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.)
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
Completion of the four Core courses and 12 elective credits are required for initial ERA certification. Participants have two years from the date they complete their first course to complete these requirements. Possible initial certification pathways include:
- Complete the 4 Core courses and 3 full-length electives
- Complete the 4 Core courses, 2 full-length electives, and 2 short-course electives (new in 2023)
- Complete the 4 Core courses, 1 full-length elective, and 4 short-course electives (new in 2023)
- Initial certificate is valid for two (2) calendar years beginning in the year the participant began attending ERA training sessions
Your ERA certification can be renewed annually by completing 8 hours of ERA coursework or equivalent research-related training. Possible recertification pathways include:
- Complete 2 full-length electives
- Complete 1 full-length elective and 2 short-course electives (new in 2023)
- Complete 4 short-course electives (new in 2023)
- Attend SPROUT-approved conferences or training programs and send proof of attendance to Amy Bane (firstname.lastname@example.org). Each hour of training completed will count as one ERA credit toward your recertification:
- 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)
- 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: Amy Bane at email@example.com
2023 ERA CORES & ELECTIVES - All courses will take place virtually over Zoom unless otherwise indicated. Register in Ability at orrs.msu.edu/train
Visit the ERA Course Descriptions section below for more details on each course.
1Registration for Core 1 will automatically enroll you in both sessions. You must attend both sessions for full credit.
Class Materials: Final materials will be posted in Ability prior to each class date, and also emailed directly to registrants.
eLearning Electives in D2L:
|Animal Care and Use Requirements
||Email Amy Bane (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to the course in D2L and to receive further instruction on completing the training and receiving ERA credit.
International Research I
|International Research II
|Contracts and Other Agreements
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 Video Recordings:
To receive ERA credit for watching a recoding, please complete this form: forms.office.com/r/hBNkVXERSe/
ERA Course Descriptions
- Core Courses
- Core 1: Principles of Pre-Award Research Administration, Part 1
- Entry Level
- Core 1 (Part 1 of 4) 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 4) 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 Research (KR), 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
- Entry Level
- Core 3 (Part 3 of 4) 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: Compliance
- Entry Level
- Core 4 (Part 4 of 4) 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.
- The audit process can be intimidating, and it is often very time consuming. Learn about what documentation you should keep during an award, the audit process, and lessons learned from recent audits.
- Beginners Hands-On Budgeting in KR
- Entry Level
- Learn how to create a proposal budget using MSU’s research administration system, Kuali Research (KR). 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 & Cost Share
- Entry Level
- Come learn about effort reporting and cost share from our experts. This course will cover how to include these items in your proposal, monitor them during an award, and what steps are needed for award closeout. We will discuss budgeting and certifying effort, required and voluntary cost share, and how to make changes during an award.
- Export Control
- Do your researchers send controlled items, materials, software, or data outside of the U.S.? Do they work or collaborate with citizens of other countries? Does the research from your department quality for the fundamental research exemption? The staff from Export Control and Trade Sanctions will share up-to-date information from their office.
- Fee-for-Service & Service Centers
- 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.
- 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.
- Intellectual Property
- What is intellectual property? What is an invention? What is a patent? What is a copyright? What is the difference? Learn how and why intellectual property is important to research administration.
- NIH & NSF Agency Specifics
- 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
- Learn how to create a proposal budget using MSU’s research administration system, Kuali Research (KR). 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 KR
- Entry Level
- Learn how to create a proposal and route it for institutional approval in MSU’s research administration system, Kuali Research (KR). 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
- 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.
- Entry Level
- Do you know how to write a proposal to include a subaward? Do you know what documentation and reporting is needed from your sub-awardee? Come learn these things and more from our OSP and CGA subaward groups.
- University Procurement and Logistics for Research Administrators
- Entry Level
- The University Procurement and Logistics team will discuss all aspects of their unit and how they can support MSU research projects. Topics will include: Procurement, 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.