What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration | Sean Scott
Members of SRAI’s Distinguished Faculty were recently asked, “What do you wish you knew when you started in Research Administration?” Over the next few months we will share their insights and observations.
When I first pondered this question, the tsunami of answers that flooded my thoughts was overwhelming! There is so much to know in our profession, and it is always changing. My list of what would have been beneficial to know when I started was extremely lengthy, but that was in opposition to the point of this exercise…a couple of paragraphs. After much consideration, I have distilled that torrent down to two things that would have made the biggest impact for me. First, knowing the research administration lexicon. We use so much jargon and so many acronyms, it is truly learning a new language. To be honest, when I first started, I thought F&A was a family friendly but exuberant approval. (Q: Hey, you want to go to the Club for lunch? A: F-ing A I do!)
The second thing would be to have known that research administration is a fully developed profession. When I started in the field almost 20 years ago, I considered it just a job. Ours is such an esoteric and niche profession, most people have no idea it exists. And that’s a shame because it cuts us off from valuable resources. As there is so much to know in RA, and it is always changing, it does indeed take a village to effectively do our jobs. Developing networks and increasing your knowledge base is so important, I wish I knew how the CRA, SRAI, and other professional organizations could help me develop as a professional earlier in my career. Research Administration has become an incredibly satisfying profession for me and has provided opportunities I could not have imagined. Had I known that ahead of time, I would have been far more optimistic and involved in the beginning!
Authored by Sean Scott, CRA, Founder
720 Consulting LLC
SRAI Distinguished Faculty