Note from the Editor: 2018 Annual Meeting by Co-chairs

by SRA International on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dear Catalyst Readers,

This issue we are pleased to have a special message from the 2018 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs. The Annual Meeting is less than a month away! We are looking forward to seeing all of you at the SRAI 51st Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, October 27-31, 2018!  We have a diverse and knowledgeable group of speakers with some exciting presentation to look forward to. We hope that the meeting will result in fruitful discussions which you can use  to help improve Research Administration across the globe!

Katie Watkins & Seema Dhindaw
Co-editors, Catalyst

Authored by: 
Silke Blohm
SOAS University of London

Marcia Landen
University of Southern Mississippi

Ellen Zavala
University of North Carolina at Charlotte



A year ago, we were just beginning to prepare for the 2018 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico when hurricane Maria devastated the island. The resilience of the Puerto Rican population during the ongoing recovery has been an inspiration to the annual meeting co-chairs, and we hope to honor that spirit of resiliency at the annual meeting at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando.

We are pleased to present a very strong program of educational opportunities. Our opening keynote speaker, Dr. Ramon Lugo, Director of the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida (which includes management of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico), will help us kick off the meeting honoring the resiliency of the science enterprise.

The program co-chairs were overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of proposals for workshops and sessions, and there is plenty to choose from within the seven tracks: Financial and Post-award Administration, Management and Operations, Professional Development, Research Ethics and Compliance, Research Law, Sponsors and Agencies, and Sponsored Programs Planning, Development and Deliveries. Focus on one area, or mix it up! You might find that you have too many good choices!

Five certificates will be offered in full: Research Development, Practice of Research Administration and Management, Research Law, Research Integrity, and NIH Grants Fundamentals. Sessions and workshops for other certificates will also be available. Be sure to pick up your Certificate Tracking Booklet or pack the one you already have if your goal is to finish a certificate you started at a previous meeting.

Oh, but the formal educational opportunities are only part of the fun. SRAI is known for its networking opportunities! Meet new friends, connect with old friends, and have some fun! There are several must-dos during the week: Be sure to attend your section business meeting on Monday, followed by the reception on the beach Monday evening! Visit the posters in the Exhibit Hall, and be sure to attend the SRAI business meeting and awards breakfast on Tuesday morning.

If you are new to SRAI, or if this is your first annual meeting, you will want to learn about navigating the meeting and meet other new folks at a special welcome event just for you. It’s a great way to meet new colleagues and begin to navigate the new experience together.

Be sure to visit the Exhibit Hall, where you can see the latest in support for research administration. Vendors of all sorts will be showing tools, technology, resources, and more. It’s exciting to see products and services that support what we do.

We are grateful to all the volunteers who have worked on the details of the meeting. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Annual Meeting would not be possible without the time and energy of many dedicated and creative people.

Thank you also to our sponsors: Cayuse, Huron, iMedRIS, InfoEd Global, Elsevier, and StreamLyne. Please visit them in the Exhibit Hall to say thank you!

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

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