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Become A Research Administrator

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Working As A Research Administrator

  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $54,357

    Average Salary

What Does A Research Administrator Do

Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.

Duties

Natural sciences managers typically do the following:

  • Work with top executives to develop goals and strategies for researchers and developers
  • Budget resources for projects and programs by determining staffing, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, supervise, and evaluate scientists, technicians, and other staff members
  • Review staff members’ methodology and the accuracy of their research results
  • Ensure that laboratories are stocked with equipment and supplies
  • Monitor the progress of projects, review research performed, and draft operational reports
  • Provide technical assistance to scientists, technicians, and support staff
  • Establish and follow administrative procedures, policies, and standards
  • Communicate project proposals, research findings, and the status of projects to clients and top management

Natural sciences managers direct scientific research activities and direct and coordinate product development projects and production activities. The duties of natural sciences managers vary with the field of science (for example, biology or chemistry) or the industry they work in. Research projects may be aimed at improving manufacturing processes, advancing basic scientific knowledge, or developing new products.

Some natural sciences managers are former scientists and, after becoming managers, may continue to conduct their own research as well as oversee the work of others. These managers are sometimes called working managers and usually have smaller staffs, allowing them to do research in addition to carrying out their administrative duties.

Managers who are responsible for larger staffs may not have time to contribute to research and may spend all their time performing administrative duties.

Laboratory managers need to ensure that laboratories are fully supplied so that scientists can run their tests and experiments. Some specialize in the management of laboratory animals.

During all stages of a project, natural sciences managers coordinate the activities of their unit with those of other units or organizations. They work with higher levels of management; with financial, production, and marketing specialists; and with suppliers of equipment and materials.

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How To Become A Research Administrator

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. Natural sciences managers typically have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a related field, such as engineering. Some managers may find it helpful to have an advanced management degree—for example, a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA), or a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education

Natural sciences managers typically begin their careers as scientists; therefore, most have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in a scientific discipline or a closely related field, such as engineering. Scientific and technical knowledge is essential for managers because they must be able to understand the work of their subordinates and provide technical assistance when needed. 

Natural sciences managers who are interested in acquiring postsecondary education in management should be able to find master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in a natural science that incorporate business management courses. A relatively new type of degree, called the Professional Science Master’s (PSM), blends advanced training in a particular science field with business skills, such as communications and program management, and policy. Those interested in acquiring general management skills may pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Public Administration (MPA). Some natural sciences managers will have studied psychology or some other management-related field to enter this occupation.

Sciences managers must continually upgrade their knowledge because of the rapid growth of scientific developments.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Natural sciences managers usually advance to management positions after years of employment as scientists. While employed as scientists, they typically are given more responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Eventually, they may lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects before being promoted to an administrative position.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not typically required to become a natural sciences manager, many relevant certifications are available. These certifications range from those related to specific scientific areas of study or practice, such as laboratory animal management, to general management topics, such as project management, and are useful to natural sciences managers regardless of the organization being managed.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to communicate clearly to a variety of audiences, such as scientists, policymakers, and the public. Both written and oral communication are important.

Critical-thinking skills. Natural sciences managers must carefully evaluate the work of others. They must determine if their staff’s methods and results are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Natural sciences managers lead research teams and therefore need to work well with others in order to reach common goals. Managers routinely deal with conflict, which they must be able to turn into positive outcomes for their organization.

Leadership skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to organize, direct, and motivate others. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their workers and create an environment in which the workers can succeed.

Problem-solving skills. Natural sciences managers use scientific observation and analysis to find solutions to complex technical questions.

Time-management skills. Natural sciences managers must be able to do multiple administrative, supervisory, and technical tasks while ensuring that projects remain on schedule.

