Example Hidden Roles

The Hidden Role category recognises people whose work has been instrumental in the conduct of research, but which is not recognised in traditional research outputs. The following are just some examples of the roles that you could recognise in your submission.

Data Stewards and Managers

Data Stewards and Managers are responsible for ensuring an organisation’s data (including both the content and metadata) is collected and stored in line with governance processes that ensure the conduct of reliable and reproducible research.


Librarians provide a range of research support services, from providing resources and collections for your research and supporting systematic literature reviews, to a range of scholarly communications support offers such as open access publishing and research data management services (in collaboration with Data Stewards and Managers).

Lived Experience Contributors

Lived experience is a vital part of research into human beings, and it is Lived Experience Contributors who provide that insight. Lived experience describes the experience and insight gained not through academic or professional qualifications, but rather through the constant experience of daily life. For example, an autistic person has lived experience of autism. Lived Experience Contributors are all-too-seldomly remunerated, or professionally acknowledged.

Professional Services Personnel

Research could not be conducted without the support of key staff in finances, human resources, and any other departments that provide research and enterprise support.

Research Managers and PRISMs (Professional Research Investment and Strategy Managers)

An RMA (research manager and administrator) provides leadership, management or support of research activities. Their role is devoted to support some part of the research lifecycle. RMAs mostly work in universities and research institutes but many also work in hospitals, charities, government and funders; they may be central or departmentally based.

Professional Research Investment and Strategy Managers (PRISMs) are managers of large research, training, and network grants, research centres or institutes in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). They have operational and strategic responsibilities, and drive the growth of their research ecosystems in tandem with the academic lead(s). They enable the development of high-quality research outputs and impact.

Research Software Engineers

Research Software Engineers combine an understanding of research with professional software engineering skill. They produce reliable and reproducible software that is fundamental to the conduct of almost all research.


Technicians provide skills that are fundamental to the pursuit of research, but are not always included in outputs that recognise research success.