilient Network of Researchers

Lennie Foster
Loughborough University
Pooja Goddard
Loughborough University

Research shows that diverse groups are more innovative than homogenous groups, however a recent report by League of European Research Universities argues that many research-intensive universities still need to develop inclusive processes to tackle implicit bias ( . This interactive workshop will aim to develop good practices that will help to build a framework for facilitating inclusive research collaborations and create a more welcoming working environment for researchers and research professionals.


  • To facilitate resilient inclusive multidisciplinary teams through Research Manager and Administrators development
  • To identify and explore potential barriers in forming inclusive research networks
  • To develop a set of good practices and a common framework for facilitating inclusive research collaborations
  • To critically evaluate participants’ own networks and to investigate how they could make these more inclusive


  • For the individual: a more robust, diverse, and inclusive set of contacts
  • For research collaborations: greater innovation and creativity, and improved problem solving
  • For their institution: help to embed EDI at the heart of organisational activity, and improve their HEI’s brand.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Good practice guidelines/ framework produced
  • Increased diversity in networks and research collaborations.

Funding & Development

Grants Training for All: On Finding Inclusive Ways Forward

Tania Cleaves
University of Birmingham

As a pre-award research facilitator and parent, my professional and personal lives during the pandemic have collided, necessitating new approaches to time management. Thinking flexibly, creatively and accessibly has been a key way forward during remote working, not just for my daily interactions about grant development but also training more broadly. I am over-Zoomed and underwhelmed by the thought of attending long-winded virtual sessions. So too are the academics I support. They want clear, efficient and empathetic training sessions, catered to a range of (dis)abilities and (personal and professional) needs.

This talk will present my own experiments developing accessible, streamlined, and engaging online resources on grant-writing and the funding landscape: content for busy academics as much as for busy research administrators and managers. My examples are geared towards Arts and Humanities schemes and applicants, but could be easily adapted to others’ areas of focus. The recording will give some key examples of online grants training resources that are attentive to different learning styles, abilities and needs. My aim is to provide ideas – and an empathetic approach – to generating inclusive content, for those you support but also for yourself.

Impact & Public Engagement

Impact Idol: Inspiring Ideas for a Shifting Impact Culture

Louise Atkins
King's College London
Tabitha Innocent
King's College London
Rahul Ghosh
King's College London
Laura Yoshimoto Turpin
King's College London

We all dream of an impact paradise where resource is plentiful and engaged experts are on hand to facilitate high-quality impact cultures. But, in reality, we often come from complicated and quirky organisations where impact cultures don’t link to existing structures systematically or indeed strategically. As a result, it can be hard to see how and where advanced impact cultures might develop. By bringing together our collective knowledge and experience and engaging in blue-sky thinking, this session offers opportunity to explore impact cultures and create our own impact paradises.

After initial introduction to impact cultures, small groups will be challenged to create an impact culture for an imaginary institution with a particular set of cultural challenges. By exploring internal and external drivers for impact, each team will think about the resources needed to effectively support impact, from inception to reporting. Teams will then pitch their impact paradises to a panel who will embody views from across applied and fundamental research, finance, operations and local community stakeholders. The panel will decide who gets what funding!

12:00 - 12:45

Supporting the Open Research Journey: Innovations in Scholarly Publishing Policy and Practice

Becky Hill
Strategic Partnership Manager, F1000
Matt Cannon
Head of Open Research, Taylor & Francis

Join Matt Cannon, Head of Open Research at Taylor & Francis, and Becky Hill, Strategic Partnership Manager at F1000, for an overview of how the scholarly publishing ecosystem is evolving to enable the shift to open research - a more transparent and collaborative way of sharing knowledge, with benefits for all the stakeholders in research.

We’ll introduce examples of the ways in which scholarly publishers are adapting their services to support researchers from across all career stages and working on all parts of the research journey. We will demonstrate the vital role that publishers can play in enabling the openness, transparency and the reproducibility of research outputs, as well as providing credit and visibility for researchers for all the contributions that they make to research. And we’ll explain how through new ways of working and strategic partnerships, publishers can support organisations to make research in all its forms and formats, as discoverable and usable as possible, maximising the potential for research to have value and real world impact.

Much more than open access, open research is rapidly becoming an approach that researchers, institutions and funders are embracing as a way to help deliver a more constructive and effective research culture, one that is aligned with initiatives such as DORA, and one that will bring benefits to the whole research system. Join us to find out how funders such as Wellcome, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Commission have partnered with a publisher to deliver customised solutions to support their aims to remove the barriers to knowledge exchange and accelerate the potential for the research they have supported to have impact.

12:45 - 13:30

Make your lunch with GBBO star Mark Lutton

Mark Lutton

The session will run as a virtual cook-along, where you will make lunch together with Mark from your kitchens at home! Mark will be making soda bread and an Irish onion soup (perfect for the autumn). A full list of ingredients and equipment needed has been provided for you to cook along, so please get these in advance. The session will run for 40 minutes and Mark will be happy to answer any questions and have a chat about things Bake-Off during that time.

Cheesy Soda Bread and Irish Onion Soup
Serves 2-3
Duration: 30-40 minutes

In advance, prepare and weigh out all your ingredients, and gather equipment needed.


Soda bread:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 50g mature cheddar, grated
  • 200ml buttermilk

Onion soup:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced into ½ cm slices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp Irish whiskey (optional)
  • 2 gloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 300ml Guinness (or use additional beef stock)
  • 500ml beef stock
  • Few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tbsp water
  • Chives for garnishing


  • Weighing scales
  • Large bowl x2
  • Sieve
  • Whisk
  • Fish slice or tongs
  • Grater (for grating cheese, if not already grated)
  • Large skillet or non-stick frying pan
  • Chopping board and knives
  • Large saucepan and lid
  • Measuring jug
  • Bowls for serving
13:45 -14:30

How Funders are Driving the Research Culture Agenda

Vanessa Cuthill
Director of Research, British Academy
Dr Diego Benedict Baptista
Head of Research and Funding Equity, Wellcome Trust
Jo O’Leary
Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, UK Research and Innovation
Driving change in research culture requires engagement from across all parts of the research ecosystem. However, delivering change is no easy task – with a focus on research culture, equity, inclusivity and diversity how are our funders driving and contributing to the changes we need in the research ecosystem.

Leading and Reimagining Equitable and Inclusive Research

Annette Hay
Senior Research Delivery Support Partner, Coventry University
Sapna Marwaha
Senior Legal Counsel, LifeArc and Deputy Chair, ARMA UK
Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse
Research Fellow, Research Policy and Impact, Teeside University

Presentations followed by a discussion on the importance of individual and collective actions around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for adapting and transforming the changing landscape of research and research management and administration.

