A Storm on the Horizon in Research Management

Moderator:  Dr Therina Theron, Stellenbosch University

Panellist: Ms Changu Batisani, College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL)

Panellist: Dr David Langley, University of Bristol

Panellist: Dr Anna Matros-Goreses, Namibian University of Science and Technology

Panellist: Prof Thandi Mgwebi, Tshwane University of Technology

Panellist: Prof Asta Pundziene, Kaunas University of Technology

The impact of science depends on original and innovative scholarship, strategic partnerships, as well as effective and enabling support structures. Professionalised research management (RM) capacity can play a key role in strengthening the delivery of Africa’s research agenda, but is not yet well-established. The aim of a new EU-funded international project entitled “Storm” (Strengthening of Research Management) is to promote the development of a globally-connected group of professional research managers (RMs) on the African continent, and beyond.  This will promote the ability of HEIs to lead, participate in, and obtain external funding for high quality and original scholarship, knowledge generation and impact. The project aims to deliver professional academic qualifications in research management – a first for Africa.  We strongly believe that this will ultimately improve socio-economic contributions, and greater innovation and impact from scientific research.

The session will stimulate discussion on the role of research management in the impact of science, providing different global perspectives. Throughout the global research landscape, and particularly in other developing regions, there are differing research management needs and realities. We want to engage our audience in a lively discussion and to provide critical inputs on this topic. This will contribute to the applicability and uptake of the project outcomes.

Dr Therina Theron, South Africa Stellenbosch University

Dr Therina Theron is the Senior Director: Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University (SU) since 2008. She has previously held senior research and innovation management positions at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and in the Faculty of Health Sciences, SU. She has a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from SU and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Sussex University in the United Kingdom. She has previously served as Vice-President for Capacity Development of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), as Director on the Board of Research-Africa (Pty) Ltd, and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Winetech Board. She has co-authored 12 international scientific journal articles in the field of DNA damage and repair, and has presented papers on research management related topics at five international research and innovation management conferences. She has presented a number of workshops on research and innovation management related topics for SARIMA, and currently serves as principle investigator of an international Erasmus+ programme funded project focused on the professionalisation of research and innovation management in the SADC and EU regions.


Ms Changu Batisani Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL)

Changu is a monitoring and evaluation specialist and an organisational strategist coordinating the Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) research activities. She will bring the current perspectives and context of research and innovation management in Botswana to this panel. She has over eight years of experience working as a research administrator in government and in higher education respectively. In coordinating the College research activities she has managed both external and internal research grants, coordinated the research capacity building programmes and also secretariat to the institutional research committee. Her interest in research management has landed her in forging collaborations with SARIMA and through these collaboration, has had training in Research Management, Writing winning Grant Proposals, Research Costing, to mention but a few. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and Med (Monitoring and Evaluation) from the University of Botswana, Msc (Strategic Management) from University of Derby UK and currently reading for a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy with the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Her research focuses on the management of research teaching integration in higher education.


Dr David Langley UK University of Bristol

David leads a team of 120+ professional staff across a broad spectrum of research and innovation development and support. He was Professor of Practice in Research Management and Administration (RMA) at Cardiff Business School – the first appointment of its kind in the UK, where his role was to advice on and develop executive education programmes in RMA, including at Master’s level. He was previously Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser to the Welsh Government, which involved working with a range of stakeholders, such as Govt Depts., funding agencies and industry and was also responsible for research programme delivery, capacity building and leadership development for researchers. Before this he was Director of Research Services at Imperial College London, a senior manager at the Medical Research Council (UK), and has worked in industry. He has a PhD in neuropharmacology from the University of London and undertook post-doctoral research as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the National Institutes of Health, USA. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and was awarded the inaugural Carter Award for excellence in RMA in 2014.


Dr Anna Matros-Goreses Namibia Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST)

Anna has extensive knowledge and experience in Project Management & Planning; Project implementation; Proposal Writing; Project Monitoring, Evaluation and Adjustments, Advance Financial Reporting and Interpretation; Institutional Development and Governance issues. She brings particular insight into the current research and innovation management context of Namibia. Education: • PhD, 2009; Distinction: Cranfield University, UK • M.Sc (Water Resources and Livelihood Security); Distinction; 2006: Linkoping University, Sweden • B.Sc in Natural Resources, Best final year: University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia Professional Experience: • March 2012- present: Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST): Director: Projects Service Centre [Grants/research project design, management and strategic networking] • May 2010-Feb 2012: Southern African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Land Management (SASSCAL): National Programme Coordinator [establishing Centre, governance management and regional (5 southern African countries) research coordination and networking] • Sept 2009-May 2010: Independent Consultant [implementing short-term projects (policy analysis and impact assessments) on behalf of various partners in the water sector] • January 2001-2006: Desert Research Foundation of Namibia: Head of Water Management section [Project Design, Management and Implementation]- Appointed as part of Namibia Government Negotiation team for CoPs.


Dr Thandi Mgwebi South Africa University of the Western Cape (UWC)

Thandi holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Cape Town (UCT). For the past 10 years she has held positions at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), and as Executive Director at the National Research Foundation (NRF). During this period she was responsible for designing and implementing numerous policies, organisational and development systems and strategies involving the management and mentoring of multicultural teams, and establishing and guiding multi-sectoral partnerships and networks. She represented the country at international forums such as the World Science Forum; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the European Open Science Forum. She participated in numerous international forums for research management and practice in higher education, and provided training on research and grants management to a range of stakeholders in and outside South Africa. Thandi is an advocate of science engagement and communication, and has concluded significant international partnerships that have leveraged financial and in kind support to the national science agenda. She currently also serves as Director of the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC).


Prof Asta Pundziene Lithuania Kaunas University of Technology

Asta gained her doctorate in Social Sciences (organizational psychology) at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania. Since 1997, she has developed her academic competence at Amsterdam Free University (the Netherlands), Uppsala University (Sweden), Heidelberg University (Germany), Sheffield University (UK), and Harvard Business School, Stanford University (USA). She began her career at Vytautas Magnus University in 1993 as Administrator of the Pedagogical studies programmes, becoming Project Manager in the Centre for Vocational Education and Research at the same university in 1996. From 1999 to 2003 she was Vice-Director of the Centre for Vocational Education and Research at Vytautas Magnus University and from 2003 to 2004 National Seconded Expert (END) at the European Training Foundation (ETF) in Turin, Italy. From 2004 to 2011 she was employed by ISM University of Management and Economics as Programme Director and later as Dean of the Research and Doctoral studies. In 2005 Asta Pundziene became a Founding Editor of the Baltic Journal of Management (http://www.emeraldinsight.com/bjm.htm.). She is a member of the Editorial Board of several Emerald journals as well as those of other publishers’. She has published more than 25 research papers and participated in a number of international and national research and development projects. Her area of interest covers change management, including reform of Higher Education systems, career development, innovation and entrepreneurship in the light of dynamic capabilities



By | 2017-11-25T08:20:12+00:00 October 6th, 2017|