Tracey Fraser



Number of Years in Research Administration: 15

Institutions: Smithsonian Institute, Cal Tech


Tracey Fraser is currently the Director of Sponsored Projects at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC where she oversees pre and post award administration, cost analysis, research compliance and training.  Prior to the her current position, Tracey was at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for over 14 years, where she served in a variety of senior administrative positions including Director of Post Award Administration and Cost Analysis, and Associate Controller.  


During her career in research administration Tracey has lead  a wide variety of institution wide redesign and change initiatives including policy development, systems implementations, audit resolution and corrective action plans, and enterprise-wide risk management assessments. She has managed outsourced services as part of deadline driven critical turnaround projects and brought services back in house, when the timing, and environment, was right.  She understands the importance of committees in the university and non-profit environment in successfully developing and implementing policy and process change, as well as the importance of developing thoughtful communication strategies and involving key stakeholders and decision makers in the design and implementation process.  In addition to developing and enhancing a broad range of institutional policies, she also focuses on the need to give those responsible for complying with policy and process changes, the necessary tools and reports to support successful implementation and adherence to the new policies. 


Tracey has worked on many pan-institutional initiatives in highly decentralized organizations, partnering closely with both central offices and departments to identify and assess risk, and highlight opportunities for process, and customer service, improvement.  She has helped develop management improvement strategies, risk mitigation plans and initiatives to provide high levels of customer service in a compliance focused environment.  She has also been involved in organizational restructuring initiatives and position development plans.


Tracey has served as a member of NCURA faculty for many years teaching both the Fundamentals of Research Administration and the Financial Research Administration workshops. She has presented at national, regional, and local NCURA meetings, as well as being an invited speaker at SRA, NPMA, WECA and NACCA and DCAA meetings. In addition to serving as co-chair for annual meetings, she has presented in a variety of formats including NCURA TV and webinars. She has co-chaired FDP initiatives and is a member of COGR. She is co-author of the NCURA micrograph on Cost Sharing. 


Tracey has both a legal and auditing background having graduated from the University of Edinburgh law school, before qualifying as a charted accountant working with KPMG in London, Washington DC and Oakland. 

NCURA Peer Program engagements are priced as a flat fee, scaled to the sponsored programs total active award dollars in the last fiscal year, regardless of type of Peer Program engagement.