CYGNA: How to manage individual research performance

Reports on our 49th meeting with a discussion of research-based evidence on how to manage research performance

Since founding CYGNA in 2014 we have had 30 physical meetings in London-based universities. When COVID-19 hit, we moved meetings online and ran 16 virtual meetings between May 2020 and March 2022. From 2022-2023 onwards we are planning half of our meetings online and half on campus, with a full-day event in May. For our first full-day event in May 2022 see: CYGNA: Positionality, team roles, and academic activism.

Our 49th meeting, superbly organised by Olga Ryazanova, Maynooth University, Ireland (third row, third from left) focused on a topic close to all of hearts: research performance. We had 44 attendees attending (part of) the 2-hour meeting, 39 of which can be seen above. As has become common during the pandemic, we had many international members joining us, including from Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and Sri Lanka. Nearly half of the participants were from outside the UK.

We also welcomed several new attendees, most of whom had only recently joined CYGNA: Clare Rigg, Dinuka Wijetunga, Gani daoussa deby, Elizabeth Okoro, Grainne O'Malley, Inge Hill, Joanna Trela, and Paola Zappa.

7 key insights on research management

Olga Ryazanova discussed her recent Research Policy article that provided 7 key insights drawn from an extensive review of the literature. This review focused specifically on "managerial levers" - factors that can be influenced by academic leaders within universities in their effort to support individual research performance of faculty. 

The article, co-authored with Jolanta Jaškienė, is available here. A short summary of the article - ideal for sending to your busy Research Dean or DVC Research - is here: How to manage individual research productivity in academia: seven key insights. The full recording of Olga's presentation is linked below. Her slides can be downloaded here.

Break-out rooms

After the presentation we spent an enjoyable 25 minutes in break-out rooms, with each room discussing a few of the insights in more detail. Here is a picture of one of the break-out rooms in full flow of discussion and reflection.

Research manager's view on productivity management

Jolanta Jaškienė is a senior research manager at ISM University of Management & Economics, Lithuania. She is also a Co-lecturer of the Introduction to scholarship course for Doctoral Students and is engaged in academic activities related to HRM topics. Her main research foci include research performance, HRM in higher education, and work motivation.

In her presentation she focused on the practical insights of research management from the point of view of a Research Manager. Based on her everyday experience Jolanta presented key challenges in managing research performance at a private business school and research management practices which are beneficial in fostering research. You may also be interested in this related study of academics from European higher education institutions: Research on what effect HRM has on research performance within the higher education context.

Managing research as an Associate Dean Research

Clare Rigg is Professor of Leadership & Management at the University of Suffolk, United Kingdom.  Drawing from her personal experience as Associate Dean Research of Suffolk Business School and Director of Research at the university’s Academy of Leadership and Management, her presentation focused on ways to respond to the challenges of managing research in a young university with limited resources, where strong research ambitions now overlay the university’s teaching orientation. Her slides can be downloaded here

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