A Great Overview of the Research Environment

Aileen Manganaro - Research Associate, R. S. McLaughlin Durham Region Cancer Centre


My name is Aileen; I have been working in research in a small community hospital for the last 5 years.  I am writing today to introduce you to the Research Administrative Certificate program at Mohawk College. The certificate program is available due to a partnership between CARA and Mohawk College. The online program is open to CARA members who are interested in research administration. I decided to enroll because I was planning a cross country move and I wanted to expand my knowledge of research before I started looking for a new position. In my current role the primary focus is financial and data base management for oncology clinical trials. The program interested me because it provided opportunities for me to learn about research activities that are not typically part of my day to day. The exposure allowed me to gain a better understanding of the research environment.

There are six courses in total and they are all structured differently. There are weekly lessons and discussions, some of the courses have quizzes and exams while others are mainly assignments. In the discussion component students share their experiences relating to the current lesson. Since the program attracts all levels of research professionals this component adds a fantastic opportunity to broaden your knowledge base. I try and read every post not only because they are interesting but there is usually something mentioned that I make a mental note of because I may be able to use it in my own work environment.

There is a fair amount of reading attached to each course so you do need to manage your time especially if you plan on taking more than one course at a time. I am finishing up the last two courses now and I am looking forward to getting the certificate.  The courses in the program are Contracts and Reporting, Financial Management in Research Management, Research Project Management, Research Ethics, Integrity and Governance, Developing Funding Proposals and Introduction to Canadian Research Funding Environment.

The program provides a great overview of the research environment; it is ideal for anyone new to research and those interested in a research administration position.