What is the role of the IPRC?

The IPRC is an autonomous body that awards professional recognition to research managers in Africa, in particular.

Research managers significantly contribute to the research impact and high standards of governance in organisations that conduct or support research. The IPRC was established to recognise their important work by conferring professional status on them.

The purpose of the IPRC is as follows:

  • To oversee the quality of, and standards for individual professional recognition of research managers
  • To conduct peer reviews and to confer professional status on research managers, based on prior learning and experience substantiated through a portfolio of evidence
  • To allocate continuing professional development points for attending research management training events
  • To advance and promote the professional recognition programme, as well as research management as a profession

How does the IPRC operate?

The council operates virtually, but aims to bring its members together at least once a year for an in-person meeting. Such meetings are aligned with relevant research management events.

The IPRC Secretariat is based at the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), and is led by the SARIMA Vice-President for Research Management.

The work of the IPRC is structured according to three subcommittees.

IPRC subcommittees

The names and functions of the IPRC subcommittees are as follows:

Technical Review Committee (TRC)

  • Oversees the quality of, and standards for professional recognition of research managers.
  • Provides ongoing advice to the IPRC on the design and content of assessment processes supporting the professional recognition of research managers.
  • Performs technical reviews of applications for professional recognition.
  • Provides feedback to applicants whose applications did not meet the requirements.
  • Provides advice to successful applicants on their further professional development.

Training Endorsement Committee (TEC)

  • Oversees the criteria to recognise training events for awarding training points for research management.
  • Provides ongoing strategic advice to the IPRC on the continuing education of research management professionals, aligned with the Professional Competency Framework (PCF) (read more under “Professional recognition”).
  • Reviews research management training events and allocates trainig points.
  • Advises on prior training requirements for the portfolio of evidence for professional recognition and for maintaining the professional status. 

Advocacy Committee (AC)

  • Acts as stewards and ambassadors for the IPRC, the professional recognition programme and the PCF as the underlying basis for the professional development of research management in Africa.
  • Raises awareness and promotes the IPRC and the professional recognition programme across Africa and beyond.
  • Advocates on behalf of the IPRC for research management and the recognition of research managers as professionals.
  • Offers advice and information to the IPRC on issues related to the promotion and advancement of the work of the IPRC and the professional recognition programme.
  • Provides advice and information to the IPRC on their involvement in the advancement of research management.

Who serves on the IPRC?

The IPRC is composed of experienced research managers representing the African and international research management community and are elected in the following categories:

  1. Individuals who serve in the position of pro- or deputy vice-chancellor of research (or equivalent)
  2. Individuals who serve in the position of director of a research office (or equivalent) at a university or a research institution
  3. Individuals from key agencies and/or organisations involved in the research and innovation system
  4. Representatives – who are experienced research managers – from each African sister organisation
  5. Two or three members – who are experienced research managers – drawn from international sister organisations
  6. Co-opted members with experience in research managementaccording to the requirements of the mandate and assignments
  7. A member of the SARIMA Professional Recognition Committee (IPRC Secretariat)

Note: Two members are appointed in categories 1 to 3: one from the Southern African region and one from the rest of the Pan-African region.

IPRC members serve for a three-year period, after which the membership can be renewed for another three-year term.

What are the benefits of being a member of the IPRC?

  • Exposure to research management in different contexts
  • Opportunity to expand your networks and relationships
  • Opportunity to leverage your experience
  • A sense of accomplishment to see individuals develop as professionals
  • Opportunity to make an impact on the research management community
  • Creating goodwill
  • Building more equal and diverse representation

International Professional Recognition council

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