University of Pittsburgh

Carolyn M.

Sponsored Projects Administrator

Became an RA: The 2010's

I’d been working in research centers since fresh out of college (2010) but realize within a couple of years that it was never going to lead to a professional field. I did not want to have a career filled with various “administration” jobs. It felt like a wandering path leading to nowhere.

I decided to take a risk on another type of administrative job at my institution which led me to study and place for my CRA. I am happy I did. It allowed me to validate my years working in research groups and complement my master’s degree I earned along the way.

Now, nearly eight years later and I am an experienced research administrator but that doesn’t mean I am knowledgeable in every aspect of the field. Our field is vast with sponsors, polices, regulations that make one always feel like a learner. And that, is the best type of job (doesn’t feel like it on certain days haha) but in truth it is.

Research administration is never static, always moving.

Jessica T.

Director of Research and Academic Operations

Became an RA: The 2000's

I started working in a research finance office as an undergraduate student employee, delivering mail and filing. Over time, I took on more tasks, and was hired as staff after graduation. I’ve been in a variety of roles since then, and I started and graduated from business school too, but I’m still working in research administration at my alma mater, nearly 18 years later! I enjoy the challenges, of which there are many, and the community. Many of my colleagues from over the decades are still here too, and we share information, resources, and a lot of good times that make the job even better.