Careers in Research Administration

Research administration deals with various aspects of the research operations run by institutions. Since these departments act as liaisons between researchers and the institution, the field focuses on management, logistics, and relaying protocol.

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Career Options for Research Administration

Research administrators are integral in the line of communication between researchers and the institution for which they are providing research. Research administrators assist in managing the researchers to ensure that they meet deadlines as well as follow all the protocols and regulations of the sponsor or institution. Research administration also deals with managing promotion and funding of the research projects.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Clinical Research Coordinator $48,006** 2-4%
Fundraiser $54,130 9%
Research Administration Manager $82,886** 8% (for administrative services managers)
Director of Research Administration $87,668** 6% (for top executives)
Administrative Services Manager $90,050 8%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale

Career Information for Research Administration

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical research coordinators are responsible for keeping track of the records of the study being done, as well as organizing and preparing various aspects of the study such as data, lab equipment, drugs, and paperwork. Since they primarily deal with managing the resources needed by researchers, their field is considered research administration. The majority of clinical research coordinators have a bachelor's degree and have years of work experience or training.


Fundraisers create and execute events in order to bring money to an institute or program's research efforts, as well as keeping a log of the funds raised, and following all the laws and ethical codes of the establishment they're raising money for. Fundraisers are integral in bolstering the finances of an institute, and work directly with those in research administration to help them meet goals and deadlines. Becoming a fundraiser will require a bachelor's degree that focuses in communications or public relations.

Research Administration Manager

Research administration managers communicate with the researchers and the institute's financial department to keep the research in accordance with the allotted budget, while also overseeing that the researchers are following the regulations set by the sponsor or institution. This career deals directly with research administration by means of managing staff and acting as a line of communication with the sponsors and/or institute and the staff. A bachelor's degree is typically required for this position.

Director of Research Administration

Administrative directors, also considered directors of operation, create the processes and procedures for an operation in order to abide by the regulations and protocols, as well as overseeing the administrative managers. The director is responsible for the entire research administration department from monitoring the budgets for various aspects of the operation, as well as writing and negotiating terms in contracts with potential staff or other institutions. This position requires a bachelor's degree, as well as extensive work experience.

Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers differ from research administration managers because they primarily deal with buying materials and supplies, as well as managing the office duties such as mail, documentation, and maintaining or making repairs on all equipment used in the research. Administrative services managers help provide the logistics needed for a successful research administration. A bachelor's degree is usually required for this career.

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