If you happened to be travelling on flights to Adelaide over 10-13 September this year, you may have overheard some juicy academic gossip and, hopefully, many scandalous declarations about the higher education sector in Australia and elsewhere.
You may well have been sitting near a posse of professional research staff.
The conference we were flying to was ARMS 2013, the peak meet-up for people of our persuasion.
ARMS (Australasian Research Management Society) is the “professional society for specialists in management and administration of research”, and may need to change its title slightly given the organisation now has a Singapore chapter. Or this may be the beginning of a more pronounced ‘Asian’ in the ‘AustralAsian’ (given tantalising comments by former ARMS President, Ren Yi [@melbcollege], on Twitter about possible links with China – see below)?
I didn’t attend the pre-conference workshops this year, and arrived in Radelaide in time for the welcome reception on the evening of 11 September.
The reception was held in the same venue as the rest of the conference: the Adelaide Convention Centre. As anyone who has floated around convention centres knows, these spaces are often vast, echoing, and – really – socially sterile. Getting into the exhibition hall (where the reception was held), I warmed the space up with meeting colleagues, buddies from last year, and the fabulous opportunity to hang with an old friend who was ‘out-of-context’ at a research management conference.
The conference was very well organised (kudos to the conference committee), and afforded many opportunities to learn about the current state of our professional sector, research policy, and funding bodies in Australia and internationally.