Lindsey Demeritt Shares Her Journey, Insights, and
Rewards Working in Research Administration
At Attain Partners, our research administration experts bring decades of direct experience working in education and a successful track record serving the nation’s top colleges and universities. As a testament to our expertise, Attain Partners proudly serves more than 70 of the nation’s top 100 research institutions—including 100% of the Ivy League schools—through the variety of research enterprise services we provide. We also offer in-depth, sponsor-based research administration training tailored to the needs of any institution.
Research administration is a growing field full of opportunity, and our roster of experts is expanding rapidly. In celebration of National Research Administrator Day, we sat down with Lindsey Demeritt, a Manager in the Research Enterprises Services practice of Attain Partners, to learn more about her experiences, the pivotal moments that led her to this field, what keeps her engaged in research administration, and why she cares so much about welcoming newcomers into the field.
Attain Partners (AP): What is your title at Attain Partners?
Lindsey Demeritt (LD): I am a Manager in the Research Enterprises Services practice of Attain Partners.
AP: What did you do before joining Attain Partners?
LD: Before joining Attain Partners, I was the Director of Sponsored Projects for the Dell Medical School at UT Austin. I was there for a little over seven years. Before that, I was the Assistant Manager for Sponsored Projects at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for three years.
AP: What is your educational background, and how has it contributed to your research administration career?
LD: I have a Master’s in Secondary Mathematics Education and a BSBA in Information Systems. I wouldn’t say that either of these two degrees “prepared” me for a career in research administration, but I have applied what I learned from my degree programs to my work time and time again. As a research administrator, we teach, we coach, we analyze, we problem-solve, and we shift gears all day long.
Additionally, I’ve been able to engage in professional development activities that have allowed me to continue with my love of teaching and education, just in terms of training in our field, rather than in math.
AP: How did you get into research administration?
LD: As I transitioned my career from full-time teaching, I worked with the University of Central Florida (UCF) College of Education’s budget office. Shortly after I started, I was given the opportunity to serve as the local implementation manager for the College of Education on a new system implementation. Our office managed all the post-award (non-scientific, of course) elements. Over time, my role morphed into post-award compliance for the college. Later, I was promoted to an assistant director position at the Center for Educational Research and Development, facilitating pre- and post-award grants for the College.
AP: What brought you to Attain Partners?
LD: I had two colleagues come over to Attain Partners—one fairly recently—and when I realized it was time for me to move on from my former institution, I reached out to see what their thoughts were on moving to the consulting realm. They both had great things to say and between them and my conversations with the various Attain Partners team members in the recruiting process, I knew Attain Partners was going to be a good fit for me and a great place for me to continue to grow as a research administrator.
AP: What do you like most about the work you do?
LD: I enjoy getting to work with new people, seeing how different organizations do their work, and providing support to our clients however I can.
AP: How do you keep current in research administration?
LD: I am engaged in the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and have been for nearly 15 years. Additionally, I am active on various listservs and am looking to start engaging with the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI).
AP: What advice would you offer someone considering a career in research administration?
LD: I would advise that it is a great career path! Research Administration is an incredibly welcoming and cooperative field. At no point in my career have I ever had something come up about which no one was willing to share their knowledge with me. There is a saying, “Why reinvent the wheel?” and research administrators seem to live by this—share and share alike!
It also tends to be a career path with a lot of flexibility, and how far you go in the field is often limited mostly to location, but with the advent of remote work, even that is becoming less impactful. I have had several opportunities to advance my career quite a bit because I was able to relocate a few times over the years; but, with remote work, you can often take the next steps without ever packing a single box. I would also advise that you get involved in the research administration community—to attend meetings, join listservs, and find a few people who you can use as mentors/touchstones. This field is incredibly dynamic and so much fun!
AP: What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
LD: I have two small children, so my “outside of work” is spending time with them! I love to travel and have thankfully given both of them the travel bug too, so we are almost always planning our next trip.
AP: What is your favorite energizing food/beverage?
From our team to yours, Happy Research Administrator Day!
Attain Partners – Research Administration Experts
Compliance is critical to your organization’s ability to make an impact. Our team provides world-class expertise in navigating the complex and dynamic regulatory environment, implementing industry best practices, and optimizing performance.
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