In 2015, the Malaysian Research Management and Governance (MRMG) Project  was launched in collaboration with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MOHE) and University Malaya. The first phase of the project comprised four Work Packages involving individuals from 21 public and private universities and the Public Services Department who took part in brainstorming and deliberation sessions to map out issues faced in Malaysian research management and governance, benchmarking UK institutions and making recommendations for improvement of the current Malaysian system.

Based on the recommendations made from the first phase of the project, the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and MIGHT have agreed to appoint University of Malaya to work with British Council in delivering the second phase of the project from 2016 to 2019.  The second phase focused on the following topics:

Topic 1: Research management profession

Topic 2: Data repository and curation

Topic 3: Full Economic Costing and External Fund Portfolio

Topic 4: Research Impact Evaluation 

The selected topics were the most important ones for Malaysia to take up in moving forward, to meet its aspiration to transform the research and innovation ecosystem and rise further to global prominence.  Second phase of the project enabled ideas, studies and new systems  to be piloted in selected universities. 


Short Term Impact

Phase 1 (2015-2016)

  • Taskforce members comprising 30 experts from top management of the higher education institutions and ministry have their understanding and knowledge increased in good research management and governance supporting the recommendations and systems implementation in Malaysia’s higher education ecosystem.
  •  Phase 2 was developed where UK government Malaysia government invested about GBP400,000 into the project for 2016 – 2019.

Phase 2 (2016-2019)

  • Adaptation and piloting of the transparent approach to costing and the establishment of full economic costing system for research budgeting and costing in University of Malaya and University of Tun Hussein Onn in 2018 and 2019.
  •  Research management framework for Malaysia has been produced and presented to Ministry of Higher Education in 2018
  •  Research impact assessment has been proposed for incorporation into Malaysia Research Assessment (MyRA) in 2018.
  • The establishment of the Malaysia Association of Research Managers and Administrators (MyRMA) in 2019.
  •  The production of first journal in research management and governance in Malaysia “Journal of Research Management and Governance” in 2019.

Other impacts (latest in 2020)

  • Career and professional development for research managers established in selected public universities
  • Research impact assessment is currently being prepared for pilot project
  • Data curation and repository system has been undertaken by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and their technology agencies with input from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MoHE) and research universities including those who have involved in the MRMG project.
  • FCE and TRAC is being materialised and developed for the whole university in University of Malaya and University of Tun Hussein Onn
  • MyRMA plans to develop and promote courses for research managers and administrators.

Long term impact

  • An effective research management ecosystem in Malaysia that support impact-led research and sustainable research development.
  • UK’s influence in Malaysia’s research management and governance that could encourage and generate more research collaborations between the two countries.