Proposal Submission Information

(Please read through the information below before clicking the button to submit your proposal at the bottom of the page)


NCURA's FRA Conference (March 15-17) and PRA Conference (March 23-25), will be held virtually, as an inclusive opportunity for everyone in the research administration community to engage in an exceptional learning experience.  The learning experiences offered are intended to help individuals advance their career, as well as increase effectiveness and productivity at their institution.

NCURA welcomes proposals that reflect diversity, sound adult learning principles and reflect the best thinking in the profession, informed by theory, research, and practice. To deliver exceptional learning experiences, preference may be given to proposals that are positioned to deliver a mix of the following:

  • Content: 
    • Reflect innovative, cutting-edge content and evidence-based practice
    • Present regulatory information and best business practices
    • Explore issues important to international audiences
  • Instructional Design: 
    • Stimulate and provoke discussion, audience engagement, during the live Q&A, and outcome-focused design
    • Facilitate knowledge transfer and development of new competencies
    • Use methods that draw out relevant past knowledge and experiences
    • Demonstrate relevance of lessons through "real-life" case studies
  • Audience: 
    • Those who are new to the profession, as well as emerging leaders through executive-level, seasoned professionals
    • Different types of adult learners

Diversity and Inclusion

To support NCURA's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, please limit your presentations to no more than two sessions during each conference, and up to one workshop for the shared workshop experience. This will ensure we will have many perspectives and opportunities for the community to get involved.

Topic Areas

As you reflect on your proposal, please consider the following topics, which are focus areas for the conference program. While proposals may address more than one area, you must select one which is the best fit. The topic areas for the conferences are noted below:

FRA CONFERENCE:  Accounting/Finance • Central • Clinical/Medical • Departmental • Diversity & Inclusion • Federal • Global • Human Capital • Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions • Regulatory Compliance/Audit 

PRA CONFERENCE: Career Development • Clinical/Medical • Compliance • Departmental • Federal • Global • Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions • Research Development • Senior Leadership • Sponsored Research Administration 

Learning Formats

Workshops (March 18, 2021 & March 22, 2021 from 1pm-5pm ET)
Half day hands-on, interactive programs taught by topic area experts. Workshops are supported by both multi-media and handouts, and will be presented live via zoom by three faculty.  These workshops will have the opportunity for interactive components supported by zoom breakouts, polls, and videos.  Workshop Faculty will be provided support throughout the workshop by NCURA staff.  
Concurrent Sessions
Held concurrently, these sessions are represented in the program as a 45-minute pre-recorded session, with a 30 minute follow up live Q&A using zoom.  Concurrent sessions are presented and facilitated by 2-3 presenters at maximum, supported by a power point presentation.  These sessions will be recorded between January 4-31, 2021, and will be broadcasted/played for participants to watch during the conference dates (March 15-17; March 23-25), with a 30-minute live zoom Q&A facilitated by the presenters with technical support from NCURA Staff.  
Discussion Sessions
Facilitated, informal conversation sessions where up to 3 presenters facilitate conversation sharing information on a chosen topic. Discussion Sessions have three facilitators and do not use handouts, slide decks or multi-media. Discussion Sessions will be pre-recorded between December 7 - 18, 2020.  These recordings will be broadcasted during the conference dates (March 15-17; March 23-25).  Immediately following the broadcast of these sessions, presenters will facilitate a 30 minute live Q&A with participants, using zoom, with the technical support of NCURA's staff.  
Thought Leadership Sessions
Facilitated by 2 or 3 senior-level members of the profession, sharing perspective and having conversation on a topic, at the advanced level, with minimal to no power point slides used.  These sessions will be hosted 1 per track, as a 45 minute pre-recorded session conversation (recording dates, January 7-31, 2021).  Immediately following the session broadcast during the conference dates, March 15-17 and March 23-25, the presenters will facilitate a 30 minute live Q&A via zoom with technical support of NCURA's staff.     
Knowledge Levels

Assume some level of fundamental knowledge of research administration. Participants have limited experience of the subject area; they may be mid-career managers or directors looking to fill in gaps to solidify their skill set and individuals new to the profession.

