Rice University

Claudia M.

Manager, Research Accounting

Became an RA: The 2000's

While I was working on my MBA, I got a part-time job at the university’s Division of Research doing data-entry for state-sponsored grants. This lead to additional responsibilities while I finished my degree (putting together award packets, following up on final reports, etc.), which then became a full-time job once I graduated.

Veronica L.

Research Administrator III

Became an RA: 2020 - Recent

My journey as a research administrator began amid the COVID-19 pandemic when many of us faced unexpected challenges. I had previously worked as a program manager for a non-profit organization but found myself unemployed due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Despite my best efforts, six months passed without any promising job prospects on the horizon.
In my quest for stability, I eventually landed a temporary position at the University of Houston’s financial aid office. This role allowed me to keep my head above water during uncertain times. However, as the temporary position came to a close, I knew I wanted more than just a stopgap solution.

Drawing upon my business background and three years of experience assisting with grant writing and fundraising at the non-profit, I began exploring new career avenues. During this period, I applied for a position in the Electrical and Engineering department at the University of Houston and became a Research Administrator II. This transition into the world of research administration felt like a fresh start, an opportunity to channel my skills and passions in a new direction.

As I immersed myself in my new role, I discovered a genuine enthusiasm for the intricacies of research administration. The daily challenges and responsibilities of supporting research projects resonated with me, and I yearned to deepen my knowledge and expertise in this field.

My dedication and commitment did not go unnoticed, and Rice University eventually recruited me as a Research Administrator III. In this role, I served as the Research Administrator for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair. This move represented a significant step forward in my career, and I embraced the opportunity to contribute to the success of a renowned institution.

To further enhance my capabilities and better serve the department, my employer sent me to the prestigious NCURA’s research administrator training in Chicago. This experience expanded my horizons and provided me with valuable insights and connections within the field.

Reflecting on my journey, this career change, born out of adversity, has brought immense positivity into my life. I have discovered my passion, and I am deeply fulfilled by the work I do. I look forward to continuing to serve the PIs, staff, and the Rice University community, and I am excited about the opportunities for growth and contribution that lie ahead in my role as a Research Administrator.