WVSOM celebrates National Research Administrator Day

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) is joining a national effort to thank individuals who work behind the scenes to build the foundations for successful research programs.

National Research Administrator Day, which takes place each year on Sept. 25, was created by the National Council of University Research Administrators to recognize the professionals who help keep research projects and grants on course. Research administrators work alongside principal investigators, performing tasks such as ensuring research integrity and compliance, conducting grants administration and managing laboratories.

At WVSOM, research assistants who typically carry out “benchwork” — the labor of executing experiments in labs — also perform research administrator duties, such as ensuring shared resources are available, budgets are balanced and laboratory supplies are stocked. These employees make it possible for WVSOM’s principal investigators to focus on gathering data aimed at improving health and discovering ways to prevent disease.

“WVSOM has a host of people who dedicate their time, energy and enthusiasm to supporting the research endeavor, so that principal investigators can focus on research,” said Jandy Hanna, Ph.D., MSB, the school’s associate dean for research and sponsored programs. “Our employees who undertake research administration are a big part of the success of WVSOM’s research endeavor. Without these critical activities, innovation, inquiry and discovery would be hindered.”

Research is vital to WVSOM’s mission, and the medical school’s strategic plan includes fostering a climate that promotes intellectual curiosity and continued professional development, providing internal funding and support for research projects, and supporting research and scholarly activity through protected time and professional development resources.

During the 2020-21 academic year, WVSOM had 10 research-related grants totaling $613,223. Additionally, 28 programmatic grants during that period totaled $3,576,636.

Those who celebrate the annual event by thanking research administrators on social media are asked to include the hashtag #ResearchAdministratorDay.