Educational Program


Jim_Marley_pic.jpg James Marley, PhD, is Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work. Prior to coming to Loyola, Dr. Marley was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has over 30 years of experience working with people with severe mental illness and their families. Dr. Marley is on the editorial board of Clinical Social Work Journal and was the past Monitor for the National Association of Social Workers-Illinois Chapter Committee on Ethics. Dr. Marley presents regularly at state, national and international conferences on topics related to ethics, mental illness, and psychiatric rehabilitation. He frequently serves as an expert witness for the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Attorney General’s Office, and private attorneys on cases related to social work malpractice and incompetence, assessment and diagnosis of mental health disorders, and wrongful death allegations. Dr. Marley received his BSW from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MSW and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


​Clinical Trials Research Administration 101 (CTRA 101)

The CTRA series examines issues relevant to both National Institutes of Health-sponsored and industry-sponsored clinical trials. Much of the material is explored through case studies. Elements of the curriculum include protocol review, recruitment, negotiation of agreements, development and negotiation of budgets, compliance, billing, international studies, and risk management and analysis. These elements, along with other relevant issues, will be presented in a combination of one full-day workshop and four sessions for each program. The required workshop for the CTRA 101 certificate is WS2: Guide to Clinical Trials Administration.

One (1) full-day workshop and four (4) concurrent sessions (must take two [2] required session; two [2] elective sessions).

Leadership (LD)

The comprehensive curriculum - developed by knowledgeable and successful leaders in the research administration - provides an overview and introduction to the communication and other necessary skills to lead research administration and management offices. Elements of the curriculum include personality and leadership assessments and sessions in conflict management, change, delegation, diversity communication skills and using metrics to help with team effectiveness. The required workshop for the LD certificate are WS4: Distress or De-stress: How to deal effectively with life’s daily stressors and WS9: Research Administration Leadership Career Planning: Taking a Personal Inventory.

Two (2) half-day workshops and six (6) required sessions and two (2) elective sessions.

​Research Development (RD)

The Research Development certificate is designed for specialists who work with researchers to improve the number, size and quality of their grant proposals, and who participate in the development of strategies and practices to enhance and expand the institution’s research agenda. The certificate’s aims are:

  1. To support new and ongoing initiatives that will grow the institution’s position in sponsored research
  2. To provide strategic direction and expert support for the institutional research enterprise
  3. To develop investigator capacity to submit more and better individual proposals
  4. To improve the success rate of proposals submitted by the institution, especially those targeted to larger, more complex grant programs.

The required workshop for the RD certificate are WS6: The Organizational Structure of Research Administration - Who Decides? and WS8: Fundamentals of Research Development.

Two (2) half-day workshops and seven (7) concurrent sessions (four [4] required sessions; three [3] elective sessions).

Certificate Tracking Booklet

The tracking booklet allows members to easily record their progress. Pick up a Certificate Tracking Booklet at registration and obtain a sticker at the conclusion of each workshop or session. Once all coursework has been completed turn in your documentation to Registration at the meeting or email us to receive your certificate of completion. If you attended a workshop or session at a previous SRAI meeting, list the meeting on the line next to the course. SRAI staff will verify your attendance at previous meetings.


Professional Development (PD)

  • Continuing education commitment
  • Building on personal growth and development;
  • Leadership; quality of life development 
  • Self-assessment 
  • Supervisor/staff relations
  • Industrial/workplace psychology
  • Emerging role of research administrators within the culture of research

Clinical Research (CR)

  • Budgeting for clinical trials
  • Developing a Prospective Research Analysis (PRA) for cost effectiveness
  • Negotiating clinical trial agreements (both single and multi-site)
  • Developing a clinical trials network
  • Subcontract terms and conditions and monitoring, obligations to a sponsor, Foundation expectations
    when supporting clinical trials
  • Understanding intellectual property and data ownership issues
  • Developing good Case Report Forms (CRF)
  • Cost sharing when a sponsor does not cover all the costs
  • Managing and reporting conflict of interest
  • FDA process for Investigational New Drug or Device (IND) applications

Financial and Post-Award Administration (FA)

  • Research cost accounting
  • Auditing
  • OMB requirements for universities, hospitals, private sector
  • Matching funds issues/cost sharing
  • Financial conflict of interest issues
  • Facilities and administration costs
  • Purchasing, Salaries, Compensation, Honoraria
  • Travel allocability and allowability
  • Working with sponsoring agencies and subrecipient monitoring

Research Ethics and Compliance (RE)

  • Human research
  • Animal research
  • Peer review
  • Mentor/trainee responsibility and development
  • Publications
  • Collaborative research ethics
  • Scientific misconduct
  • Standards for the responsible conduct of research
  • Research ethics education programs, curricula, requirements, and approaches

Management and Operations (MO)

  • Delivery of operational services and research and financial compliance programs
  • Facilities management
  • Research infrastructure such as capital programs and building and managing of science and technology parks
  • Human resources and international personnel management
  • Supporting collaborations with international organizations

Sponsored Programs Planning, Development and Deliveries (SPP)

This track relates to the development and delivery of sponsored programs. Topics may include:

  • How to develop collaborative partnerships with industry, government and non-profit sectors
  • Identifying strategies in developing public-private partnerships
  • Institutional capacity building, including supply-side partnerships
  • Faculty, positioning; effective grant writing techniques
  • The role of the research administrator in sponsored programs development
  • Diversifying funding sources; communication strategies in sponsored programs development
  • Organizational and team structures to support successful program development

Educational Formats

Workshop: 3 ½ or 7 hour deep dives into specific learning topics, led by one or more experts. These are designed to allow participants to more fully explore an area of interest and learn new skills or develop new strategies. Workshops may include more hands-on exercises, discussion groups, and other in-depth experiences. Workshops are offered on Saturday or Sunday before the conference only.

Round Table: Informal 30-minute discussion on different topics. The Round Tables are meant to strike up a conversation with other attendees and exchange relevant information. It offers the perfect opportunity to attendees to build their network.

Learning Café: An informal gathering of attendees, led by an expert or mentor, to discuss pre-identified topics during a break or after a lunch meeting. The “Learning Café” opportunities allow for small groups to interact and “continue the conversation” on many topics already covered in the traditional sessions or workshops. The Learning Café sessions are meant to encourage networking and connecting with peers for future interactions after the conference ends.

Concurrent Session

Presentation: 75-minute sessions designed in a traditional format, aimed at a specific focus in which the audience listens to what the presenter has to say, even though the presenter should encourage audience participation and entertain questions. The majority of concurrent sessions at SRAI meetings have typically fit in this category and form the core of conference offerings. Presenters are encouraged to use active learning techniques to engage audiences, distribute materials, and respond to follow-up requests for more information.

Discussion: 75-minutes structured discussions on a key learning topic or challenge. Presenters facilitate and engage attendees in a structured exploratory discussion, encouraging participation from participants.

Panel: 75-minute sessions that discuss a topic with a selected group of panel members (typically no more than 3-4) with contrasting or complementary points of view. The panel is actively moderated by a chair, with time reserved for audience participation, questions, and comments.

Case Study: 75-minute, focused sessions that highlight organizational stories of success, lessons learned, failed initiatives, and best practices. Presenters will share their stories and engage participants in focused dialogues about the implications of these examples for other organizations. These are all up-to-date, honest, under-the-hood explorations of learning innovation and implementation from real experiences.

Step-by-Step/”How To”: Pragmatic, 75-minute sessions that provide practical advice and suggested action steps to successfully implement and/or utilize strategies, approaches to and technologies for learning or implementing new policies, regulations, or requirements.