When I decided to enroll in the Research Administration Certificate, I had just started a new Accounts Assistant job at the University where I’m currently employed. This move was bittersweet, because the research assistant position I left (CFREF-funded research project) at the same University meant a lot to me. I wanted to be considered for a role that took on more responsibility (and yielded a much higher paycheque), but was turned down because my Bachelor’s degree in a related field was simply not “enough”. I knew I was qualified and would have excelled in the role, but lacking that darn piece of paper held me back. Queue the search for an online program that would help me climb the ladder.
I have benefitted from being enrolled in the Research Administration Certificate in a few ways. 1) I really enjoy that the discussion posts spark discussion, and the answers come from individuals throughout Canada. One of my favourite set of responses have come from a student in the Territories, who outlines an experience much different than I’ve had in Ontario. 2) Being enrolled in the Research Administration Certificate also helped me secure my current role as the Ops Coordinator for the Office of Vice-President, Research & Innovation. The interview panel made a point to ask about how working for VPRI worked with my long-term goals. Being able to respond with “I’m actually currently enrolled in a 2-year research administration program, so I can say I have a strong interest in being involved with research-intensive roles going forward. 3) It makes me feel validated to know that the knowledge I gained prior to this certificate was meaningful and is helping to propel the research world.
I have completed three courses to date. The first course I completed was RSCH 10010 – Canadian Research Funding Environment Introduction. The second course I completed was MGMT 10155 – Financial Management in Research Administration. The third course I completed was BUSN 1015 – Funding Proposal Development. The final 3 courses include this course (BUSN 10176 – Contracts and Reporting), RSCH 10011 – Research Ethics, Integrity and Governance, and RSCH 10012 – Research Project Management.
I’d tell the person that if it is feasible for them to take this program, if they have a true interest in supporting research projects and want to have formal recognition for their knowledge in the research field, then take this certificate! If taking a certificate is not financially feasible, many institutions cover a portion of external professional development fees, and there are various bursaries that you can apply for through Mohawk College or CARA. If time is a concern, only a few hours per week are really required in order to complete assignments and review course materials.