You may surprise yourself and find that you posses the skills employers are seeking. First, science acumen is paramount: You must demonstrate competence in science and have proof of what you have contributed to your field of study. Other desirable skills that science administration recruiters seek include the ability to communicate effectively, leadership and management skills and the ability to work effectively and cooperate with others. Do you have these skills? Well, you may have them and simply not realize it. For example, if you’ve mentored people in the lab, ordered and organized lab supplies and equipment, organized data clubs, journal clubs or other seminars or worked with collaborators on research projects, you probably possess leadership, management and team-player skills. Other ways to obtain these skills include taking leadership or management classes, teaching science courses, editing research papers or grant proposals, attending career advice workshops and speaking with science administrators about their job duties.
Now that you know what a scientific administrative position might entail and you know the skills involved, conduct your self-assessment to see if that career is for you. If so, try to acquire the training and skills you need to transition to a science administration position. The shift in focus from your specialized research area to guiding decisions that affect the allocation of research and research-training support is definitely achievable if you prepare yourself.