Practice of Research Administration and Management

About Practice of Research Administration and Management 

The Practice of Research Administration and Management (PRAM) certificate focuses on the supervision and organization of research activities from an organization management perspective. The core content for the certificate emphasizes:

  • leadership development,
  • research administration staffing and management,
  • research and faculty development,
  • innovation and economic development, and
  • integrity and stewardship.

The certificate includes content that is relevant for research managers who are generally at a Director or higher-level within an organization and covers the broad range of activities comprising research operations.

Certificate Course Requirements

PRAM is comprised of one half-day workshop, five required sessions and three elective session. The required courses content areas are listed below; the electives may vary from meeting-to-meeting.

The PRAM Certificate is only offered in full at select Annual Meetings, and requires an application to receive credit.

Required Workshop

Half-day workshop.

Hot Topics/Case Study

The half-day workshop will center on a case study that will be selected based on current relevance to the field of research administration and fit with the core content areas of the PRAM certificate. Because the workshop will be based on a case study, some pre-workshop preparation will likely be expected in order for participants to engage in meaningful discussion and reflection during the in-person workshop.

Required Sessions

Must take five.

Participants must complete five sessions, one from each core content area.

Leadership Development

Leadership development relates to one's own capacity and capability, and to the development of others' capabilities. As an individual, one needs to be a leader in one's institution, on a broader basis than just within one's own Division, Department or team. This includes areas such as leading change, and also approaches to influencing, up, down and across one's organization. It is also necessary to be able to act outside one's institution, whether with other similar organizations, or with organizations and individuals of different types. Internally, one should be able to contribute to the creation of institutional and research leaders (their identification and their development), and to the active succession planning for one's own areas of responsibility. Externally, one should contribute to the leadership and development of one's profession.

Research Administration Staffing & Management

Research Administration Staffing & Management revolves around the creation, resourcing, support, defense, and evolution of structures, people, processes and systems that support the organization’s research activity. At a senior level, it requires coordination across a number of areas of responsibility, some of which are in (conceptual) conflict, and also with cognate services, through which elements of the business are delivered. Delivery of high quality customer services, often in constrained circumstances, are a feature, with the need to make optimum use of digital processes and information. Process and systems change in a human-centered activity is required, along with strong people management.

Research & Faculty Development

Research and faculty development centers on activities that build and promote an organization’s research strengths to enhance productivity and external funding. Institutional research development includes broad organizational strategies intended to build institutional capacity for research while faculty development targets an individual's research growth. Institutional development can encompass core facilities investments, cluster hires, and advancing strategic organizational partnerships. Faculty development is generally about promoting the professional growth of the individual and his/her research program through activities such as internal seed funding, grantsmanship training, skills development, and travel funding.

Innovation & Economic Development

Innovation and economic development focuses on how institutions are playing a direct role in economic development by transforming policies and organizational structures to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Contributions to socio-economic development can be directly commercial, or more broadly in terms of societal, cultural, environmental, health or educational benefits. Topics emphasized will include building public-private partnerships, innovation ecosystems, promoting an entrepreneurial and business culture, faculty start-ups, technology transfer concepts, and wider societal impact mechanisms.

Integrity & Stewardship

It is crucial for Research Managers and Leaders to have a firm foundation and working knowledge related to research ethics and ethical decision making. These include recognizing problems, identifying and examining assumptions underlying practices and using analytical skills and strategies in addressing issues and problems, while exploring implications of different courses of action. Although research ethics provides guiding principles, having an awareness and understanding of the gray areas surrounding ethical issues and recognizing the differences between "compliance" and ethical behavior and moral reasoning are critical in all aspects of research and its management.

Elective Sessions

Must take three.

May be selected from any of the above core content areas.