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View from the Top | Back in Person

By SRAI News posted 09-08-2022 12:05 PM


View from the Top | Back in Person

This September marks my 20th anniversary as a research administrator and my 19th as an SRAI member. I have not missed an SRAI Annual Meeting since 2003! You know you have been a member for a long time when the annual meeting cities start to repeat. It was fun always going to a new city that you had never been to before. Even though we have been to Las Vegas, I am very excited to return!

The program is stellar, and our international colleagues are returning now that travel restrictions have been lifted. If you haven’t already registered or booked your room (weekend nights are selling out fast), registration is open and Caesars Palace is an amazing venue. 

I will share that as SRAI President, I was invited to attend NCURA’s 64th annual meeting in Washington, DC last month. This was my first ever NCURA meeting, and while the construct was familiar, it felt strange not being an insider. They were very gracious and welcoming to me and my fellow international society presidents. I was surprised to see as many “SRAI” faces as I did, and all assured me they would be in Vegas too. It was very reassuring to see a large turnout at the meeting – a sign that folks are willing to travel again. It is also extremely validating to see the impact of the work we all do as research administrators. The Monday luncheon speaker, Dr. LeShawndra Price, Director of Research Training and Special Programs at NIH, spoke about “Taking Care of the Leader Within.” Her talk truly resonated with the audience. Considering the chaos of the last couple of years (e.g., pandemic, social unrest, climate change, remote/hybrid working conditions), how does a leader look after the needs of their staff, while taking time for self-care too? How can we begin to take care of others, if we don’t stop to consider what we need to keep going and remain successful? The answer will be different for each of us. It’s a personal journey of self-awareness and reflection. Take the time to look inward, find a safe space to challenge assumptions, seek support, and take care of yourself – so that you can continue to take care of others as well. 

We learn from every encounter and interaction, and certainly there is no better place to have those moments than at an SRAI event. There is always something to look forward to, so don’t miss these great educational and membership opportunities: 

  • The Post-Award Intensive will occur over a two-week period, with classroom sessions on October 4, 5, 11, and 12. The cohort will meet from 12:30-3:30 PM ET. Online classes will be recorded and available for 90 days following the program.
  • Fall Board Meeting – Live in Las Vegas, Monday, October 31 and Friday, November 4. Come to the Annual Meeting and observe your Board at work.
  • The 2022 Senior Executive Institute (SEI) will be a two-day (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) event hosted in-person in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. The program will be a combination of lecture and interactive discussion. Registration includes access to the two-day event, lunch, and dinner on the first day. Click here for more information.
  • As stated above, registration is open for the in-person 2022 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada from October 31-November 4.
  • The ever-growing library of LevelUP modules and mGuides is open year-round! Whether you need to learn something new or brush up on something pressing – we have you covered.
  • SRAI’s Podcast series, “Shop Talk” 2022 – check the web page for details. Have a hot topic idea or speaker suggestion for an upcoming podcast? Drop us a line at:
  • 2023 INORMS Congress: Got the urge to travel afar – join the INORMS Congress hosted by SARIMA, in Durban, South Africa from May 31-June 3, 2023. Click here for details. Abstract Submission Deadline has been extended to September 15

There’s so much happening each month – don’t miss an opportunity to share, learn, engage, and grow. 

Always looking to continue the conversation… 


Authored by Debra Schaller-Demers, Vice President of Research Outreach and Compliance
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
SRAI Board of Directors President