Patience Okpoti was awarded the Research Administration Professional (RAP) designation by the IPRC in November 2022. She shares her career journey and what inspired her to apply for professional recognition.
Patience Okpoti is a Research Development Officer in the Pre-and Post-Award Services Team at the University of Ghana’s Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID). She is a member of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) and the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAi).
Q: What motivated you to apply for professional status?
A: “After working at the University of Ghana Research Office for over 3 years, my desire to acquire further knowledge in research management was heightened. Hence, I started looking for opportunities to enhance my career development and a colleague introduced me to this programme and I decided to apply.”
Q: How do you think professional recognition will benefit your career journey?
A: “As a new entrant to the profession, I believe this recognition will put me on a development trajectory and will expose me to more knowledge sharing platforms to network with both new and experienced research administrators. Additionally, I will have the opportunity to interact and acquire experience in what I do and impact the knowledge to other colleagues in the same profession.”
Q: What do you find most rewarding and most challenging about working in research administration?
A: “I gain satisfaction in supporting researchers especially early career researchers with their proposal writing and development, submission of grants and managing projects till its completion and close out stages. Seeing researchers apply and win large external grants after all the efforts they put in, is very fulfilling. However, the most challenging aspect is when grants deadlines are not met.”
Q: Give us a glimpse of your career journey
A: “I studied Business Administration (Human Resource Management) for my 1st and 2nd degrees from the Methodist University and University of Ghana in 2010 and 2014, respectively. My first job was at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana where I worked as an administrative assistant and later senior administrative assistant for over 17 years. I became interest in research administration and started attending research management workshops and conferences. In 2019 I applied for my current position where I manage the Internal Research Fund and support and facilitate the pre- and post-award functions.”