Critical Issues in Research Administration
For more experienced research administrators, NCURA created "Sponsored Project Administration: Level Two, Critical Issues in Research Administration" (commonly referred to as "SPA II"). This two and a half day professional development program offers participants an opportunity for in-depth instruction in four core aspects of research administration: institutional compliance responsibilities, proposal creation and submission, contract and subaward review, and post award financial administration. Each of these topics will be explored through a combination of case study analysis and discussion.
SPA II differs from the Fundamentals of Sponsored Project Administration program in a number of important ways. Though Fundamentals is not a prerequisite to enrolling in SPA II, attendees are encouraged to have a minimum of three years of sponsored projects administration experience in order to understand and contribute to the discussion. Where Fundamentals provides a broad, sweeping overview of sponsored projects from "cradle to grave," SPA II takes a focused, in-depth view of a limited number of topics and issues. This approach enables the use of discussion and case studies to provide for greater audience participation. The Open Forum is another unique feature of SPA II where participants can pose questions and engage in lively discussion about virtually any aspect of research administration.
What can a research administrator expect to glean from the SPA II experience? At the end of this workshop, you should be able to:
- Identify current areas of risk in the research and sponsored projects environment;
- Describe effective internal control models to minimize institutional risks;
- Effectively review project budgets to comply with cost principles and standards;
- Explain the basis for policies and procedures on effort reporting, cost transfers, cost sharing, and post award financial matters;
- Identify problematic clauses in agreements and suggest alternative language;
- Understand the prime award recipientís responsibilities related to subrecipients;
- Discuss the basics of federal export control regulations and sanction programs that can impact your institution;
- Practice techniques for identifying risk areas to assist with problem-solving; and
- Expand your network of research administration colleagues, who can help you resolve problems or guide your professional development.