Blogs

Why I am Running for SRAI President Elect, 2021: Embracing the Opportunity to Think Globally, Embrace Diversity, and Leading Change | by Gloria Greene I would like to thank the nominating committee for granting me the opportunity to run for a position on the SRAI Board of Directors. I do not take this opportunity likely. SRAI is an outstanding organization made great by its leadership and the HQ staff that supports its members. SRAI has a rich history of openly sharing knowledge, techniques, and innovations to serve the research enterprise better. A primary focus on research administration has profoundly impacted institutions both in the US and internationally. ...
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Up to the SRAI Future | by Gayle Mowbray Walters 2019 was an eventful SRAI year for me. I had the privilege of being co-chair for the very successful SRAI Annual meeting in San Francisco where the LevelUP program was announced. I was proud to be part of its development.    None of us expected that 2020 would bring a pandemic and the need to remake our business models practically overnight. Once again, we proved that research administrators are innovative and productive under any circumstances. For many organizations, the changes we made then are being incorporated as standard practice.  Like many of us, I became a Research Administrator “by accident.” For ...
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The Treasurer’s Perspective | by Dominic Esposito This article gives readers valuable insight of the importance of fiscal stewardship in the Society, and an overarching perspective of SRAI, now and in the future from the Treasurer's viewpoint. I am honored to be the current Treasurer and Chair of the Development and Finance Committee for the Society of Researchers Administrators International (SRAI). I bring almost 20 years of experience as a research administrator in both pre- and post-award research administration supporting departments and central research administration operations to the Executive Leadership team. SRAI has been a positive force in my ...
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My Desire to Give Back: Perspective, Perseverance, and Passion | by Rebecca Claycamp After more than 38 years in research administration, why on earth would I now want to be on the SRAI Board (again)?! That’s easy to answer for two reasons.  First, I want the opportunity to give back. I attribute many of my career opportunities and successes to my active involvement in SRAI. Finding new ways to experiment with different training concepts? SRAI! Breaking into the NIH? SRAI networks and connections! Second (and more importantly) I want to enhance SRAI’s education mission by furthering the most important lesson of COVID: research administrators need to be able ...
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What Does it Actually Mean for SRAI to “be the Premier Global Research Management Society?” | by Mark Hochman What does it mean to be the Premier Global Research Management Society? It's more than being the biggest! In this article Mark Hochman suggests it’s about our reach - the breadth and diversity of our members, the significance of our offerings and the opportunities for individuals to grow. SRAI’s vision is to be “the Premier Global Research Management Society.” As the Society begins developing its next strategic plan, it is timely to ask, “what does this actually mean?” It means different things to different people, but it’s more than just being ...
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Get Interested in What You’re Doing and Give it Your All | by Pamela Montgomery I’m running for an At-Large Member position. If elected, I will give it my all. I will continue to support the interests of our members’ needs by helping to develop, define and promote best practices in research management. I have been serving the research community at Duke University in various capacities including being a subject matter expert in sponsored programs administration and finance as well as a workshop facilitator to help mentor others. I have been doing this for over twenty years and know that I have the expertise and experience to help guide the vision of SRAI. ...
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Education and Mentorship are the Backbone of the Research Administration Profession | by Cynthia Morin At the young age of 18, I joined the Johns Hopkins University as an employee of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. At that time, the world of Research Administration was a complete mystery to me. After many years of working hard to advance my career within the University system, I took a position as an Administrative Manager in the Breast Cancer Research Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This opportunity fully opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Research Administration all the career possibilities the field had to offer. This ...
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Who Needs Caffeine? I Have SRAI! | by Domenica Pappas Like many of you, I “fell” into research administration. The energy and the excitement of working on my first grant proposal was exhilarating when I was an office coordinator in a research department. I am currently the Assistant Vice Provost for Research at Illinois Institute of Technology. I have been an active member of the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI) since 1993. SRAI provides three important pillars, and more, to the research administration community: education, professional development, and mentoring. I have been fortunate to be both an attendee and a presenter at SRAI, ...
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The Future of Research Administration: Investing in People | by Jennifer Woodward Investing in the professional development and career progression of our most valuable resource, research administrators. Our most valuable resources in research administration are the individuals working in each of our institutions, and our collective success as a field will come from investing in our professional development and career progression. This investment in research administrators begins at home - at each of our organizations - including the support for participation in SRAI. As research administrators, we need to not only be successful in our current positions ...
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Note from the Editor | Recharge and Renew Just as recharging our batteries, having fun, and renewing relationships are welcome hallmarks of July, the Catalyst also has a few treats in store this month. Back by popular demand, we give you Part 2 of the 2021 SRAI Summer Reading List . In addition to our regular columns, we introduce two new series. The first one is RA Career Paths , in which members describe their career journeys as research administrators. This month, we highlight Tania Johnson. In the second series, Jose Alcaine and Kayla Calvo provide a birds-eye view of Grant Accounting and its intricacies. For those in a learning mode, be sure ...
