View from the Top: Happy Holidays

by John Westensee on Thursday, December 21, 2017

December is here with Christmas and New Year coming up. This is a good time to look into the crystal ball and have a look at what SRA International has in store for its members for 2018.

Before we get to that however, let me briefly mention that our Society has had another successful and prosperous year. The number of participants at intensive training programs, section meetings, chapter meetings and the Annual Meeting has exceeded expectations and financially speaking, we are in a very solid position. This comes down to the incredible level of commitment of our speakers, volunteers and leaders at all levels, plus the tremendous effort by our staff at HQ.

Expanded educational content
As part of the new strategy of the Society, the board is discussing many different ways of expanding the educational content to offer to our members. Next year, we expect to release some exciting new content and methods of learning to support your career development. It is too early to go into details, but be ready for the news when it comes.

On top of that, we are also looking into new types of meetings with focused content. An important aspect is also how we develop and expand educational content through electronic means. Even if face-to-face meetings are the preferred methodology, most members can only travel once per year for professional development purposes. Consequently, we need to ramp up our effort on the electronic side to provide even more value to our members.

New possibilities for cooperation
Apart from the broad programming described above, the Society has introduced two new mobility intiatives:

  • The Speaker Travel Scholarship for members with at least five years of experience in the field of research administration. Two scholarships are available. Each scholarship can go up to USD $2,500. The purpose of the scholarship is to present at an SRAI Partner society meeting. See the list of partner societie and details about the initiative here.
  • The Research Administrators Mobility Program (RAMP) focuses on another aspect of professional development. The program provides financial support to SRAI members to participate in short-term placements at another university (cross-border and cross-sectorial). Find more information here. The Society will be able to fund two scholarships of up to USD $2,500 for SRAI members who have been with the Society for 3 or more years.

As the Society is a member of INORMS and the next meeting will take place in June 2018 in Edinburgh in Scotland, there is a great opportunity to apply for the speaker travel scholarship if you are planning to go. The INORMS meeting will feature 11 different program tracks. The meeting will cover all types of content from the purely operative angles to the strategic/political/leadership ones. More information about the meeting at Find out more about INFORMS awards here.

New Awards
Finally, the Society has decided to introduce two new awards to recognize the massive commitment of our presenters and authors. Consequently, we will identify "Best Webinar of the Year" and "Most Valuable Editor" in our Journal.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.

Authored by:
John Westensee
Past President, SRAI
Director of Research Support and External Relations
Aarhus University

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