Follow up – an investigator loves working with a research administrator who helps them follow through on things they need to take care of for their research studies.
Commitment – if you say you’re going to do something, be sure to do it. (If you can’t, be sure to follow up and revise your commitment).
Attention to detail – a busy investigator doesn’t have time to pay attention to certain arcane details about forms, margins, requirements for budgets, and that’s why he or she is counting on us.
Dependability – a level of confidence that if the investigator has asked for something that it will be done, on time (with help if need be!).
A sense of urgency – the understanding that we’re working on the general time frame of the PI; that we know the PI is a clinician, or works in a lab and conducts long experiments. We don’t expect the PI to come to us – we go to the PI. We understand the PI’s expectations for us and help the PI understand how we can meet his or her expectations realistically given our workload.
Enthusiasm – that we are, on most days, excited about our work and about the work that the PI is engaged in. To work with our investigators is to advance research at our institution and in small and large ways our efforts have an impact which enlarges the research enterprise.
Knowledgeable and resourceful people – knowledge is vital to success, but often knowing where to get the answer to a question is just as important as knowing the answer. Investigators appreciate working with experienced research administrators but also appreciate the resourceful research administrator that knows how to make things happen. Developing your network is just as important as developing your knowledge.
Calm and reassuring staff – investigators handle stress differently, and your ability to deal with an investigator who is stressed out is paramount. It is more than not internalizing the emotional outburst of someone in a given moment – it is being able to take charge and function and get things done for the investigator. Your ability to remain calm and reassuring will become the cornerstone of your career.
Analytical problem solvers – being able to analyze a situation and solving a complex problem increases your ability to serve investigators in a variety of situations.
Accessibility– investigators want to know how to reach you and to know that you are available when you say you are.