Research Administrator's Day 2019

Research Administrator Day 2019

There are Winners and there are Grinners!

Research Administrator Day is an event initiated by fellow INORMS association member the National Council of Research Administrators (US)  to acknowledge and celebrate those working in our profession. 

The day, now recognised internationally, is celebrated annually on the 25th of September by many research management associations including ARMS.
On behalf of the ARMS Board, we'd like to wish all our members a "Happy Administrator Day" and trust that you are taking time to celebrate the importance of our profession.   

The ARMS Executive Office held a competition for members celebrating Research Administrator Day. Please see all of the fun, creative and productive celebrations below. Congratulations to the team from The University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, our 2019 winners.


The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg - 2019 Winner

2.1 Wits with ARMS2019conf teddybear.jpg

Today, in land far, far away (with some 10,000km and over 6 hours in timezone differences separating us from ARMS) the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, celebrated international "Research Administrator Day". This is likely the first (informal) initiative taking place abroad under recently-launched the ARMS Global Chapter. 

We held a half day programme focussing on networking and building a stronger community of RM practice within our institution. Our programme focussed on professionalisation of RM, research contracts and ethics compliance, and sustainable research funding. ARMS' sister organisation (SARIMA: Southern African Research & Innovation Managers Association) also gave two RM presentations at our event. We also included our Innovation Managers (technology transfer and commercialisation division; Wits Commercial Enterprise) in the deliberations because we are aware that research doesn't only happen in an office/classroom/lab, but also spins out beyond those confines to impact society.

Over tea and snacks, all attendees had been previously encouraged to approach at least 2 other "new friends" that they had never met before during the tea break to find out more about what they do in other RM sectors of our institution. Our University has 5 campuses spread across our city, so meeting other RMs is sometimes quite difficult to coordinate. Some attendees didn't want to leave the tea break to return to the remainder of the programme as they said that they were only just getting to know their "new friends" better. 

Whilst fruitful discussions were had by all present, one of the highlights was surely our attached photograph with the ARMS2019 Conference Teddy Bear, who had travelled all the way from Adelaide to Johannesburg to attend this international celebratory RM event.


James Cook University, Singapore

Research Support at James Cook University in Singapore is a team of three: our Dean of Research, Professor Dean Jerry; Associate Dean of Research/Research Education, Dr Denise Dillon, and our face and backbone of Research Support, Belinda Lee.

We distributed an email flyer to all staff as a reminder of Research Administrator Day, hosted our monthly informal morning tea  gathering of HDR candidates at our Staff Lounge to coincide with this special day, invited people to contribute comments to our Research Administrator poster (on the noticeboard in the Staff Lounge), and enjoyed a delicious lunch for two at a nearby cafe.

Our 'boss of research', Prof Dean Jerry, surprised Denise & Belinda with bunches of flowers! Special thanks to Dean for being such a great boss as well as a great mentor. We'd show off the delicious chocolate and blueberry cake we brought in for morning tea, but it didn't last long enough for the camera to come close. We had a swell night out and shared a lot of expertise amongst the group.

1.1 James Cook University.jpg

1.2 James Cook University.jpg

3.1 MQ Business School.jpg
















Macquarie University

Happy Research Administrator Day from Macquarie University.

I went round to my colleagues in the Business School ( here at Macquarie) to wish them Happy Day.

Our Business School Research Manager decided it would be nice to gather together on campus at the end of the day for coffee, cake and soda water.

The two us who attended the recent conference were able to discuss the recent ARMS conference.

It was an enjoyable hour and we were also able to catch up with our activities.


Southern Cross University ...

4.1 SCU.jpg... says ‘Happy Administrator Day’! With Cake!

The Office of Research hosted a celebration and research administrators from across the university answered the call. Who doesn’t want yummy cake! We had staff from Office of Research, Library, Finance and all various Schools attending. Our small meeting area was overflowing in good cheer.

Introductions were made and ideas talked about as well as enjoying each other’s company. An event that we look forward to every year.

4.2 SCU Research Admin Day-2.jpg

University of Adelaide, Adelaide Graduate Centre5.1 U of Adelaide Research Administrator day.jpg

University of Tasmania


 We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Research Administrator Day last week with an afternoon tea that featured talks from the recent ARMS conference attendees. It was a really positive afternoon with a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the room, especially hearing lots of exciting ideas brought back from the national conference. We had representatives from most of the research domain: funding, publications, graduate research, integrity & ethics, performance data & analysis. 


Towards the end of the event we gathered for a big group photo (below and attached) and you will notice we may be setting the record for the tiniest and youngest research administrator! Here at the University of Tasmania we like to set strong career paths and start developing those dynamic research admin skills early! 


We hope our interstate and international brethren enjoyed celebrating as much as we did!


6.1 UTAS.jpg


The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland (UQ) celebrated Research Administrators Day 2019 with an event co-hosted by the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and the UQ Research Administrators Network (UQ RAN) at our St. Lucia campus. The event was attended by about 60 staff from various sections across UQ, including schools and faculties, the central research office (Office of Sponsored Research), the Research Integrity Unit, and the UQ Graduate School. Staff were treated to a delicious breakfast before the main feature of the event, a presentation from Susan Pearse co-founder of the Mind Gardner on taming the busy mind. Following Susan’s informative presentation, we networked further over some fun trivia questions. Our winning team scored some coffee vouchers to use at cafes on campus and we also had a lucky door prize, dinner for two at the historic Customs House in the Brisbane CBD. A fun and informative event was had by all!

 Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute

10.1 Baker Institute.jpg

The Baker Institute Research Administrators would love to share how we celebrated Research Administrator Day-

It’s always a little tricky finding the time to take a step back from the ever mounting workload of a Research Administrator to acknowledge all the hard work put in on a day to day basis, so it was lovely for the Baker Institute Research Administrators to get together for a picnic in the “park” to celebrate Research Administrator Day. 


10.3 Baker Institute.jpg

The weather wasn’t quite on our side for our original idea however the level 6 meeting room did a great job at playing the role of the park for the rainy afternoon.

Our Research Office Manger put on an impressive spread for us and we all enjoyed catching up over some delicious contraband (i.e. cheese, bickies and cake that wouldn’t quite pass our Healthy Food Policy!).

The University of Western Australia

Once again, the day brought all our research administrator teams together. This year, along with our famous morning tea, we decided on a variation of the game, Never have I ever…with a research twist!

We had so much fun playing, we turned the event into a board game - so that all our research administrator colleagues could play! 

We hope you enjoy it.

7.1 ARMS UWA - Never have I ever with a research twist.jpg



The University of Adelaide


It is great to see that we are getting better at acknowledging the important role that research administrators and managers have in supporting research. One of the important ways we do this is through our professional networks and through social events. At University of Adelaide our research administrators work closely and collaboratively across functional areas to support research and researchers.


On National Research Administrator Day this year our Research Accounting specialists, and our Research and Business Partnerships team joined with Research Services (Grants Unit, Office of Research Ethics, Compliance and Integrity, and Research Collections and Systems Unit) for a fundraising morning tea – enjoying the opportunity to socialise, eat cake and raise money to support the important environmental work of local charity BioR. BioR is a non-profit organisation that generates funds, knowledge and practical skills to build habitats for wildlife.


Funds were raised, waistlines were expanded, and administrators had an opportunity to catch up and discuss highlights of the recent Adelaide ARMS conference! A good time was had by all!

9.1 UA_NRAD_ARMS_25092019.jpg