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Supporting Senior Faculty in Research Administration

By SRAI News posted 08-09-2023 05:24 PM


Supporting Senior Faculty in Research Administration

As research administrators, we are responsible for providing support to faculty across all levels of their careers. This includes supporting our most senior faculty, who may be working into their 80’s. While these faculty members may have decades of experience and expertise, they may also face challenges that younger faculty do not.

Here are some tips on how research administrators can best support senior faculty:

  • Be sensitive to their age and needs. Senior faculty may have physical or cognitive limitations that make it difficult for them to keep up with the demands of research administration. Be understanding and accommodating of their needs. For example, you may need to provide them with more time to complete tasks, or you may need to find ways to simplify complex processes.
  • Be proactive in providing support. Don't wait for senior faculty to come to you with problems. Be proactive in reaching out to them and offering your assistance. This could include things like reviewing their grant proposals, helping them to stay up-to-date on regulations, or providing them with training on new technologies.
  • Be respectful of their expertise. Senior faculty members have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be invaluable to your research administration office. Be sure to value their input and expertise, and don't be afraid to ask for their advice.

Here are some specific examples of how research administrators can provide support to senior faculty:

  • Helping them to navigate the grant application process. The grant application process can be complex and time-consuming, especially for senior faculty who may not be familiar with the latest regulations. Research administrators can help by providing guidance on how to write a strong proposal, identifying funding opportunities, and tracking the status of applications.
  • Providing training on new technologies. The research landscape is constantly changing, and new technologies are emerging all the time. Research administrators can help senior faculty to stay up-to-date on these technologies by providing training on how to use them. This could include things like learning how to use online research management systems, or how to collect and analyze data using new software.
  • Helping them to manage their time and workload. Senior faculty may have less time and energy than they used to, so it's important to help them to manage their time and workload effectively. This could include things like helping them to prioritize their tasks or providing them with support for managing their projects.

Supporting senior faculty in research administration is an important and rewarding task. By being sensitive to their needs, being proactive in providing tips and support, and respecting their expertise, research administrators can help to ensure that these valuable members of the academic community are able to continue their research and make significant contributions to their fields.

Authored by Sabrina Heisey, Program Manager, Psychiatry Research
Boston Children’s Hospital

1 comment



08-13-2023 03:34 PM

Excellent article, Sabrina; your article reminds us that our support and understanding benefit senior faculty members and contribute to the institution's success.