LevelUP: My Journey in Micro-Credentialing
The email read, “SRA International Education and Professional Development Committee (EPDC) is undergoing a massive project to develop a Professional Development Framework and a model for accreditation. We are developing a small task force of 6-8 experienced research administrators to initially engage in this project and we would like to invite you to participate.” How could I turn that down especially when is missed the operative work…..massive. For someone whose passion is developing research administration professionals, how could I turn that down? Little did I know when I received that invitation over two years ago that I was going to embark on and be a part of launching one of what I consider the most important educational initiatives that I have witnessed in my quarter of a century as a research administrator.
In our first meeting, the task force broadly outlined the core framework for a micro-credentialing program that is being launched this month as LevelUP. The dedication of not only the task force but everyone who has written modules or questions and the incredible support of SRAI staff and our consultant is truly a testament to the strength of SRAI. As Yoda and Mark Hochman (our Jedi Master) would say, “There is no try, there is only do.”
I was determined to keep my involvement at the task force level but when a need arose to expedite the completion of the Award Negotiation and Acceptance module, I found it hard to sit on the sidelines and enlisted the help of the content authors, Tim Linker, Sandra Nordahl, Bruce Steinert, and Evan Roberts, to do the heavy lifting of the first draft and multiple edits. Negotiator positions are hard to fill and many of us find ourselves growing our own and thus I felt it was critically important to have this module as a part of our initial launch. Not only does this teach the basic terminology and concepts but it also offers insightful tips on the nuances of negotiation strategies. I consider myself a fairly adept contract negotiator but I gained valuable knowledge from being a part of the development of this module.
I cannot wait for the launch of this module. It has been an honor to be a part of developing this innovative, efficient and effective training tool that will benefit our profession for years to come. We envision partnering with our international members to expand offerings to include modules focused on country-specific regulatory frameworks and nuances for working with foreign sponsors. I know the entire task force is eager to launch the project and to continue to develop modules that can provide Just In Time training on everything from the basics to very specialized topics as we develop the next tier of training.
Authored by: Susan Wyatt Sedwick, CRA, Senior Consulting Associate