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51 Years as the Premier Scholarly Journal in Research Administration

By SRAI News posted 05-14-2020 09:06 AM


51 Years as the Premier Scholarly Journal in Research Administration

As we usher in a new decade, I am excited that the Journal of Research Administration is entering into its 51st year of being the premier scholarly journal for disseminating education, training, and scholarship related to the field of research administration and management. In this issue, in particular, we celebrate the international nature of our field and the possibilities of strengthening our discipline through our international collaborations and interactions. We live and work in a complex global economy in the broadest sense, and, as research administrators, we work to manage a research enterprise that continues to become more internationally connected and complex. It is vitally important that we work to share our best practices with colleagues from around the globe.

As always, we are publishing important, informative, timely and highly relevant content in this issue. In the article titled Scaling up Professionalization of Research Management in Southern Africa, Charmaine Williamson from the University of South Africa and her colleagues describe the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association’s efforts in sitting up a Professional Competency Framework for research management and the authors consider how this could influence professionalization of research administration in South Africa. In her article, Success? Learning to Navigate the Grant Funding Genre System, Lynn McAlpine describes how eight researchers from four European institutions obtained grant funding through their experiences learning about and navigating their funding systems. In Measuring the Startup Journey and Academic Productivity of New Research Faculty through Systems Engagement, Project Efficiency, and Scientific Publication, Holly Zink and Jack Curran describe a tracking and reporting methods for following the productivity of researchers who are new to an academic environment. In their article titled Creation of a Structured Performance-Based Assessment Tool in a Clinical Research Center Setting, Marcus Johnson and A. Jasmine Bullard describe results from a pilot study in which they create an assessment tool that allows for objective and well-articulated evaluation of staff performance.

In this issue, we are also republishing an article that first appeared in the Journal in 2011. In Conscious Efforts to End Unconscious Bias: Why Women Leave Academic Research, Debra Easterly and Cynthia Ricard explore the topic of gender discrimination in academia and offer possible solutions to overcome this injustice. Eight years later, this article remains one of JRA’s most frequently accessed articles. In this issue, Deputy Editor Jennifer Taylor has added a brief new commentary to the article related to the status of this important topic today relative to the time of the authors’ initial writing in 2011. Diversity and inclusivity of all types are important to increase institutions’ talent pool and is critical to ensure that we are representing all perspectives.

This, rightfully so, is as popular of a topic today as it was in 2011; it is a critically important issue in general and it is fundamentally important to improving research and our field of research administration on a global scale. I hope that by including this article, we, as research administrators, can continue to work to do our part in improving diversity and inclusivity in our workplaces. I hope this article will provoke thought and action among us all.

Read the full Spring 2020 issue of the JRA and to sign up to receive it in your inbox, visit

Nathan L. Vanderford
Authored by Nathan L. Vanderford, Assistant Professor, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology
University of Kentucky
SRAI Journal of Research Administration Editor-in-Chief