Introduction to Research Administration and Management

About Introduction to Research Administration and Management

Ideal for someone new to the profession or as a refresher for a more seasoned research administrator, The Introduction to Research Administration and Management (IRAM) certificate explores the broad scope of the multi-faceted profession of research administration.

The comprehensive curriculum - developed by some of the "best of the best" instructors in the field - provides an overview and introduction to the broad field of research administration and management. Elements of the curriculum include understanding the environment and context within which research administration is conducted as it relates to such diverse areas as:

  • research law,
  • research ethics,
  • fiscal management,
  • regulatory compliance,
  • sponsored program administration, and
  • pre- and post-award management.

Certificate Course Requirements

IRAM is comprised of one full-day workshop, four required sessions and three elective sessions. The required courses are listed below; the electives may vary from meeting-to-meeting.

Required Workshop

Fundamentals of Research Administration and Management


This workshop, intended for individuals with fewer than three years' experience, is designed to give newcomers to research administration a big picture of the profession. Topics covered will include finding funding opportunities; orienting new faculty to the research environment; pre- and post-award administration; proposal development, submission, review and award negotiation; administrative and fiscal regulations; accountability and risk management; and research, fiscal, and professional ethics.

Required Sessions

Must take four. 

Must take one session within each category. Session titles may vary from meeting to meeting.

Fundamentals of Sponsored Research Projects

This topic area covers the basics of grants management and the role of the research administrator: identifying funding sources; interpreting application guidelines; preparing applications; understanding types of sponsored agreements; financial and regulatory monitoring of expenditures; overview of clinical trials.

Examples of workshops and sessions that would meet the Fundamentals requirement include any introductory or basics sessions on grants management and best practices in research administration.

Legal Issues in Research Administration

This topic area covers the protection of research data and property at the institutional level, data sharing and transfer and legal issues related to working with outside entities including for-profit companies, foreign institutions and other academic entities.

Examples of sessions that would meet this requirement include any introductory session on ownership of data, intellectual property issues, Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), export control, confidentiality, indemnification and contract negotiations.

Regulatory Compliance

This topic area covers the regulatory requirements for the institution and the researcher to conduct research including: conflict of interest; human subjects and animal subjects; Responsible Conduct of Research training requirements; and environmental health and safety.

Examples of sessions that would meet this requirement include introductory sessions on the role of the IRB and the IACUC in human and animal subjects, the regulatory agencies that oversee the conduct of this research, introductory sessions on conflict of interest, conflict of interest disclosures and training, identifying research misconduct, biosafety, radiation safety and other environmental health and safety topics.

Financial Management and Compliance

Sessions in this topic area include how to adhere to federal and sponsor requirements for budgeting and spending on sponsored projects.

Examples of session content on this topic include:

  • the basics of sponsored project budgeting;
  • OMB circulars and Uniform Guidance;
  • understanding indirect costs;
  • effort reporting;
  • cost transfers;
  • expenditure monitoring; and
  • financial reporting to sponsors.

Elective Sessions

Must take three.

The elective sessions will vary meeting to meeting.