What institutions did she attend?

  • Chetolah Park Primary School, Jamaica
  • Harbour View Primary School, Jamaica
  • Wolmer’s High School for Girls, Jamaica
  • The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica- BSc in Chemistry and Biochemistry, PhD in Chemistry
  • University of Alberta, Canada- MSc in Food Science

Other achievements

  • Pelican Award 2007 for excellent work in the field of science and technology, UWI
  • Fellow, Americas 2000 Project, Rice University, USA
  • Research Fellow at the Agrotechnological Research Institute,b The Netherlands
  • Started her own business, Audia Barnett & Associates Ltd


She enjoys reading espionage novels, gourmet cooking, gardening, and “net surfing”.


As a Research Fellow at the MIGAL Galilee Technological Centre in Israel, she once had to duck under a bench from a rocket bomb. After the danger passed, she and her colleagues continued working as if nothing had happened. She learned as a result to appreciate security among other things she had taken for granted.

Audia Barnett (Date of Birth: 11th May 1955)

Caribbean Women in STI

Dr Audia Zeane Barnett is a well-known research administrator working to advance the use of science and technology in developing countries for economic and social progress. For eight years, she served as Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council (SRC), an organisation that promotes and coordinates scientific research and development in Jamaica.

As head of the SRC, she made a significant contribution to the development of the country’s policy framework for food safety and security. She led the institute’s effort in applying science, technology and innovation to stimulate growth and development in new economic niches. This thrust involved using scientific principles and modern technologies to expand entrepreneurial opportunities, job creation and income generation. She was successful in promoting lemon grass-based products as an investment opportunity and starting the “Yes Invest” initiative to resuscitate Jamaica’s essential oil industry.

Under her leadership, the SRC also achieved its ISO 9001 and ISO17025 accreditation. She spearheaded the SRC’s rebranding process to increase corporate visibility and the adoption of new mission and vision statements. She also oversaw the planning and execution of nine science and technology conferences and expositions on varying topics of national interest.

Before joining the SRC, Dr Barnett was Executive Director of the Secretariat for the National Commission on Science and Technology. During her time there, she represented Jamaica on the negotiating team for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Under her guidance, the Commission successfully bid for US$500,000 in grant funding to develop biotechnology capacity in the Caribbean, and she was appointed as the project coordinator.

A former lecturer at The UWI, Mona for 17 years and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Technology, Dr Barnett is now based in Canada where, in her role as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) Representative, she facilitates assistance in agriculture and food security to developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). She also promotes agri-business trade between LAC and Canada.

Audia Zeane Barnett was born on 11th May, 1955 in Frankfield, Jamaica but was raised in Harbour View, Kingston. Both her parents were teachers at Kingston College and, as a result, she had a strict upbringing. In third form at Wolmer’s High School for Girls, when she was faced with the choice between arts or science, she chose science, and has never regretted the decision. She treasures the foundation laid at high school, which prepared her to be a disciplined and balanced individual. She describes her field as fulfilling and enjoyable as it requires continuous learning and exposes her to the fascinating wonders of science. She particularly enjoys being able to apply knowledge to entrepreneurship, thereby fostering wealth creation.


What is a research administrator?

Research administrators are professionals who manage organisations that promote or undertake scientific research
and development (R&D) and their application in society. The administrators seek to enhance the effectiveness of their organisation and ensure that research is conducted to the highest standards.

Administrators have to apply knowledge from both science and business disciplines to ensure the organisation’s success. Their responsibilities include helping to chart and execute the institution’s mission, planning and managing research agendas, fundraising, intellectual property management, and cost management. Administrators must liaise with sponsors and collaborating organisations to achieve set goals.

Areas of Specialisation

  • R&D management
  • R&D evaluation
  • Knowledge management
  • Technology management

What do I need to study?

At CSEC and CAPE: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math

A bachelor’s degree in any field of science, followed by an MSc or PhD, is required. Certification in research administration can then be obtained.

What skills and traits do I need?

  • Good communication skills
  • Good teamwork skills
  • Ability to see big picture trends
  • Strong leadership and managerial skills
  • Problem-solving ability

Famous Research Administrators

  • Paul Ehrlich
  • Juan Salcedo
  • Ernest Orlando Lawrence