News from the DARMA President - with a look back on 2020 and what to come in 2021

23 Dec 2020 12:13 | Annedorte Vad (Administrator)

News from the DARMA President - with a look back on 2020 and what to come in 2021

2020 has been different to anything we have tried before due to the lockdown of the entire world. Yet, it is my impression that most of us has been busier than ever and I hope this news mail finds you well.

This will be the last news mail from me this year and I will look back at 2020 and glimpse into what will come in 2021.

A lookback on 2020

The DARMA board has held six board meetings in 2020. Two were held in person and the rest were held online. I believe it worked out well and that we have accomplished a lot this year. I want to thank the board for their dedication and great work. If you are curious about what was on the agenda and what was discussed, you can see it online on darma.dk/boardmeetings. This is also where you find the dates for our future meetings.

As most other things, DARMA also had to shift from in-person meetings to online meetings. Our annual meeting was substituted by three webinars. These and information from past meetings can be found online on darma.dk/annual-meetings.

Our General Assembly was also digital, and it worked well under the circumstances. More than 100 members cast their vote and 2019 report and the plan for 2020 was approved, and new board members were elected.

 I am very happy to see the activities in our Special Interest Groups. At the moment we have five active groups. These are: Staff Management in RMA (for members who are personnel managers), Data and Automation, Impact, Private Foundations and RMA at small institutions, and you can keep informed and sign up to the SIGs via the links on darma.dk/sig. And I have been contacted about the formation of a SIG for members who has taken the EARMA Certificate in Research Management, let me know if you want to join and we will setup the network.

DARMA has announced almost 40 events during 2020. Some were DARMA events, others event by our sister societies. I want to thank the members and board members who stepped up and shared their knowledge. Keep informed about what is happening by visiting darma.dk/events or use the RSS-feed. 

In 2019 DARMA announced 122 job openings relevant to Research Managers and Administrators. Check out darma.dk/jobs for current openings. Right now, nine job offers are still open for applications. Also remember that whether you are actively seeking or just want to stay informed about what happens on the job market in our profession you can subscribe to news about openings by signing up to the automatic mail. Just click the "Subscribe to forum" link at the top of the list.

What happens in RMA? We still use the webpage for announcing News from the board and the Blog for announcement that can be commented on or shared by members. In 2020 you could read about the consequences of COVID-19, about ethics support and review in research, the largest Danish funders, a benchmarking on EU institutional research offices, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, a book review, the discussion on overhead from private foundations where DARMA with much care was cited and much more we believed would be of relevance if you work in RMA. We also used the LinkedIn group as a forum for news and discussion. Sign up and join the discussions if you haven't already.

What to expect of 2021

We obviously do not know exactly how the world will look in the future, but we are still going strong and plan events for the year to come.

The DARMA Strategy Working group was formed in 2020. The group consists of 17 members representing very well the variety of DARMA's membership population. The group consists of members with long experience and members who are new to the profession, members working in both pre-award and post-award, members from both public and private organisations such as universities, university colleges, hospitals, foundations. Right now, the group is at the analysing stages. We have divided into three subgroups: 1. The future of the profession, 2. Membership composition and career development and 3. Member-driven initiatives and Knowledge sharing. The next step is to meet in the beginning of next year and present our findings and decide our suggestions for the way forward for DARMA. The plan is to come up with a suggestion for a DARMA strategy that will be approved by the board and the members.

The course Introduction to RMA is planned to be held in person in November 2021. It is already fully subscribed but you can join the waitlist and the board is looking into other ways of onboarding those who are new in the profession. Keep informed ondarma.dk/introkursus

We still plan to host webinars, master classes and other online knowledge sharing activities. Keep an eye out for information on our homepage and LinkedIn page and contact the board if you have ideas for topics to be addressed. Stay informed via darma.dk/events 

We know already that the EARMA and INORMS Conferences will be held online. SRAI annual meeting is planned to be held in New Orleans in November 2021 unless the pandemic still prevents that. Keep updated on Sister societies on the DARMA homepage.

The DARMA 2021 annual meeting and General Assembly are planned to be held online. But if it is allowed and safe, we do plan to host a "DARMA party" in the early autumn which allow us to network IRL like we used to do and probably all miss very much.

Get involved. This year the DARMA board has been supported by DARMA members in the annual meeting working group and the strategy working group. This is very valuable, as it makes DARMA able to do more. It builds network and makes sure we hear the voices of the members. I value that very much. I still invite everyone to write to me or the board when you have input or ideas you would like to bring to the board or if you want to volunteer for a specific task. You can reach me on president@darma.dk, Marianne on kasserer@darma.dk and the board in general on darma@darma.dk. If you need arguments for volunteering look at http://darma.dk/volunteer for inspiration.

I will end this newsletter by thanking all the volunteers who has stepped up supporting DARMA's activities whether it being as a board member, heading a SIG, participating in a working group or sharing their knowledge in an online event. Also, a big thank you to the members who has attended our events and been active in our online discussion forums. This is it takes for DARMA to be an association of value and exchange of best practice.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. 

Kind regards,

Annedorte Vad, DARMA President
Danish Association of Research Managers and Administrators, DARMA

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