Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Research administration is a large and complex profession with many and various roles and sub-specialties. CARA offers SIGs to support and engage each member at their particular specialty level. The majority of our members choose to participate in a SIG. Communication between members of each SIG is supported by a listserv and file-sharing through our website resource library. SIGs members share articles, checklists, posters, templates, and other resources with their peers.
Each SIG has a nominated Leader who fosters interaction among the SIG members, and organizes activities the SIG membership wishes to undertake. The leaders and the SIG members design and implement appropriate professional development opportunities to help educate and develop the members.
Please select the SIG's you would like to join by logging into your profile.
Clinical Research - led by Lauren Gogo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Established in 2013, the Clinical Research SIG facilitates networking, collaboration, and knowledge exchange among CARA members working in, or interested in, clinical research administration. Our members debate and discuss public policies governing clinical trials, promote best practices in clinical trial contract negotiation, stay up-to-date with new clinical research legislation and regulatory requirements, and identify funding sources to support the continuation and development of existing or new clinical research initiatives and opportunities. Within CARA, we strive to continuously improve knowledge of the overall clinical research environment by sharing our own expertise in webinars and at conferences and also recruit experts from our large professional networks internationally. We work together to facilitate clinical research professional development for the benefit of medical research that impacts us all.
Leader bio: Lauren Gogo is currently the Manager of Research Contracts at Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. She is responsible for reviewing and negotiating clinical research contracts and providing direction to a team of contract negotiators, as well as focusing on strategic and policy projects involving research. Prior to joining HHSC, Lauren was a Contracts Officer at the University of Toronto where she negotiated industry and government agreements in the Biomedical and Life Sciences Sector. She is well versed in negotiating intellectual property terms and worked closely with the commercialization team at U of T on agreements both pre- and post-invention. She was also a Research Business Analyst at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and negotiated many clinical trial agreements as well as participated on the research ethics board to answer any contract-related questions.
Lauren has a Masters in Biomedical Technology, and is an active member of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) where she previously served as the coordinating editor of the newsletter, the CARA Connection.
Colleges, Institutes and Polytechnics – led by Danielle Puddicombe and Rachel Brown - DPuddicombe@RRC.CA & email@example.com
This new SIG welcomes any members interested in applied R & D and innovation at Canadian colleges, institutes, and polytechnics. Our members include research coordinators/facilitators, industry liaison personnel, project/program managers, finance and contracts administrators, commercialization experts, ethics professionals and managers. We welcome everyone, so please join us to share and expand your expertise through conference calls, emails, in-person events, webinars, and conference participation. The SIG was created with the intention of providing career and professional development opportunities for the rank-and-file administrators at the growing numbers of Canadian colleges, institutes, and polytechnics engaged in research and innovation. Co-Chairs Rachel Brown (Research Grants and Contracts Officer for the Research & Innovation division at Niagara College) and Ray Hoemsen (Director, Applied Research & Commercialization at Red River College) welcome you to this SIG.
Rachel Brown is the Research Grants and Contracts Officer for the Research & Innovation division at Niagara College. In this role she oversees all department budgets and financial reporting for the division, tracking all financial operations and reporting requirements related to internal and external funding portfolios. With in-depth knowledge of the comprehensive array of grant agency programs, Rachel collaborates with the research management team in coordinating all submissions, overseeing grant compliance and eligibility and liaises with funders and key stakeholders. She is a graduate of Niagara College’s Business Administration – Operations Management program.
Danielle has over 17 years’ experience in office administration and management; 12 of which have been in the applied research field/industry with Red River College’s Research Partnerships & Innovation Department (RPI). In her current role as the Research Finance and Operations coordinator, she oversees and manages the financial activities under the applied research umbrella; as well as organizes and coordinates the operations, procedures and resources to facilitate effectiveness and efficiency within the department and research projects. She also acts as a liaison and is a key contact between the RPI office and: other department representatives in regards to financial research activities; the controller’s office in review and compliance of project funds; as well as external funding agencies such as Industry, Provincial and Federal granting agencies.
She has a diploma in Business & Administrative Studies; and a certificate in Dental Assisting. After polishing the teeth of her 500th client, she realized staring into people's mouths for a living was not as exciting as she thought it would be, and in 2004 she began her journey with the RPI office and has never looked back.
Danielle and her husband Billy have three children – Abigail (15), Emma (9) and Dean (7).
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion- Led by Gwen Hill - Gwen.firstname.lastname@example.org
The goal of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) SIG is to create a place for CARA members to share best practices, tips, and resources relating to equity, diversity and inclusion in the Canadian research environment. This SIG will provide a forum for professional growth, network building, and EDI advocacy.
