Skip to Content Options:

COVID-19: Information from SPA/OSP/CGA

Essentials of Research Administration (ERA)

The ERA certification series provides training for research administrators and other support staff who have responsibilities for research proposals, grants, contracts, pre- and post-award administration and related activity at Michigan State University.  (Training is complimentary.)

Course Levels

We have added course levels to help users find training opportunities that are appropriate for their level of experience.  These levels are intended only as a guide and they will not prevent anyone from registering for a particular course.  Each ERA course has been assigned one of the following levels:

  • Entry Level - Course is appropriate for research administrators new to MSU or new to research administration.
  • Intermediate - Course is recommended for those with at least 1 year of research administration experience or who have completed the Core courses.
  • Advanced - Course is recommended for those with at least 2 years of research administration experience or with a specific interest in or need to learn about the topic.
  • All Audiences - Course is recommended for all levels of experience and interest in research administration.  May cover topics, processes, or programs across various levels.

Initial Certification Requirements

Participants in the ERA program must complete the following requirements within two (2) calendar years to earn the ERA certificate:

  • Attend all 5 Cores AND a minimum of 3 Electives
  • Initial certificate valid for two (2) calendar years beginning in the year the participant began attending ERA training sessions

Recertification Requirements

In order to maintain ERA certification status, continuing education of 2 Elective credits (or equivalent approved research-related training credits; see below) is required on an annual basis (after the initial certification period). Recertification credit options are as follows:

  • Attend 2 MSU ERA Electives every calendar year after your initial certificate end-date, and every calendar year thereafter.
  • Attend one of the following SPROUT approved conferences or training programs (local, regional or national) and send proof of attendance or successful completion to Amanda Jones (ajjones@osp.msu.edu), Sponsored Programs Administration Training Coordinator:
    • National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)
    • Society of Research Administrators (SRA)
    • Grant Professionals Association (GPA)
    • National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
    • Obtain your Certified Research Administrator (CRA) certificate through the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC)
  • Attend SpartanRAN meetings to receive 1/2 elective credit for each meeting attended
  • Attend GRAND meetings to receive 1/2 Elective credit for each meeting attended
  • Members of SPAC or SPROUT may receive 1/4 Elective credit for each meeting attended
  • If you would like an alternative option considered for recertification credit, please send a request to the SPROUT Training Subcommittee Chair: Amanda Jones at ajjones@osp.msu.edu

 

2021 ERA CORES & ELECTIVES - All courses will take place virtually over Zoom unless otherwise indicated.  Register in Ability at www.ora.msu.edu/train

Visit the ERA Course Descriptions section below for more details on each course.

Cores:

Date Course Course Level Time
January 19 Core 1, Principles of Pre-Award Research Administration, Part 1 (first half)¹ Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - noon
January 26 Core 1, Principles of Pre-Award Research Administration Part 1 (second half)¹ Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - noon
February 9 Core 2: Principles of Pre-Award Research Administration, Part 2 Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - noon
February 23 Core 3: Principles of Post-Award Research Administration, Part 1 Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - noon
March 2 Core 4: Principles of Post-Award Research Administration, Part 2 Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - noon
March 9 Core 5: Compliance Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - noon

1Registration for Core 1 will automatically enroll you in both sessions. You must attend both sessions for full credit.

 

Electives:

Date Course Course Level Time
May 18 University Services for Research Administration (Purchasing) Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
June 8 Health and Human Services (DHHS) Human Research Protection Program Compliance Intermediate 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
June 22 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Research Compliance Advanced 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
July 20 Effort Reporting & Other Direct Cost Documentation Intermediate 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
August 17 Post-Award Receivable Process & Financial Transactions Intermediate 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
August 24 Beginner’s Hands-on Budgeting in KC (1st session) Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
August 31 Proposal Development in KC (1st session) Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
September 14 Reporting & Data Collection Intermediate 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
October 12 Departmental Post-Award Account Management Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
October 26 Fee-for-Service & Service Centers Advanced 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
November 9 Beginner’s Hands-On Budgeting in KC (2nd session) Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
November 16 NIH & NSF Agency Specifics Intermediate 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
November 30 Proposal Development in KC (2nd session) Entry Level 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
December 7 Hot Topics All Audiences 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Class Materials: Final materials will be posted in Ability prior to each class date, and also emailed directly to registrants.

