Jackson Laboratory


Senior Grants Financial Analyst

Became an RA: The 2010's

I fell into Research Administration unknowingly. I graduated college with a degree in Biological Sciences, knowing research bench work was not for me, but that I still loved science, and wanted to work in science, but was completely unsure where I was headed with my life. So, I started applying for office administrative jobs hoping the skills I learned while working as a Receptionist/Bookkeeper for my father’s construction company would get my foot in the door. Eventually, I accepted a Budget Assistant position at Johns Hopkins University, still unaware of this field/career path. I figured it was more of an admin assistant position within the department, processing invoices, travel reimbursements, booking events for faculty, etc. Well after a couple years of dipping my toes into more financial duties, I was promoted to a Budget Analyst and while I still processed invoices and travel reimbursements, I managed all the subawards in the department (still unaware of the role I played). I continued learning more about external funding, the life cycle of a grant, award closeouts, etc. and was promoted to a Grants & Contracts Analyst. This meant I would have my own portfolio and PIs to support. I found I loved this type of work: reconciling accounts, problem solving, advising faculty on best spending practices or how to support the staff in their labs, policy compliance. It was an “ah-ha” moment when I realized this was the career I wanted to be in, where I could have a hand in science and learn about the different projects my PIs were working, while using my love of math and problem solving to support their work and the greater community. Now 5 years later, I am still very happy I fell into this career and enjoy telling folks what I do for a living because most of the time, they have never heard of Research Administration and have no clue there are people out there doing this work.

Martha A.

Research Program Administrator

Became an RA: The 1990's

I started working at The Jackson Laboratory nearly 25 years ago (Feb. of 1999). I was hired as a Research Administrative Assistant and remained in that position for two years. My next position was Executive Assistant for two large center grants from 2001-2003. In 2003, I was hired as the Office Administrator for Scientific Services and remained in that position until 2016. I am currently employed as a Research Program Administrator, and my portfolio includes eight research centers.