Blogs

Volume LIII, Number 2 Reconfiguring the Research Administration Workforce: A Qualitative Study Explaining the Increasingly Diverse Professional Roles in Research Administration Holly R. Zink, MSA* University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Surgery Dorothy Hughes, PhD, MHSA University of Kansas Medical Center, School of Medicine, Department of Population Health Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA University of Kentucky, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology Abstract The research administration profession is in a time of significant change. The traditional jack-of-all-trades role has become more fragmented into specialized advanced ...
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Participant Perspectives: Senior Executive Institute Senior Executive research leaders need time to think, to plan, and to engage with experts and peers in order to develop and promote innovative ideas within their institutions. The SRAI Senior Executive Institute (SEI) addresses this need. This in-person, two-day session, being held in conjunction with the 2022 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, includes reflections from senior executives who share their stories about their career progressions, what motivates them, and thoughts on the future of research administration. Participants engage in discussion and debate with the speakers and in small group sessions to ...
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Note from the Editor | Fall for All Y’all It’s (almost) fall, y’all! After enduring temperatures reaching the high nineties and low one hundreds routinely throughout the summer, I’m looking forward to a little cooler weather along with sharing another issue of The Catalyst with all of you (or “all y’all” in Texas vernacular).  Our monthly poll asks you to tell us about your education choices before and during your research administration career and whether you use your field of study professionally or in your day-to-day tasks. Personally, I think my degrees in psychology come into play daily when interacting with my researchers and colleagues, but we would ...
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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 ...
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Research Administration Careers| Considering Getting a Certification? Reflection and Tips from a Research Administrator This month’s Spotlight focuses on certification as an important component of a research administrator’s toolkit. Katrina Akioka shares her personal experience and offers valuable insights on deciding what type of certification to pursue and how best to prepare for that all-important testing day.   I went into research administration with a Bachelor’s degree and a lot of work experience.  Working in academia, I was the minority in my department as I did not have a graduate degree and had no time or money to invest in a graduate program. ...
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Literature Review | The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink This series of articles explores literary works that interest with our professional interests in research, research administration, and university life.   "Regret (verb) - feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity)" from Oxford Languages Dictionary.   I recently completed The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink. According to Pink, regrets fall into four categories: Foundation Regrets, Boldness Regrets, Moral Regrets and Connection Regrets. ...
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Annual Meeting – Bring Vegas to Your Team We are less than two months away now from our annual meeting in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace .  And Tonya, Terry and I are excited!  We have a great program in store for you as well as a special closing keynote session – maybe even magical on Friday morning. The Co-Chairs and I are pleased to send you back with a few illusions courtesy of David Kristopher, Illusionist. Maybe you can try one out on one of your “favorite” principal investigators.  I know you’ve all heard the adage of ‘What Happens in Vegas – Stays in Vegas.’  Well, I have to ask you to make one exception to that. With all of the great sessions this ...
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Leadership Snack and Go Feel like a short snack on leadership wisdom without committing to a full meal? Check out this month’s up-to-date research insights on Work-Life Balance and Setting Boundaries.  The New Work-Life Balance Strategy + Business How Healthy Boundaries Build Trust in the Workplace Strategy + Business  Can the U.S. Embrace a Four-day Workweek? Knowledge at Wharton  The Secret to Becoming a Better Manager Harvard Business Review Compiled by Terry Campbell , Assistant Vice President, Research Services University of Ottawa SRAI Catalyst Co-editor #September2022 #Leadership #Catalyst ​​​​ ...
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From the Vault | ‘Twas the Night Before a Grant Deadline Inspired yet again by a certain listserv, here’s a little lighter take on proposal deadlines if you need a laugh.  ‘Twas the Night Before a Grant Deadline   Authored by Jason Claes and Tyler Tulloch Compiled by Karen Bone , Senior Award Administrator Florida Atlantic University SRAI Catalyst Co-editor #September2022 #Education #Catalyst ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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2022 SRAI Award Winners Being recognized by your peers is a great honor. Let’s come together to celebrate this year’s SRAI award winners! SRAI acknowledges individuals who inspire others and serve as models for the profession of research administration. The Awards Committee was excited to consider so many worthy nominees this year and the winners are truly top of their field. Click here to read more about this year’s winners and what this honor means to them . Please plan to join us in Las Vegas at the 2022 Annual Meeting and cheer loudly for these distinguished research administrators!  The Herbert B. Chermside Award for Distinguished Contribution to ...
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SRAI mourns the passing of one of our members, Tim Linker. Tim was a Past President of the North Carolina Chapter, former editor of the Journal of Research Administration, and a Distinguished Faculty Member. Before his passing, he contributed to our "What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration," and we would like to share his thoughts with you as we in turn keep his family and friends in our thoughts. Thank you, Tim, for your work with research administration and SRAI. What I Wish I Knew When I Started in Research Administration | Tim Linker Members of SRAI’s Distinguished Faculty were recently asked, “What do you wish you ...