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Research Administrator Demographics

Gender

Female

65.4%

Male

32.8%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

9.4%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

37.3%

French

9.8%

Russian

5.9%

Arabic

5.9%

Chinese

3.9%

German

3.9%

Japanese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.9%

Urdu

3.9%

Hindi

2.0%

Latvian

2.0%

Zulu

2.0%

Ilocano

2.0%

Burmese

2.0%

Persian

2.0%

Bengali

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

Italian

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Cebuano

2.0%
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Research Administrator Education

Schools

Northeastern University

10.8%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

Ohio State University

7.5%

University of Florida

5.4%

Georgia State University

5.4%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.4%

Florida State University

5.4%

George Washington University

4.3%

University of South Florida

4.3%

New York University

4.3%

Liberty University

4.3%

Drexel University

4.3%

Strayer University

4.3%

Simmons College

4.3%

University of North Texas

4.3%

American InterContinental University

4.3%

University of Connecticut

3.2%

Roosevelt University

3.2%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.2%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.2%
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Majors

Business

25.9%

Psychology

7.1%

Health Care Administration

5.6%

English

5.3%

Accounting

5.3%

Management

4.5%

Political Science

4.5%

Finance

4.5%

Public Administration

4.1%

Law

4.1%

Marketing

3.8%

Nursing

3.4%

Sociology

3.4%

Anthropology

3.0%

Communication

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Counseling Psychology

2.6%

History

2.6%

Social Work

2.3%

Education

2.3%
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Degrees

Masters

35.6%

Bachelors

33.8%

Other

15.8%

Doctorate

7.7%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

2.8%

License

0.4%

Diploma

0.4%
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Real Research Administrator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Interim Assoc Vice Provost for Research Admin & Co University of Alaska Anchorage, AK Aug 01, 2012 $124,000
Education & Research Administrator International Technological University San Jose, CA Mar 21, 2012 $73,902
Research Administrator Northwestern University Chicago, IL Jan 08, 2012 $63,037
Research Administrator Georgetown University Washington, DC Apr 10, 2011 $62,400
Research Administrator Georgetown University Washington, DC Apr 10, 2011 $62,315
Associate Sponsored Research Administrator Emory University Atlanta, GA Jan 30, 2015 $62,000
Associate Sponsored Research Administrator Emory University Atlanta, GA Jul 01, 2014 $62,000
Custody Administration/Information Management Researcher Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (U.S.A.) Limited Hoboken, NJ Aug 17, 2015 $61,644
Departmental Research Administrator University of Massachusetts Boston Boston, MA Oct 18, 2011 $60,077
Associate Research Administrator Trustees of Boston University Boston, MA Feb 01, 2013 $60,000
Research Administrator Northwestern University Chicago, IL Jul 01, 2010 $60,000
Research Administrator 1 Northwestern University Chicago, IL Feb 01, 2011 $53,446
Research Administrator University of Rochester Rochester, NY Dec 15, 2010 $52,900
Research Advancement Administrator Senior Arizona State University Tempe, AZ Dec 08, 2014 $52,800
Research Administrator Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Inc. Boston, MA Oct 25, 2012 $52,175
Research Administrator Duke University and Medical Center Durham, NC Jun 30, 2011 $51,000
Research Administrator Trustees of Boston University Boston, MA Feb 01, 2010 $50,500
Sponsored Research Administrator Emory University Atlanta, GA Dec 19, 2011 $50,000
Research Advancement Administrator Arizona State University Tempe, AZ May 05, 2014 $48,000
Xbrl Best Practice Research Administrative Assista Financial Accounting Foundation Norwalk, CT Oct 01, 2010 $47,320 -
$50,000

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Top Skills for A Research Administrator

  1. Compliance
  2. Monthly Financial Reports
  3. Principal Investigators
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed grant proposals ensuring budgetary and administrative compliance according to sponsor and University policy.
  • Develop annual budgets and closely monitor all monthly financial reports to ensure accuracy and budget integrity.
  • Provide comprehensive guidance and administrative support to principal investigators and sponsor representatives to solve award related issues.
  • Standardized IRB record-keeping among campuses.
  • Directed creation of acclaimed e-newsletter Supermarket Research, editing and writing articles for food-retailing professionals.

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Top 10 Best States for Research Administrators

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Jersey
  3. North Carolina
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. California
  6. Washington
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maryland
  9. Connecticut
  10. Delaware
  • (506 jobs)
  • (277 jobs)
  • (390 jobs)
  • (474 jobs)
  • (1,087 jobs)
  • (209 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (193 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)

Top Research Administrator Employers

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