Research Administration as a Career

Crystal Noronha

Not many people in graduate school think of the field of research administration as a career opportunity. I wonder why this is not one of the options that comes up in a career counseling presentation.

Research Administration keeps you within the academic research setting but without the struggle of applying for your own grants. You can utilize your knowledge to help your institution succeed.

From my personal experience, it took some time for me to find my niche. I wanted to remain in the academic setting. I enjoyed working with the researchers and enjoyed everything of the research administration grant management world without formally being a part of it. I wasn’t completely sure where to go with my interests and experience until the day I happened to leaf through some CARA conference material that had been left on a table in the office cafeteria. Thank you to that anonymous career counsellor who steered my research administration career! I looked up CARA on the internet and then went the whole way: webinars, conference, mentor, courses.

I would like to share some tips from my personal experience of my career trajectory: Networking is important. I have found the CARA courses also very useful. Look at job descriptions to understand what skills you need to develop. Rework your CV to a non-scientific one while still including aspects of your research experience. You need to be patient. Not that easy but everything falls into place when you set a goal and work towards it systematically. You need to have a passion for the role you are seeking.

To conclude, this blog and other similar ones reach people who are already in this field. It would be great if we could reach out to those who are unsure where to go next.

Crystal Noronha

Research Administrator

McGill University

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