Staff Certification Program

The Certification Program is intended for employees who currently perform or anticipate assuming duties and responsibilities related to the administration of contracts and grants. They are ideal for someone new to the profession or as a refresher for a more seasoned administrator.

The comprehensive curriculum of Track I provides an overview and introduction to the broad field of research administration and management. Track II focuses on processing proposals and award funding through the lens of federal, state, and institutional regulations. 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. Program details are as follows:

 

Track I

Introduction to Research at UAH / Researcher's Resources

Participants gain a general knowledge of the various offices and personnel associated with pre-award management. An overview of different UAH research-related websites is provided as well.

Identifying Types of Sponsored Awards (Grants/Contracts/Credit Cards/Gifts/etc.) / Applying for Funding

This session covers the various components of awards—distinguishing between gifts and sponsored research—and explains the implications of "strings attached or unattached." It also offers tips for successfully seeking out, applying to, and checking the status of proposal applications. Participants prepare to assist faculty in completing the proposal package, be knowledgeable in reading and interpreting guidelines, and to be cognizant of the university's proposal processes.

Life Cycle of an Award / Basic Purchasing Concerns & Distinguishing Between Consultants, Subcontractors, & Vendors

Designed to provide an overview of the "post-award" area within research administration, this class explores key areas of responsibility so that personnel understand how these offices serve them in managing sponsored program activities. General procurement information is offered as well.

Basic Budgeting (Allowable v. Unallowable/ Direct v. Indirect) / Understanding Banner & Your Accounts

Participants learn how to develop accurate project costs. Information about how Banner is used with research accounts is also provided.

Institutional & Federal Regulations (Compliance) / What's at Risk

In the complex world of research administration, compliance has become a key measurement of an institution's commitment to do the right thing. This presentation reviews the different elements of research compliance and how they can be interwoven within the principles of research integrity in order to build a strong, ethical, and compliant institutional foundation.

Track II

Track I Updates

Participants learn of any new information or changes in existing regulations pertaining to sponsored agreements.

Managing Research at UAH: Stress Management

Managing sponsored awards can often times be very stressful due to the many regulations and deadlines that must be adhered to. This course helps trainees identify the causes of stress, recognize the different types of stress, understand how stress affects them, and manage stress effectively both on and off the job. The benefits to employee and the employer are numerous, from lower healthcare costs to increased employee productivity.

Proposal Preparation: Finding Funding & Budget Development

This session explores the various ways of finding funding for research projects. There is a wide range of funding opportunities for the UAH research community to apply within the federal government, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Information is shared to help make searches simpler. Participants will also be able to construct an effective project/program budget utilizing their knowledge of federal, state, and university processes and regulations.

Financial Management Part I / II: Account Expenditures & Managing Risk

Participants learn to determine how project costs should be appropriately applied, transferred, and modified based on federal, state, and institutional regulations. Strategies for monitoring and maintaining compliance with effort reporting and cost sharing commitments are also offered under the scope of governing regulations.

Post-Award Management: Property Management & Procurement Concerns

This session describes property and procurement practices that could be problematic for UAH. Researchers will need to obtain equipment, supplies, parts and services from university and commercial sources to conduct their projects. UAH’s federally approved property control team provides instruction on what is required for purchasing items on federal grants and contracts for use by sponsored projects personnel.

Managing High-Risk Projects: International Projects

Participants will learn best practices for high-risk projects. As a high research-intense university, UAH does business with many agencies and institutions, including those from foreign entities. Export Control and Environmental Health issues are discussed in respect to the university’s interests.

Risky Business: Internal Audits & Subrecipient Monitoring

Compliance! Compliance! Compliance! Best practices for governing sponsored awards is shared in this session, with particular interest in institutional policies and government laws and regulations. Examples of various institutions found to be in violation of laws, rules, regulations, and codes are discussed.

Electives: Sessions must take place for at least an hour for credit

Workshops/ Seminars/ Roundtable Discussions
Biosafety & Biosecurity Briefings
Information Privacy & Security Briefings
RCR Briefings
Patents, Technology & Commercialization Briefings
IRB/ IACUC Briefings
“How To” Fridays
Additional Electives TBD