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Research management and the benefits of having critical friends

Academics may be able to increase the success rates of their bids by accepting their research managers as “critical friends”, according to a poster presented at the 2015 conference of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators in Brighton last week.

The poster’s main purpose was to provide a six-step tutorial for research managers on how to adopt the role of critical friend, but it also served as a study of the psychological relationship between academics and research managers.

This is no accident. One of the poster’s co-authors is Julie Bayley, who works in research management but is also a senior researcher in health psychology at Coventry University. Bayley had observed the success of her research management colleague and co-author Yvonne Morgan in engaging with researchers and helping them prepare high-quality research bids. With her psychology researcher’s hat half on, she began to pick apart Morgan’s approach.

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