RO Peeps: Adam Golberg

The RO Peeps page lists the research office profiles of friends of The Research Whisperer. It showcases the talent and myriad trajectories that make us who we are.

This entry profiles Adam Golberg, who writes the social science research, policy and development blog, Cash for Questions. His ORCID is 0000-0003-1547-2695.


Name & Twitter handle: Adam Golberg / @Cash4Questions

Position title: Research Manager

University: Nottingham University Business School

Location: Nottingham, UK.

Highest qualification? MPhil in Political Philosophy

How did you get into this role, and how long have you been a research administrator/developer? I started in research support at Keele University (UK) in 2005, managing the Research Institute for Public Policy and Management. This involved pre-award, post-award, and managing the unit.

Gradually, the role evolved towards grant-getting, and I was able to develop skills in ‘lay review’ of grant applications, as well as costings, eligibility questions, etc. When the opportunity to move to a more specialised role at a more research intensive university came up, I moved to the University of Nottingham in 2009.

What other kinds of jobs have you had? My first higher education role was managing the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University, which I got partly because of some previous admin experience and partly because of my background in philosophy.

My role in the Centre included marketing flexible part-time MA courses and looking for opportunities for knowledge transfer activities. Before I started my MPhil, I was Guest Care Manager at a childrens’ activity holiday centre in Scotland.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job? I love working with academic experts and discussing their research ideas. I won’t claim to understand everything that they want to investigate, but it’s a privilege to share their ideas and play a role in helping them get funding.

What’s the thing you’d most like to change about your job? Something I find particularly frustrating is when researchers don’t talk to me, or come to see me at the last possible moment before the deadline. I’m trying to help, and it’s rare that I can’t improve an application in at least some way. Sometimes, that improvement is marginal; sometimes, it’s substantial.

Favourite hobby-horse? I can be persuaded to complain loudly and bitterly about the lack of funding opportunities for small projects. In the UK at the moment, it seems that big is better when it comes to grants, but I think that great work can be done with relatively small amounts of funding, generally just covering research expenses.

Dream job? Not sure.  I think there’s still a frustrated writer in there somewhere.

Best advice to researchers? It’s difficult to come up with a single piece of advice other than, well, be prepared to seek and take good advice.

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