About the EARMA board

The main roles of the EARMA board are to:
  • Ensure EARMA is run on a financially sound basis
  • Run the association in the interests of its membership
  • Carry out management tasks to ensure the smooth running of the Association in compliance with the Statutes
  • Maintain close links with the Working Groups and provide help where needed and practicable
Whilst we are all working voluntary, we aim to uphold the highest standards in our work.  EARMA has come a long way in the last 4-5 years and we all want to continue to grow, improve and enhance the association for the benefits of its members.  By encouraging and rewarding active contributions, we believe that EARMA will continue to thrive and maintain a respected and valued place in the profession.   

Dr.John Donovan, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland, Chair.
John Donovan, Chairman of EARMA and Head of Research at Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland, is a PhD in molecular genetics from the National University of Ireland. In 1986 he worked at the Institute of Biochemistry in the University of Frankfurt and after 3 years moved to the University of Leeds. Returning to Ireland in 1992, he took up a position as Senior Scientist with St. Luke’s Institute of Cancer Research. In 1994 he moved to a position as Executive Secretary of the Irish Research Scientists’ Association and was responsible for many of the briefing and policy documents prepared by the Association that ultimately led to the establishment of Science Foundation Ireland and The Programme for Research in Third level Institutions with a combined budget of some €13b euro. Having left the bench, John moved into research and Innovation management and, for the present, is Head of Research at Dublin Institute of Technology. John has served on the board of EARMA. His current Interest is what makes research sustainable in new, small universities.

John has been a radio journalist, co-produced and presented Ireland’s longest running science radio show and The Millennium Thomas Davis Lecture Series on Irish public radio broadcaster, RTÉ. John has also done time as an itinerant PhD examiner in various places in Ireland and Europe. John is married to Lynda, a research fellow in Trinity College, Dublin and they have one son, in university in the UK. To relax, John and his Scouts walk in the hills and build snowbivvys!

Ms. Sharon Bailey
, University College Dublin, Treasurer

Sharon Bailey, Director of Research Finance & Operations in University College Dublin (UCD), heads up the research services function in UCD Research. She leads a team of 13 professionals encompassing the Research Services Office, the EU Research Office and HR & Accountancy professionals. The Research Services Office identifies & communicates research funding opportunities to UCD’s Researchers. They also assist with proposal preparation & review and assist with contract negotiation & registration of research awards. In late 2011, she set-up a dedicated EU Research Office, to increase UCD’s participation in European research funding. In addition to her research services remit, she is also responsible for the financial management of the UCD Research Support Unit and the University’s Research Institutes. This involves, budgeting, procurement, monthly management accounts, forecasts and outturns for submission to the University Finance Committee. Sharon has been involved in University wide financial reviews including Units within Business, Engineering and Science. Sharon currently sits on the finance sub-committee of the National Institute of Bioprocessing and Research Training (NIBRT) as an independent financial expert.

Sharon is a qualified member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) with over 25 years’ experience working in public & private, large and complex organisations. She is also a qualified member of the Irish Taxation Institute (AITI) and has a masters in Organisational Behaviour (Msc. Mgmt.) awarded by Trinity College Dublin.

Prior to joining UCD, Sharon spent 8 years as Director of Finance & Business Planning in the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. This was a busy and demanding financial role, with a team of 25 and annual turnover of approx. €100M. Sharon’s earlier career included accountancy positions in The Irish Aviation Authority, Agfa Typography Ltd. and Irish Life Assurance PLC.

Sharon was elected as a board member of EARMA in July 2013 and presently acts as Treasurer. As treasurer she is responsible for overseeing the financial management of the organisation including, the preparation of annual audited accounts and the annual budget, for presentation to members at the General Assembly.


Anne Katrin Werenskiold
(Max-Planck Institute für Biochemie), Board member
Dr. Anne Katrin Werenskiold is the Head of the "EU-Office" at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry, a leading basic research institute in Martinsried, Germany and has extensive experience with all aspects of EU-projects in FP6 and FP7.

