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A Research Administrator’s perspective of the NIH Seminar

Ryan Edwards
December 09, 2019

A Research Administrator’s perspective of the NIH Seminar

The 2019 NIH Regional Seminar for Program Funding and Grants Administration was facilitated by the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Phoenix, beginning with targeted workshops on Wednesday the 6th and followed by the seminar on the 7th and 8th. The event boasted over 1000 attendees from over 10 countries. Keynote speaker Dr. Michael Lauer, the NIH Deputy Director of Extramural Research, opened the event with a discussion on the state of the NIH in terms of research funding and expenditure growth. The remaining speakers covered a wide variety of topics ranging from NIH Grants Fundamentals and Resources to Inventions, Patents, Copyrights, & Data.

Event attendance was highly beneficial, particularly for a beginning research administrator. Topics were addressed through the lens of the NIH but in such a way that the differences between NIH and other sponsors are highlighted against the backdrop of uniform guidance. This makes it much simpler for an administrator that has experience with another sponsor to identify those terms and processes that are communicable and which policies are dissimilar when working with the NIH. The seminar also provided an excellent opportunity for networking. All of the presenters were very approachable and eager to answer questions and encouraged everyone to reach out to them if they had any questions in the future. More senior administrators and investigators were also eager to offer guidance as well as a point of contact for future use. In summary, the 2019 NIH Regional Seminar for Program Funding and Grants Administration was an excellent opportunity to build or brush up on the skills and establish the contacts that allow us to be more effective in our roles, whether that is as an investigator or an administrator.


About the author:

Ryan Edwards is a Research Advancement Specialist for the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. In this role, he manages pre- and post-award grant activities and supports faculty and staff in their effort to apply for grants, contracts and cooperative agreements.

He graduated from NAU with a bachelors in Philosophy, Politics and Law. Prior to working at ASU he worked as an inventory coordinator at a medical imaging device manufacturer and an operations team lead at a major retailer.

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