George Mason University

Kim P.

IRB Compliance Manager

Became an RA: The 2010's

I started in research administration in 2018 on accident! I had recently graduated with a Master’s degree and was looking for work in legal compliance. I had experience as a student researcher and assumed research compliance would be similar. My employer gave me a chance and hired me as an IRB Compliance Specialist. Fast-forward 5 years and I have grown into the role of an IRB Compliance Manager.

Michele S.

Associate Dean for Research, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Became an RA: The 1980's

Like many of us, I fell into research administration by chance, and found a career that fed my curiosity, challenged me to continuously grow in my knowledge and evolve as the profession changed and grew, and permitted me to always engage with smart people who are dedicated to their scholarship, to their students, and to making the world a better place. I have had terrific mentorship and opportunities along the way. I started in 1980 at my first job (grant-funded) at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. where I was given the opportunity to attend a Grantmanship Center Training program. That led to my first university position in 1982, where I got my foot in the door as a part-time, soft funded, financial administrator. I became a Proposal Development Specialist in 1985 – writing proposals for my university, and then I became a Director of Grant Development (before that title was even commonly used). That led to professional opportunities to lead the Research Division at that same university, moving to a different university in another part of the country after I earned my PhD, and eventually becoming an Associate Dean for Research at my current university. All told I have worked more than 41 years in the profession (not counting the nonprofit), at three different public universities, and I have never been bored. Instead I have always been intrigued and challenged by the work, and have had the privilege to work with so many talented faculty and staff who are dedicated to their work. It’s been a great ride!