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At Johns Hopkins, Bryony Wakefield is a lecturer for the MS in Research Administration program.

Wakefield’s teaching draws on more than 20 years of work in the higher education sector, where she held academic and professional roles, working centrally and in colleges and schools in Australia and the United Kingdom. That work reinforced for Wakefield the importance of continual learning, collaboration, and the value of differing perspectives.

As executive director of research services at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, Wakefield works closely with the vice principal for research and knowledge exchange on the development and implementation of research strategy. Much of the implementation of the strategy is through the Research Services Directorate, a team of skilled professionals with diverse expertise.

Wakefield has built a career in research management and administration, with an interest that began at the Australian National University and the University of Canberra, where she worked as a lecturer and tutor. She later undertook a Postdoctoral Research Administrator program and went on to hold senior roles in policy, research training, and sponsored research in the ANU Research Office.

In 2009, Wakefield moved to Melbourne to take up the position of manager of grants and contracts in Melbourne Research at the University of Melbourne. In 2010, she became the director of the research unit in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences at UniMelb. Her continued focus was leading a team to collaborate across the university and externally to develop and implement research strategy, grow partnerships, and to provide quality services to support world-class research and researchers. In 2019, she worked with the Transformation team at UniMelb on the ‘Easier Research Business’ program, an exceptional experience that gave her better insight into the value of iterative ways of working and reinforced the importance of taking time to hear and learn from others.

As a strong advocate of the research management and administration profession, Wakefield has been actively involved in contributing to building a global research professional community. She recalls attending the first International Network of Research Management Societies Congress in 2006 and the value of coming together to share and learn from each other.

Wakefield is currently the president of the National Council of University Research Administrators, a member of the International Network of Research Management Societies Council, and previous board member of the Australasian Research Management Society. In 2017, she became a fellow of ARMS for her substantial contribution to research management as a practitioner, mentor, trainer, and advocate of the profession. Training modules that Wakefield co-developed and delivered across Australasia and Singapore include Pre-Award Grant Processes and Business Process Improvements in Research Management.

Wakefield’s background in the humanities adds a creative and multidisciplinary outlook. She undertook a PhD in art history and curatorship, an internship in traveling exhibitions at the National Library of Australia, and worked as a guide and educator at the National Gallery of Australia and as a freelance curator. These experiences brought together her interest in abstract and analytical thinking and problem-solving. Wakefield’s leadership style is based on motivation, communication, a dash of humor, and the ability to inspire a shared sense of purpose and achievement.

Wakefield’s key focus areas are research strategy development and implementation, research culture and researcher development, sponsored research and strategic initiatives, research impact and engagement, project management, research performance analysis, continual process improvement, and transformational change.

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