Exploring the Value of QR in Supporting Researcher Scale Activities

Dr Steven Wooding
Senior Policy Analyst , Research Strategy Office, University of Cambridge
Dr Lewis Dean
Head of Research Funding, Research England

Research at UK universities is funded through a system of dual support: response-mode grants fund specific projects; and a block grant (Quality-Related Research (QR) funding) is awarded to institutions to spend at their own discretion. How QR funding contributes to research has rarely been studied, and this project, commissioned by Research England, explored some of the ways that QR supports the research of individual researchers. Using the University of Cambridge as a pilot case, this case study set out to explore novel methods to measure the outcomes and impacts of QR funding. RE’s ambition is that the study will act as an exemplar for other universities to consider their own QR spend and plan how to maximise its value.

14:45 - 15:30

Policy & Strategy

Exquisite Ladders: Bending the Neurotypical Academy’s Straight Lines

Dan Holloway
University of Oxford

From the idea of a typical career path, to the narrative journal article; the creative non-fiction of public engagement to how funders fit proposals into and judge them against existing narratives, the neurotypical academy privileges linearity, and those whose brains work best in a linear manner. Neurodivergent thinkers often process information differently, from pattern spotting to layering evidence and using many media beyond the written word to present it. And many have lives that likewise do not fit the linear expectation of the “normal” academic CV.

Just as parkour has opened people’s eyes to different ways of moving through physical spaces, providing a richness and completeness in the way we fill and use those spaces, so non-linear ways of processing information complement and enrich the existing ways of moving through our academic spaces. In a world where rethinking problems in an attempt to find answers is not just an interesting exercise but an existential imperative, the academy must open itself to neurodivergent thinking, even or perhaps especially ways it does not understand, and thinkers on their own terms. This session will provide both a provocation and a proof of concept of what such an open academy might look like.

Project & Portfolio Management

Managing Complex International Programmes: Perspectives From the Global South and North

Dr Helen Coskeran
University of Leeds
Louise Heery
University of Leeds
Sithembile Mwamakamba
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, University of Leeds
Dr Benjamin Lamptey
Ghanaian Meteorological Agency

Funded by the first Global Challenges Research Fund call, GCRF-AFRICAP and GCRF African SWIFT have both involved exploration of new forms of partnership and project management across the consortia. This session examines their management from three different perspectives: Two panel members will present on their specific experience of being involved in these programmes on a full-time basis before we examine the role of both projects within the GCRF and Newton portfolio at the University of Leeds. This portfolio includes over 70 awards – more than any other UK university – supporting over 200 projects across 40 countries and spanning all of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is actively managed to consolidate strengths and shift monodisciplinary projects into becoming multi-disciplinary or interdisciplinary.

Complex projects such as GCRF-AFRICAP and GCRF-SWIFT are used as platforms and new disciplinary perspectives are built into them by the Global Research Development team. Finally, we hear the perspective of lead partner on GCRFAFRICAP, to capture learnings from an overseas organisation managing a large portfolio of international projects. Examining experiences from the first three years of implementation of these complex programmes allows lessons to be shared with those developing future grants of this scale and nature.

Culture, Environment & People

Ableism and Exclusion: Challenging Academic Cultural Norms in Research Communication to Effect Changes in Practice

Josie Caplehorne
University of Kent
Dr Jennifer Leigh
University of Kent

HE has seen drastic changes over the last decades, with increasing emphasis on equality and inclusion. Athena Swan, the Race Equality Charter, and #BlackLivesMatter have led to more awareness of exclusionary practices. Statistics on disability highlight serious issues around disclosure rates for staff: 16% of working age public disclose a disability, neurodivergence or chronic illness, compared to less than 4% of academics working in HE (Brown and Leigh, 2018). We know staff report being stigmatised, challenged and questioned, with some saying they have been told not to pursue a career in academia as they would fail anyway. In this environment how can research managers and administrators be agents of change, raise awareness, and empower academics to ask for and gain adjustments to support their work?

Dr Jennifer Leigh will discuss why research on ableism and academia is important, sharing findings and the challenges this work brings. Josie Caplehorne will share current work at Kent. We will then consider practical changes that address and challenge this culture through raising expectations, placing inclusivity and accessibility at the heart of research communication, and encouraging, equipping and challenging the academic community to embed these practices in the dissemination of their research.

Close of Conference
Linsey Dickson
Director of Conference and Chair of Conference Working Group, ARMA UK
Jennifer Stergiou
Director, Research & Innovation Service, Northumbria University and Chair, ARMA UK

Culture, Environment & People

Building a Virtual Research Community at NTU (POSTER)

Louise Ann Mounteney
Nottingham Trent University
Fiona Smith
Nottingham Trent University
Sarah Dossor
Nottingham Trent University
Sarah Skelton
Nottingham Trent University
Jane Bonnell
Nottingham Trent University
Natalie Starbuck
Nottingham Trent University

Ensuring relevant information is provided to those who need it, is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges for large, diverse organisations such as universities - add a global pandemic into the mix and the challenge becomes even greater.

Building upon previous work to enhance the visibility of research support, our cross-University working group decided to use the new working methods employed as a result of the pandemic to trial the ‘Research Support at NTU’ webinar. Aimed at anyone undertaking or supporting research, the webinar would provide a high-level overview of the people, processes and systems available to support them, alongside putting research support under the spotlight.

The webinars were very well received, with 215 attendees across two sessions, are now a regular feature in the University calendar and have led to improved knowledge and collegiality between professional services and academic staff. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with one respondent noting “an increased confidence and awareness” as a consequence of the webinar, and another welcoming having “all the information in one place.”

Delegates wishing to enhance the profile of research support and improve communication at their Universities will find the content of the poster and presentation useful.

EDI Journey for Research & KE at the University of Derby; Progressing Towards Greater Equality (POSTER)

Sima Ali
University of Derby
Lisa McCabe
University of Derby

A core value for University of Derby (UoD) is to encourage a culture that allows people to achieve beyond their expectations. Addressing this, UoD’s EDI Team have established successful initiatives and embedded an inclusive culture across the university, based on the EDI agenda, part of the University ‘People Strategy’.

The University Research and KE Office (URKEO) is a central university team of 41 staff and we are building on this foundation to incorporate EDI as a core aspect of everything we do, reforming our practices to ensure this. Our goal is to embed EDI into the research & KE environment, by delivering accessible training and resources and identifying & capturing key data on research & KE, to learn what we do well, and where we can do better.

We have run successful workshops to encourage a deeper understanding of EDI in the Research Environment and these recorded sessions form the basis of our planned training resource, feeding into a PI Development Framework. In addition, URKEO staff are developing new ways of working together, using research data to identify strengths and opportunities, helping to ensure equity in our research environment and next REF submission, specifically relating to gender and ethnicity.

How to Manage Successful Research Support Teams Post REF/ Brexit and Covid Pandemic (ON-DEMAND)

Camelia Dijkstra
University of Wolverhampton
Sarah Patrick
Coventry University

Post REF/ Brexit/ Pandemic: how have cost cutting and heavy restructuring affected team working and productivity?

