About Us

The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), founded in 1959, is a non-profit professional society dedicated to advancing the profession of research administration through education and professional development programs, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the fostering of a diverse, collegial, and respected global community. With over 9,000 individual members from over 1,100 colleges, universities, teaching hospitals, and research institutes in 40 countries, NCURA is actively involved in furthering communication and understanding between research administrators both within and outside the US. NCURA's purpose is to serve all members by advancing expertise in the profession of research administration.


What is a university research administrator?

A university research administrator is a knowledgeable, skilled individual committed to providing financial and administrative management for academic research endeavors in colleges and universities. Research administrators provide the needed administrative and financial support services necessary to develop and maintain outstanding research programs in the organizations they serve.

The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) believes a university research administrator facilitates the conduct of scholarly research by working cooperatively with faculty researchers in seeking appropriate extramural support and managing administrative aspects of contracts and grants. Therefore, a university research administrator must be:

  • a well-informed, competent professional administrator
  • an administrator who understands their institution and its faculty
  • a good communicator
  • aware of internal and external issues influencing their institution


What skills are necessary for university research administrators?

Persons skilled in research administration are knowledgeable about:

  1. Institutional Policies on Research
  2. Funding Sources for Research Programs
  3. Negotiation and Implementation of Indirect Cost Rates
  4. Federal and other Sponsor Regulations
  5. Regulatory Compliance Issues
  6. Proposal Development
  7. University/Industry Relations
  8. Accounting for Research
  9. Patents, Copyrights and Licensing
  10. Contract/Grant Administration


"A research administrator provides...management for research, not management of research.

Raymond Woodrow, President, NCURA 1963-1964

Membership in NCURA

NCURA members are from colleges, universities, research institutes, hospitals, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, research consulting firms, technology transfer organizations, and industrial research organizations. Members include:

  • Vice Presidents/Vice Chancellors for Research
  • Directors of Grants and/or Contracts Offices
  • Directors of Research
  • Grant and/or Contract Administrators
  • Research Development Officers
  • Vice Presidents for Business Affairs
  • Comptrollers
  • Business Managers
  • Graduate School Deans
  • Sponsor/Agency Staff and Program Officers
  • Members of Staffs from all of the above

NCURA advances the profession of research administration through education and professional development programs, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and fostering a diverse, collegial, and respected global community.


  • Integrity
  • Excellence
  • Service
  • Collegiality
  • Transparency
  • Inclusiveness

The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) recognizes, values, and celebrates diversity of persons, skills, and experiences in its mission to advance the profession of research administration. Thus, NCURA is committed to building and maintaining a diverse membership and a culture of inclusion. Every member of NCURA has a right, without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, social class, sexual orientation, ability, personality, functional experience, or background, to fair and respectful treatment, equal access to resources to support professional growth, and equitable opportunities to contribute to NCURA’s success.

On behalf of all members of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), we respectfully acknowledge and honor the Indigenous communities of Washington D.C. where our NCURA Office is located, the Indigenous communities in the locations of all our members, and the labor of enslaved and exploited people around the world.

The following acknowledgement draws on a number of resources.


NCURA Land and Labor Acknowledgement

NCURA acknowledges that we are on the traditional, stolen land of the Nacotchtank and Piscataway People, past, present and future. We honor with gratitude the land itself for those who have stewarded it for generations, and for the opportunity to study, learn, work, and be in community with this land. We encourage everyone in this space to engage in continued learning about the Indigenous peoples who work and live on this land since time immemorial, including the Piscataway Conoy Tribe and the Cedarville Band of the Piscataway Nation, and about the historical and present realities of colonialism. This acknowledgment does not take the place of authentic relationship with indigenous communities but serves as one way to honor the land we are on.

NCURA also acknowledges the contribution of enslaved persons who were drivers of economic growth and development in the United States. We honor the legacy of enslaved people, primarily of African descent, Black Life, and the lives of all people of color that continue to make an impact on cultures and societies around the world through music, food, art, sports, architecture, science, business, and agriculture. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of violence throughout generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today.

NCURA is committed to building and maintaining a culture of inclusion. NCURA provides a land and labor acknowledgment as part of our mission to be a welcoming and inclusive organization.


  1. We recognize our responsibilities to our faculties to protect their professional and academic rights, and to keep them apprised of regulations, policies and procedures which affect the conduct of their research programs.
  2. We recognize our responsibilities to our institutions to represent them fairly and accurately in all negotiations and communications, with careful attention to issues of academic freedom, rights in intellectual property, and policies regarding the appropriate stewardship of external funds supporting research and scholarship.
  3. We recognize our responsibilities to our research sponsors to enunciate clearly our institutions' policies and practices, and to accept only those terms and conditions with which we can assure compliance.
  4. We recognize our responsibility to our local communities to address the health and safety aspects of our research programs.
  5. We adhere to the principles, policies and procedures of our institutions and promote understanding of same among our faculties and staffs.
  6. We understand the importance of recognizing the potential for, or appearance of, conflicts of interest in the performance of our duties and resolving such according to our institutions' policies.



NCURA History
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