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Adjusting to a New Normal in Research Administration: We’d Love to Hear from You

By SRAI News posted 08-13-2020 09:06 AM



Adjusting to a New Normal in Research Administration: We’d Love to Hear from You

In the first quarter of 2020, a little crown-shaped virus decided to travel all over the world, upending social and work norms on a scale that very few people have ever seen in our lifetime, resulting in a pandemic causing the world to change. COVID-19 rapidly became a public health crisis, businesses, and institutions across the world had to quickly adapt and switch how they deliver services. For many, that meant mandated remote work. Entire cities closed marking the first time in our lives that the world looked so small. Long-standing companies and academic institutions closed to normal business resulting in new approaches to defining work models. In all likelihood, Research Administrators (RAs) now had to do some sort of remote work. The sudden change brought immediate impact to work processes including ways of communicating, team functionality, workspace ergonomics, and environment. 

Have you ever been curious as to how other RAs have adapted/are adapting to mandated work from home/tele-work policies and how this might be changing work behaviors? Are you curious about how other RAs are feeling about transitioning back to a new normal at their institutions for those who have or may return to in-person work in the future?  We certainly are curious and have had several discussions on this very topic. In a time of increased virtual meetings, little to no in-person contact, technical challenges, and home/office life blurring together, it seems inevitable that there would be a work culture shift, either temporary or permanent. We’d love to know what the wider Research Administration community is currently experiencing as their work shifts from in-person to remote, and perhaps back to in-person again, depending on where you live and work.

We are conducting a study to explore how Research Administrators are coping with the “New Work Norm". If you are a Research Administrator we invite you to participate in a survey developed to get community feed-back on current lived, and potential expected work experience if you are working remotely (or have worked remotely in the past) due to the COVID-19 crisis. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes of your time.  All responses will be collected anonymously using SurveyMonkey. Participation is voluntary. Our goal is to provide a summary of our findings in a series of subsequent articles that reflect how people in our RA community are working through the COVID-19 crisis and how they return to work (or expect to work) under a new normal. If you have any questions about the study, please reach out to Ms. Katrina Akioka at or Ms. Theresa Caban at

To participate, please click on the following survey links:

About the authors

Katrina Akioka and Theresa Caban are part of an SRAI pilot mentorship program called The Odyssey Program. Theresa Caban has over 22 years of experience in research administration and currently works as a Clinical Trials Manager at the Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation. Katrina Akioka has worked for the past four years as a Research Administrator for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

kakioka.png Katrina Akioka, Research Administrator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center tcaban.png Theresa R. Caban, CRA, Manager Clinical Trials & Industry Contracts, Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation

1 comment



08-21-2020 01:58 PM

Survey(s) completed.