Research projects often depend on extensive documentation and sustained collaboration. Your team must work like a well-oiled machine to keep on top of everything.

So how well is your team fairing? If you’re dealing with missed deadlines, approval delays and missing or duplicate data, then the team might not be performing at its best, and the issue may lie in the competencies of your staff or the structure of your team.

In addition, you may want to consider automating certain tasks with specialist software.

What Is the Ideal Structure of a Research Administration Team?

For a research administration team to function as efficiently as possible, it will require three clear employee levels. These are:

  • Leadership/Strategic – leading the implementation of the organisation’s research strategies and policies
  • Managerial – directing overall research management goals
  • Administrative/Operational – working directly on the project through tasks like data mining

This structure ensures key responsibilities are fulfilled throughout the project.

What Skills and Competencies Do Your Employees Need?

Whether you are setting up, running or monitoring a research management service, employees will need to have a certain set of skills and competencies to contribute effectively. These vary with the level of the team you are working on.

For more details, browse through our quick-reference guide below:

Leadership/Strategic Level

Main responsibilities:

  • To make strategic decisions on research policy and planning.
  • To be aware of policy in the research and innovation sector and to communicate this to team members.
  • Communicating with stakeholders clearly and confidently.
  • Developing the organisation’s research profile internationally and on a local level.
  • Monitoring trends in the wider research environment and considering the impact on the current project.
  • To guide the implementation of project goals and incentives.

Managerial Level

Main responsibilities:

  • Understanding the research cycle and using this knowledge whenever necessary.
  • Understanding your organisation’s research management policy and communicating this to the team.
  • Using extensive knowledge and understanding of the project to manage budget, evaluate the project management cycle, and make improvements.
  • Identifying tools or software that can improve the project cycle.
  • Implementing and overseeing research incentives and goals.
  • Considering the different stakeholders invested in the project, and planning with this in mind.
  • Involvement in the management of the entire organisation’s infrastructure and resources.

Necessary skills and competencies:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team and project management skills
  • Technological literacy
  • The ability to promote and enable constructive change

Necessary skills and competencies:

  • The ability to create a clear strategy and focus for the project
  • Cultural leadership and mentorship skills
  • Resilience and the ability to solve problems
  • The ability to self-reflect and address own weaknesses

Administrative/Operational Level

Main responsibilities:

  • Thoroughly understanding the research process.
  • Keeping up to date with the project cycle.
  • Data mining (including collection, extraction and assessment of data).
  • Operating according to research management governance.
  • To administer project goals and incentives.

Necessary skills and competencies:

  • Dedication to ultimate project goals
  • Proficiency with bibliometrics and other evaluative methods
  • Expertise in the organisation’s systems and processes

How Can I Strengthen My Team?

Depending on your team’s composition, you may need to adjust and clarify the team structure or enable certain staff members to improve their key skills.

On top of this, it can also help to adopt a best-in-breed software system that facilitates project collaboration and monitoring across the team, such as Ethics RM. 

How Can Ethics RM Help?

Infonetica has spent the last two decades creating software solutions tailored to the specific needs of research institutions. Unlike generalist software, our products have everything your employees need to fully track, streamline and edit the project cycle.

Ethics RM is our comprehensive tool for research ethics management. It can significantly reduce the workload for team members by:

  • Auto-submitting forms
  • Reducing human error
  • Preventing duplicate data entry
  • Allowing you to pre-schedule reminders and notifications
  • Streamlining the administrative process
  • Enabling collaboration across the team in real-time
  • Protecting data with high-level, cloud-based security

Learn more about how Ethics RM can improve your team’s outcomes: