Blogs

Authored by  Katie Watkins , M.Ed. Assistant Vice President, Research Admin University of Akron For institutions of higher education, the end of the academic semester is followed closely by Memorial Day, which is the traditional beginning of summer.  Summer in academia means less stressful days, a glut of available parking spaces, and, at least on my campus, a dearth of dining options.  Not to worry though, about two months from now we’ll be gearing up for another academic year full of new faculty, new issues to tackle, and new faces at our favorite on-campus lunch spots.   While summer is generally a time when many professions slow down, this ...
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Authored by Domenica G. Pappas, CRA SRAI At-Large Board Member “You should just do it”, “you would be great”, “you’re going to do what!!??” Those are some of the things I heard when I decided to submit my nomination to become a SRAI at-large Board member.  I ran because I wanted to get more involved in SRAI. Some of my colleagues said, “more involved????…but you’re already soooo involved!”  I have been involved in the Section level for years, and have what I call “dabbled” at the International level.  I decided it was time for me to expand my horizons. I’ve been a SRAI member for over 20 years. I’ve held various leadership positions at the Section ...
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Authored by Zoya Davis-Hamilton,  Associate Vice Provost for Research Administration and Development &  Sarah Marina,  Assistant Director for Research Administration and Development, Tufts University Conceptualized as the sister column to The Pulse, Background Noise is a new column devoted to less thoroughly investigated ideas of interest to the research administration community. It is written by Zoya Davis-Hamilton, Associate Vice Provost, and Sarah Marina, Assistant Director, both of Research Administration and Development at Tufts University. Look for a new column in The Catalyst whenever an idea pops into our heads, and feel free to send ...
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Authored by Gayle Mowbray Walters , MS Director, Consortia Services Johns Hopkins University SRAI is a community of volunteers. Without them, our meetings would not be as successful as they are. I would like to take a moment to thank two in particular. Somewhere between eight and ten years ago, I handed over Silent Auction chair in the Northeast Section to Norma Berry and Cindy Holstein. They have managed it masterfully ever since. Their tireless efforts in gathering and organizing donations have done much to make the auctions successful. The silent auction raises money for travel scholarships for Section meetings. While everyone seems to enjoy ...
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Authored by Dr. Pamela F. Miller Director, Sponsored Projects University of California, Berkeley The SRAI 2019 Annual Meeting program is now posted! On behalf of the other two co-chairs, Gayle Walters, and Devin Kreuger, I want to encourage everyone to check out the educational programming opportunities that will be available at the meeting in San Francisco (October 19 - 23). Many thanks to all who submitted proposals and to the committee that reviewed and selected the presentations that have been included in this excellent program. The Annual Meeting theme this year is “Leading Change, Inspiring Excellence." something we research administrators ...
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Authored by Carson Harrod ,  SPE & Paul Martinez,   Senior Contracts and Grants Officer,  University of California, Berkeley Publication of articles in peer-reviewed journals is a mainstay for research faculty in academia. It is an opportunity to share new findings with others in a given field. Peer-reviewed publications are important to authors for career advancement and funding of future research. While most research administrators don’t live by the “Publish or Perish” maxim, authoring peer-reviewed publications can be a valuable benefit to the authors as well as the research administration community as a whole. With this in mind, the Journal ...
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Authored by Devin Kreuger, Pam Miller, and Gayle Walter In each monthly issue of the Catalyst, the “Meet SRAI Leadership?” column introduces you to the SRAI leadership, committee members and volunteers. This virtual platform serves as a good starting base for meeting the members of the SRAI community. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other and we at the Catalyst want to hear from you! Share your story! Contact us to be featured in a future column, or nominate a co-worker or colleague to share their story. Per SRAI Bylaws, the committees of the Society organize and utilize the expertise of members to carry out the mission and purposes of ...
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Authored by Debra Schaller-Demers Senior Director, Research Outreach and Compliance, Memorial Sloan Kettering Adjunct Lecturer, CUNY, School for Professional Studies 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 with us as we congratulate Trudy Riley on her new position in a new city! SRA International is a professional networking community of learners. One ...
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Authored by Stephanie Hyche Associate Director Mississippi State University Join us at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS  on July 12! Early Bird Registration ends June 28 for the 2019 Alabama-Mississippi Chapter Meeting . With less than two months to go until the Chapter's Host Committee is finalizing plans to make this another great Alabama-Mississippi gathering!  A full day of learning experiences and networking opportunities are included. Eight sessions will be offered in two tracks, either Beginner or Advanced. Send your registration in today – don’t lose the Early Bird pricing! RACC will be hosting a CRA Review Session ...
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Authored by   Mindali Dean Program Manager, Office of Research Development & Communication Texas Tech University The Texas Chapter Meeting – Theme:  Back in the Saddle - New Beginnings in Research Administration.  Last month, we talked about our chapter meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, June 17. But why are the chapter meetings important, what do they provide to members/non-members?  I am very fortunate to work at an institution that not only allows my department to attend conferences, at least two per year, but it is part of our job description to attend. But why put so much importance on attending these meetings, conferences? If you have ever ...
