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 62nd Annual Meeting (August 9-12, 2020) to be held in Washington, DC is 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 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

NCURA is committed to diversity and inclusion. To create increased opportunity for all, NCURA asks all prospective speakers to agree to present no more than 1 Workshop (1/2 day or full day), and 2 additional conference sessions (Concurrent and/or Discussion Group). Presenters would also be able to participate in any follow-up discussion groups for their concurrent sessions which would not be counted against the max number of sessions. 

Updated as of November 12, 2019

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 conference are noted below:

Clinical/Medical • Department • Executive/C-Suite • Federal/Sponsors/Agencies • Financial/Post Award • Global • Pre-Award • Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions • Professional Development/Personal Growth • Research Compliance and Ethics • Research Development • Systems/Data/Metrics

Learning Formats

Either full or half day hands-on, interactive programs taught by topic area experts. Workshops are supported by both multi-media and handouts are normally presented in a classroom setting by at least two and no more than three faculty.
Concurrent Sessions
Held concurrently, these sessions are represented in the program between 7 – 10 times within each time block of the conference. Time blocks are set for various running times but are normally, 45, 60 or 90 minutes, including Q&A. Concurrent sessions are presented in a theater setting and may have between 30 – 300 participants.  These sessions are facilitated by at least 2 presenters (1 moderator and up to 3 panelists).
Discussion Groups
Facilitated, informal sessions where participants share information on a chosen topic. Discussion Groups have two facilitators, are limited to 30 participants and do not use handouts, slide decks or multi-media. Discussion Groups sometimes follow a concurrent session to add additional in-depth discussion.  
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 group 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 exceptional service by adhering to deadlines, to include submitting program materials not less than one (1) month prior to the start of the conference for review/approval and inclusion in the conference app.


Diverse organizational perspective:  To ensure a diversity of institutional perspectives, all lead presenters will select panelists from different organizations.  


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.


All accepted presenters must register for the conference:  Each presenter must register for the conference, through the speaker’s portal and will receive a 20% discount off of the published registration fee.  Registration details will be included within the speaker confirmation letter.


Increasing Opportunity (up to one workshop and two sessions):  To create increased opportunity for all, NCURA asks all prospective speakers to agree to present no more than 1 Workshop (1/2 day or full day) and 2 additional conference sessions (Concurrent and/or Discussion Group). Presenters would also be able to participate in any follow-up discussion groups for their concurrent sessions which would not be counted against the max number of sessions. If you wish to add a follow-up Discussion Group to your concurrent session, please note this in the proposal. (Updated as of November 12, 2019) 
Workshop Offerings

Choose One

  • 1/2 Day Workshop
  • Full Day Workshop
Conference Sessions

Choose TWO

  • Concurrent session

    Discussion group

    A follow-up discussion group for your concurrent session would not count against the max number of sessions

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

 ***The 62nd Annual Meeting Call for Proposals is now closed. For questions, please contact Tracey King, Meetings Manager - king@ncura.edu.***