Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Research Administration Mentoring Program

Timely, knowledgeable and compliant grants administration is critical to the success of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's research mission. This requires a sufficient number of staff in each unit, well trained in both the principles of grants administration and the policies and procedures of Feinberg and the University. Existing research administration staff offer a wealth of knowledge, skills and abilities that can be tapped to provide training and guidance to those new to the field and/or the institution.

The Research Administration Mentoring Program is designed to provide a structure to encourage mentoring across units, for the mutual benefit of mentors, mentees and Feinberg as a whole. Mentoring of colleagues within a unit is considered to be a core job responsibility for all staff and is thus not covered in this program.

If interested in participating, either as a mentor or mentee, please contact Cyndie Shannon-Hutchison at

About the program:

  • Mentors can be at any title or grade, but in general will tend to be more senior (EX7 and above), with at least two years of experience within Feinberg and with a PEX rating of five or above. The program will be open to those in the Research Administrator job family, as well as those in the Financial Administrator job family, whose duties focus on grant and or research support.
  • Participation as a mentor will require approval of both the immediate supervisor and the Dean's Office. Mentoring will involve periodic meetings, phone calls and emails with mentees. This is not expected to be a burdensome commitment (less than one to two hours per week), but will provide invaluable support and guidance to those learning the field and the institution, as well as useful professional development for the mentors themselves.
  • A list of potential mentors will be maintained by the Director of Research Administration, who will match mentors and mentees based on knowledge, skills and abilities. Units having staff they wish to be mentored should contact the Director of Research Administration, identifying the name, title, recent job history and specific needs of the staff member(s) to be mentored. Participation in the program will initially be capped at 15 mentor-mentee pairs and may be expanded at the discretion of the Dean’s Office.
  • All mentors will be invited to participate in quarterly “Lunch and Learn” sessions with speakers on relevant topics in mentoring, professional development and research administration. There will be an annual mentor recognition celebration and a Mentor of the Year award, with an allowance for travel to a relevant conference or other professional development activity. In addition, senior staff in the Dean’s Office will be available as needed to provide advice and guidance on mentoring in general and any specific issues that arise as part of the program.


The Research Administration Services Team collaborates with you to provide comprehensive services at essential intervals.

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