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The Future of Research Administration: Investing in People | by Jennifer Woodward

By SRAI News posted 07-28-2021 12:23 PM


The Future of Research Administration: Investing in People | by Jennifer Woodward

Investing in the professional development and career progression of our most valuable resource, research administrators.

Our most valuable resources in research administration are the individuals working in each of our institutions, and our collective success as a field will come from investing in our professional development and career progression. This investment in research administrators begins at home - at each of our organizations - including the support for participation in SRAI. As research administrators, we need to not only be successful in our current positions but also continue to develop our knowledge and skills for advancement within the field, and SRAI has a role to play and can lead the way.

As the complexities of conducting research continue to expand, SRAI must evolve and innovate what it has to offer, so that research administrators can meet and exceed these challenges. SRAI must be forward-focusing and diversifying the participation from a wide variety of national and international organizations, individual membership, and programming content and activities, so that SRAI can meet the membership where we are, regardless of career stage or level of expertise.

I am a long-time advocate and educator of research administrators. During my six years of SRAI membership, I have delivered highly regarded pre-conference workshops and concurrent sessions on a variety of topics including negotiating, networking, strategic planning, and academic politics. If elected as an SRAI At-Large Board Member, I will bring to the Board more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience in research administration along with a multifaceted academic research career. Currently, I am Vice Chancellor for Sponsored Programs and Research Operations at the University of Pittsburgh, where I provide leadership and strategic direction for the University’s research operations and the Office of Sponsored Programs. I am the institutional signing authority for a research portfolio of more than $900M in yearly expenditures. I continue to serve on the faculty as Professor of Surgery and Immunology, which affords me the opportunity to bring to the SRAI Board of Directors a unique perspective of research administrator, faculty member, teacher, and scientist. Previously, I led a biomedical research laboratory, obtained grant funding, published in high impact journals, and provided administrative and financial oversight for a research division of a world-renowned institute. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Presbyterian College, a Master of Science degree in biology from the University of North Caroline at Charlotte, and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the Medical University of South Carolina.

I am eager to be a part of shaping the future of research administration and investing in people by serving on the SRAI Board of Directors.


Authored by Dr. Jennifer Woodward
Vice Chancellor for Sponsored Programs and Research Operations, Professor of Surgery and Immunology
University of Pittsburgh