What does the future look like in terms of team working models/activity that promote diversity and inclusion?

Line management in the current climate presents us with an array of challenges, not only to keep people motivated but also to ensure productivity and meet stretching targets. It is a challenge to balance the demands of team members and academics in the face of cost cuts and lack of staff incentives and the need to ensure high quality support and a balanced, diverse workforce.

The increased admin load and time committed to personal support/cover for team members is being felt across the sector at a time when bureaucracy is at its highest, assurance mechanisms and external reporting demands are not proportional with HEI benefits and success rates have nosedived.

This webinar gives you the opportunity to discuss and share post REF/ Brexit/ lockdown challenges and approaches on: maintaining efficient team working; ensuring a sense of belonging for everyone and strategies that works to keep team culture and spirits high during WFH and organisational change.

Improving Funding Application Support for Researchers with a Disability (ON-DEMAND)

James Church
University of Reading

Data published in 2019 by UKRI showed that only 25% of disabled researchers are applying for research funding. This emphasises the need for research organisations to do more to understand the needs of researchers with a disability and support them when to applying for research funding.

This webinar will cover some of the preliminary work we have been doing to make our support more accessible to researchers with disabilities. Activities have included running a workshop for colleagues in Research Services to get them to consider different types of disabilities and how they can adapt their own working practices to increase accessibility; the creation of an accessibility handbook to provide the team with guidance and useful resources; a working group to ensure best practice is embedded in our policies and procedures.

I will also present some hits and tips and useful resources on ways to improve accessibility for example in meetings, webpages and communications from my own experiences and those of colleagues with a disability. This session will challenge those working in RMA to start thinking about how they can adapt their own working practices.

Journal of Research Administration - Author Fellowship Program (POSTER)

Simon Kerridge
University of Kent and Kerridge Research Consulting

The goal of the Journal of Research Administration's Author Fellowship Program is to increase the confidence, capacity, and willingness of research managers and administrators to serve the field and share their expertise as peer-reviewed or refereed journal authors, and engage in a less common form of leadership and professional development. Prospective authors (Fellows) are paired with published Peer Advisors for a six-to-nine month supportive fellowship.

The program was developed in 2016 by members of the JRA Editorial Board for SRAI members, four cohorts have completed the program (Cohort 1 – 2017; Cohort 2 – 2018; Cohort 3 – 2019; Cohort 4 - 2020), and Cohort 5 (2021) is underway. As part of an inter-association partnership, since Cohort 2, ARMA members can and have also participated.

This poster will present an overview of the program and the experiences of the participants, and provide information for those interested in applying for the 6th cohort later in the year.

The Pandemic and Researcher Perception: How COVID-19 has Influenced Research Culture and How to Respond (ON-DEMAND)

Christopher Daley
Royal Holloway, University of London
Charlie Rapple
Kudos Innovations

The coronavirus pandemic has both disrupted research and acted as a catalyst for change. The shift to homeworking has altered the perennial patterns within higher education, with teaching offered either remotely or via hybrid models, labs closing, access to libraries and archives limited, conferences cancelled or transformed into online events, and the crisis accelerating conversations about new forms of scholarly dissemination.

This webinar will use the findings from our recent report Brave New World: Scholarly Communication after COVID, which contains data from over 10,000 researchers globally who responded to our survey as well as secondary analysis of over 100 sources, to examine how this period of profound disruption has both altered academic practices but also changed researcher perceptions about the wider research landscape.

Delegates viewing this webinar will receive insights into the ways in which the pandemic has influenced research practice and culture. It will offer recommendations for how to respond proactively to these changes, providing guidance for how research management and administration professionals can negotiate transforming researcher perceptions against the ongoing reality of research funding/policy. It will also propose ways forward in combating the inequalities within research ecosystems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Using Diverse Expertise to Build a Creative Team (ON-DEMAND)

Ben Stoker
University of Lincoln
Lyndsey Kemsley
University of Lincoln
Kaitlin Kelly
University of Lincoln
Mark Hurdley
University of Lincoln
Christian Blanchette
University of Lincoln
Becky Crookes
University of Lincoln

Every member of the University of Lincoln’s Research Development Team (RDT) has a unique story to tell about how they came to do the job they do. The mix of professional backgrounds is as varied as the personalities in the team. Before joining the RDT, Christian Blanchette was a Research Analyst specialising in the Central London Office Market; Kaitlin Kelly was Program Director for the New Americans Initiative at the Harlem YMCA in New York; Becky Crookes worked as a Research Assistant in forensic psychology at Coventry University; Ben Stoker was a freelance Heritage Consultant, specialising in churches and cathedrals; Mark Hurdley was a Project Manager and developed R&D capabilities in academia and industry. Lyndsey Kemsley, however, did every job in the RDT, en route to becoming its manager.

Through a round-table conversation, the RDT will explore how a diversity of skills and experiences can bring fresh perspectives and approaches to the business of research development. They’ll also discuss what they’ve learnt from each other and how different kinds of expertise can be used to build a creative, pragmatic and supportive team.

Funding & Development

A Pilot International Mentoring Partnership Programme (IMPP) For Research Academics: Scotland and Brazil (POSTER)

Lorna Prince
University of Stirling

The University of Stirling (UoS) and Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Brazil, launched a joint 2-year International Mentoring Partnership Programme (IMPP) in June 2019. This pilot programme sought to create two-way capacity-building mentoring relationships for Established Researchers (ERs) and Early Career Researchers (ECRs), by developing mentor and mentee skills. To maximise cross-institutional learning, 5 ERs and 5 ECRs from UNESP participated alongside 5 ECRs and 5 ERs from UoS, as potential cross-institutional mentor-mentee pairs.

Development of research capability was an important focus of the programme, as was cultural exchange, social sharing and co-learning. The programme was open to researchers from any discipline, who were contributing to research in any of three areas of mutual interest to both Universities. These were: Bio-diversity and Climate Change; The Bio-Economy; and Sustainable Development. The Programme built upon the ILM-accredited mentoring scheme developed by the Organisational Development department of UoS. It comprised of a 1-week taught programme at UoS, which included Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessments and training in Cultural Awareness (CQ) augmented by virtual support meetings. At the end of the 24-month programme, we look back on the challenges and successes as well as at lessons learned.

Embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion into Heriot-Watt University's Pre Award Research Fellowships Quality Assurance Process (ON-DEMAND)

Nisha Patel
Heriot-Watt University

This session raises awareness of the role of Research Development Support in embedding ED&I in internal quality assurance processes, promoting Heriot-Watt University’s four guiding values: inspire, collaborate, belong and celebrate.

It will cover the rationale and practice behind Heriot-Watt University’s Fellowship College, which is an internal quality assurance process for researchers wishing to apply for external Research Fellowships. Its purpose is to raise the quality of Fellowship applications and acts as a support framework for researchers in submitting a strong competitive research proposal. The College includes peer review, demand management and proposal development.

