Robert Rigby

Robert Rigby
Deputy Director, Research Services
Australian National University

I joined the ANU as Deputy Director of the Research Services Division in June 2018 having spent my entire career in research in some capacity. I came to Australia in 2006 for a four-year postdoctoral research role at the ANU. I then followed this with seven years in the Australian Public Service, with most of the time spent at the National Health and Medical Research Council. Here I held a number of roles, including in research ethics and integrity, post-award management, compliance and monitoring, and national research policy development. A number of these roles focused on improving the research landscape, and required close cooperation with the research sector to realise success. These include working with clinical trial research managers across Australia to develop, test and implement a process to improve clinical trials start-up times, working with researchers, ethics committees and research managers to implement a new national human ethics application form and working with policy experts and senior health and medical researchers to develop and implement NHMRC’s new grant program.

In my current role as Deputy Director of the Research Services Division, ANU I am the operational lead for the Division. I directly oversee the centralised research contracts, research ethics and research funding and development teams. The ANU has a strongly devolved structure and my role requires me to work closely with the devolved ANU College Research Offices to ensure best practice in research management, and work closely with the University Executive to help realise their vision and strategy for the ANU’s research endeavours.

My career and experience so far has given me the experience and knowledge to consider Research Management issues from a broad perspective – that of the researcher, the funding body and the university research manager. A strong and effective research management is essential to a vibrant, high-quality research environment. As an ARMS Board member I will continue to advocate for the research management community, building on my current roles as the ANU representative on the ARMS Directors Special Interest Group and a member of the ARC/ARMS streamlining group. I am committed to working with ARMS members to deliver on all the Strategic Priorities detailed in the ARMS Strategic Plan, and will use my knowledge, networks and experience to drive ARMS forward for the good of the members and the profession of Research Management in general. Through the provision of effective and efficient research management Australia will remain as one of the strongest nations in research and development, and I look forward to the opportunity to play my part in this vital endeavour.