The DARMA blog offers an opportunity to share your thoughts or start a discussion on any topic relevant to Research Administration and Research Management.

The blog is open for everyone to read. However, you must be logged in to write new posts and comment on existing posts. This is a forum for DARMA members and affiliates to share knowledge with peers.

You are welcome to systematise and sharpen your reflections on your recent conference participation, discuss your learning of a workshop, start a debate about our profession, share tips and tricks on best-practice etc.

If you have a suggestion for something that should be covered or someone who should be invited to contribute, please contact the DARMA Secretariat.

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  • 10 May 2019 11:23 | Annedorte Vad

    EARMA operates a number of funding schemes to support its objectives. Chief among these funding schemes are the Travel Grants and Grants in aid of various activities. All the programmes have three underlying objectives:

    • The training of research administrators
    • Exchange of best practice between research administrations systems
    • Enhancing international research collaboration through building strong links between research administration systems.

    EARMA travel grant

    A €500 contribution toward the cost of attending a conference. You can apply for any event you like, including sister association conferences.

    EARMA ISA's  

    (Invited Speaker Award formerly known as OLAFs) – A €500 contribution toward the cost of bringing and hosting an invited speaker to your institution to run an event and to disseminate knowledge.

    EARMA International Fellow 

    This is a €500 award that contributes to the costs of an EARMA Fellow visiting an International Host Institution – including those of sister associations for a period of up to two weeks, in order to share good practice.

    To find more about EARMA Awards please see the article "EARMA AWARDS WHAT’S THE STORY?" here.


  • 16 Apr 2019 11:56 | Annedorte Vad

    In May 2020, the winners of the second INORMS Awards for Excellence in Research Management Leadership will be announced and presented with their awards in Hiroshima, Japan, during the INORMS 2020 Congress. Each INORMS member association will be invited to nominate just one individual and the search for these outstanding people starts now!

    Eligibility Criteria

    The INORMS Awards for Excellence in Research Management Leadership have been established to recognise outstanding examples of research management leaders who have made substantial contributions to the research management profession internationally.

    Nominated candidates must be

    • a current signed-up member of an INORMS association;
    • able to show that their contributions are congruent with the objectives of INORMS;
    • able to provide evidence of outstanding contributions to the research management profession; and
    • able to provide evidence of how they will continue to provide visionary leadership in research management internationally

    Let us know who you think DARMA should select by nominating your Peer

    Send your nomination to darma@darma.dk as soon as possible and before 11 June 2019

    For further details of INORMS, click here: https://www.inorms.net

  • 10 Apr 2019 11:06 | Annedorte Vad

    Nu er det igen muligt at søge om støtte til internationalt samarbejde via International Network Programme. Styrelsen for Forskning og Uddannelse har åbnet for ansøgninger til 2019-call'et. Ansøgningsfrist er onsdag den 8. maj 2019 kl. 12:00.

    International Network Programme (INP) sigter mod at yde støtte til forskere ved danske institutioner (både offentlige og private), der ønsker at indlede netværksaktiviteter med samarbejdsparter fra Brasilien, Indien, Israel, Japan, Kina, Sydafrika, Sydkorea og / eller USA. 

    Læs mere på

  • 20 Mar 2019 15:57 | Jan Andersen

    Successful COST BESTPRAC meeting held in Tallinn, Estonia

    BESTPRAC is a COST network that gathers people working at universities and research-driven institutions who are carrying out different tasks to support EU-funded research projects.

    Since 2014, the network serves as a platform for exchanging experiences, sharing and developing best practices, encouraging knowledge sharing and increasing efficiency in research administration.

    Twice a year, the network organises joint meetings of its members. The 11th BESTPRAC Working Group meeting was held from March 11-12 at the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia and gathered over 100 people from different European countries.

    Denmark has two official representatives in BESTPRAC, myself from DTU and Emilia Alegria from Århus University. After beeing the initiative taker and chair, I stepped down last year, so this was my first meeting without any formal roles.