An ED&I monitoring form is to be completed by all potential Fellowship applicants, which asks for information on diversity characteristics such as age, disability, ethnicity and gender. The information is collected and reviewed to ensure that we continually develop and maintain a community that is diverse, representative and inclusive. The composition of internal reviewer panels is also taken into consideration to ensure fairness for all.

Benefits for delegates include: insights, sharing best practice, ideas to implement at their own institutions, as well challenges and barriers institutions face in ED&I especially in quality assurance processes.

Opportunities and Challenges of Working with Interface Disciplines (POSTER)

Jude Hill
University of Bristol
Becky Leithall
University of Bristol
Sandra Spencer
University of Bristol

As Research Development Managers for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law (Hill), Faculty of Science (Leithall) and Faculty of Life Sciences (Spencer) at the University of Bristol, we currently work with colleagues across many different subject areas and academic schools. In this poster, we explore some of the challenges and obstacles we have encountered when working with colleagues from what we are terming 'interface (sub)disciplines', such as Human Geography, Legal Studies, Pharmacology and Psychology, which sometimes fall between the cracks due to external (e.g. funder) and internal (e.g. Faculty delineation) structures. Fostering an inclusive research ecosystem and developing strong relationships at these perceived interfaces is integral to facilitating truly interdisciplinary working.

Our poster will also explore potential opportunities and solutions to overcoming the obstacles and challenges we have identified, drawing on our experience of working with/for funders, as Research Development Managers and academics.

Overhead Rates: Impact on Application Success (POSTER)

Lisa Boyce
University of Surrey

Senior leaders and researchers at United Kingdom Higher Education Institutions (UK HEIs) expressed an interest in understanding the effects of institutional overheads on their grant applications success rates. Research investigated the relationship of overhead and grant award rates by examining banded overhead rates across multiple UK HEIs and fiscal years with publicly available research funder award data to inform both senior leaders and academic decisions.

This poster presents the method and results of the data collected and analysed, which were briefed internally and to the partnering HEIs. While the results may validate our professional insights, the objective evidence provides the foundation for informed discussions to guide university policy and practices regarding overheads in general (i.e. Indirect and Estates Costs under fEC) and to accommodate specific applications. Project limitations and potential future research activity are also highlighted as an opportunity to discuss interest and need for further investigation.

The issue of the impact of overhead rates appears to resonate across our profession. My personal experience with sharing a systematic empirical investigation with university senior leaders was positively received. Particularly appreciated is the evidence to support professional practice and negate common researcher perceptions. Other research administrators may find the information equally useful.

What's Wellcome Up To Now? (ON-DEMAND)

Roger Blake
Wellcome Trust
Dan Tripp
Wellcome Trust
Anne Taylor
Wellcome Trust
Mike Niedzwiecki
Wellcome Trust
Diego Baptista
Wellcome Trust

In late 2020, Wellcome announced its new strategy. As well as targeting three major health challenges - mental health, infectious disease and climate - we will continue to fund research across a wide range of disciplines that have the potential to make important discoveries about life, health and wellbeing.

In our webinar we will focus on our new set of discovery research funding schemes.
We will cover:

  • How these three schemes align with our strategy
  • Who and what we're aiming to fund through these schemes
  • Scheme design and rules (e.g. eligibility, application processes, progress reporting)
  • Changes to rules on costs and award management arrangements
  • How diversity and inclusion, and research culture, are embedded into these schemes.

We will present this webinar in a round-table Q&A format, with a host and respondents covering each theme above. Questions will be based on those most commonly submitted to our Information Helpdesk by Research Officers and potential applicants.

Working Together But Apart – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (ON-DEMAND)

Deryn Evans
Cranfield University
Jaydene Witchell
Cranfield University
Maxine Glover-Bennett
Cranfield University
Sarah Heywood
Cranfield University

The pandemic forced everyone to rethink and reorganise how they worked, with significant impacts on research development and the teams delivering it. Research offices were challenged with maintaining research and service excellence whilst adapting to home working, furlough, juggling childcare and shifting deadlines. We were supporting researchers in similar situations who needed to maintain their momentums and to grow research programmes.

This session will explore how the Cranfield Research Excellence Team adapted, pulled together and expanded services, with a focus on wellbeing and inclusion. Using case studies of remote bid development (the successes, the challenges and the disasters), it will cover the tools, actions and activities utilised to facilitate collaboration and service development, detailing lessons learned and tips for success.

An associated jamboard will collect delegate suggestions for what has worked, or not, when operating collaboratively remotely. Delegates will be provided with a peer perspective of how a small team has adapted and built success, to enable them to consider what actions might be useful to adopt and how experience from this period can be adapted into post-pandemic ways of working. Post-conference, the jamboard and session learnings will be disseminated in a Protagonist article.

Impact & Public Engagement

A View from Above (ON-DEMAND)

Saskia Walcott
Walcott Communications
Saskia Gent
Insights for Impact
Stephen Kemp
Stephen Kemp

As research managers, you are likely to become engrained in the practices and policies of your own institution. This webinar is an opportunity to get a view across the Higher Education sector in England, Scotland and Wales from three freelance impact consultants who have worked with a wide range of UK HEIs as part of the preparation for REF2014 and REF2021.

Saskia Walcott, Stephen Kemp, and Saskia Gent, all former research managers themselves, come together in a virtual roundtable discussion to share their observations of research impact across the sector: the differences in levels of resource, different approaches and practices, what they felt has worked well at different institutions and not so well. Rest assured there will be no names mentioned, or confidentialities broken, but this will be a rare opportunity to get a wider perspective on the sector’s research impact infrastructure.

More Than Impact: Collaborative Research with an IRO - A Perspective from the British Library (ON-DEMAND)

Naomi Billingsley
The British Library
Andrew Rackley
The British Library
Flavia Dietrich-England
The British Library

Do you support development of bids involving collections-based research? Have you ever wondered what an Independent Research Organisation (IRO) is or want to know more? IRO status is granted by UK research councils to organisations that demonstrate capacity to undertake and lead research projects and programmes. This webinar gives an inside perspective on working with one IRO - the British Library.

Library staff are experts in their fields, from curatorial knowledge about collections, to expertise in digital scholarship and infrastructure. The collections are international in scope and tell stories relevant to diverse communities in the UK and globally. The Library is keen to work in partnership to enrich understanding of the collections and to share new stories with a range of audiences.

Research collaborations with the Library therefore present exciting opportunities for impact and public engagement, but it’s not just exhibitions and conferences. From uncatalogued collections to online resources and enhancing catalogue records, embedding impact into research projects can achieve more through long-term benefits to the public and the wider research community.

We will introduce what developing a research collaboration with the Library can look like, and why you (or your academics) should contact us early when developing a proposal.