Leader Bio (2018-19):
Gwen Hill is a Research Development Coordinator at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. She is passionate about learning how to incorporate, and advocate for, EDI in Canadian Institutions. She holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and her research has focused on intergenerational communication in the workplace. Gwen is a member of the Board of Directors of the Island Sexual Health Society, which provides pro-choice and comprehensive sexual health clinics, education programs and products for people of all genders, orientations, identities, abilities, and ages. When not behind a desk, Gwen can be found camping with her partner, her dog, and a good book.
Finance - led by Amanda Sawlor - email@example.com
Export Controls are seen in various types of contracts with government and industry sponsors. The Controlled Goods Program (CGP) is a stringent security system that regulates and controls the examination, possession or transfer of certain controlled goods. Anyone who deals with certain controlled goods in Canada is required to register with the CGP, including researchers contracting with industry and other non-academic partners. Goods and data governed by US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARs) become subject to CGP when Canadian research institutions agree to ITAR terms and conditions in research agreements.
Some examples of controlled goods that are covered by the program include certain firearms and ammunition, many different kinds of munitions, and aerospace, satellite and other goods and technologies that guide weapons systems.
The CARA Export Controls group is managed through a list serve (firstname.lastname@example.org) which includes research administrators and other stakeholders.
Grant Writers and Facilitators - led by Justin Patton - email@example.com
The purpose of the Grant Facilitator/Writer SIG is to:
Bring together CARA members who are interested in this particular focus of research administration work;
Provide opportunities for professional development and best practices;
To promote this group and CARA to other individuals who may be associated with the research field but are not members of CARA.
Suggest names of members from inside and outside of academia who are involved in research administration and may not be aware of CARA;
Provide a forum for professional development, information sharing, and advocacy;
Assist with the creation of appropriate conference content;
Share best/worst practices in grant writing/facilitation; and
Share common challenges and resources developed for various programs (e.g. templates that list rules and regulations/criteria from funders).
Information Technology - led by Scott Baker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Open to all CARA members.
The IT SIG serves both the tech-savvy and technophobic alike. It helps us navigate and understand the changing maze of information technology we encounter every day across the spectrum of roles represented by CARA members.
Goals include: fostering discussion, sharing information, recruitment, and exploring the latest news in IT. Discussion may include general IT questions (at any level), deep-dives into a specific technology, or sharing of good practices and lessons learned.
Leader bio: Scott Baker has a B.A.Sc in Electrical Engineering from UBC, is certified in PMP, ITIL, and is a Lean 6-sigma Green Belt.
He has over 20 years of experience managing people, projects, and systems spanning the realms of training, software development, data security, marine search and rescue, and telecommunications engineering.
Scott has developed and delivered technical presentations and training across North America and in Europe on subjects ranging from telecommunications network design to marine navigation.
He joined Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency in 2014. His role of Project Manager IT/Systems is a multifaceted position that bridges the IT/Systems and Project Management teams and involves multiple CFI grants as well as interactions with Compute Canada.
Scott has a passion for the topics of data privacy and security and enjoys the challenge of seeking solutions to enhance both in the ever evolving research environment.
Institution Contract Reviewers - Lauren Gogo - email@example.com
The Institutional Contracts SIG was established in 2013 for contract negotiators at institutions. We have members from colleges, hospitals and universities as well as consultants and lawyers in private practice. Our members share questions and resources to help advance our knowledge and the profession. We use the CARA O3 platform to share templates, checklists, articles, publications and other contract-related resources. We work together to contribute to CARA's professional development offerings for those in contract negotiation. Our SIG community facilitates networking and is a great way to connect with your peers nationally. As a group we also promote the expertise of contract negotiators by collaborating on publications for the CARA Connection and the Process Pathways Poster Competition at CARA National. We invite you to join our dynamic and supportive community!
Lauren Gogo is currently the Manager of Research Contracts at Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation. She is responsible for reviewing and negotiating clinical research contracts and providing direction to a team of contract negotiators, as well as focusing on strategic and policy projects involving research. Prior to joining HHSC, Lauren was a Contracts Officer at the University of Toronto where she negotiated industry and government agreements in the Biomedical and Life Sciences Sector. She is well versed in negotiating intellectual property terms and worked closely with the commercialization team at U of T on agreements both pre- and post-invention. She was also a Research Business Analyst at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and negotiated many clinical trial agreements as well as participated on the research ethics board to answer any contract-related questions.
Lauren has a Masters in Biomedical Technology, and is an active member of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) where she previously served as the coordinating editor of the newsletter, the CARA Connection, for almost two years. Lauren has contributed articles to the CARA Connection and upcoming blog, presented webinars, and served as the CARA translation coordinator. Lauren is also an assessor for the current Certificate in Research Administration program.
