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By SRAI News posted 12-09-2021 09:27 AM



SRAI’s International Section is busy putting the final touches on the inaugural Virtual International Convention for Research Administrators (VICRA): Connecting Conti­nents, Consolidating Innovative Practices, which will be held virtually from 1-3 March. 

VICRA is a new concept. First, it is an online event by design. Virtual is the only way to reach across half the globe while avoiding costs for a venue for the organizing committee, as well as expenses for accommodation and flights for the audience. This will keep the overall price of attending and participating down. 

To fit within the waking hours of four continents, in time zones from UTC + 0 to UTC + 11, VICRA’s program will only be 4 hours long each day, i.e. from 9 am to 1 pm in the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) zone; this will make the start time 9 am in London and  8 pm in Sydney. VICRA is a 3-day event covering half the globe. 

Please note: The organizing committee wholeheartedly welcomes colleagues working in the Americas, but the event is scheduled for universities and research organizations located from the West Atlantic to the East Pacific shores, therefore sessions will happen in the middle of the night or very early morning in North and South America. 

Our target audience is early to mid-career research administrators, specifically those who work in countries that do not have a national representative research management association. VICRA aims to cater to those who normally do not attend confer­ences and hopes to initiate international mentorships. 

The event consists of a stimulating mix of live webinars and workshops, structured in Seven Streams. A Stream comprises three to nine 40-minute presentations (plus a Q&A for each), moderated by a host. 

The Seven Streams are: Personal Development (3); From Networking to Collaboration (3); Understanding Research and Researchers (3); Accessibility and Pitfalls of International Funding (6); Innovation to Research Impact (6); Research Integrity (6); and Research Administration as a Profession (9). 

Each of the three days will start with a thought-provoking keynote speaker, followed by three concur­rent sessions, with a choice from four streams:  three plenaries plus 36 presentations by 42 experienced presenters from 23 countries. All speakers are topic experts and skilled orators; each has been invited to contribute to VICRA. 

Each registrant will have access to recordings of all sessions for six months and will be part of the VICRA on-line community for one year. The program will cover the seven sessions needed for the Introduction to Research Administration and Management (IRAM) certificate. The required workshop for IRAM will take place in two 3-hour sittings over two days in the week ahead of VICRA. 

The price of an Early Bird ticket (until 17 December 17) is $224, plus an annual SRAI membership fee of $220 for non-members; standard tickets will be $299. When three or more staff from the same institution register, the SRAI membership fee will be waived for all registrants from that institution.

To date we have secured five Sponsors. InfoEd Global and Cayuse are our Platinum sponsors, while our Gold sponsors are Elsevier, Infonetica and KAUST. 

More information about VICRA can be found on the SRAI website.

Authored by Floris van der Leest, Manager, Research Information
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology