Welcome to PRA

Aloha and e komo mai (welcome) to NCURA PRA 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Aloha! NCURA and the PRA Program Committee look forward to bringing your research administration expertise and energy to the picturesque shores of Waikiki, Hawaii for the 18th Annual Pre-Award Research Administration (PRA) Conference. Join us on March 20 for the joint FRA/PRA workshop day, followed by the PRA Conference on March 21-22. Our journey of exploration, collaboration, and inspiration takes place against the backdrop of one of the world's most breathtaking destinations, and we hope you will join us!

Our theme, "Reimagining Resilience: Balance, Adaptability, and Growth," reflects the ever-evolving landscape of research administration and the need for us to continually adapt and thrive in order to best support innovation, faculty, and our institutions. It illustrates the idea that resilience goes beyond survival or endurance; it involves actively transforming challenges into opportunities for personal, professional, and community development.

Balance (“lōkahi,” unity, living in harmony with the world around us): Waikiki, on the beautiful island of Oahu, offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and urban charm. Enjoy the pristine shores of the Pacific Ocean, the sheer magnificence of Diamond Head, and the vibrant energy of the city, with world-class shopping, dining, and nightlife just steps away. The PRA program will include many opportunities to promote balance, including networking with colleagues from around the world, yoga with our very own expert Tara Bishop, a shared meeting luau experience, and sessions that explore topics such as change management, conscious leadership, and career development.

Adaptability (“imua,” to move forward with strength, purpose and momentum): One of the most exciting challenges in research administration is in helping our institutions adapt our processes, policies, and systems to ensure that we support and resource growing research enterprises and complex regulatory networks. Our excellent Federal/Sponsor and Compliance tracks include many offerings that dive into these areas, and continue to add tools to our tackle boxes. Expert topics include the U.S. Department of Education sharing resources for HSIs/MSIs, the infamous Gil Tran examining Uniform Guidance updates, several sessions on the impacts and integration of artificial intelligence, discussions on research security and research misconduct, and much more to explore.

Growth (“‘ulu,” to grow; also a tree that is a symbol of resilience, perseverance, and security): No NCURA conference would be complete without extensive opportunity to explore common strategies, share insights, and engage in stimulating conversations that will empower us to navigate challenges and foster growth in our respective roles. This year’s tracks include many of your favorites: Global, Compliance, Departmental Research Administration, Industry/Clinical, Finance for Pre-award, Federal/Sponsors, Human Capital, and PUI/Research Development. The robust slate of offerings will bring you new perspectives on complex compliance challenges, exciting sessions with a broad range of sponsor representatives, discussions on how to leverage artificial intelligence and implement new technology, and much more.

"Reimagining Resilience" invites us to rethink how we perceive and cultivate resilience in our lives, and encourages us to integrate balance, adaptability, and growth as essential elements of our response to adversity. It gives us direction and purpose in the context of ongoing regulatory changes, as we continue to respond to the changing world around us (COVID, remote work, social injustice, climate change, war and unrest, etc.), and as we consider the immediate challenges from which the state of Hawaii continues to recover and rebuild.

We look forward to embracing the spirit of Aloha with you in Waikiki!

Mahalo from the PRA 2024 Co-Chairs,

Csilla & Stacy

Csilla Csaplàr
Stacy Riseman


2024 PRA Program Committee


Amanda Humphrey, Northeastern University
Saira Valley, Saira Valley Consulting, LLC
Courtney Swaney, Attain Partners
Rebecca Hunsaker, University of Maryland-College Park
Kelly Andringa, University of Iowa
Vicki Krell, Arizona State University Main
Jennifer Ramsey, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Finance for Pre-Award
Lamar Oglesby, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Matt Michener, Washington State University
Jill Tincher, University of Georgia
Elly Pineda, The University of New South Wales
Human Capital
Joyce Ferland, Massachusetts General Hospital
Candice Ferguson, Georgia State University
Mario Medina, University of Kansas Medical Center
Jaclyn Lucas, City of Hope
Amanda Varone, Huron
PUI/Research Development
Shannon Sutton, Massachusetts General Hospital
Sunny Thompson, University of Notre Dame
New Presenter Liaison
Tanya Blackwell, Seattle Children's Research Institute
Heather Offhaus, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


National Council of University Research Administrators
1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 901
Washington, DC  20036

Phone: +1 (202) 466-3894 • Fax: +1 (202) 223-5573 • Email: info@ncura.edu