Electronic Research Administration Reflections on Research Management and Administration (RMA) in UK universities and in particular on Electronic Research Administration (ERA) and its perceived effect on the quality and quantity of research

Kerridge, Simon (2012) Electronic Research Administration Reflections on Research Management and Administration (RMA) in UK universities and in particular on Electronic Research Administration (ERA) and its perceived effect on the quality and quantity of research. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

Research Management and Administration (RMA) is a developing profession. Many RMA staff work in Universities and other Research Organisations, but they can also be found in agencies that fund research; in fact anywhere where research is undertaken or managed. RMA can be defined as “the leadership, management or support of research activities” and one area of endeavour that RMAs are involved with is Electronic Research Administration (ERA): “IT system(s) designed specifically to support research management or administration”. The aim of my professional doctorate is two-fold: to show my contribution to the development of RMA as a profession in the UK; and to demonstrate my practical contribution to advancing ERA systems including undertaking research to address the question: “is it perceived by RMAs and academic staff that ERA can affect the quality and quantity of research?”
Over the years (1997-2011) I have been involved in and led many initiatives that have helped to shape RMA, such that it is now recognised as a profession in the UK. I chart my role in the development of RMA in the UK through the growth of the professional Association for Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and other related initiatives.
The second strand of this doctoral work reflects on the specific ERA developments that I have introduced at the University of Sunderland; collectively known as GRS On-line. In particular it highlights how and why the various Sunderland GRS systems were initiated, developed, enhanced and sometimes superseded. Two elements of GRS On-line are discussed in detail and reflected upon as case studies: Costing & Pricing, which underwent a number of major changes; and Publications Information, which evolved in a more organic way. The impact of both areas is considered in terms of benefits and detriments to research endeavour.
A mixed methods study of the perceived effects of ERA systems across the UK on the quality and quantity of research undertaken is also conducted. This report presents the results of the Sunderland case studies which are complemented by the analysis of a series of national questionnaires looking at the perceptions of research managers and administrators, and academic staff regarding ERA systems.
From the evidence presented it is shown that both RMA and ERA are perceived to have a positive impact on both the quality and quantity of research undertaken. Furthermore, the evidence base for the value of research management and administration as a profession is advanced; not only for individual RMAs, but also to the research community as a whole.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Computing > Information Systems
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2013 15:03
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 14:38
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/3290

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