Checklists. They are a research administrator’s best friend. We have so many things we have to remember – under such stressful conditions, that we create checklists for everything. I love checklists for three reasons.
First, it’s a great way to make sure that I cover off on everything I have to do when I’m under stress, because I’m TERRIBLE at remembering everything. I need them, especially when I’m down the 11th hour and I get tired. I also like to make checklists for PI’s.
Second, it’s a terrific way to ensure that a team of people are doing the same process in just about the same way – and that the most important steps are not being missed.
Third – it’s a superb way to ensure that a new person is trained to do a process with complete information. It’s one thing to have someone SHOW you how to do it, but it’s another to have a great list to refer to when that person has left the building. (Now what was that 19th step again?)
Do you have a favorite checklist? There are short ones, and long ones, and ones with guidance notes. They are crucial to our success, that’s for sure. Write them, and use them. Share them with colleagues that you work with, and shorten them with critical steps for your PI’s.
Our office has several that we’ve refined and we like a lot:
- Proposal Development & Submission
- Award Management
- Post Award Close-Out
- Subcontracting with Affiliates
I’ll send them to anyone who asks!