RMAs in Motion

Addressing the Challenge of Moving to a New Country as a Research Manager


  • Nick Ollivere Universiteit Leiden
  • Angela Noble Leiden University
  • Anja Hegen Trond Mohn Foundation




RMA mobility, Professionalisation, Support


What is new?

More and more Research Managers and Administrators (RMAs) are moving country to pursue their career, but often find themselves unprepared for what they encounter in a new environment. This paper explores for the first time some of the issues encountered when RMAs move country, and attempts to offer some recommendations for universities, as well as professional organisations, to help them overcome any difficulties.

What was the approach?

Before and after a paper given at the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) 2021 conference a survey was run gathering opinions and experiences of RMAs.

What is the academic impact?

This paper presents the first insights into the issue of international mobility amongst RMAs, and opens the way for research into this issue.

What is the wider impact?

These findings will help encourage universities and member associations to help support RMAs further in their career moves. It will also help RMAs prepare further for such a move.

Author Biographies

Nick Ollivere, Universiteit Leiden

Nick Ollivere is a Senior Grant Advisor at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He specialises in personal grants for the humanities and social sciences, and the training of young researchers. He has worked for over ten years as a research manager for universities in the UK and the Netherlands. Before that he completed a PhD in Classics at the University of London.

Angela Noble, Leiden University

Angela Noble has worked in Research Administration since 1998, joining the University of Edinburgh in 1993 as course secretary for the then Computer Science Department, moving into a variety of positions and eventually becoming head of the European Office, managing a team who supported European research proposal submission as well as developing European research strategy for the University. In September 2016 Angela moved to Leiden University in the Netherlands andĀ supports researchers with their proposals for both European and national Dutch funding and is also immersed in European research policy within the University.

Anja Hegen, Trond Mohn Foundation

Dr Anja Hegen holds a PhD in Biology and an MBA in Higher Education Management. She has worked as a senior research adviser for excellence based research for more than 15 years engaging actively in professional organisations like EARMA and NARMA. She has also built considerable experience in academia-industry collaboration through her work as a research adviser, as a reviewer for the European Union and for her MBA thesis. Futures thinking and futures literacy are her current interests and she has completed a specialization with the institute for the future and is an active member of the Urgent Optimist community which promotes equitable futures through active imagination. Anja has recently started a new post as senior adviser at the Trond Mohn Foundation, the largest foundation for research and research related activities in Norway.




How to Cite

Ollivere, N., Noble, A., & Hegen, A. (2023). RMAs in Motion: Addressing the Challenge of Moving to a New Country as a Research Manager. Journal of Research Management and Administration, 2(1), 202308154. https://doi.org/10.18552/jorma.v2i1.941