 

eLearning Electives in D2L:

Course Course Level To Register:
Animal Care and Use Requirements Intermediate Email Amanda Jones (ajjones@osp.msu.edu) to be added to the course in D2L and to receive further instruction on completing the training and receiving ERA credit.

International Research I

Intermediate
International Research II Intermediate
Contracts and Other Agreements Advanced

 

Attending ERA Electives will provide you with new knowledge and tools in research administration, and stay updated on both MSU and agency policies and procedures.  Once you have obtained your initial ERA Certification, you will need to attend two (2) Electives (or other qualified training equivalents) every calendar year in order to keep your certificate active.

ERA Course Descriptions

Core 1: Principles of Pre-Award Research Administration, Part 1
Entry Level
Core 1 (Part 1 of 5) of the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series. Receive fundamental knowledge to be successful in your career as a research administrator from both a general and a MSU perspective. Learn how the research administrator can help the Principal Investigator (PI) become successful at securing external research funding by identifying funding opportunities, reading solicitations, proposal basics and regulatory requirements, and preparing budgets and budget justifications.
Core 2: Principles of Pre-Award Research Adminsitration, Part 2
Entry Level
Core 2 (Part 2 of 5) of the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series. You will be able to use more: Pre-Award tools and processes for a successful proposal completion and submission; show advanced familiarity of Proposal Development process in Kuali Coeus (KC), proposal completion and submission requirements, OSP's proposal submission process and deadline policy; recognize Negotiation Module features and data, award receipt, negotiation and acceptance process.
Core 3: Principles of Post-Award Research Administration, Part 1
Entry Level
Core 3 (Part 3 of 5) of the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series. You will be able to navigate the fundamental tools and processes for post-award activities such as account set-up, prior approvals, Account Explorer, monitoring and oversight, cost share/effort reporting, financial reporting, and award closeout. You'll be aware of more post-award management tools that can assist principal investigators spend sponsored funding responsibly while protecting the University.
Core 4: Principles of Post-Award Research Administration, Part 2
Entry Level
Core 4 (Part 4 of 5) of the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series. You will be able to contribute to completing post-award related activities such as the Facilities and Administrative (F&A/overhead/indirect) cost process and MSU service centers in relation to sponsored programs. You'll be able to prepare for audits on sponsored program accounts and apply lessons-learned from MSU’s past experience with external audits.
Core 5: Compliance
Entry Level
Core 5 (Part 5 of 5) of the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series. As a research administrator, you are responsible for assisting faculty members with following University and federal policies, and you are also in a position to provide guidance to principal investigators. You will be better able to identify issues and red flags in the regulatory affairs arena, including issues involving human subjects, animal care and use, environmental health and safety, export controls, intellectual property, conflicts of interest, and responsible conduct of research.
Animal Care & Use Requirements
Intermediate
Animal care and use is important for the instructional and research goals of MSU. You'll be able to discuss how the government regulates these activities, how MSU complies with these guidelines and how you, as a research administrator, can help. This is an elective in the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series offered by SPA and SPROUT, and does not fulfill the investigator training requirement for IACUC project approval which is the online IACUC Tutorial.
Beginners Hands-On Budgeting in KC
Entry Level
Learn how to create a proposal budget using MSU’s research administration system, Kuali Coeus (KC). This course will take you through live examples where you will be guided through creating your own budget. Prior budgeting knowledge is strongly recommended prior to taking this class.
Departmental Post-Award Account Management
Entry Level
You will be able to locate information and templates for day-to-day management of a grant account, including steps you should take when you learn about a new award, how to set up an encumbrance system, tips to work more effectively with the PI, managing subcontractors/consultants, rebudgeting, and end of grant processes. The course is facilitated by CGA with a panel of post-award administrators from across campus.
Effort Reporting & Other Direct Cost Documentation
Intermediate
More detail beyond the Core courses regarding the CGA Effort Reporting System. You'll be able to explain why effort-reporting is needed, what the information in the Effort Report signifies, and what to do if changes are needed. Since effort reports are receipts for salary charges, you will also be able to choose some best practices for other direct cost documentation on research/sponsored program accounts.
Fee-for-Service & Service Centers
Advanced
