This is your chance to be recognised as a Research Management Professional

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The International Professional Recognition Council (IPRC) is excited to announce the next call for applications for the Professional Recognition Programme for Research Management. The Programme has grown steadily since its inception in 2018/19 (click here to view a list of recognised professionalsand all qualifying research managers (including administrators) are invited to submit their applications.

The IPRC is an outcome of ongoing efforts by the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) in partnership with the other research management associations in Africa to elevate the profession of research management. The IPRC is an autonomous body that awards professional designations to research managers who meet the requirements. The members are experienced research managers representing the African and international research management community (click here to view the IPRC members).

Professional recognition constitutes an award of professional status, which acknowledges the expertise and accomplishment of the research manager through the review of a portfolio of evidence by peers on the Technical Review Committee of the IPRC. The portfolio of evidence provides documented proof of prior learning, competencies, experience, contributions and achievements. Research managers can now be awarded one of three professional designations: Research Administrator Professional (RAP), Research Management Professional (RMP) or Senior Research Management Professional (SRMP). The RAP designation is new and was added based on feedback from the research management community.

Once awarded, the professional designation is valid for a period of five years, after which the status can be renewed or upgraded.

Why apply for professional recognition?

Professional recognition confirms to employers, colleagues and others in the research management space that the individual has demonstrated core and transferable (cross-cutting) competencies and that s/he has made significant contributions to research management. It affirms standing in a global context and it provides impetus for further professional development.

Who can apply?

Research managers from anywhere in Africa who meet the requirements can apply in one of the following categories:

Research Administrator Professional (RAP) – New category

For new entrants to the profession (1-3 years in a research administration / management role) and those who have been in the profession for some time but have not yet advanced professionally. In both cases, the purpose would be to instil a professional identity, and depending on personal preference, either be recognised as a RAP on a professional development trajectory towards becoming a RMP or maintaining recognition as a RAP.

Research Management Professional (RMP)

For mid- to advanced career research managers with an undergraduate qualification and a minimum of 3 years relevant work experience OR a minimum of 5 years relevant work experience.

Senior Research Management Professional (SRMP)

For senior research managers serving in a leadership or strategic role in research management with a postgraduate qualification at a master’s level or beyond and at least 5 years of relevant work experience.

For all categories, applicants must be a current paid up member of a professional research management association.

How to apply?

Go to the IPRC website ( and select ‘Complete the online application’. You will be required to create an account to log into the application system. On the website, please consult FAQ’s ‘How do I apply’ for further guidance.

After submission, applications will be checked for completeness before sending them for review. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the review. If successful, professional status will be confirmed through an e-certificate. If status is awarded provisionally, the applicant will still have the opportunity to resolve the issues raised by the reviewers and resubmit the application within 4 weeks, at no further cost. If professional status is not awarded, the applicant may submit a new application during a next call.


Applications submitted by 31 March 2022 will be considered for review. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

It is strongly advised that applicants start as early as possible with the application. It will be time-consuming to prepare the portfolio and to collect the evidence to support the activities, contributions and achievements. Previous calls have shown that one of the common pitfalls of unsuccessful applications is insufficient evidence due to a lack of supporting documents.

Resources and support?

  • Attend the webinar on 3 December 2021 at 12:00 CAT (UTC +02:00) during which the programme and the application process will be explained to prospective applicants. The webinar details will be posted on the IPRC website (NEWS section).

Acknowledging our funding partners

We gratefully acknowledge co-funding for the Professionalisation of Research Management Project from the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) hosted at the World Health Organization (WHO) and co-sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and WHO; ESSENCE on Health Research initiative, the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).


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