Research administrators are a vital component in the educational and research operation of colleges and universities. Research administrators assess availability of funding for a research project while working with researchers to determine how best to prepare and present their proposals. Once a research administrator has determined that a proposal is acceptable and approves it, they then take on the legal responsibilities that this entails. These legal responsibilities include having to negotiate contracts with researchers for their research as well as taking care of intellectual property.
It is necessary for a research administrator to hold a bachelor's degree--in some cases an associate's degree is acceptable--but the degree must be accompanied by substantial work experience in relevant areas.
Securing grants is also a major part of the work process for a research administrator. If a proposal cannot appeal to grant programs, then securing funding for them may prove difficult or impossible. A research administrator must assist with compiling, formatting, and finalizing research proposals so that they will be well received by the research grant programs they are submitted to. Grants tend to have specific requirements for how they may be spent and used. Research administrators oversee budgeting and administration of these funds so that they abide by all of these requirements and conditions.
A research administrator's job is not complete without a fair bit of pencil pushing. Principle investigators must be given up to date grant information on research projects and research administrators must also assist in interpreting grant requirements and policies so that they may be properly followed, and in ensuring the timely submission of paperwork.
Research Administrator Tasks
- Oversee the administration and budgeting of research grant funds, and ensure compliance with grant conditions and regulations.
- Keep the principle investigator updated on grant information, help interpret grant requirements and policies, and ensure timely submission of paperwork.
- Assist the principle investigator with compiling, formatting, and finalizing project proposals to submit to grant programs.