Employee Spotlight: Katherine Viera

Photo of Katherine Viera
November 30, 2019

Tell me about your current role at Yale University?

In May 2019 I took on a new role as a Financial Analyst – Post Award in the department of Faculty Research Management Services.

What are your main responsibilities?

Faculty Research Management Services (FRMS) provides non-medical school departments and their principal investigators with the resources and expert knowledge needed to compete for, manage, and renew sponsored awards. My role is to assist Principal Investigators/Faculty in the overall financial management of their portfolios once they have received sponsored awards.

What do you like most about your work?

I enjoy providing support to faculty and learning about all the different studies that are conducted from religious studies to statistical analysis to cancer research.

How does your job affect your general lifestyle?  

Research has impacted me personally, I was the subject of a study in 2017 when it was discovered that I suffered from a condition in pregnancy called oligohydramnios, which essentially meant that I had very low amniotic fluid volume due to prelabor rupture of membranes. In one of the summer C&T courses that I attended, I discovered a site called PubMed, which is where National Institute of Health publishes citations and abstracts on studies. Through that site I discovered a procedure called a transabdominal amnioinfusion, which was proven through multiple studies to extend the latency period during pregnancy. Initially my doctors were reluctant and thought it was too risky. After I provided them with the studies that I found, they decided to move forward with the procedure, making my case the first transabdominal amnioinfusion to include antibiotic-infused fluids in Yale New Haven Hospital’s history. The procedure was a success and my son Kaleb is now a happy and healthy 22 month old. It brings me great joy to know that my case will hopefully help another mother in the same situation and with limited options.

How did you begin your career?

Prior to starting at Yale, I obtained my Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in 2012 and 2015 respectively. In 2016, just 6 months after I was hired at Yale as a C&T, I was informed that I would be laid off. It was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to change my career from Medical Billing/Accounts Receivable to Grants Management. That summer I took advantage of all Grants and Contract and Finance related courses of the Clerical & Technical Staff Summer Training Program and any other relevant classes offered through TMS. I applied for several grant-related positions, from Financial Assistant to Accountant and in June 2016 I landed my first role as a Post Award Administrator. 

What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?

I would advise anyone looking to move into this role to take advantage of the vast resources that Yale has to offer. Additionally, if they do not currently have a degree to take advantage of tuition reimbursement and pursue a degree in Finance and/or Accounting.

What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?

It is extremely important to possess analytical and organizational skills as portfolio management involves many moving parts. Understanding and ensuring that University and sponsor policies, procedures and processes are followed is an essential part of the role.

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself?

I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t change a thing, it is my life experiences that make me who I am today……and I am happy with the woman looking back at me in the mirror, granted there’s always room for improvement, and I am cognizant of those areas.

What does YLNG mean to you and how have you contributed as a member of the Steering Committee? 

YLNG gives me an opportunity to be involved with the Yale community, it gives me a sense of belonging which I was missing. Since I am relatively new to the group I hope to bring fresh ideas and a different perspective that can meet the objectives of YLNG, especially as it relates to community engagement.