Developing links and gaining new perspectives at INORMS 2018

The International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) brings together research management societies and associations from across the Commonwealth and beyond. The INORMS 2018 conference, themed “Promoting Global Research Management, Supporting Global Research Challenges”, was the biggest yet with over 1,100 delegates from across 45 countries.

The ACU is a founding INORMS member and sits on the advisory group. Through projects such as the Research and Innovation Management for Africa and the Caribbean (RIMI4AC) we support the establishment and strengthening of Professional Associations and networks for RMA.
Felicitas Moyo, an ACU bursary awardee from our RKI Community on INORMS, shares her experience of this year’s event.

Felicitas Moyo 600

Felicitas Moyo, at this years INORMS 2018, welcome reception.

My attendance of the INORMS 2018 conference was an exciting experience which was only made possible by the ACU. I am very grateful to the ACU for affording me the opportunity to attend the conference through their bursary award scheme.

I applied for a bursary as I believed the INORMS event would provide me with a unique opportunity to meet like-minded people within the field of research management and develop links with colleagues from different countries. I therefore feel highly privileged to be among the three awardees of this award.

The conference, which was held in Edinburgh, was a fantastic experience in many ways. The first session I attended on Monday mainly comprised of participants from African and Asian institutions. I found this session to be incredibly fruitful because it was interactive and gaveeach of the delegates an opportunity to share our research management experiences and expertise. Through these interactions, we were able to highlight both the achievements and challenges that we face in our various institutions, and personally I was able to gain insights on how to improve research management at my institution.

The next day was the official opening of the conference where we were able to experience Scottish music with a refreshing performance on the bagpipes. The Scottish outfits worn by the musicians reminded me of the skirts worn by the Lozi speaking people of the Western Province in Zambia during the annual traditional cemony called Kuomboka. What a splendid welcome into Scottish culture.

The day became more interesting as we proceeded with the first plenary session entitled ‘The Great Global Challenge Master Chef – what are the key ingredients?’, introducing the sub-themes through a cooking analogy delegates were asked to participate in the discussion while considering the following:

1. Project governance jigsaw
2. Communication utensils
3. Proposal development meeting agenda

I found this style of presenting very unique as it captured the minds of the audience, who were curious to understand what the global master chef was all about.

The rest of the days I attended a number of informative workshop sessions including:

1. Managing research projects
2. Research impact and public engagement
3. Research integrity and ethics
4. Research policy and strategy
5. Researcher development

After each of these sessions I interacted with many speakers and delegates from different countries. This was very insightful as they each provided different perspectives on how research can be a useful tool for development. It is through these interactions that my understanding of the global issues and challenges faced by research management professionals has broadened.

Felicitas Moyo and Prof Qamar

Felicitas Moyo and Prof Qamar, with steering committee members David and Lyn.

Other highlights include the dinner organised by the ACU, where I met some of the members of staff who played a big role in the bursary selection process and contributed immensely to my attendance of the conference. I was happy to meet Georgina Nicoli, ACU Member Engagement Coordinator, whom I had been communicating with throughout the process of my application until the time of the conference. I was also privileged to meet and interact with my fellow awardee Professor Raheel Qamar, Dean of the Research Innovation and Commercialisation, COMSATS Institute of Informaiton Technology (CIIT). During the dinner it was an honour to interact with one of the plenary speakers, David Phipps and share our experiences and future research plans.

The dinner hosted by the INORMS conference organisers was another remarkable experience, with the highlight being a performance by the Hot Chilli Pipers who had every delegate up and dancing to their Scottish-influenced music. To crown it all, I thoroughly enjoyed a presentation from Dr ‘Happiness’ who brought a wonderful end to the evening, full of light and laughter.

Once again, I would like to sincerely thank the ACU for awarding me this bursary to the INORMS conference; an opportunity which helped me to make meaningful connections, some of which I have already followed up on. I look forward to attending the Hiroshima event in 2020.

Read more about INORMS 2018.

Last modified on 17/08/2018