Coffee Talks

Coffee Talks

Join us on your afternoon break for a casual conversation with peers to discuss and explore different topics from research administration. Coffee Talks are free for SRAI Full Members.  

  • Coffee Talks are a series of a one-hour virtual discussions.
  • Participants can earn a CEU (1 contact hour of education).
  • Subjects can range from hot topics in research administration to soft skills for the workplace.
SRAI's membership has a diverse roster of folks with many interesting perspectives and backgrounds. 

Let's get together and chat!

For questions, contact Debbie Appler.



Upcoming Coffee Talks

Pre-Award in a Department
March 2 | 2:00 pm ET

Department administrators are on the front line for dealing with all sponsored project issues. Post-award may have more regulations to follow, but Departmental Administrators often feel more pressure from the pre-award side of their positions. The universal drive for more research grants means an emphasis on generating proposals. In addition, with average funding rates of under 20%, there will always be way more proposals than awards, which can disproportionately affect the Departmental Administrator. This coffee talk we will discuss strategies and approaches from several different administrators on addressing Pre-Award issues.

Content Level: All Levels

Discussion Leaders:


Yamese S. Diggs
Financial Manager
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University


Sean Scott
, CRA
Director of Research Operations
College of Public Health
University of Kentucky


Moderator: Tolise Dailey, Training Manager, Johns Hopkins university
Please register here

Registration is free for SRAI Full Members. You need to register to receive the login information. 

Not an SRAI Member? Review benefits and become a member


Submit questions for the panel in advance to Debbie Appler at srawebinars@srainternational.org.

Post-Award in a Department
April 6 | 2:00 pm ET

Department administrators are on the front line for dealing with all sponsored project issues. And while pre-award is just as important, it often doesn’t involve as many moving pieces, and offices, as post-award. Explaining to PIs the reasoning behind the rules and regulations that define how they can utilize “their” grant, falls to the DRA many times. This coffee talk will talk about strategies and approaches from several different administrators on efficient interactions with PI’s, central administration, other institutional offices, and sponsors.

Content Level: All Levels

Discussion Leaders:

Tolise Dailey
Training Manager
Johns Hopkins University

Tracy Reinke
Executive Director, Finance and Operations
Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies
University of Oklahoma

Sean Scott, CRA
Director of Research Operations
College of Public Health
University of Kentucky


Kevin Titus
Business Director
Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Moderator: TBA!
Please register here

Registration is free for SRAI Full Members. You need to register to receive the login information. 

Not an SRAI Member? Review benefits and become a member


Submit questions for the panel in advance to Debbie Appler at srawebinars@srainternational.org.

What is COVID-19 Changing in Clinical Research?
May 18 | 2:00 pm ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional strain on the conduct of clinical research in global, national, and local settings. The pandemic has changed the way we physically review research, prioritize research reviews, write consent forms, obtain consent, recruit subjects, conduct subject visits, collect data, and analyze and interpret data. It is unknown how these changes will impact study outcomes and the generation of new ideas to translate into medical practice. It is well known that translation of research into clinical practice is already slow and inefficient despite continuous administrative and management strategies to alleviate regulatory burdens. However, it might be that all is not lost in these unusual times, as novel changes have also occurred that improve facilitation of participant visits through telemedicine, simplify consent procedures, and speed up regulatory review processes as necessary. This Coffee Talk will allow attendees to think of creative ways to leverage these changes.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand the changing environment in the pandemic era and how this is impacting regulatory management
  • Prioritization guidelines for reviewing protocols related to COVID-19 which minimizes barriers for quicker turnaround times for approval
  • Impact of COVID-19 on participant visits and the use of telemedicine in clinical research
  • Opportunities for process improvement and innovation to address the challenges caused by the pandemic
Content Level: Intermediate

Discussion Leaders:


Philip A. Cola
, PhD
Associate Professor of Management and Medicine
Director, Regulatory Knowledge and Support Component
Case Western Reserve University, CTSA

Tabatha Lemke
Project Manager
Sandford Health


Vicki McHugh
, MS-CRM
Administrative Director, Medical Research
Gundersen Medical Foundation


Kevin Titus, MBA
Business Director
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center


Moderator: TBD!
Please register here

Registration is free for SRAI Full Members. You need to register to receive the login information. 

Not an SRAI Member? Review benefits and become a member


Submit questions for the Discussion Leaders in advance to Debbie Appler at srawebinars@srainternational.org.
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See what others are saying about Coffee Talks!


"Keep up the great work! Loved the interactive questions. Panelists were very adept at keeping the discussion on track and answering questions succinctly."
"I really enjoyed the format of this, and it was more interactive than I expected, which was nice. Great job!"
"I came away with several ideas that will help our office staff. I was happy I took the time to attend. An hour is manageable right now."
"The moderator of the session was exceptional. Exceptional!"