After we first posted about the Research Administration Training Program, more lovingly called the RAT Pack, we were surprised about the amount of views the article received. So, we’ve decided to create a mini-series featuring RAT Pack basics, curriculum, experiences of past RAT Packers and (we hope) some musings from our current RAT Packers.
The RAT Pack is designed to provide new college graduates, and individuals with previous work experience, the training and experience necessary to begin a career in research administration. The program was developed because JHU, like most universities, is in constant need of knowledgeable administrative staff that specializes in sponsored research and compliance. Because nothing existed that specifically provided such training, and to address a dearth of qualified applicants, JHU decided to create its own program in hopes that enrollees would eventually seek employment at the school.
The program itself consists of four 6-month rotations from start to finish. A trainee must finish two complete rotations to be considered for permanent employment within JHU, but is generally expected that each trainee complete at least three rotations before leaving the program, thereby giving them a stronger sense of the overall research administration process.
While the RAT Pack program doesn’t guarantee a job at JHU, it does provide job placement assistance and credentials. Each research administration trainee is given a mentor for the entirety of their program, who assists the members with their navigation through the inherent administrative issues and helps the trainee manage the rotation process. Trainees are also given supervisors for each specific rotation, to ensure that they are keeping up with the curriculum.
Stay tuned for more on the RAT Pack curriculum and experiences of RAT Packers! In the interim, do you have questions for us or the RAT Packers themselves? Make sure to Facebook or comment them to be answered in our next post!