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View from the Top | Summer Reflections – Remembering Dr. Jeffrey M. Cohen Last month I had the privilege of facilitating four 3-hour sessions on Research Compliance, Ethics, and Integrity with Roseann Luongo. We had a great group of about 50 people from all over the US and Canada join us in discussing every research integrity topic you can think of: human and animal subject research protections, biosafety and lab safety, conflicts of interest, authorship and publication, data management, collaboration, peer review, mentoring, science and social responsibility, risk assessment, auditing, undue foreign influence… you get the idea. As I look back on my almost ...
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Grant Accounting: Two Sides of the Same Coin There is a tendency in research administration to compartmentalize functions and tasks into neat little silos or boxes. As it relates to research administration and the grant life cycle it’s not unusual to hear people ask each other “ what are you ?” meaning how they classify each other on either the pre-award or post-award side of the house. This distinction in function may differ across institutions, especially if these functions are consolidated into one office or perhaps at the department or school level where a particular office or even an individual may handle the whole grant cycle from beginning to end.  More ...
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One Model of Hybrid Work While the pandemic has offered disruption, it has also offered new possibilities in rethinking work structures and organizational opportunities. UCLA is piloting one model that others could follow for a hybrid workforce. With the opening of economies and universities, the reintegration of staff back into offices remains a challenging proposition for research administration across the nation. While the risks of the pandemic remain an existential threat to those vaccinated, anxiety remains high during this restoration period of in-person work life. Many are hungry to return to onsite work while others appreciate this new telecommuting ...
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Research Teams as a Goal by Karin Scarpinato & Jeanne Viviani | Literature Review This series of articles explores literary works that intersect with our professional interests in research, research administration, and university life. Research Teams as a Goal: Anecdotal Tips and Actions Plans for Research AVPs and other Research Administrators focuses on building effective research administration teams, using the authors’ STAR framework (Strive, Think, Act, Read). The interview questions below have been lightly edited for clarity and length. Rebecca Weaver Rinehart - Catalyst : How did your working partnership begin and develop? Karin Scarpinato ...
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RA Career Paths | Tania Johnson Many who find themselves in a career in research administration didn’t start out in this field. This series will focus on the unique, and often winding, paths that led to a career in research administration. Do you have an interesting story about how you go into your career in research administration? Share it with us by submitting an article here ! Research administration as a career path is a hidden gem of which I never could have conceived but is well aligned with my personality and strengths. As a child, if there was a word or fact that was unknown, I wasn't content until I ran to our family den to pull down a dictionary ...
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Meeting the Research Administrator, Nathan Vanderford The SRAI Catalyst was fortunate to catch Nathan Vanderford, Ph.D. during a break from his activities as research administrator, junior faculty, Journal of Research Administration editor, and author. Nathan is also the recipient of the SRAI 2020 Hartford-Nicholson Award. He was kind enough to provide insights into his career and current activities Nathan Vanderford Assistant Professor Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology University of Kentucky SRAI member since 2010 Mark Lucas - Catalyst : Nathan, you’ve been involved with SRAI for many years. Can you share how you got involved and your ...
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SRAI Loves New Orleans! NOLA. Crescent City. The Big Easy. N’awlins. New Orleans is a city with so many identities. These monikers conjure up sights and sounds that are only found in this centuries-old city located on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. This indomitable place has survived Mother Nature, economic hardship, and even a global pandemic. New Orleans is a city of survival. As SRAI looks forward to its first on-site meeting in over a year, New Orleans will provide the perfect blend of cuisine, entertainment, and history. Expect to be dazzled by the choices and charms of this location! As Alabama/Mississippi Chapter President Amada Seymour describes, “There ...
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Kudos Korner | Holly Zink SRA International members rock! As research management and administration professionals, they never stop improving, learning, achieving, or earning new heights of success. We love sharing good news and offering a well-deserved slap on the back for recent personal and/or professional achievement. In keeping with that sentiment, please join us as we congratulate Holly Zink  on her new position! SRA International is a professional networking community of learners. One way to gain knowledge and expertise is to share our stories of successful achievements with our peers and colleagues. Often research managers/administrators are cast ...
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Tiny Victories | Kara MacVean In this year of so many challenges, tiny victories can almost seem like major accomplishments. The Catalyst wants to highlight your tiny victories in research administration and how you are using them to get through everything life has recently thrown at us. Through sharing our tiny victories, we believe it will give us hope in this year and beyond. Join us as we congratulate Kara MacVean on her recent Tiny Victory! Share your tiny victories with us and give everyone a chance to congratulate you on even the smallest of accomplishments! Do you have a tiny victory to share? Submit your Tiny Victory here . Kara MacVean ...
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2021 SRAI Summer Reading List - Part 2 There were so many great submissions for our summer reading list last month, we had to do a part two! Comment and tell us what you’re reading! #Catalyst #July2021 #Membership ​
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