International Research - led by Deborah Watt - firstname.lastname@example.org
The CARA International Research Interest Group provides an information sharing forum for research administrators in Canada interested in either research with an international scope (ie. collaborative projects with international components) or in learning more about research funding opportunities from non-Canadian sources. The group has a broad focus and welcomes input and discussion from any CARA member with an interest in ‘international’ issues as they relate to university research.
Leader bio: Deborah Watt is Research Development Officer at the University of British Columbia’s SPARC Office. Previous to joining SPARC, she also worked at the Vice President Research Office under Dr. Helen Burt, supporting the development of large proposals and strategic projects including the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, Genome Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation and UBC Advanced Research Computing initiative. Before joining SPARC, Deborah worked with Elsevier as a consultant on their Research Intelligence team where she led large, data-intensive analytical projects for Canadian and US Universities and Government agencies. At SPARC, Deborah's mandate is to increase UBC’s competitiveness with international funding bodies.
Leadership - led by Katie Porter - email@example.com
Our Leadership Special Interest Group supports leaders at all levels, offering tools, advice, coaching and mentoring to our peers so that we can all build effective teams and research portfolios.
We believe that the success of leaders in research administration is directly related to the quality and function of their internal and external professional relationships. We strengthen these relationships within our Special Interest Group, by improving our skills and knowledge on leadership theory, and sharing best practices on the complex research administration environment through CARA's professional development program. This includes webinars, workshops, conference sessions and serving as mentors and assessors for CARA's upcoming Certificate in Research Administration and Certificate in Research Management.
Members of this SIG include Vice-Presidents, Deans, Directors and Managers and we also welcome those who aspire to these roles.
Leader bio: An executive MBA graduate from the Ivey School of Business, Katie Porter is Director of Research Administration at Hamilton Health Sciences, home to one of the most research intensive environments for medical research in Canada. Katie is a regular lecturer at McMaster University, co-author of The A-Z Guide to Research Contract Review and Steer Your Career: A Research Administrator's Manual for Mapping Success and a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and webinars. Katie is an active volunteer with CARA, as an editor for the CARA Connection and CARA mentor. Her exceptional contributions to our profession internationally were recognized in 2014 with CARA’s Research Management Excellence Award.
New Research Administrators - led by Anita Sharma - firstname.lastname@example.org
This SIG welcomes all CARA members in their first 2 years of research administration. Members discuss the role of research administration within their institutions and how they can contribute. They share some of their challenges, perspectives, resources, helpful experiences and shortcuts while expanding their networks and supporting each other.
Leader bio: Anita Sharma is a Research Grants Development Officer at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC. In her role, she conducts all aspects of research development, grant facilitation and administration including research prospecting, pre- and post-award grant support, institutional compliance review and approval of grant applications, and tracking the growth of research. She has developed various resources for supporting these activities (e.g., Research Prospecting Guide, Pre-and Post-award Toolkits). She recently completed a two-year Certification in Research Administration offered by CARA in collaboration with the UK’s ARMA. She has been an active CARA volunteer. She holds a PhD degree in Biochemistry, has published 27 research articles in refereed journals and, has presented her work at many conferences.
Awards, Honours and Prizes - Tom Barber & Julaine Hall - email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
The Awards, Honours, and Prizes Special Interest Group supports the development of successful nominations to international, national, and regional awards and prize competitions. We believe that by sharing best practices, providing training opportunities, and offering networking opportunities that nominations for meritorious individuals will increase in both number and success rate. We encourage all levels of institutions to participate, whether a small college with a few nominations per year or a large university that has several Awards professionals on staff. We all have something to give and receive on the awards landscape and your participation is appreciated. Together we will focus on:
- Encouraging nominations from all Canadian colleges, universities, hospitals, and related eligible institutions
- Promoting and supporting the successes of all SIG members
- Sharing best practices and advice for achieving success in international, national, and regional award competitions
- Providing professional development opportunities and addressing topics of concern
- Arranging for networking opportunities through the National and Regional CARA conventions and where possible
- Engaging a network of skilled professionals with the intent to improve outcomes for all SIG members
Join the Awards, Honours, and Prizes SIG and help build a cooperative culture of research excellence in Canada.
Tom Barber is Co-Chair of the Awards, Honours, and Prizes - Special Interest Group and is the inaugural Awards Officer at the University of Waterloo as of 2017. Tom spent the past decade working as the SSHRC Manager for UWaterloo and previously wrote grant applications for multiple non-profit organizations. After graduating from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literature he moved to Ontario in 2004 and Managed the MT Space (Multicultural Theatre Space) thereby making him a triple threat of grants facilitation.