Supporting Arts & Humanities Knowledge Exchange: Durham’s Entrepreneur in Residence Programme (ON-DEMAND)

Rachael Barnwell
Durham University

Creative residencies are a popular mode of knowledge exchange across academic disciplines, facilitating research translation between academics and people outside of higher education. In 2019, Durham University appointed an Entrepreneur in Residence to work within its Arts & Humanities Faculty. Modelled on the Royal Society’s existing residency scheme but reshaped for Durham’s arts disciplines, it aimed to bring entrepreneurial thinking and broader creative sector know-how into the Faculty to help realise the benefits of its research and high-quality facilities in the widest and most creative way possible.

Working with academics, students, and professional services staff, the inaugural A&H Entrepreneur in Residence aimed to deliver a novel programme of work, complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This session will explore the original residency plan, the challenges of delivery in unpredictable circumstances, and how lessons learned will shape the future of the residency programme.

Supporting the Pipeline for Arts & Humanities Impact and Engagement (POSTER)

Rachael Barnwell
Durham University

UKRI integrates support for research impact and engagement across its portfolio of funding programmes. Provision of resources for impact have recently been assimilated into grant applications in an attempt to make impact a part of the research cycle. In addition, Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) offer strategic block awards to research organisations to support knowledge exchange and impact arising from research, while the AHRC's Follow on Fund supports impact activities that arise serendipitously from an existing AHRC-funded project. However, there is little funding available to support early development of impact activities for arts and humanities disciplines, or for impact opportunities that arise outside of a grant application.

With that in mind, Durham University created the Arts & Humanities Impact Development Fund, designed to offer small-scale awards to academics at all career stages interested in piloting impact projects, or trialling experimental approaches to impact development. The fund operated for three years, leading to new partnerships, building knowledge exchange networks, and establishing a pipeline for future research assessment exercises. This poster presentation gives an overview of the fund, and suggests ways that early-stage support for arts and humanities impact could be developed for the future.

The Research Impact Agenda and its Unintended Consequences: Are We Creating an Institutional Monster? (POSTER)

Rene Brauer
University of Hull

'Research impact' is one of the major buzzwords of the Higher Education Sector over the last decades within the UK. The impact agenda derives from impact case studies necessary for research evaluation and expectations of pathways to impact within funding calls. Likewise, aspiring academics receive training in impact generation and career progression is tied ever closer to impact generation, resulting in an entire impact infrastructure. This infrastructure within the universities aims to deliver, measure, evaluate and archive impacts.

This presentation challenges this sacrosanct agenda, not in terms of the desired goal but rather in terms of process. Specifically focusing on five domains where the institutionalised impact infrastructure can have unintended consequences on research itself. These are, firstly the training of early career researchers into short-term focused approaches to research. Secondly, additional workload requirements in terms of evidencing and accounting for impact. Thirdly, the general issues with causally attributing any change of society. Fourthly, the establishment of a new modality of scholarly distinction.

Finally, how the impact agenda completely reconfigures of what makes ‘good’ research in the first place. The presentation concludes with some brief reflections of how to ameliorate these unintended consequences, whilst still maintaining the beneficial influence of research.

Policy & Strategy

Developing an Improving Inclusion Strategy for Research Funding at the Health Foundation (ON-DEMAND)

Diane Redfern-Tofts
The Health Foundation
Hardeep Aiden
The Health Foundation

Health and care research can demonstrate where inequalities exist, and their impact on health and wellbeing. It can identify the steps needed to reduce inequalities, so that policy and practice can improve outcomes for individuals and populations. However, they are often overlooked in the commissioning, funding, design, delivery and mobilisation of research activity.

COVID-19 has further revealed the devastating impact of inequality across the UK, where entrenched health inequalities have disproportionately impacted specific groups. As a community, we need to respond by ensuring diversity in the research we fund and the workforce undertaking it, its design and delivery, and how the findings are used and mobilised.

This session will share learning about how the Health Foundation’s Research Team have been developing their improving inclusion strategy, to make practices and processes more inclusive and encourage greater diversity in the research ecosystem. Including:

  • Analysing baseline diversity data from previous applicants and a PPI audit of active grants
  • Running an event series, with the King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Services Research UK, to explore challenges and opportunities for improving inclusion in health and care research
  • Creating an inclusion panel to advise us on the research we plan, fund and commission.

In Conversation: Creating Strategies and Operational Approaches to Research and Impact in Practice (ON-DEMAND)

Saskia Gent
Insights for Impact
Ian Carter
Carter Research Navigation

In the context of new policy (e.g. Innovation Strategy, People & Culture Strategy), new reports addressing aspects of research culture, and in the light of post-REF learnings and the KEF dashboard and KE Concordat, Saskia and Ian address key questions about what research organisations should (and shouldn’t) do next to support strategic and operational approaches to research and impact.

The Business Secretary says that the new Innovation Strategy will be more focused than the Industrial Strategy and will provide detail on the spending of the public R&D budget. We will examine if this holds up and if it means more focus on the later stages of the R&D lifecycle, to encourage business to invest to help meet the 2.4% R&D spend target. What do research organisations need to do to respond? And how will an improved understanding of markets (demand side) as well as capabilities and capacity (supply side) help?

With more than 50 years of experience between them in, across and advising organisations on research and impact strategies Saskia and Ian will discuss practical steps, as well as preparing leaders for what might change in the research and impact environment in the next few years.

Making a Moonshot: Enabling Research to Change the World (POSTER)

Michelle Read
The University of Birmingham

Research that matters is able to inform, shape, and alter the world that we live in. Significant shifts in the UK research landscape have been initiated to maximise the impact and effectiveness of our research, including the formation of UKRI, the focus on Place, and major funding schemes such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and now ARIA.

In response to this, Strategic Themes & Foresight programme at the University of Birmingham identifies large-scale opportunities to deliver transformative change regionally, nationally and/or globally, leveraging academic leadership, institutional support, collaboration potential, a national challenge and market opportunity to create an environment in which transformational projects can accelerate.

Growth of these strategic themes creates a wake of opportunity for interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration across other research fields, industry, sector policy makers and public service providers such as the NHS to be part of the critical mass required to deliver real-world impact and change at scale, as well as leveraging the funding and policy changes required to deliver these “moonshot” programmes.

Although ambitious in nature, these themes can bring many benefits to an institution, bringing a diversity across leadership, powerfully informing strategy, building resilience, developing institutional identity, and guiding investment, activity, and support.

The Golden Rule of Policy Making (ON-DEMAND)

Mariah Loukou
City, University of London

This webinar talks about policymaking in higher education. I aim to bring into the forefront the ‘ingredient’ (aka policies) that everyone uses but no one talks about. Every research manager and administrator uses policies to complete their work, but they do not discuss how to make them better, more efficient, and inclusive. Policies can be the vehicle that carries equality, diversity and inclusion at their core, but it is often seen as challenging to change or implement. Therefore, this session discusses the nuances of policymaking in higher education and how policies should be developed with the user in mind.

