Research Administration

Research must be funded, coordinated, regulated, reported and sometimes ultimately commercialized. These support services are known as research administration, and they surround and influence every stage of research. Research administrators raise funds, make funding decisions, ensure compliance with standards and regulations, write regulations, coordinate projects, investigate ethical issues, and many other related tasks.

Interested in Research Administration? Check out our overview of this career at the link on the right for more information on this career and the skills you will need to succeed.

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Photo of Eva Andres-Mateo
Eva Andres-Mateos, PhD
Program Manager
Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center and Gene Transfer Vector Core, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School

Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Department of Neurology 2005-2008
Department of Genetic Medicine 2008-2010
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What are some of your day-to-day work responsibilities?

The Grousbeck Gene Therapy Center aims to broaden applications of gene therapy to address unmet clinical needs in rare and common disorders. The Center centralizes expertise and resources to promote this mission through independent investigation, translation toward the clinic, and core services. The Center is directed by Dr. Luk H. Vandenberghe, a leader in the field of gene therapy.

The Vandenberghe Lab focuses on developing translational programs in collaboration with clinicians and disease experts, developing novel technologies, and investigating the fundamental aspects of in vivo gene transfer biology and host response to gene therapies. The laboratory’s translational efforts are primarily directed at ophthalmological indications.

The Gene Transfer Vector Core is a service core that provides inventory and custom-made AAV preparations to investigators across the Boston area, the United States, and internationally.

My work primarily involves managing the two basic research labs and the CORE facility, serving as the point person for large translational programs and 5-10 external collaborations. I also coordinate the viral production between our research team and the core facility. A typical workday for me includes planning and attending meetings, writing production reports, animal protocols, and research papers, helping address team concerns in the lab, and coordinating animal experiments, along with administrative tasks, such as equipment purchasing, filling requests from our collaborators, and helping to coordinate invoicing and billing.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in research administration?
I would tell them to keep an open mind when considering non-academic career paths. There are a lot of opportunities outside of traditional academia for trainees who may not be interested in an academic career. Typical career paths outside of academia require different skill sets that most scientists may not be used to performing such as basic accounting, deadline-driven task-oriented planning, using MS Access Database, working with people from different backgrounds, etc. Some of the work can be quite complicated, such as intellectual property transfer, working with a patent office, viral production process development, outsourcing tasks, and managing licensing issues.
How did you make yourself competitive on the job market?
The majority of skills that I use in my current position came from my first job as a research associate after my postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins. I managed the daily operations of a small lab and I gained a lot of useful training in program management. I think the most important skills for a successful career in research administration are to be flexible and open to working with multidisciplinary teams. I currently work on one project with three different institutions that have some competing priorities, so lots of phone calls, meetings and communication are required to keep everyone on the same page. It’s also very important to be organized, have good communication skills and be open to learning new things.

Gain Skills and Experience


Engage in a Biomedical Careers Initiative (BCI) Internship in Research Administration.

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Learn how institutions operate at higher levels.

Get involved in committees (e.g. student government) or in outside organizations, and assume a leadership position, so that you gain organizational and leadership skills. It is important to show that you can handle multiple priorities and can communicate with different groups of people.

Graduate Student Association
Postdoctoral Association

Be aware of granting mechanisms

Apply for grants; talk to your PI about the grant application, review and oversight process; attend grantsmanship workshops.

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Introduction to Research Administration and Management

Earn a certificate in Introduction to Research Administration and Management.

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Services offered by the JHU SOM Office of Research Administration

Read through the services offered by the JHU SOM Office of Research Administration.

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