Laura Khumalo is the first research administrator to be awarded the Research Administration Professional (RAP) designation by the IPRC.
Laura is a Research Administrator at the Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (CoE-MaSS) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a member of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA).
The IPRC Secretariat asked Laura a few questions and here is what she had to say:
What motivated you to apply for professional status?
“I think it is an exciting opportunity for an early career research administrators to be recognised for the work that they do and to place them on a professional development trajectory. I wanted to be a part of that community. Recognition will allow me to network with other research management professionals and to help me attain RMP status in the near future.”
What do you find most rewarding and most challenging about working in research administration?
“Working with researchers and students and supporting them with their research needs is very rewarding. The most challenging aspect for me is the systems and operational challenges within institutions.”
Give us a glimpse of your career journey
“I have a BA Hons in Politics and International Relations from the University of Johannesburg. My first position within a university was as an Administrative Assistant for the SARChI (South African Research Chairs Initiative) Chair in Industrial Development at the University of Johannesburg before moving to industry. I joined the CoE-MaSS at the University of the Witwatersrand as a Research Administrator in 2021 and are looking forward to further developing my skills and gaining experience in research management.”