What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration | Ian Carter
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.
There are many, many things that I could have known when I started in Research Management Administration. But could I have assimilated and used them all? Probably not!
RMA is about influence and encouragement to do the right thing in the right way. In other words, it’s about leadership in the broad sense of the word, whatever one’s position or role.
It’s less about absolute adherence to process (I hear the sharp intakes of breath!) and more about enabling good research, knowledge exchange, enterprise, innovation, societal benefit, economic development, whatever your chosen objective or terminology. Research is supposed to be ground-breaking, which sometimes means it also needs to break or at least stretch the administrative mould.
It’s also about the interconnections between the moving parts, most of which are not in your control and some of which move very slowly! One has to be prepared and able to explain, and to listen to, understand and address the concerns of others. And be patient; and calm.
Whilst we might each only touch a small part of the enterprise, trying to be aware of the totality and how it is for others, especially the researchers but also one’s more immediate colleagues, are perhaps the most important.
Authored by Ian Carter, Director
SRAI Distinguished Faculty