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Monthly Poll | Education and Your Career We are dedicated to our missions, to helping our investigators submitting their proposals and reports timely and accurately. That dedication can lead us into some unusual locations. Technology has unchained us from our desks and led us into even more comical locations.  We asked you to share your stories and legends with us.  Wi-Fi signals on trains and planes has made work while in transit more common, but I found recently that my colleagues still were a little surprised to see the Amtrak scenery behind me on Zoom as we discussed the final RPPR details.  My dear friend and colleague has a great tale of submitting ...
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Note from the Editor | Wherever the Road Leads You: LAS VEGAS! Ahoy, faithful Catalyst readers, we hope you are enjoying the last stretch of summer, soaking up those rays and filling your emotional tank with friends and family gatherings, before you head back to campus.  This month’s edition has something for everyone, wherever the road leads you. For those still in vacay mode, check out the lighter side of life with Summer Podcasts by Carly Pigg and Pamela Miller’s take on Research Administrator in the Kitchen . For the more serious-minded, Heather Brown and Mark Lucas continue their series on Research Administration Careers with a deep dive on ...
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View from the Top | Get Out the Vote (and the Membership) SRAI Election season is underway! One of the most important things you can do for your Society is to make your voice heard and participate in the election. This year we have an extremely competitive slate of candidates. Be sure to read their statements . The only wrong choice is to forfeit your right to vote!  The 2022 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas is only 2 months away! Our meeting co-chairs Terry Campbell, Tonya Edvalson, and Dave King have worked very hard to craft an exceptional program and there are many enjoyable surprises in store. Registration is open, space is limited and Caesars Palace ...
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Research Administration Careers| Education: Choosing Your Best Course for Success Education as an essential component of the research administrator’s toolkit is this month’s Spotlight focus. What type of background and education is required? Do advanced degrees guarantee success? We explore these and other points in the Catalyst’s continuing series on research administration careers.   Research administration has yet to sufficiently gel as an early career goal. It is a dynamic, evolving field, with its concentration at academic or medical institutions where research is typically conducted. It is logical, therefore, for research administrators ...
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Research Administrator in the Kitchen I recently bought a pre-prepared quiche and discovered, to my delight, that a serving size was “one-fifth” of the pie. My first thought was how does one cut a pie into fifths? I was familiar with the process for cutting a pie into eighths, but since a fifth of a quiche is a bigger (and definitely more desirable) than an eighth of a quiche, I decided I needed to figure how out to do this.   My first thought was to calculate the number of degrees in a fifth of a circle (72 degrees) and then use a compass to mark off each 72-degree section of the pie, but since the last time I used a compass was in the 9 th grade, I decided ...
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Enhancing Institutional Competitiveness: The CERTi Approach to Assessing Faculty Research Development Efforts in Higher Education In a series of articles, we will present the newest in research administration from the Journal of Research Administration. To read the full JRA, please see here .   Authors: Mazen Aziz, PhD , University of South Carolina Henry Tran, MPA, PHR, SHRM-CP, PhD , University of South Carolina   Introduction Recent economic turmoil has forced higher education institutions (HEI) to consider reducing expenditures in faculty research development areas (FRD). Research development (RD) represents "a set of strategic, proactive, ...
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Leadership Snack and Go Feel like a short snack on leadership wisdom without committing to a full meal? Check out these up-to-date research insights.  Employee Retention: The Great Resignation Stems from a Great Exploration Harvard Business Review   This is what drives job satisfaction – and why high earners have more of it. World Economic Forum   The Evolution of Women’s Leadership Business & Strategy: PwC Network   Take 5: Learn to Love Networking (or at Least Tolerate It) Kellogg Insight Authored by Terry Campbell , Assistant Vice President, Research Services University of Ottawa SRAI Catalyst ...
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From the Vault: “Rules” to Live By For those of our members who may have been drowning in a deluge of emails from a certain popular listserv recently, we at the Catalyst offer you a life vest for the future – two articles from our vault on how to implement filtering rules whether in Outlook or Gmail. By taking the time to set these up, we hope you too can be amused rather than irritated.  WFH Tips & Tricks | Outlook Rules This month I’m shifting my focus on how to handle all the emails being received. One handy trick to manage the volume is to utilize the rules feature in Outlook. Click here to read more .   WFH Tips & Tricks | Rules ...
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Q&A with Remote Work Champion Lacey Rhea On February 10, the Delaware Valley Chapter of SRA International (DVSRAI) held a Chapter Chat entitled “Remote Work, To Have or Have Not.” This was a guided discussion on remote work in research administration featuring a conversation between the Delaware Valley Chapter and research administration leader Lacey Rhea. Lacey became a standout in the field when she spoke up about career choices that she made based on changes—or lack thereof—in her work environment during the pandemic. In 2021 she posted a “manifesto” of sorts on the benefits of remote work in research administration and the importance for leadership ...
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