The Best Part!

Christophe Schinckus, CARA Member and RAC Student

What prompted you to enroll in the Research Administration Certificate?

I have a good experience of grant application as an academic and as a previous director of Research in an Australian university, my vision of research administration was quite general and strategic – however, I must confess that I did not know a lot of procedural details that were directly handled by the Research Office. Furthermore, for a decade or so, the roles and responsibilities of research administrators have become increasingly complex. All these aspects taken together, I felt like I needed to improve\update my knowledge about the processes related to research administration. This certificate provides me the perfect complementary perspective I need and I am looking for.


How have you benefited from the Research Administration Certificate?

Even though I am in my first semester, I can see that the certificate is very well designed and balanced in terms of themes. A point that I like in the two modules I am enrolled: they are both based on practical implementation of research administration with concrete examples (of contracts or grant applications, for instance) – this practical dimension is very important to understand how research management can be improved and optimized. In only 3-4 weeks, I have already learnt several practical tricks that can really make research administrator’s job smoother.


How many courses have you completed to date?

I am at the beginning of the program and I decided to follow two modules this spring semester (Contracts & Reporting and Canadian Res Fund Envt Intro). I think that two modules per semester is a good choice to ensure a smooth pace – as the majority of the students involved in the certificate, I am working full time and I try to keep a good balance between professional development, work and time for family.


How have you as a student benefited from CARA membership?

Students can benefit from CARA membership in different ways. Personally, I decided to watch several webinars about research administration-related matter to improve or update my knowledge - as a member a lot of these webinars are free or discounted. The CARA blog is also very well documented – there is always something interesting to read there! Another interesting point: the mailing list and the CARA Connection Newsletter that allow me to keep me informed about news shared by CARA community. The CARA Forum can also be useful for members willing to share information about a specific topic – there are also special interest groups available that target particular key themes related to research administration. Personally, I joined the group related to international research.

As a member, there is also a mentorship programme offered for new comers - I contacted a mentor with who, in 3 weeks, I already interacted couple of times on specific matters relevant to my profile\career. Finally, I read on the website that there is an annual CARA conference. I am looking forward to attending the next CARA event!


What is the best part of the certificate for you?

To me, there is not one “best part” in this certificate. The best thing is to be part of a professional community focusing on the same objective\passion: how to support and contribute to research through the improvement of processes related to its management. Students can share about all these points through the discussions in the modules. I really like to feel that students, mentors and tutors share this common enthusiasm.