Julaine Hall, Co-Chair of the Awards, Honours, and Prizes - Special Interest Group has been Western University’s first Awards & Distinctions Development Officer since 2013. Julaine has worked at Western since 2007 in various roles primarily focused on coordinating the recruitment, retention, and career and professional development of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. She has a combined Honours degree in English and MIT (Media, Information and Technoculture).
Project Management - lead by Cynthia Yeh and Jessica Galo - email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
The Project Management SIG’s members are involved in project management within a research administration context at many different levels - some offer project management support to research projects, others use project management methodologies/processes in their work, and others are interested in knowing more about project management and sharing tools, resources and best practices.
Jessica is a Data Access Coordinator at Population Data BC in the University of British Columbia. She has extensive experience in health care and health care research, having been responsible for the coordination of health outcomes projects from grant development, ethics and data access application facilitation, stakeholder engagement through to knowledge translation. In her current position at Population Data BC, she provides guidance to researchers from across Canada during data access request development and coordinates the review of data access applications among data stewards including the Ministry of Health. Her background in nursing, business, and project management has provided a sound foundation for her position in health care research. As a CARA member, she volunteers as the Brag Bag coordinator for the CARA Connection newsletter and as a LinkedIn curator.
Cynthia Yeh is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 10 years of experience in the management of public funded healthcare research projects. She is currently Assistant Director of the CIHR Team in Maternal-Infant Care Research Centre based at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. The MiCare centre coordinates all research activities initiated by a CIHR funded pan-Canadian research network. This role is responsible for funding administration, progress report creation and information dissemination. Cynthia holds a Master’s degree in Management from McGill University. She is particularly interested in applying project management methodology to enhance the quality of project delivery in research environment. Cynthia is also interested in contributing to process improvement initiatives to improve the operation efficiencies in research environment. Lifelong learning is one of her core values and being a part of the CARA community allows her to share and expand her knowledge. Cynthia believes that the knowledge that she will be learning through the volunteer experience will enhance her leadership skills. She will be well versed with the enhanced abilities to response to the challenging environment. Besides my professional career, she likes traveling, practicing yoga and watching movies.
Small Institutions- led by Deborah Zornes - email@example.com
The Small Institution’s SIG includes members from colleges, hospitals and universities with a variety of responsibilities such as pre-award, post-award, contacts, financial management, policy development, and strategic planning. At small institutions, research administrators are often ‘all things to all people’ and their roles span all aspects of research administration. Our members share questions and resources to help advance our knowledge and the profession. We work together to contribute to CARA's professional development offerings where possible, and many of our SIG members are members of other SIGs as well. As a group we also promote the expertise of members, collaborating on publications for the CARA Connection and the Process Pathways Poster Competition at CARA National. We invite you to join our dynamic and supportive community!
Leader bio: Dr. Deborah Zornes is the Director, Research Services at Royal Roads University, and has been with the university since 2006. Prior to that, Deborah was the Manager, Research Services at Athabasca University for 15 years. In her capacity as Director she is responsible for both the strategic and operational directions of research at the university, working with faculty to find research opportunities, assisting in the development and submission of proposals, and the management and reporting of research activities.
Deborah is also the VP for CARA and is responsible for organizing the program for the national conference. An avid sailor, Deborah holds a PhD from UVic. Her research interests focus on two areas: 1) evaluating and measuring research effectiveness and quality, including outputs, outcomes and impacts; and 2) the impact of corporatization on the university and the research supported and what this means for the role of the university in society. Deborah’s teaching areas include research methods and communication for learning.
NSERC - Led by Mike Folinas - firstname.lastname@example.org
SSHRC - Led by Sarah Mark & Virginie Portes - email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
CIHR - Jenna Slobozian - email@example.com
This new SIG welcomes any members interested in learning more about and sharing information on CIHR. With the significant changes that have been implemented in the last several years the funding environment at CIHR has dramatically changed. With these changes comes uncertainty amongst the research community. This SIG will give members the opportunity to share new best practices for their home institution, share any updates that they have received, give members the opportunity to ask questions, and in general give members the ability to take advantage of the large professional network CARA has to offer.
Jenna Slobozian is currently the Senior Research Grants Officer in the Research Services Office at the University of Calgary. She is primarily responsible for all CIHR funding for the University from grant development through to project set-up. This includes working with the legal and ethics teams as required. Prior to joining the UofC Jenna worked for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society. She is currently enrolled in the Certificate in Research Administration as well as just completing a certificate in Professional and Technical Writing.
CFI - Nancy Fournier - firstname.lastname@example.org