    As part of the meeting, two plenary sessions were held for all participants. The first one was held by Peter Härtwich from DG Research & Innovation on the EU Funding&Tenders portal. The portal was recently launched by the European Commission and it contains many novelties in comparison to the Research Participant portal previously used for applying for and implementation of Horizon 2020 projects. In the other plenary session, “The Art of Writing”, Ellen Schenk from Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam presented the most important aspects of writing a successful funding proposal with useful tips on how to make a funding proposal stand out. The recordings of both sessions are available on the BESTPRAC YouTube channel.

    Apart from the joint sessions, separate meetings of the three individual working groups (WG1: Administration, WG2: Finance, WG3: Legal) were held and filled in most of the Tallinn meeting schedule.

    I particpated as a member of Working Group 1, Administration.

    The Administration group discussed the next multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 and presented facts about Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ programmes known at this point. A discussion on how to better engage with the government, business & civil sector was also held as well as two sessions designed to develop soft skills needed in research administration.

    You can find more information about BESTPRAC at www.bestprac.eu and use the BESTRAC knowledge base: http://bestprac-wiki.eu/Main_Page 

  • 14 Mar 2019 20:27 | Annedorte Vad

    Please find below a link to the announcement for the NordForsk call in the Nordic Programme on Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities.



  • 11 Feb 2019 20:04 | Annedorte Vad

    This is just a quick note to let you know that the registration is open for the DARMA Annual Meeting. Go to the registration page for more information 

    The theme of the meeting will be The Future of Research Support

    You can look forward to two days with inspiring keynotes, interesting discussions and networking with old and new colleagues across the research support profession. 

    The deadline for registration is April 1. Please note that the number of participants is limited to 100 so don't wait too long register if you want to be sure of a place. 

    We look forward to seeing you in Nyborg.

    Kind regards, 

    The Darma Board

  • 08 Feb 2019 08:22 | Hanne Dahl Mortensen (Administrator)

    Jeg blev valgt ind i bestyrelsen for Darma med et løfte om at arbejde med Impact i ansøgninger. Nu er jeg kun glad for at kunne sige at arbejdet med at synliggøre er skudt i gang.

    Jane og jeg inviterede Dr David Phipps fra Toronto i Canada på besøg her på SDU den 4. februar, så han kunne hjælpe os i gang. Han holdt et par meget inspirerende oplæg, hvorefter vi delte os i fire grupper.

    Dr. David Phipps er leder af et stort netværk på tværs af Canada, som dækker alle aspekter af Impact i ansøgninger. Han er endvidere leder af York forskerstøtte enhed.

    Alle grupperne fik emne, som de skal skrive om i relation til Impact på Darma’s hjemmeside. Hvordan de forskellige grupper skal arbejde aftales internt, men planen er, at den færdige hjemmede præsenteres til Darma’s årsmøde den 21. maj 2019.

  • 30 Oct 2018 12:08 | Olaf Svenningsen (Administrator)

    It feels like not so long ago that I complained bitterly about the heat, and now I miss it! Autumn is over us and winter is coming, and that is all as it should be. For research administrators the final months of the year are often very, very busy, but hopefully there is still time for DARMA. I have some important and good news for all members:

    Finding Funding Workshop

    Within the next couple of days, we will formally announce an extraordinary DARMA General Assembly to be held directly after the DARMA Finding Funding Workshop at CBS in Copenhagen on 20 November. If you are now asking yourself “What Finding Funding workshop is that…?” you may risk missing out on something important. The workshop is intended to provide both an overview of existing options to address this task (which is one of my own least-favorite things to do), examples of how it has been done, as well as providing participants with hands-on experience that can be used directly. The number of participants is limited to 40, and there is still plenty of space left, but don’t wait too long to register…!

    The purpose of the extraordinary GA is to elect a new President of the Association, and to discuss the proposal to make a minor change to the statutes that somehow slipped under the radar at the ordinary GA in June.

