Development of a Website Resource Toolkit to Support the Onboarding and Continued Professional Growth of Research Administrators at a Not-For-Profit Foundation
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Research Administrators (RA) play a critical function in the sponsored research environment and need valuable resources to aid in effective execution of their responsibilities. The author of this Capstone Project recognized the RAs at the not-for-profit Foundation of which she is employed, were not fully supported by the resources available to them on the Foundation's website. The Capstone Project addresses this problem through building a web-based research administration toolkit for Foundation RAs. There were three main objectives for the project: 1) distribute a questionnaire to RAs to a) assess the RAs frequency of use of the current Foundation website and understand how helpful RAs find the website and b) obtain feedback from RAs, on topics they identify as essential and beneficial in performing their role; 2) develop an easily accessible resource toolkit on the website for RAs containing content that will support them in their duties and professional growth; and 3) leverage the Foundation website and toolkit as an extension of the OSP to foster better communication with RAs. The Foundation website would serve as a suitable platform for the toolkit as RAs used the current website resources at varying frequencies. The current resources available on the website did need improvements as not all RAs found the website resources helpful. RAs at different levels of experience and years of employment at the Foundation can benefit from the resources in the toolkit as analysis suggested RAs valued similar research administration areas, and tasks and processes as essential to their role. The toolkit provides a user-friendly platform for RAs to access the resources concentrated on the research administration areas, and task and processes they valued as most important.