Following this training, you'll be able to describe the Fee-for-Service model including activities/service center and the role they play at the university and in research. Learn to incorporate Fee-for-Service activities/service centers into proposals and awards, and how rates are established.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Research Compliance
Advanced
You will be able to recognize different types of clinical trials and research and the necessary requirements that go along with each -- when an activity is considered to be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide an overview of the additional requirements for FDA regulated research. You'll be able to recognize and respond to red flags for human subjects rights, and protection of the PI, the University and the research. Other laws and requirements that are applicable to clinical research and clinical trials will also be discussed. Recommended Pre-requisite: Human Research Protection Requirements.
Health and Human Services (DHHS) Human Research Protection Program Compliance
Intermediate
Is human subject research causing you anxiety? Following training, you will be able to recognize the acronyms of human research protection agencies and laws (FERPA, HIPAA, IRB, BIRB, HRPP, FDA and many more). This is an elective in the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series offered by SPA and SPROUT, and does not fulfill the investigator training requirement for IRB approval which is both online courses in the Human Research Protection track. We recommend taking this course before Clinical Trials & Clinical Research Compliance.
Hot Topics in Research Administration
All Audiences
Learn what is new in Research Administration. Topics will vary. As you have learned by now, this is an ever changing world with new rules and regulations from the federal government. Stay on top of the latest news in your professional field.
NIH & NSF Agency Specifics
Intermediate
This first 2-hour portion will cover: types of NIH projects; characteristics of an NIH proposal, such as the modular budget and eRA Commons; and how to manage NIH awards at the post-award stage, including progress reports and prior approvals.The last 2-hour portion will cover: types of NSF projects; characteristics of an NSF proposal, such as how to budget participant support cost, to use Fastlane; and to manage NSF awards at the post-award stage, including progress reports and prior approvals.
Post-Award Receivable Process and Financial Transactions
Intermediate
Learn how to create a proposal budget using MSU’s research administration system, Kuali Coeus (KC). Learn about the process of receiving payments on RC and RG accounts. Review financial transactions to gain a better understanding of which KFS document type to use and what documentation is typically required.
Proposal Development in KC
Entry Level
Learn how to create a proposal and route it for institutional approval in MSU’s research administration system, Kuali Coeus (KC). During the course, instructors will review the business processes and perform step-by-step demonstrations of the functionality. Participants will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned through classroom exercises.
Reporting and Data Collection
Intermediate
Sponsored program data is complex and critical to multiple audiences across the University. Following training, you will be able to request and/or run a greater variety of reports, knowing what is available in Business Intelligence/Cognos, as well as a brief tutorial on how to design and share queries in Query Studio. This is an Elective in the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) series offered by SPA and SPROUT.
University Services for Research Administrators
Entry Level
The University Services team will discuss all aspects of their unit and how they can support MSU research projects. Topics will include: Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Capital Asset Management, University Stores, Logistics and Mail Services. As possible, a facility tour will also be provided at the end of this training session.
ERA eLearning - Contracts and Other Agreements
Advanced
This course is delivered electronically through D2L. Contact the SPA Training Coordinator to access the course. Department of Defense (DOD) agency specifics and nonfederal agreements will be covered. What is a DFAR/FAR? How is DOD different from the other federal agencies? Learn about the types of agreements industry and nonfederal sponsors use, such as master agreements, and fixed price versus cost reimbursable agreements.
ERA eLearning - International Research I
Intermediate
This course is delivered electronically through D2L. Contact the SPA Training Coordinator to access the course. Get acquainted with international research administration. Participants will learn the unique differences in international research, and where to obtain the information needed for a successful project. Presenting offices/topics will include: Export Controls & Trade Sanctions, Residential Housing Services, University Services, Office of International Students and Scholars, Payroll, and Office of Regulatory Affairs.
ERA eLearning - International Research II
Intermediate
This course is delivered electronically through D2L. Contact the SPA Training Coordinator to access the course. Get acquainted with international research administration. Participants will learn the unique differences in international research, and where to obtain the information needed for a successful project. Presenting offices/topics will include: Complex Budgeting & Accounting (OSP/CGA), International Health & Safety, Office of Risk Management, and Accounting.

Site Management