This level is appropriate for individuals with some knowledge and experience in the subject area, individuals who are mid-level managers and directors in their fields with an established degree of competence and for those seeking to build on, apply or enhance existing knowledge.

Assume mastery of the subject. Sessions focus on in-depth knowledge and are at a high-level with peer-to-peer sharing, creativity, and innovation. Topics may be highly technical or detailed, preparing learners to shape organizational strategy and aid in the growth or progress of best practices. Objectives may be, to enhance the learner’s ability to lead change, manage high-performing teams, and develop leadership at their institution. This level is appropriate for senior staff and executives with significant expertise, knowledge and experience who could be deemed an expert in the field.

Sessions provide a general review of a subject area from a broader perspective

Will provide a general review of new developments.

Proposal Process & Selection Criteria

A program committee made up of member volunteers who are experts in research administration and understand the skills necessary to be successful in the profession, will review all proposals.  Proposals are evaluated on each of the following five criteria:

Program Design
Ability to Inspire Action
Overall Quality



Rules of Engagement


Submission Online:   All proposals must be submitted using the online form. Upon submitting a proposal, you will receive an automatic confirmation for your records if it was submitted successfully.


Use clear, compelling language:  Concurrent Session and workshop proposals require clear and concise titles, persuasive outcome-focused descriptions (limit 150 words) and should have three action-oriented and well-thought-out learning objectives/take-aways that answer the prompt “after this participants will be able to…” Discussion sessions and Thought Leadership sessions do not require learning objectives or take-aways.


Use attributions when appropriate:  Used effectively, quotations can provide important evidence or clarity to explain your session idea. Excerpts used ineffectively, however, without attribution are unacceptable and will result in your proposal being excluded from review or acceptance.


Avoid all commercial bias and adhere to NCURA Equitable Participation Guidelines  


All accepted presenters must adhere to published deadlines:  You must be committed and responsive to working with NCURA to deliver your session by adhering to deadlines, to include submitting program materials by the recording dates (Concurrent:  Jan 7-31 and Discussion:  December 7-18).  


Diverse organizational perspective:  To ensure we have a diversity of perspectives, there must be at least 2 institutions/organizations represented for any particular session.


All accepted presenters must observe intellectual property rights:  Presenters must ensure that information, illustrations, images contained in presentations, related materials or visual aids shall be factual and not be misleading and will not violate the intellectual property or copyrights any third party. Written documentation of ownership or permission must be provided upon request and is required for all video and television/film related imagery.


Number of Presenters:  There will be a maximum of 3 total presenters for each session during the conference to ensure excellent technical quality in the pre-recorded portions of the sessions and to keep the registration fees as low as we can for participants.


All accepted presenters are asked to register for the conference (exception in 2021 due to COVID-19 budget cuts):  We hope that our presenters will be able to register for the conference. If you are unable to register due to COVID budget cuts, you can still participate in your session and we appreciate your contribution to this body of work for the profession. If you are unable to register, you will not have access to the full meeting. You will need to register to access the full meeting and a 20% presenter discount will be available for all presenters.


Increasing Opportunity (up to one workshop and two sessions):  To support NCURA's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, please limit your presentations to no more than two sessions during each conference, and up to one workshop for the shared workshop experience. This will ensure we will have many perspectives and opportunities for the community to get involved.
Workshop Offerings

Present One

  • 1/2 Day Workshop
Conference Sessions

Choose TWO

  • Concurrent session

    Discussion session

    Thought Leadership session

I have reviewed and agree to the Rules of Engagement for presenting & ready to submit my proposal 

 ***The NCURA FRA and PRA 2021 Virtual Conferences Call for Proposals is now closed.  For questions, please contact Tracey King, Senior Manager, Conferences and Sponsors - king@ncura.edu.***