A new strategy for a new era

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In the years since ARMA’s last Strategic Plan was developed, the world has turned upside down. Political upheaval, economic constraints, changing skills requirements, and public mistrust in research are combining to create an environment where everything we know is being questioned. How do we, as the representative body of the UK’s research leaders, managers, officers and administrators, help our members not only to negotiate these turbulent times, but also to succeed?

These considerations – alongside the guiding principles we established as part of last year’s governance review – were in the forefront of the minds of ARMA Directors as they met last year to discuss the way forward for the Association. After a day of planning, and a lot of post-it notes, a draft strategy was born. Further brainstorming sessions, discussions with the Advocacy Group and SIG champions, and consultation with members have followed. And the end result is a new ARMA strategy for the new era.

Our Strategic Plan sets out the Association’s objectives for the next three years. We’re focusing on the transformative actions we intend to take to reach these objectives. That doesn’t mean that we’re stopping our regular activities or giving them less of a priority. Our Special Interest Groups, training & development programme, annual conference, and qualifications continue to be at the centre of our member benefits. This Strategy is looking at what else we need to do to transform the Association.

We’ve identified five main themes for the strategy. Your feedback – through our member consultation – showed that you agreed with this approach. And we’ve been thinking about how we make these objectives real. Each Committee is taking ownership of different objectives across the five themes. They’ve prioritized them into one of the three years of the planning period and have thought through specific actions and resources that will be required. All this has been included in future planning, and budget setting, so we’re confident the Strategy can be delivered.

We’ll be looking for people to contribute their ideas, enthusiasm and sometimes their time to help us work through the objectives, so keep an eye out for calls to get involved. We’ll be relying on your support to help us deliver the next phase of ARMA.

Get in touch if you have any questions. We’ll be delighted to help.

Further information about the Strategy is available here. Members can login to access information on progress here.

Our strategic objectives

  • Engage and influence the sector in a challenging world
  • Build and connect communities and collaborations for members
  • Transform professionalism for the future
  • Promote and support an inclusive, transparent and ethical research environment
  • Enhance the membership experience while delivering value for money

The operating context: What has changed?

  • Outcomes of both the EU referendum and US elections have created policies that are at odds with the higher education principles of diversity, collaboration, and academic excellence.
  • The new Higher Education Act has created two new research-related bodies: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Research England.
  • Preparations for the next Research Excellence Framework are well underway. The new Knowledge Exchange Framework is on the horizon.
  • New funding opportunities are coming on-stream, from GCRF to the Industrial Strategy.
  • ARMA itself has gone through a period of significant internal change, resulting in a new Executive Office HQ and a new team.

Have any questions?


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