This is your opportunity to be recognised as a professional research manager by your peers

iprc hi res logo


This is your opportunity to be recognised as a professional research manager by your peers


The International Professional Recognition Council (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 in southern Africa and Africa at large. The IPRC is an autonomous body that awards professional recognition for research managers (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 IPRC. The portfolio of evidence provides documented and substantiated proof of prior learning, competencies, experience, contributions and achievements. Currently, professional recognition is awarded in two categories, Research Management Professional (RMP) and Senior Research Management Professional (SRMP). Once awarded, the designation is valid for a period of five years, after which the status can be renewed or upgraded. Five research managers were awarded professional status during a pre-pilot study and a first call for applications in 2018/19. They are the proud pioneers of the professional recognition programme.

The IPRC is excited to announce the next call for applications and invites all qualifying research managers to submit their applications.


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 Management Professional (RMP)

Mid- to advanced career research managers who hold an undergraduate qualification and who are employed in a research management position for at least 3 years


Mid- to advanced career research managers who does not hold an undergraduate qualification and who are employed in a research management position for at least 5 years.


Senior Research Management Professional (SRMP)

Senior research managers who hold a postgraduate qualification of at least a Masters level and who are employed in a research management leadership/ strategic role for at least 5 years.

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


How to apply?


1.       Download and complete the application form in full (download application form). The application form will provide detailed guidance on the requirements for the portfolio of evidence. Please review the requirements carefully before commencing with the application.

2.      Pay the application fee online, upload and submit the application form.

3.      Submit supporting documents via WeTransfer ( and send the link to

Application and payment details can be found on the website at

After submission, applications will be checked for completeness before being reviewed by the Technical Review Committee of the IPRC. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the review. If successful, professional status will be confirmed through a 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 at the appropriate time.




The deadline for submission is 31 March 2021. 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?


Visit the IPRC website at


Look out for the announcement of a webinar to be presented in November 2020 to support prospective applicants with the application process.

Recordings of webinars for previous calls are also available on the website at

Contact the IPRC Secretariat: Dr Prenitha Sewnarain at


Don’t qualify for either one of the above categories?


The professional recognition programme is an evolving programme and the research management community can expect iterative changes and improvements. Discussions are currently underway for the inclusion of a category for new entrants to the profession, which will be launched during the next call in 2021.


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 and the Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa.




Scroll to Top