What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration | Stacy Pritt
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.
I wish I had understood just how important networking was and which meetings provide the most current information on regulatory trends.
While I have been involved in Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) administration for years, I was barely two years into my involvement with broader research administration topics, such as conflict of interest (COI) and export control, when the COVID-19 pandemic started. I had only attended a handful of meetings in the field before meetings were cancelled en masse or were moved entirely online. And we all know what happened when meetings went online, it became very difficult to effectively network with other colleagues.
Thankfully, I received recommendations from my peers at UTSW for virtual meetings to attend in late 2020 and early 2021. Once I was able to start attending in-person meetings again in late 2021, I felt that I knew a lot of folks after listening to their online presentations for 1 ½ years! That allowed me to make more connections than ever, something that I should have focused on as soon as I began overseeing COI and export control.
Along with making new connections through networking, the disruption in meetings caused by the pandemic and learning from others which meetings to attend, provided me with a much better picture of how to stay on top of trends and hot topics in research administration. Now that I know which meetings regularly invite federal agency representatives to give updates and which associations hold timely webinars on emerging regulatory topics, I can easily keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest information. This helps ensure that my institution’s policies and procedures are compliant, and that we are anticipating what our next steps are to maintain compliance in the future.
Authored by Stacy Pritt, DVM, MS, MBA, CPIA, CHRC, ECoP (CAR), DACAW, Assistant Vice President, COI & IACUC, Export Control Officer, Faculty Associate, Psychiatry (Ethics Division)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
SRAI Distinguished Faculty