Career Path: "Staying Connected to Science: Research Administration as a Career Choice for PhD Scientists"

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Description: Identifying career options that extend beyond the laboratory bench or clinical research setting can be a daunting task.  One career pathway that is often overlooked and underexplored is research administration.  Research administration can look very different depending on the institution but is generally designed to provide regulatory, training, management and operational support to the research community.  Careers within this support infrastructure can offer a broad spectrum of diverse roles and rewarding experiences, and can provide numerous opportunities for professional growth and advancement.  This presentation will:
•    Define research administration and describe its importance in maintaining and supporting the research enterprise
•    Explore the breadth and range of roles and opportunities within research administration
•    Describe the skills and knowledge that a PhD-prepared individual could bring to an administrative position
•    Convey the benefits and challenges associated with being a research administrator in a hospital versus a traditional academic setting
•     Examine the speaker’s career path, current role and responsibilities
•    Introduce the research administration fellowship model as a way to assist researchers in transitioning to administration

Bio: Wendy Reed Williams, Ph.D. joined the research administration team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute in 2002 after completing postdoctoral research fellowships at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and in the Division of Oncology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  Her work at the USDA focused on the control of gene expression and her work at CHOP centered on understanding the involvement of genes in the development of leukemia.  Dr. Williams received her B.S. degree in Zoology from Howard University in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Biology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1999.  At Hopkins, her dissertation research focused on protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA interactions important to the regulation of gene activity by the AraC protein in Escherichia coli.  Dr. Williams has brought her formal training in science, her love of teaching and interest in bioethics and education to her position as Director of the Offices of Responsible Research Training and Postdoctoral Affairs at CHOP.  Her position allows her to train the scientists with whom she once shared a laboratory bench in a broad range of topics including one of her favorites, responsible research conduct and integrity in science.