This webinar aims to debunk certain notions. For example, policies are stand-alone items, when in reality, they are living organisms that keep changing, hence needing regular maintenance and updating. Finally, the session will discuss the golden rule of policymaking (stakeholder consultation) and its crucial connection to robust process. This webinar has been inspired by my recent blog post, the ‘Secret Ingredient []’ published at ARMA in February 2021.

Project & Portfolio Management

Building Equitable and Inclusive Collaborations in Global Health Research (ON-DEMAND)

Clare Hodkinson
MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

Global North-South research networks are increasingly supported by funders to address shared complex global health challenges. Such networks can lead to contextually relevant, and innovative approaches, but also risk unequal power balances that exacerbate existing academic inequalities. A key aim of the Global Diet and Activity Research (GDAR) project, established in 2017, was to build and sustain an effective and equitable research network, involving 7 institutions in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean.

An independent, formative evaluation was commission in spring 2020 to provide a critical, in-depth review of experiences on what worked well, and what could have worked better in the newly formed network. The evaluation findings were discussed at a network workshop, and the learnings incorporated into a successfully funded, co-created model, for the next 4-year phase of the network.

We present reflections on current funding models for global health research. Further we discuss a range of management structures and practices, to prevent and address power imbalances, that can be adapted depending on the funding model. This will support the strategic learning and knowledge creation on how to build, and maintain, an equitable and inclusive network of diverse geographical and economic territories.

Managing Grant Audits under the "New Normal" (ON-DEMAND)

Ellen Thompson
LEES Accountants
Jonathan Gray
LEES Accountants

In March 2020, the world imploded and everyone in the UK was sent home, to work from home, a situation still in place today. Our session will be for anyone who has involvement in their institution's grant audit process, and will cover: remote working, how specific Funders are treating the pandemic, how to resolve issues and innovative solutions, and anecdotal fun.

The pandemic cannot (hopefully) last forever, and we will examine how working practices have fundamentally changed for the future, and how institutions can get their all important grant audits done and dusted, in order to get the much needed cash from the Funders. We will also touch on Horizon Europe, and the financial aspects of it that we know about thus far.

The Grant Audit Wheel Of Life! (POSTER)

Ellen Thompson
LEES Accountants
Jonathan Gray
LEES Accountants

Grant auditing is often seen as a necessary evil, but do you know the actual life cycle of the audit, and the reasoning behind the auditors' questions? We will cover all pertinent points, including: what happens when we receive a quote/tender request, client take on procedures, planning an audit, audit fieldwork and auditor thought process (why are we asking questions such as who attended the dinner you're trying to claim), query iteration and resolution, completion and review, and signing of the audit report.

We will also cover "what happens next", to cover any Project Officer questions, and will include some fun anecdotes of what we have seen claimed, all in a funky infographic.

Social Activity

Gentle Yoga Session

Gillian McCollum Edinburgh Community Yoga

This class is a gentle and steady paced class suitable for absolute beginners, or anybody who wants to slow down and relax. We will focus on simple movement to encourage more body awareness and physical mobility, as well as look at the other fundamental aspects of yoga such as breath and meditation. This class offers an inclusive, laid-back and fun atmosphere that is perfect for complete newcomers to the practice, and will give students the tools to create and sustain a space for relaxation and serenity.

Systems & Processes

Building an Integrated Research Management Digital Ecosystem (POSTER)

Tamsin Burland
Sue Starbuck
Royal Holloway, University of London
Donna Swann
University College London
Lindsay Ramage
Edinburgh Napier University
Adam Vials Moore

Research managers are accustomed to using digital technology to manage research information and outputs workflows. The systems employed include CRISs and repositories, as well as grants, contracts, ethics or impact services. Other important information (e.g., HR, finance or funder) is accessed from additional local or external systems.

It seems a long time ago that we first heard the mantra "enter once and use many times" in the context of research information management. But accessing information held across diverse systems to create integrated workflows is still a pipe dream for many. It’s vital that we continue to work together as a sector towards an integrated research management digital ecosystem. We need to consider not only the importance of interoperable software and services, but also sector policies, protocols, standards, identifiers and the role of key stakeholders.

Following their REF submissions, many universities are now reviewing their research systems and workflows. Drawing on case studies from three UK universities, plus the work that Jisc (the UK’s HE digital technology organisation) undertakes in this area, this poster will highlight work being done to promote an optimum research management digital ecosystem, both within institutions and across the sector as a whole.

Coordinating Research Due Diligence Across a Complex HEI (ON-DEMAND)

Rosie Maccagnano
University of Edinburgh
Abigail Steed
University of Edinburgh

Due diligence on overseas research has been a steep learning curve over the past 2 years for most UK HEIs as well as for our international partners. The University of Edinburgh, like most complex organisations, grew its due diligence operations reactively and with limited consistency between teams, in response to the gradual increase in research applications as academics became more aware of the availability of funds if they grew their overseas connections. Funder requirements became more complex, and HEIs recognised the need to better understand the requirements as well as coordinate support and services appropriately.

Our session aims to share with the audience our experience in responding to this new element in research support, what hurdles we face, and how best to support our teams in becoming the knowledgeable experts our academic community expects.

How to Harness the Power of Automation and APIs in your Day-to-Day RMA Job (ON-DEMAND)

Fernando Pabst Silva
Cardiff Metropolitan University

Have you ever come across the acronym API and wondered what it meant and what it had to do with your role as a research manager or administrator? In this webinar, I will explain what an API is, why there are so many behind-the-curtain IT processes that rely on APIs, and how you can harness the power of APIs together with automation that is native to the majority of Microsoft/Office 365 setups to help in your day-to-day job. The session will cover:

  • What an API is and how it is currently used in Research Information Management Systems
  • Examples of APIs that are free-to-use and that provide live information on a range of areas relevant to academic research
  • A step-by-step demonstration on how to leverage free APIs with Power Automate, a component of Office 365. We will cover one simple task, from beginning to final product: we will use an API to fill in an Excel spreadsheet with Open Access information from the web, starting with just a list of publication titles and identifiers (DOI).

You will leave this session understanding a little bit more about this technology that powers a lot of the data-driven world of academic research.

Global Librarian and Patron Perspectives on the Future of the Library (ON-DEMAND)

Matthew Hayes
Lean Library and University College London

This talk will provide an overview of Librarian Futures, a report produced by Lean Library on the future of the library. The report uses a large-scale survey and series of interviews to explore librarian-patron interactions in the networked digital age. It provides evidence-based insights into the challenges and trends facing librarians and their patrons.

With more learning and research taking place off-campus than ever before (a long-term trend accelerated by the pandemic), it is a timely moment to consider how libraries connect with their users. Many librarians have talked of the need to put the library ‘in the life of the user’, by designing library services that ‘surface content in the places where users actually are rather than where libraries would like them to be’ (Pinfield et al., 2017, 28). This is more relevant than ever before as we see a continued shift away from the library as a destination (either its physical building or digital platforms) and towards user-preferred workflows, where the library must embed itself to maintain mission relevance. Delegates will be able to get an overview of these issues - with wide-reaching relevance.

