The Basics of Research Administration


Research administration is comprised of many facets. The purpose of this conference is to provide participants with a broad overview of the various aspects involved in research administration. The 2.5 day intensive course will discuss all areas of research administration:

  • Finding funding
  • Pre-award
  • Award acceptance
  • Compliance
  • Post-award

Who should attend

This program is intended primarily for the research administrators with less than 2 years experience who are involved in any area of research administration. The conference is targeted specifically to new personnel in positions such as pre-award coordinators, departmental administrators, post-award coordinators, compliance coordinators, grant accountants, and others with newly-acquired responsibilities who need to understand the broad spectrum of research administration.

Expected outcomes

After completing Basics of Research Administration, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the differences among various positions and their responsibilities in research administration
  • Understand the research administration process from beginning to end
  • Learn how to assist an investigator in finding funding sources
  • Distinguish between allowable and unallowable costs
  • Distinguish between direct and F&A (indirect) costs
  • Describe the various components of a proposal budget
  • Describe the difference type of award instruments
  • Identify and learn the purpose of the governing federal regulations
  • Identify the major compliance issues
  • Understand procurement, financial, records and property management
  • Describe the closeout process


"Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the program!  These topics have the potential to be terribly boring, but the presenters all did a wonderful job of taking the information and presenting in a manner that was engaging, informative, and entertaining!" Lisa P. Gremillion, Grants/Contract Specialist, Louisiana State University (Basics of Research Administration, Orlando, FL, February 2016)
"I thought that the setup of this program was wonderfully done.  I really enjoyed all the information.  It was a lot to take in, but I have resources that I didn't know I had before." Lenore Johnson, Office Manager, Florida Hospital Translational Research Institute for Diabetes and Metabolism (Basics of Research Administration, Orlando, FL, February 2016)
"This was a great opportunity to get the broad overview of what research admin is in general. A lot of it I already knew since I've been in it for a year, but there were a lot of subtle things I picked up on that will be very helpful." Patricia McGee-Welch, Executive Secretary, University of Houston - Clear Lake (Basics of Research Administration, Orlando, FL, February 2016)
"I am not in the research department but am in "pure" Finance and it was important for me to learn all the elements so I can better understand the Research department's overall contribution to the institution's mission and help facilitate better budgeting and fiscal management of the portfolio." Melissa Schnipp, Manager, Hackensack University Medical Center (Basics of Research Administration, Baltimore, MD, July 2015)
"It finally gave me the big picture of research administration! This conference provided the foundational understanding I was not able to get in any of my 'on the job' training." Ashley Roberts, Research Business Coordinator, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital (Basics of Research Administration in Baltimore, MD, July 2015) 
"I am thankful that there is an organization like this to help me with training and guidance!" Angela Collins, COBRE Administrative Coordinator, University of Nebraska Omaha (Basics of Research Administration in Baltimore, MD, July 2015)
"This was my first meeting like this and I enjoyed it. Thanks for all your work to put it together! (..) This section was most relevant to my job (financial post-award) and I was glad to see that she (Cindy Shirley) faces the same problems and comes to the same conclusions/solutions that we make in my office. (..) I enjoyed Jennie's (Jennie Amison) presentation style as I felt she was very clear and easy to follow. More than anything, I enjoyed Jennie's comments, insights, and examples that she shared during the presentations of the other sections." Brad Rieben, Sponsored Programs Accountant, Utah State University (Basics of Research Administration in Seattle, WA, July 2014)
"This was a fantastic workshop for someone like me who is new to the field of research administration and new to my job. The instructors were excellent and had a lot of knowledge and experience to draw from. (..) Overall I thought the workshop was excellent. There was a lot of information presented." Jonathan Lew, PhD, Associate Director for Grant Administration Travis Research Institute, School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary (Basics of Research Administration in Seattle, WA, July 2014)
"This was my first meeting with SRA and I was very impressed with the accommodations and detail that went into the meeting. The speakers were knowledgeable and entertaining. I will definitely recommend this organization to other people in the field." Abigail Vacek, Purchasing Coordinator, Rice University (Basics of Research Administration in Houston, TX, January 2014)
"Program was excellent. Speakers were knowledgeable and always ready to assist." Velvet Banks, MBA, Administrative Specialist, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Basics of Research Administration in Louisville, KY, July 2013)
"Prior to the SRA Basics Meeting in San Diego, I had never heard of SRA. But after attending this meeting and now a new member, I have learned so much within the few days during the presentations. I am very new to research administration and by attending the conference, I have a better understanding for this field. I am very excited to learn more about SRA and to see how it will assist me to grow in the field of research administration." Rebecca Zheng, University of California at Berkeley (Basics of Research Administration in San Diego, CA, January 2012)
"I absolutely loved the program! The content was very relevant to my job and it has definitely improved my knowledge base." Jennifer L. Eaton, PhD, Coordinator, Office of Research Administration, Summa Health System (Basics of Research Administration in Charleston, SC, January 2011)