     A new president for DARMA

    So who is running for DARMA President, you are probably asking now…? To my very great pleasure it is…  (extended drumroll) Annedorte Vad, Head of CBS Research Support. Earlier this year, Annedorte was the first DARMA member to receive the INORMS Award for Excellence in Research Management. This was well-deserved, because Annedorte’s CV includes having been an elected board member of DARMA 2009-2013, President of the International Section of SRA 2014-2016 and member of the board 2014 till now (elected term ends October 2019). Even though it may not seem necessary, Annedorte is currently doing a Master of Public Governance. A well-rounded introduction to Annedorte is provided by DARMA's nomination of her to the INORMS award…

    Annedorte will bring international experience and large and a well-established network into the association. Her knowledge from SRA international is certain to benefit DARMA, too. Annedorte will also do something that old dinosaurs like me can’t do; tip the gender balance in a positive direction. The formal transition of power will occur in early-2019, as 

    The election of a new chair will take place at the extraordinary GA in Copenhagen on 20 November. Since a large number of DARMA’s members will have difficulties attending, the Board decided to make it possible to vote online. Complete instructions on how to vote and participate will given in the formal announcement that will be posted at DARMA.dk not later than November 1st (DARMA’s Statutes prescribe that an extraordinary general assembly must be announced at least 10 working days in advance).

    Why should you attend, if it’s possible to vote online? First and foremost, it is a chance to meet and talk to Annedorte; second, it will be the shortest GA ever; and finally, I plan to spend some of my strategic resources on offering those attending something bubbly and something sweet to finish a good day.

    DARMA Annual Meeting 2019

    Finally, I have to write something about next year’s Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for 21–22 May 2019; you can reserve the date already. At the Board’s latest meeting, we discussed what could be a relevant and exciting theme for the AM (having an AM theme was tested in 2018 and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from delegates). After trying out a few different ideas, the Board settled on “The future of Research Support”. When we started exploring the possibilities of this theme, it became clear that this can be very, very exciting. 

    The idea behind this theme is to provide an overview of where universities, institutions, and funders may be a few years from now, also exploring what impact new technologies, for example Artificial Intelligence or Big Data, may have on our work. We intend to explore this all the way out to the hands-on level for the individual.

    I have recently attended demonstrations of some AI systems that exist already today, and when I saw what they can do—and considered the implications—it blew my mind. AI can clearly be implemented in both pre- and post-award, and already today has the capacity to do more-than-decent proofreading of complex documents. Proofreading of a quality that is not far behind what a skilled human can do, which is... well, mind-blowing to me. 

    The Board is currently working with identifying and engaging keynote speakers and designing tracks, sessions, and workshops. Your comments and suggestions are very welcome, as always!

    A final word about furniture from... the President

    If you have read this far, you may have asked yourself why Olaf is using "president" instead of "chair"; is not "chair" a more correct translation of "formand/forkvinde"? My answer would be no; there is no more or less correct translation. What we should be called is a returning topic of conversation among the chairs/presidents of European societies; we all want to be presidents...!

    "Chair" of course is a piece of furniture, typically in close contact with an individual's nobler parts. The implication that you can be used to sit on doesn't very well reflect what a "chair" of an association does. "Chair" is of course short for of "chairman" (which I was absolutely forbidden to use when I worked for the NSF in the US), "chairwoman", or the more PC and awkward "chairperson".

    "President" on the other hand has it's roots in the Latin "prae-" and "sidere", meaning approximately "sitting before", i.e. leading a meeting. It is gender neutral, does not refer to furniture and better describes the actual role of the position.

    So regardless of what may or may not be considered "correct", I prefer to be American and use "president"—and in secret, whenever we meet and nobody else can hear us, the presidents of the European RMA's will still keep giggling and calling each other "presidents"...

    Live well and prosper!

    Olaf Svenningsen

  • 13 Aug 2018 13:49 | Olaf Svenningsen (Administrator)

    Summer vacations are ending after the hottest summer that I can remember, and cooler rainy weather comes just as I return to work – not the other way around, which is more common. When I look at all the task waiting ahead, the familiar mild post-vacation despair comes over me, as always.

