MSU's research administration offices of Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA), Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), and Contract and Grant Administration (CGA) would like to encourage excellence and exemplary service modeled through The Spartan Experience by recognizing professional contributions and quality of service through the Research Administration (RA) Spotlight recognition.
We have completed the first award nomination and review process and received several nominations for strong applicants who exhibit qualities of a good research administrator, with commitment to quality, excellence, and exemplary service. The Recommendation Panel, which includes three faculty (from the Council of Research Deans and Sponsored Programs Advisory Committee) and two SPA/OSP/CGA staff, selected the two individuals below to receive this award. They were each recognized with a certificate of accomplishment, along with a gift and financial token of appreciation.
Judy has over 31 years of service at MSU, and is currently responsible for the day-to-day operations of the pre-award research office for the College of Natural Science, in addition to working as a pre-award administrator on proposals. She supervises a staff of three research administrators to provide assistance with grant proposal preparation for all faculty in departments associated the College of Natural Science.
What do you enjoy most about your job here? "I enjoy the variety…no proposal is the same. I learn new things almost every day. Research administration is a challenging field, with lots of information to keep in mind about every sponsor and different scenarios, but the notification of a successful submission (and, better yet, a notice of award) are incredibly satisfying. I also enjoy working with my staff, who are incredibly talented individuals and who really care about the end result.”
What advice do you have for new research administrators? “Be organized! I think that is the biggest challenge that we have. There are so many details to remember for each sponsor, and it can easily get confusing when you have multiple proposals from different sponsors that you are working on. We have a number of checklists, examples, etc. that we use to help us stay organized. Another item that I can’t stress enough is to make sure that you read the solicitation thoroughly, even more than once. I have found it helpful to read it before I start working with a PI on preparing the budget, and then reading it again when we are ready to put the proposal together for submission. And, of course, don’t expect that you will know the job in six months’ time. It takes at least a year to go through an entire cycle of submissions before you will even begin to feel like you know what you are doing.”
Linda has over 30 years of service at MSU, and currently manages the business functions of the department, including financial, research administration, personnel and facilities.
What do you enjoy most about your job here? “The people and assisting the faculty with their research, financial, personnel and program needs. There are always new challenges and opportunities, especially working with research administration and international programs. It’s great to be a part of a team that helps support faculty research and seeing the contributions and results of their work. Our business office team includes a great group of staff who assist in meeting all of the demands and deadlines to get the job done!”
What advice do you have for new research administrators? “Develop a good team working relationship with the faculty and the Office of Sponsored Programs administrative staff. Be organized, detail oriented, flexible and anticipate what is needed by the researchers and Sponsored Programs in order to meet deadlines. Understand the demands on faculty time and be persistent in reminding them of action items, and take advantage of training opportunities and networking with other research administrators.”
Thanks to both of them for playing an integral role in advancing MSU's research mission and for leading by example! We greatly appreciate your dedication and hard work. Stay tuned for another chance to nominate your favorite research administrator for the next RA Spotlight Award this Fall! If you have any questions on this recognition program, please contact Katie Winkler at firstname.lastname@example.org.