You are a Research Administrator Supervisor for the Pediatrics Research Office. What does this position entail? How did you get here?
Our office strives to be a one-stop shop for the department’s research needs. As a team, a few things we do are submit grant proposals, put together budgets, and review proposals that are routed to Pediatrics from different departments. I also help process unfunded agreements such as data-use agreements, material transfer agreements and nondisclosures. Basically, anything that comes through that involves research, whether we’re involved directly or not, we work with the faculty to find the answers or get them to the right person. I also work on subcontracts, contracts, and clinical studies.
As a supervisor, I have the responsibility to oversee a team and train them.
We have two new team members that just joined and I’ve been working with them to teach them the ins and outs of research administration and our operations. The PRO team has multiple responsibilities and we’ve put together SOP (standard operating procedures) for many tasks and duties that are unique to our office.
Originally, I started working as a lab assistant and my salary was covered through grant funding. When funding was ending, I knew I had to find another position and went the administrative route of research and ended up in pathology, and eventually pediatrics. I have been with the Department of Pediatrics for 7 years now!
What made you interested in this position?
I am someone who really enjoys math and science. I knew that this role would challenge me in new ways and give me a lot of opportunities to keep learning. It seemed like a great fit to utilize my skillset. We’re always learning something new, and the research community is always changing, and I like that aspect. It keeps us on our toes.
What is your most memorable experience with the Department so far? OR In terms of successes, which accomplishments are you most proud of?
This role has given me an opportunity to present at various research administration meetings and conferences. I don’t always enjoy public speaking, and these opportunities have pushed me out of my comfort zone. Everyone has always been so supportive of me and the opportunities I’ve received. They really have had faith in me. I’m very grateful for this.
I really feel like every new proposal we submit is an accomplishment to be proud of. If it’s a large proposal or has a large and complicated budget, I always walk away feeling amazing afterward. Regardless of the size of the grant, our faculty are always so grateful for the work that we do. Every submission truly feels like an accomplishment.
What else should we know about your roles and interests?
I really enjoy working on agreements with a clinical component. I’ve been able to work with
other units and learn their processes, many of which are unique. When I first joined, I had my hands in a lot of buckets and have been really familiar with clinical studies, and it’s still one of my main interests. I also really enjoy being able to build up our team and expand the tools and information we provide to the department.
In your opinion, what makes the Department of Pediatrics an ideal place to work?
Everyone in pediatrics is very helpful and genuine. We’re open-minded and willing to help. My PRO team is like family, we really support each other in every aspect, in and out of work. We work together really well. I know that I can always depend on them. Our department also provides a lot of growth and support for us. No one leaves anyone in the dust.
What else do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, especially in the warmer Michigan months. I have two dogs who are always by my side. We also have a pool and love to have people over to BBQ!
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
My original path was to go to medical school, I have a degree in human biology. I also have a twin brother!
To learn more about the Pediatric Research Office, visit their Intranet.