    For DARMA, I may be able to present a candidate for a new Association Chair within soon, but the suspense will continue for just a little bit more. Meanwhile, I encourage members to participate on August 27th in DARMA's workshop on holding inspiring meetings. There is a fee for participating, but DARMA members get a hefty reduction on what this kind of event would normally cost. There are still spaces left, but one will disappear soon, when I sign up for the workshop... (if the registration doesn't work, please register before 21 August by mail to darma@darma.dk).

    Another DARMA meeting has been posted, the "Finding funding" workshop that has been on the planning table for some time. Preparations are in full swing, so mark 20 November in your calendars! We are also planning more workshops with the Ministry for Research and Higher Education, and the ambition is to have parallel DARMA workshops with broader attendance; more info on this will be posted here.

    In the category "Reading suggestions", I would recommend everybody to read the report "Evaluations and Evaluators in Horizon2020" if you haven't already. The report is written and (I think) conceived by a group of experts, almost all of them DARMA members. Many, if not most of the observations and conclusions are generally applicable, and provide very useful insights for anybody working with grant proposal counselling .

    Another interesting, if not important, read is the report on the possible effects of Brexit on Danish research and higher education. The Swedish Vinnova Agency has written a similar Brexit report, but the Danish version has a more interesting approach, I think. Anyway, I think it's interesting that two so very different approaches have been chosen for the same topic.

    Finally, I was just (today) made aware of a new analysis of the rules for EC proposal for the rules for participation and dissemination in EU r&I programmes (direct link to PDF), which at a first glance looks comprehensive, but still easy to overview.

    If you have any additional suggestions, please don't hesitate to post them in the comments below.

    Finally, there are a number of interesting job openings at DARMA.dk for anyone who might be looking for new challenges. Three positions are open at Copenhagen University (two at Kontoret for Forskningsservice, with deadline already August 15th), one position is open at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK) (deadline 24 August), Research Services at Lund University is looking for a competent EU adviser with  application deadline of 27 August, and finally the Faculty of Law at KU is hiring with deadline 12 September.

    Since the position at Lund is at the unit I'm head of and it is in another country I will shamelessly promote it: We would very much welcome good Danish (or Norwegian) speaking applicants! Research administration – and life – is very much the same in Denmark and Sweden, and also different in interesting ways. The common picture of Sweden painted in Danish media is a caricature, which I hope everyone is aware of.

    The staff at Research Services is a group of dedicated, very competent and also very friendly and pleasant people. Finally, living in Denmark and working in Sweden has some tax benefits and is eminently possible, I can say with confidence and out of own experience. If you are interested or maybe just curious, don't hesitate to contact me at olaf.svenningsen@fsi.lu.se

  • 30 May 2018 08:51 | Olaf Svenningsen (Administrator)

    Two weeks have passed since DARMA's Annual Meeting and General Assembly 2018 in Nyborg, with more than 100 delegates attending. The event also marked that ten year's have passed since DARMA's founding General Assembly in November of 2008. Delegates have evaluated the meeting, and 95% of delegates rated the meeting 4 or higher on a 5-grade scale (the evaluation is still open for delegates who have not responded). Most of the presentations from the Annual Meeting as well as a photo album is available at the conference page.

    Thank you to all the delegates for contributing to making the Annual Meeting a success! DARMA is nothing without its members!

    I'm writing this in the train en route to Edinburgh and the INORMS 2018 Conference. DARMA's board has a poster: "National research management associations and networks – challenges and alternatives" (poster #90), which will be available for download at DARMA.dk immediately after the conference. 

    If you wish to see what I do during the conference, please follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OlafSvenningsen 

    Finally, DARMA's General Assembly resulted in some changes to the Board: Hanne Dahl Mortensen from SDU is a new borad member, whereas Karen Slej is leaving the board. I also intended to leave the board, but a new Chair could not be appointed, and an extraordinary General Assembly will be convened after the summer.

    I will soon get back with more on what it is to be Chair of DARMA.

    But for now, the bagpipes are calling. Stay cool and enjoy the summer; I think we are being compensated for last year...

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