What does a Research Coordinator do?
Sometimes you see professional titles at universities but can hardly imagine what that person might actually do. That is why we asked some colleagues at IUBH University of Applied Sciences to describe exactly what their job involves.
What is your job title?
I am Research Coordinator at IUBH University of Applied Sciences.
What exactly does your job at the university entail?
As Research Coordinator, I am responsible for promoting and supporting all research activities at the university. This includes, on the one hand, informing colleagues who do research about current projects supported by large funding agencies as well as calls for papers from seminars and conferences at home and abroad. I also support professors with publications and am the contact person for all other questions related to promoting research. This can be, for example, taking a semester off to do research, attending a conference or the option of reducing the number of semester teaching hours. I am also responsible for the newly launched “IUBH Discussion Papers” research series at our university.
During the application phase for a research project, I provide administrative support and focus on the application requirements so that the professor submitting the application can concentrate on the substantive aspects. When a research project is already underway, I remain the contact person for all administrative questions and take care of billing and interim reports.
To increase the visibility of research activities at IUBH I maintain a research data bank and am in close contact with the marketing department so that they can publicise information about interesting projects and research results. I also try to support the internal networks, and alert professors to activities of their colleagues’ that could compliment or expand their own research activities.
How do you become a Research Coordinator?
There is not a classic training programme or specific academic degree for becoming a Research Coordinator. Normally, Research Coordinators have done their own scientific research and often have a PhD. This means they have research experience and are familiar with the application process and realisation of research projects. Now, there are also specific further education courses that cover for example, financial and legal aspects of EU projects.
What do you like most about your work?
Its versatility, the chance to learn about new topics and be involved with the cultures of the various disciplines, people and demands. I also enjoy discussing research ideas and proposals, and, hopefully, being part of developing them a bit further.
What is a constant challenge for you?
I think it is always challenging to figure out what each individual researcher needs and what concrete support I can offer. The various academic disciplines and all the different IUBH locations also present a challenge. In the end, I try to provide enough information about research options and current scientific developments while at the same time maintaining a balance between providing too much and too little information.