Pros: non-profit research institution with less than 1000 employees, great benefits, lots of social events, great people, international community, wonderful international potlucks, independent work atmosphere
Cons: promotional limit - i've reached the top and started at the top - low pay increase
Typical day at work - today:
Arrive and make coffee and check calendar (Outlook); read emails and prioritize mail; work on priority jobs (today I will file a Material Transfer Agreement (intellectual property agreement with another institution); complete itinerary for an invited speaker from another institution for our Wednesday Lecture Series at Stowers – more... Institute which entails travel, create itinerary (invite Investigators to meet with Speaker), organize taxi service and room and meals, etc.; send out Journal Club invitation; check accounting for credit card transactions; work on Investigator's next travel lecture; check with new Postdoc to see if he is aware of upcoming meeting with accounting, bank, etc.
My current position as administrator for a research lab requires using reasoning skills, problem solving and good judgment on a daily basis. The Investigator that I work for spends most of her time writing and editing manuscripts; writing progress reports for grants and renewing grants; writing article reviews for journals; grant review for NIH; and, lecturing at conferences and by invitation, internationally, etc. She does not have time for much else. It is my role to make certain the lab runs smoothly and efficiently.
In order for the lab to run efficiently and smoothly I need to solve problems immediately whether they are personal in nature; equipment related; or organizational. There have been issues between mouse researchers and yeast researchers; microscope users; lab responsibility issues; animal regulatory breaches; and lab member versus company policy issues. All issues need to be handled in a gentle and rational way. Since our lab is multi-cultural, different cultural norms need to be recognized and sensitivities need to be understood. As the lab evolves and researchers come and go lab responsibilities also evolve and change. There is constantly reorganization and changing responsibilities and all of this needs to be handled using good judgment.
I am the person that the lab comes to with most problems. The Investigator is always made aware of issues but I always try to find a solution to these problems without requiring her time. My role in the lab is to be the liaison between the Investigator and the lab members and between the lab and administration. It is my role to know and understand company policy and make certain it is adhered to.
I enjoy working here because of the scientists and students in the lab and the overall atmosphere of the institution. This is a wonderful place to work. – less