She established this grants office with the onset of the European Research Framework Programme FP6 as a full-service facility at the MPI for the acquisition and management of EU-projects. Services include all aspects of research projects from proposal writing through coordination, management and public relations of large projects, extending to advisory roles / trouble-shooting in all aspects of project management.

This project management activity is based on an academic research career of 20 years [Diploma Biology, PhD in Chemistry] with more than 10 years as leader of an independent research group in Cancer Research and complementary expertise as scientific writer and self-employed research management consultant.

She is a longstanding EARMA member and immediate-past Chair of EARMA's ERA-Working Group, and was elected member of EARMA’s board in July 2014.


Maryam Hansson Edalat, PhD, Analyst, Research Liaison Office

After receiving her PhD in Biochemistry, she was granted a Marie Curie fellowship (FP6) by the European Commission. Having mostly had American collaborations during her graduate studies, the Marie Curie fellowship was the first time she was exposed to the EU research program. On her return to Sweden (2008) she discovered research management and administration as a profession. She was nominated as the only candidate from Stockholm University to attend the HUMANE.EFMD Winter School which aims at the developing the leadership potential of talented Senior Managers by making them fully aware of the concepts and practices of strategic management in a European context, and the importance of integrating academic matters, finances, human resources, governance, leadership and communication strategy in the elaboration of university strategy.

She is currently coordinating the EU-support at Stockholm University and the overall responsibility for primarily European and international research funding and research opportunities that may be of interest to researchers at Stockholm University.


Pasi Sihvonen, University of Helsinki, Finland

Pasi has worked in demanding international positions in the fields of research funding, research administration, and service development since 2005. He is currently at the University of Helsinki (Finland), responsible for a University-wide project aiming to double the University's international research funding, and developing a crowd funding model for the University and oversee selected strategic research funding such as EIT KIC. His expertise includes successful management of large, multi-annual development projects and international research consortia, administration and management of major funding schemes for government, service development (including digital services, management model and performance indicators), directing and developing services in university context including HR and budget responsibilities, lobbying expertise and in-depth knowledge of Finnish, Nordic and European research funding and peerreview processes. 

Doris Alexander, Trinity College Dublin

Research Development Manager in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) with 20 years of research administration experience, all of which has been very closely aligned to the development of the EC Framework Programmes and to the political environment in which it operates.

Doris established the Research Development Office in Trinity College Dublin in 1992 and has been an active member of EARMA from its outset, She hosted the Annual EARMA conference in Trinity College Dublin (in 1998) (It was held there also in 2012).

In her current role, she manages the College’s Research Development Office (17 staff) and has lead the team in providing professional delivery of services. The Research Development Office works with nearly 90 different funders in 14 countries. She has devised and is now implementing a Research Diversification Strategy for the College which has Horizon2020 (H2020) as its core and manage the associated reporting to the College. 

She is currently Vice Chair for the COIMBRA Research Officers Support Grouping, TCD policy hub contact for the Vision 2020 network. She has recently joined, as Management Substitute and active member, a COST action (INTREPID) which is focused on overcoming various challenges around the lifecycle of interdisciplinary research.