The survey has received over 3,000 responses so far, and can be found here:

Shared Documents Do Not Equal Shared Understanding - How Brunel Used Agile Approaches for Organisational Change (POSTER)

Ushma Gudka
Brunel University London
Sarah Willcox
Fairisle Projects

The objective of this poster presentation is to share learning from the delivery of a strategic change using scrum agile approaches.
We will:

  • Outline a strategic organisational change to the way in which research management and administration was delivered at Brunel
  • Describe background to the change as one of uncertainty and competing priorities, which meant that the Provost and Director of Research Support and Development Office were looking for a management approach that encouraged collaborative working and effective communication
  • Outline main elements of agile, which ensure the inclusion of different views and a cooperative method of working
  • Identify the key outcomes of the project, including improved working relationships, a shared vision for the change, and initial use of agile approaches in research management and administration
  • Describe how we are using agile approaches to delivery in the management and administration of research projects.

Benefit to delegates:

  • Understanding of the principles of scrum agile
  • Insight as to the uses of scrum agile in organisational change
  • Value of scrum agile in management and administration of research.

Arts and Humanities SIG On-Demand Webinar

Christie Walker
Head of Research Development, Royal College of Art
Eleanor Glenton
Research Development Manager, University of Durham

Eleanor Glenton (Durham University) and Christie Walker (Royal College of Art) are the Arts & Humanities Special Interest Group Co-Champions. This session gives a short introduction to the A&H SIG and invites ARMA Conference participants to provide feedback on what they would like to see from the A&H SIG Drop-In session to be held on Wednesday 6 October at 8:15am. For those interested in attending the A&H SIG Drop-In session or who are interested in being involved in future A&H SIG activities, please add your thoughts to the A&H SIG padlet:

Audit and Compliance SIG On-Demand Webinar

Ellen Thompson
Senior Grant Audit Manager, LEES Accountants
Jonathan Gray
Senior Grant Audit Manager, LEES Accountants
Charles Shannon
Head of Research Management, Ulster University

This is a discussion around the financial aspects and grant auditing over various funding streams over the last 18 months, covering Horizion:2020, InnovateUK, and US federal funds. There is particular emphasis on the effect of Covid, and also what we know thus far about Horizon Europe, the follow-on European Research Framework Programme from Horizon:2020. Additionally, we cover the changeover on InnovateUK from _Connect, to the new Portal system.

Open Research SIG On-Demand Webinar - Introductions, Updates and Events

Valerie McCutcheon
Research Information Manager, University of Glasgow
Kirsty Wallis
Head of Research Liaison, University College London

A brief talk introducing the SIG champions, discussing the remit of the group, what we have been up to and what we have planned. We are also seeking your contributions, so watch the talk to get all the info and give us your ideas for things we can do to support you and events we can run:

Research Development SIG On-Demand Webinar: A Conversation on How Research Development Related Roles are Evolving

Aygen Kurt-Dickson
Research and Innovation Strategy Manager, LSE and ARMA SIG Champion for Research Development
Jess Pavlos
Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Manager, SOAS

How will we need to adapt in a post-Covid world? Why do RD professionals need to engage with other research support functions? How can we create an equitable and inclusive environment for RD professionals to upskill? In this pre-recorded conversational style video, we discuss various issues and questions that relate to the changing nature and direction of the research development profession.

We start with examining the extent to which our roles will change in a post-Covid world; how we will need to adapt; and to what exactly? Without relying on any evidence, one could argue that the funding policy and impact agendas (among others) have led institutions to create specialist roles, e.g. those focusing just on GCRF, impact case studies, and research development with a focus on specific funder types. However, we see a possible trend currently growing in expanding the breadth of skills, knowledge and competencies for research development professionals.

Our role descriptions might have spill-overs, overlaps, or result from merging of functions. For instance, Jess’s role being connected both to research development and KE, and Aygen’s role being linked to innovation; and other roles that might be connected to strategy development; converging of pre-and post-award expertise especially when it comes to leading large research support teams; and contracts specialism rising in research development etc. Why do we think this is happening?

Our discussion moves to focusing on knowledge exchange, and we ask how significant it is to know about KE for a research development professional? We then share our views and examples from our teams about how institutions and teams can create an inclusive and equitable environment for skills development in the profession. Because, if we see increasingly convergence of roles in the sector, we believe we need to consider our and our institutions’ roles in creating an equitable and inclusive profession in research development: e.g. upskilling, side-skilling, training, professional and personal development, exchange and mobility programmes (perhaps we need to have UK-version of a staff exchange programme among RMA community). How do we ensure we capture all the talent and not exclude those that have been encouraged to specialise but now expected to expand their knowledge?

If you want to engage with these questions, we will be happy to hear your feedback and read your comments. Feel free to reach out to us or the ARMA conference office.

Research Evaluation SIG On-Demand Webinar: The Future of Research Evaluation in the UK – An Interview with the Chair of the Research England International Advisory Group

Dr Elizabeth Gadd
Head of Research Operations, University of Glasgow and Co-Champion of the Research Evaluation SIG
Dr Ian Carter
Director, Carter Research Navigation
Professor Sir Peter Gluckman
Chair, Research England Future Research Advisory Programme International Advisory Group, President, International Science Council and Professor, Paediatric and Perinatal Biology at the University of Auckland

The Future Research Assessment Programme (or FRAP) has been initiated at the request of UK and devolved government ministers and funding bodies. The work is led by the four UK higher education funding bodies (Research England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Department for the Economy, NI) and aims to explore possible approaches to the assessment of UK higher education research performance.

The programme seeks to understand what a healthy, thriving research system looks like and how an assessment model can best form its foundation. The International Advisory Group (IAG) has been set up to provide the funding bodies with external perspectives and insight into global experience and expertise in research assessment. The Group will provide a ‘sounding board’ against which the thinking of the funders can be tested and providing constructive challenge.

Sir Peter, who chairs the International Advisory Group was interviewed by Dr Ian Carter, on behalf of the Research Evaluation SIG, on the role of the IAG and the future of research assessment.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) SIG On-Demand Webinar

Anna Grey
Research Strategy and Policy Manager, University of York

This short on-demand session explains what the role of the REF SIG within ARMA, what it does and how it supports its members. As an example, it highlights some of the issues that get discussed on the email list, goes through the areas that are covered as part of the Planning for REF training session that it runs and explains how it works with the REF Team via consultations and joint events. Finally, it suggests ways to get more involved with the group. This session is a short introduction to the weird and wonderful world that is REF Management.

