Dawn P.

Research Financial Compliance Officer

Became an RA: The 2000's

Back in late 2007/early 2008, I wanted off of nights and applied for many day jobs. After 40 applications and 8 interviews, I went on my 9th for an administrator in a newly established eye research lab. I did not have research experience and did not work in eye research, but I hit it off with the department chair’s administrative assistant. In our chats while I waited to meet with the chair and the research director, I found out she had a grandson named Gage. I also had a son, the same age, named Gage. Our conversation then went on to how the name was picked, and yes, both got it from the same movie. After my interviews, which did go well, she told me she would see me again. Within days, I was offered the job. I tell everyone that I got into research as an administrator because my son’s name was Gage. Almost 16 years later, I’m still in research. I have had different roles over the years with the opportunity to learn and work in grants administration, clinical research operations, and research compliance, but all as a research administrator in some capacity. I even became a researcher and earned a doctoral degree. All because I hit it off with someone and then was hired by incredible individuals who mentored me along the way.