Mr. Jan Andersen, Technical University of Denmark, Board member

Jan Andersen is Chief Executive Advisor, with a background in Computer Science and Danish Language. He has been working with the University of Copenhagen since 1994. His core contributions have been in research strategy and research planning. He was responsible for the University’s involvement in Copenhagen Research Forum 2011-2013. He was involved in building up three very successful research support units. His focus is on the balance between the research level, strategic policy level and the administrative level. In this capacity he advised the Rectors and Deans of the University of Copenhagen and the former Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University. He was working with the merger of academics and was heavily involved in the cross faculty follow-up of the merger. He was a project manager for a Life Long Learning Project from 1999-2001. Jan Andersen has over the years built up knowledge on research information systems and from 2003-2005, he headed the establishment of the University of Copenhagen’s research information system CURIS. He was member of the Advisory Board of LINK2US and BILAT projects, and was Head of the Nordic Association of University Administrators Working Group for Research Administrators and Industrial Liaison Officers. Jan Andersen is an expert on the EU framework programs and his specialty is long-term research planning, hereunder the participation in Horizon 2020. In this capacity a strong European and global network of colleagues and business partners is built up. Jan Andersen was as Board Member of Danish Association of Research Managers and Administrators involved in the preparation of INORMS 2012 in Copenhagen, his core contribution was the establishing of the concept of the conference. Jan Andersen was hosting the 2009 Annual Conference of European Association of Research Managers and Administrators, EARMA and elected Chairman for EARMA 2010-2013, where he was responsible for running three very and increasingly successful Annual Meetings. He has been a member of the Professional Development Working Group since 2013. In July 2014 Jan was re-elected as an EARMA board member.

Susi Poli

Susi Poli
(University of Bologna), Italy, Board member

Susi has gained a wealth of experience in a variety of positions in administration and research management in campuses, departments and centrally but also in different higher education sectors across Europe, mainly through several mobility schemes.  She has now radically changed her career route.

Following her MBA in HE management at the Institute of Education university of London, in 2011 she started the ‘blended’ route of a professional doctorate based at the same university in London.

Her research topics range from the understanding of the Higher Education sector throughout Europe to the investigation of professional managers’ career dynamics; and also from research management (e.g. research management as a new profession, career routes, blended research managers, among others) to multicultural issues in a globalised HE environment. 

More recently, as the core argument of her thesis, Susi has begun the investigation of gender in HE management and is now dealing with the key challenges faced by women leading universities in Europe at different stages of career.  

Susi enjoys making fresh pasta for friends and within the local community: she has taught pasta making and food culture to children in one of the local schools in London. Pasta making, in Susi’s view, can also be a powerful team building exercise to strengthen partnerships in research.

She is keen on skiing (and was a ski instructor in Switzerland in 1990s) and this is probably the one problem she had while living in England, the lack of mountains!

Susi has been a member of the Faculty Ethics Committee (FREC) at the Institute of Education university of London since 2011 and committed in the steering committee of EFMD (ESMU) – HUMANE  Winter School for Senior Administrators since 2010.   

Susi was a member of the Professional Development Working Group since 2011 and stepped down in June 2014. Shewas elected as an EARMA board member in July 2014 and is responsible for widening participation and membership services.

In addition to the Board members, our EARMA Secretariat, Emma Lythgoe, plays an extremely valuable role in providing support for all our activities: 

Emma Lythgoe, EARMA Secretariat

Emma Lythgoe, Secretariat of EARMA and project manager for the research team Multifunctional Molecular Magnetic Materials of the Aragon Materials Science Institute (ICMA - CSIC-University of Zaragoza) with over 15 years of experience as a project manager. Emma has a BSC degree in Applied Biological Sciences and an MSc in Computer Science.

Emma has worked both in the public and private sector in various European countries; UK, Holland and Spain. In 1995 Emma worked as a Software Engineer for the Multimedia Services department at British Telecom Laboratories, England where she developed web applications and managed an Internet based maritime fleet tracking and messaging service. She moved to Spain in the year 2000 to work as a Project Manager at IA Soft, Spain, a software house, managing a portfolio of projects as well as setting up quality control procedures in line with PMI (Project Management Institute) procedures.

Since 2005 Emma has managed research and development projects at a national and international level for a number of organisations including the Aragon Materials Science Institute, the University of Zaragoza as well as the European Institute of Molecular Magnetism. She has worked as part of a distributed team on pre award activities as well as post award management for EU framework Programmes. She has also been responsible for organising scientific conferences, schools, and workshops as well as technology transfer events at an International level.

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