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Authored by Kevin Titus Business Director Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center #SRAIChicago2019: The Midwest and Northeast Sections had a great section meeting in Chicago April 28 through May 1 at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile. In between a pre-conference RACC: CRA Body of Knowledge Review session and the closing debriefing session, we had eight workshops, our opening reception at the interactive Chicago Sports Museum in Water Tower Place, 60 concurrent sessions and lots of networking. Three complete certificate opportunities were offered:  Clinical Trials Research Administration 101 (CTRA), Leadership (LD) and Research Development ...
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Authored by Debra Schaller-Demers Senior Director, Research Outreach and Compliance, Memorial Sloan Kettering Adjunct Lecturer, CUNY, School for Professional Studies The 2019 European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) took place in Bologna, Italy from March 27-29. As a first-time visitor to Italy and first-time attendee/speaker at EARMA, I have to say it was an amazing opportunity. Bologna is a small medieval city and the University of Bologna is the oldest university in the Western World, originally founded in 1088! I walked up 498 steps to the top of the ancient tower – Torre degli Asinelli (and 498 back down), but ...
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Merritt Randolph Helfferich, 83, was born Aug. 10, 1935,  in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in Bath, Pennsylvania, and Marlborough, Connecticut. For 61 years, he based his home in Fairbanks until his death from respiratory failure May 2, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  A 50+ resident of Fairbanks, Alaska, Merritt has had a varied professional career including 30 years at the University of Alaska that included working as a ballistic meteorologist and flight safety officer at the Poker Flat Research Rocket Range, doing research on a floating ice island above 70 degrees North in the Arctic Ocean, as Associate Director of the University of Alaska’s ...
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Authored by: Meaghan Ann Ventura, Past President, Ohio Chapter Senior Sponsored Projects Officer Research Institute Nationwide Children's Hospital The Ohio Chapter held its Annual Meeting on June 1o on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea. More than 40 new and seasoned research administrators from across the state came together for a day of motivating sessions and speakers on the theme of “Navigating the Future”. The morning EPDC session, The 3 P’s of Financial Compliance, headed by Diane M. Marbury, CRA, Director of Pre-Award at Northwell Health and Zolicia Abotsi, Associate Director of Post Award at Baruch College, was well received and ...
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Authored by: Seema Dhindaw Assistant Director of Radiology Research Operations New York University Langone Medical Center After April Fools’ Day we decided to explore some more fun at the workplace. Did you know that April Fool’s Day was also called All Fools’ Day and is celebrated by different cultures and several countries? Its exact origins remain a mystery. On this day, people play pranks and elaborate practical jokes on one another. Some of these have appeared on radio and TV stations, newspapers, websites, and have been performed by large corporations. April Fools' can be good for one's health because it encourages "jokes, hoaxes...pranks, [and] ...
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Authored by: Kim C. Carter SRAI President University of Kentucky As a child who loved to read and had a vivid imagination, I was fascinated with superheroes. I wanted to be just like Superman and fly across the sky and like Batman who had so many cool gadgets to play with. Most of all, I wanted to save the world just like they did. It didn't take me long to discover I didn't have the incredible physical strength or laser vision, so I probably wasn't qualified to be a superhero like in the comic books. I headed to law school after graduating from college thinking I would instead become a public defender and save at least one person at a time. My ...
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Authored by: Angela G. Behrend Senior Research Administrator University of Virginia We all know them. The super-meticulous research administrators who take their work, and themselves, very seriously. They take pride in always being right, and will debate the nuances of the regulations until they wear everyone else out just to have the last word. They never make a joke or laugh when someone else does. These folks tend to be good at their jobs but a bit tiresome to work with. In my first job as a research administrator, I was in a very large lab with lots of scholars. One was a physician on a research fellowship who had a big personality and loved ...
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Authored by: Dominique Gambino ,  CRA Post Award Grants and Contracts Administrator University of Detroit Mercy I am fortunate to work in a department where the humor comes as naturally as breathing. Whether it be a shared personal story, busting out a movie quote or song, or simply a silly face or giggle at the absurd, humor is key to the Finance Team’s sanity. It is difficult to pinpoint one specific story to share, but one particular event stands out.  Last year, during an especially brutal month end closing, the shared spreadsheet used by employees to track tasks associated with month end close disappeared. The spreadsheet itself was there ...
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Authored by: Seema Dhindaw, Katie Watkins, Tonya K. Edvalson, & Angela Willis In each monthly issue of the   Catalyst , the “Meet SRAI Leadership?” column introduces you to the SRAI leadership, committee members and volunteers. This virtual platform serves as a good starting base for meeting the members of the SRAI community. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other and we at the   Catalyst   want to hear from you! Share your story! Contact us to be featured in a future column, or nominate a co-worker or colleague to share their story. Per SRAI Bylaws, the committees of the Society organize and utilize the expertise of members to ...
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Authored by: Annedorte Vad Head of CBS Research Support Office Copenhagen Business School SRAI Awards is a great way to acknowledge and honor individual Research Managers and Research Administrators for their remarkable contributions to the research management & administration profession and to the Society. You probably don’t have to think hard to find peers in your network who does an outstanding job and who you admire; so how about nominating them for an award? Do it before May 20, and they might be the winners who are publicly acknowledged at the Annual Meeting. The Herbert B. Chermside Award The Chermside Award was named in honor ...
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