Research Administration Training and Developmental Provisions for Staff: Professional Developing and Structuring of a Library for Research Administrators
This action research study utilized a mixed-method approach to better understand the current situation of the research administration community with respect to addressing the training and development needs for new and junior staff within Arizona State University’s Fulton Schools of Engineering and encompass other departments and units at Arizona State University. The study extended on those efforts of support by implementing an innovative resource library as a foundation, to decipher the needs of the research administration community and better equip staff through successful training, development and learning experiences. This study assessed Arizona State University’s research administration training and development platforms and other institutional platforms (e.g., National Council of University Research Administrators, National Science Foundation, Grants.gov, and National Institutes of Health) – to garner the necessary ingredients and components to creatively design, develop and implement the innovative library. This study involved two naturally occurring groups consisting of a cohort of research administration staff with varying levels of experience. Specifically, a group of junior and a group of senior research staff were invited to participate in this study. The groups delivered on their experience, perceptions, evaluations, and ideas, which also aided in the necessary modifications to the library resource. For instance, following the delivery from the group of senior participants’ adjustments and modifications aided in the preparation of the junior participants' performance in the library portal. The junior participants performance experience in the library embodied and measured their perceptions, experience, confidence, and comfort levels. Performances within the site enabled the participants to clearly identify and clarify areas of need within the research administration infrastructure within Fulton Schools of Engineering and at Arizona State University overall. In addition, encouragement for future iterations of the library resource were strongly declared and proposed. The revelations brought about through the discussion modules from both groups gave insight through the eyes of participants (e.g., seniors and juniors); which heightened and strengthened the results of the study. Overall, the outcomes received and tracked through the discussion modules from both groups suggested that the current training and development research administration infrastructure within Arizona State University’s research community needed adjustments.