What do you read?

What’s on your Kindle, or your iPad? (Or your night table?)

It’s not just a loaded question for political candidates. Keeping up with developments in the field and incorporating new information into daily work is a requirement for research administrators, and a broad “media” list shows you’re thinking about your role in a strategic way. Resources for research administrators include information streams from agencies, and timely sources of input about how to anticipate changes in the funding environment we work in, as well as how to improve service to investigators.

Of course, we’re always reading and keeping up to date in a rapidly changing field, that seeks to serve scientists who are looking for funding that is becoming harder to find, looking to establish and solidify their careers and to advance their research agenda through alliances and collaboration. We’re uniquely suited to help our investigators identify opportunities and ensure that their proposals best represent their work, especially when we have a solid understanding of their scientific research and the competitive environment that they are working in.

Michelle’s Must-Read Media List

  • Dr. Sally Rockey’s Rock Talk Blog – written by the director of the NIH Office of External Research. There’s always something helpful on this site. I read it on my Google Reader through RSS.
  • GovTrack RSS feed on Congressional Appropriations – when Congress is about to shut down the government and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to submit applications for cycle coming up next week, I watch CNN and track my RSS feed for legislative updates to keep my investigators informed.
  • KevinMD.com – Kevin Pho, MD is an uber-blogger who has an empire on Med-Page Today with a following of physicians and other medical professionals who discuss the latest trending topics in research. It’s an interesting perspective to keep up on research and news affecting physicians and investigators in the clinical realm.
  • Speaking of Medicine – Is the leading open access Public Library of Science medical journal that publishes “highly selected papers of relevance to a global audience that address the major biological, environmental, social and political determinants of health.”
  • Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog – SSI Review is a creative resource for managing projects, workflow and resources in a non-profit environment.
  • Harvard Business Review Blog Network – HBR is the go-to resource for management, HR, and career insights, as well as how to manage projects, and people. I recommend a subscription to benefit from the full array of the information available.
  • NCURA: Report on Research Compliance (e-mail subscription service) – is a fantastic, but expensive email subscription that tracks all aspects of Federal government activity on the area of research rulemaking and compliance, as its happening. There are email updates and a monthly newsletter. Definitely worthwhile.
  • RSS feeds for NIH, NSF, and a myriad of foundations and sponsors’ websites – I prefer to receive updates from sponsors via Google Reader, where others may prefer Twitter or Facebook. Check the “news” or updates pages for NIH or NSF to subscribe to just the information you need in the format you prefer.

Reading List

The books below are some of my faves, because they lend insight into the work of physician investigators, their training and education,  and the tremendous complexity and change in the medical/clinical environment (created by research and the health care system itself). When our investigators come up for air to write a research grant, after spending eight hours in the lab, or in the O.R., or in caring for patients, it’s helpful to have some context to think about their experience and the pressures they are facing.

Managing Externally Funded Research Programs: A Guide to Effective Practices – Council on Government Relations

The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande, MD

How Doctors Think – Jerome Groopman, MD

On Doctoring: Stories, Poems and Essays – Edited by Richard Reynolds MD and John Stone, MD

Do We Still Need Doctors? John Lantos, MD

White Coat: Becoming A Doctor at Harvard Medical School – Ellen Lerner Rothman, MD

Mortal Lessons – Richard Selzer, MD

DNA – James D. Watson

Hospital: An Oral History of Cook County Hospital – Sydney Lewis

Science on Trial – Marcia Angell, MD

What’s your favorite regular news source? What book would you recommend to a colleague? 

2 thoughts on “What do you read?”

  1. Hi Michelle,
    Per your recommendation, I just finished reading The Checklist Manifesto! An avid user of checklists already, this book gave me more insight into the higher purpose of a checklist and ways to tweak them to make them even more effective. Thanks for the recommendation!

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