Chapman University

Megan F.

Senior Research Administrator

Became an RA: The 2010's

I graduated from UC Irvine in 2006 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Social Behavior. During my senior year, I had been working in a research lab conducting studies of child health and development as part of the requirements for my honor’s thesis. Upon graduation, I was offered and accepted a full-time position with the lab as a Research Coordinator for a new NIH R01 study that had just recently been awarded. I continued working at UCI on various NIH human subjects projects, eventually making my way up to Lab Manager in another lab overseeing three concurrent large-scale R01s studies and the staff conducting them. In both labs, I was involved in all aspects of the research project side of things: designing data collection forms and visit checklists (both paper-based and REDCap forms), recruiting subjects, collecting data, managing cash advances for human subject payments, data entry and management, data analysis, and manuscript writing. Along the way, the faculty realized I was also rather good at organization and budgets, so they tasked me with assisting with a number of their NIH R01 applications. At that point, one of the faculty started suggesting that I consider a career in Research Administration. Never one to gravitate toward big decisions or changes in my life, I hesitated for several years to make that jump, although I agreed it seemed like it would probably be a good option for me. Eventually, though, I realized that I had gone as far as I could go on the project side, short of getting a PhD and becoming a PI myself (which didn’t sound particularly interesting to me). One day, a former colleague told me about a Sponsored Projects Analyst position at Chapman University that they thought I’d be a good fit for. I looked into it, and decided to go for it! I joined Chapman in September 2019 as the Sponsored Projects Analyst supporting their Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and found that I really enjoyed providing service to faculty and their research programs in this new way. In March of 2021, I was promoted to a position as Research Administrator in our central office, working on pre-award and non-financial post-award responsibilities. Earlier this year (2023), I was fortunate enough to be promoted again to the position of Senior Research Administrator and began to take on some supervisory responsibilities.