Research into Research Management & Administration SIG On-Demand Webinar

Dr Christopher Daley
Research Development Manager, Royal Holloway, University of London

This webinar will seek to answer the question: ‘what is research into research management and administration (RMA)’? It will explore how research into RMA can be seen in multiple ways: as a practice focused pursuit which looks to build a body of evidence about what works within RMA communities; as a pool of knowledge that can inform policymaking or funder strategies; or as a meta-research area which asks questions about the ways in which research infrastructures contribute to knowledge production. The webinar will also provide practical advice on how you can participate in research into RMA, supply an update about ongoing projects in the area, and also explore futures ideas and activities for the SIG.

Tuesday 5 October

13:15 - 14:00

Research Evaluation and Research Excellence Framework (REF) SIG Drop-In

Elizabeth Gadd
University of Glasgow
Matthew McCallum
Arts and Humanities Research Council (UKRI)
Anna Grey
University of York

At this drop-in session, we will be discussing the possible future of the REF in the UK, partly informed by topics from the interview with Professor Sir Peter Gluckman (Chair of the Research England International Advisory Group for the Future of Research Evaluation Programme) for the Research Evaluation SIG on-demand webinar which can be viewed at the conference.

15:45 - 16:30

Research Development SIG Drop-In

Aygen Kurt-Dickson
London School of Economics and Political Science

Just drop-in to say hello, meet your peers, and share your views on a few of the most pressing issues impacting us in the sector: recent developments in the funding landscape (e.g. how did you respond to the ODA funding cuts in your institution?, what are your future plans regarding international funding?, etc); challenges and opportunities of working styles in the new normal (will you be adopting hybrid/blended working practises; how has change in your working style affected your relations with your academics, etc); and more…In addition, we will have a chance to discuss the kinds of SIG activities we would like to see in the new academic year.

Wednesday 6 October

08:15 - 09:00

Arts and Humanities SIG Drop-In

Christie Walker
Royal College of Art
Eleanor Glenton
University of Durham

The Arts & Humanities SIG drop-in session will provide the opportunity for research managers and administrators who support arts & humanities research to discuss topics that affect them. Most of our SIG members will also be members of other SIGs, but this session will cover topics such as REF, open research, research development and impact specifically in the context of arts & humanities. Please add your thoughts on topics for the A&H drop-in session as well as what you would like to see from the SIG in the coming year in our Padlet:

09:00 - 09:45

Research Impact SIG Drop-In

Alisha Peart
Northumbria University
Lucy Jowett
Northumbria University
Pauline Addis
Newcastle University

The Impact Special Interest Group (SIG) represents colleagues with an interest in research impact. This year the SIG is convening digitally at the ARMA conference, providing an opportunity for colleagues to take a collective post REF breath…. To network, discuss topical issues in impact post-REF and share learning about delivering the impact agenda.

The session will include collaborative breakout rooms where small groups can discuss and share best practices, including how different institutions work with knowledge brokers and business development professionals.

This will be a Chatham house rules opportunity for our SIG community to share good, bad, and emerging practices. It will support delegates to strengthen their own and their institution’s delivery of knowledge exchange and research impact and build stronger communities of practice.

12:30 - 13:15

Audit and Compliance SIG Drop-In

Ellen Thompson
LEES Accountants
Charles Shannon
Ulster University
Jonathan Gray
LEES Accountants

This is a discussion around the financial aspects and grant auditing over various funding streams over the last 18 months, covering Horizion:2020, InnovateUK, and US federal funds. There is particular emphasis on the effect of Covid, and also what we know thus far about Horizon Europe, the follow-on European Research Framework Programme from Horizon:2020. Additionally, we cover the changeover on InnovateUK from _Connect, to the new Portal system.

12:30 - 13:15

Ethics, Governance and Best Practice SIG Drop-In

Alison Lloyd
Manchester Metropolitan University
Sam Lewis
University of Lincoln

We are really looking forward to seeing you all, albeit virtually, at the ARMA conference 2021 drop in session. The session will run for 45 minutes, and during this time, we would really like to have a conversation about topics which have or are currently key to our community. We would also be interested to hear from you about areas of interest for SIG events. In addition, if time allows, we will discuss what we have been doing on behalf of the SIG.

If you don’t have any topics you specifically want to discuss, please just pop in and say hello!

Thursday 7 October


Research into Research Management and Administration SIG Drop-In

Christopher Daley
Royal Holloway, University of London
Alicen Nickson
Royal Holloway, University of London

Please join us to discuss all things Research into RMA! If you have time, please do watch our SIG On-Demand Webinar before the session as we would like to use the drop-in as an opportunity for you to suggest ideas for the SIG. We also want to hear from anyone who has an idea for an RMA themed research project. Hope you can join us for an informal and friendly discussion.

09:00 - 09:45

Open Research SIG Drop-In

Valerie McCutcheon
University of Glasgow
Kirsty Wallis
University College London

This session will start with a short update on key developments in open research. This will include news on open research support at research organisations, funder and research organisation open access policies, data management, and more. Attendees will be able to ask questions, and peers will be able to share best practice. The session will inform planning and augment the list of planned topic specific meetings for the forthcoming year. We will finish up with a reminder of these topics and how to get involved in the SIG.

12:45 - 13:30

Post Award SIG Drop-In

Anish Kurien
Manchester Metropolitan University

This session will be an opportunity to drop in and ask any questions you have about the post-award management of Research and Knowledge Exchange projects. I would also like to use this session to find out from you about what aspects of the SIG you find beneficial, what could be improved and what activities, training sessions, events etc you would like the Post-Award SIG to organise over the next year.

Presenters’ work is their own - ARMA UK does not take responsibility for the content.


Following a call for abstracts, posters hang in the virtual poster hall (see sample image below) where presenters speak to their posters in a five-minute video that can be played by the viewer at any time – so no more missing lunch or coffee breaks! Viewers can also leave comments for the presenter. The poster hall is open throughout conference and remains open to re-visit for up to 30 days after conference.

Best poster gets the bragging rights, a £150 amazon voucher and a free delegate place at our next virtual conference!



Open for the duration of conference, the virtual exhibition hall is where where our exhibitors showcase the latest products and services available to the sector. Delegates enter the hall to an aerial view before zooming in to engage with a specific company/ stand. You can engage with exhibitors in real-time conversation using text, audio and video chat. Items can even be popped into a virtual delegate bag to take away!

The following organisations are exhibiting at ARMA 2021. If your organisation is interested in exhibiting, please contact us.


ARMA 2021 wouldn’t be possible without the support of our various partners, which is why ARMA puts engagement at the very heart of what we feel makes a successful virtual event. We’re grateful for the support of our partners and we ask you to show them your support during conference.

Media Partner

Principal Partners

    Associate Partners


General Conference Enquiries

Niamh Kavanagh, Conference Delivery Officer


t: +44 (0)131 380 0286

Partnership & Exhibition

Garry Kinnear, Conference Manager


t: +44 (0)131 380 0282

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