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What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration | Pamela Miller

By SRAI News posted 06-09-2022 10:05 AM


What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration | Pamela Miller

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 joined the profession of Research Administration over 30 years ago, I remember putting up a poster from the Illinois Lottery in my office. “Do it for the Money!” was written across the top. A senior research administrator took me aside and explained the deeper meaning of what my new job entailed. Funding was important, but our goal was to support the PIs (the good, the bad, and the confused) in their quest to find external support for their research, scholarly, and creative activities.  During my time as a research administrator, I have learned that my most important role is to “make it work” when the demands of the sponsor, the policies of the university, and the needs of the PI do not align. This is not always easy or even acknowledged by the parties involved, but it is essential to bring about the greater good. 

Authored by Pamela F. Miller, PhD, Executive Director, Sponsored Projects Office
University of California Berkeley
SRAI Distinguished Faculty

1 comment



06-10-2022 10:44 AM

Making it work while staying within the parameters of institution and sponsor parameters can be challenging for sure.  Building our network of colleagues and tools so that we aren't re-inventing wheel is important.  The collegiality of this profession is wonderful - thank you SRA for enriching my career.