5 Years Pioneering AI: Our Growth Path To Boost RM

5 Years Pioneering AI: Our Growth Path To Boost RM

Adapting the Role of Research Managers in the Era of Artificial Intelligence: Insights from a University customizing and developing in-house AI tools for Research Management since 2018


With the release of AI platforms like ChatGPT from OpenAI, the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) as a game changer is rocketing on social media platforms, bringing both opportunities and challenges to professions like research management. Amidst, and even preceding, the current buzz around AI, the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) has been a pioneer, customizing and developing in-house AI tools for Research Management since 2018. This presentation offers an insight into SDU’s pioneering journey over the past five years, recounting successes and difficulties of plugging AI into research support.

With the boom of Large Language Models and public chatbots, there is a burning question in our minds: Where can AI help research managers, and where might its application be limited or counterproductive? We answer this question using our extended experience in combining artificial and human intelligence to facilitate research support processes.

As data grows exponentially, AI-driven analytics can pinpoint trends and patterns, making sense of vast datasets. Furthermore, AI can aid in grant identification, proposal drafting and predictive modeling for project success. In the first half of the presentation, we explore the different facets of AI, from machine learning to natural language processing, and examine its bespoke applications at SDU. Important questions guide our discourse: How did SDU identify the niches where AI could be used? What hurdles were encountered to ensure broad acceptance of AI tools?

Our research provides insights into the development of efficient tools and the identification of features desired by research managers and researchers alike. We shed light on the often underestimated human efforts that paved the way for the smooth adoption of AI tools.

The second and final part of our presentation focuses on the symbiotic relationship between AI and research managers. While AI has evolved into a powerful force, human expertise remains paramount. We thrive to develop “human-powered AI tools”. The skill set of the modern research manager at SDU has changed – they must understand the nuances of AI, appreciate its ethical dimensions and understand how to leverage AI to support researchers. We present a roadmap for adapting the skills of research managers in the era of AI from the lessons learned behind the scenes at SDU.

Take-home messages

  1. An intimate look at SDU’s pioneering work in integrating AI with research support.
  2. Real-world qualitative and quantitative insights into tool development, popular features, user adoption and trade-off between costs and benefits.
  3. A blueprint, distilled from SDU’s extended experience, for adapting the skills of research managers to transform and strengthen our profession in the AI era.

:point_right: 5 Years Pioneering AI: Our Growth Path To Boost RM thirty minutes talk on EARMA Conference Odense 2024 official website.