December 9, 2019, by Communications

Know your MyRA

This blog shares with all academic staff some insights on the way that institutional research performance is assessed by the Ministry of Education.

All of our academic staff should certainly be familiar with MyRA as we are in the final stages of data collection for 2019. MyRA® is an acronym for the Malaysian Research Assessment Instrument. It’s a comprehensive system developed to assess the research capacity and performance of all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia. MyRA® was first implemented in 2006 and UNM achieved its first MyRA rating in 2011 in recognition of our growing research reputation.

Last week, UNM hosted a workshop led by an experienced member of MoE’s MyRA task force. Our RKE team and internal MyRA auditors learned about some of the changes that are new for the 2019 report due in January. There’s an expectation by the Ministry of Education (MoE) that all academic staff should have some outputs, activities and markers of esteem, with expectations being highest for those senior staff with Prof or Assoc Prof status. Prof Law Chung Lim heads our internal audit team this year, and along with RKE team, he’s already started to cascade this information to all staff through 2 update sessions with all HoS/D. More will be coming your way in January when the RKE team organise personal (School by School) workshops, with attendance being mandatory for all academic staff to be returned in the 2019 submission.

In this blog, I highlight some of the eligibility criteria and expectations for outputs, activities and markers of esteem:


An important lesson shared is that all staff must recognise UNM as your affiliation institution. If not, the output cannot be counted.

Articles or conference proceedings that were written by PGR students should always recognise the supervisor(s) as authors. If not, the output cannot be counted.

The public university system aspires to reflect its research-intensive performance through an expectation that the total institutional outputs equate to an average of 7 outputs per staff each calendar year. The 7 is weighted as follows: 2 journal articles, 2 conference papers, 1-2 books, and 1-2 ‘other’ publications. So for example, if the same metric were applied to UNM, with 281 staff, this would equate to a target of 1,967 written research outputs. Did you know that written research outputs can include a range of non-traditional works as long as its attributable to you and is relevant to your academic expertise? Examples are conference proceedings (those with ISBN or ISSN, and those without), consultancy or other reports written for an external party, newspaper reports, magazine features or digital media (video and/or text). Please ensure that you fully report all these kinds of works.


Agree with it or not, MoE’s philosophy is that all academic staff have the responsibility to monetize their knowledge which includes courses, training, consultancies.

MoE sets a benchmark for each university that 10% of academic staff travel outside of Malaysia for at least 5 days (cumulative) in 2019, excluding days spent travelling. If some of this trip is sponsored by an external party then you can get extra recognition through a letter which confirms evidence of joint support. One example is if your host provided meals and accommodation – their letter can estimate what is the value of that contribution. If the total is at least RM3,000, then it can also be returned as a “gift-in-kind” and this means extra MyRA points! The great news is that gifts-in-kind work the other way round too. So if an external party part funds a member of staff to visit UNM for research activities then that’s a gift in kind; even if those visitors come from UNUK or UNNC.

Markers of esteem

MoE expects that 30% of staff have memberships of national and of international academic or professional bodies and association, or NGOs. International means that the membership is open to international people, even if the organisation itself is based in Malaysia. UoN typically does not pay for these since they’re seen as a personal benefit.

Journal editorships are eligible only for the top 10% of JCR weighted journals in your discipline. So it is better to aim for one good journal editor role instead of lots of minor ones.

If you need any clarification or further information on MyRA, please contact your HoS/D or

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