(from left to right) Dr. Pamisha Pillay (Vice-President: Research Management; SARIMA, Dr. Elliott Kulakowski (Former president and CEO, SRAI) and Dr. Tembeka Mpako Ntusi (Chair of the IPRC, Retired Research Director). Dr. Marilet Sienaert (Executive Director of Research at University of Cape Town) not present.
With the support of its partners, the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) established the International Professional Recognition Council (IPRC) as an independent body to award professional recognition to research managers through a peer recognition process. It was a proud moment at the annual SARIMA meeting in September 2019 when the first research managers were awarded their professional status.
The profession recognition project began at the 2016 INORMS Meeting in Melbourne Australia, where an international working group met to discuss the professional recognition strategy, a Professional Competency Framework (PCF) as well as guidelines for the IPRC and professional recognition of research managers. After finalising the documents and the process a pilot phase was launched in 2018 recognising Dr. Elliott Kulakowski, former president and CEO of the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAi) and Dr. Marilet Sienaert, Executive Director of Research at the University of Cape Town as Senior Research Management Professionals.
The next call for professional recognition was circulated in October 2019 and the outcome is expected to be finalised soon.
Candidates are required to submit a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate the nature of their prior knowledge and experience acquired over a specified period. Recognition can be obtained in one of two categories:
- Research Management Professional (RMP) and
- Senior Research Management Professional (SRMP).
Once awarded, professional recognition will normally be valid for five years.
The IPRC oversees the development and implementation of the professional recognition categories and engages with the SARIMA Executive Committee through the SARIMA Professional Recognition Committee (SPRC). The SPRC functions as the secretariat of the IPRC and it supports implementation, monitoring and evaluation, quality assurance, marketing, and awareness-raising.
Since SARIMA introduced professional recognition for research managers for the first time an inaugural IPRC has been appointed for two years to pilot the first stages of the professional recognition process. The inaugural members are experienced research managers representing research institutions, key organisations involved in research and African and international research management sister organisations.
(This article was adapted from an article that was published in SRAi News on 15 January 2020)