Financial and Post-award Administration (FA)

Topics include: research cost accounting; auditing; OMB requirements for universities, hospitals, private sector; matching funds issues/cost sharing; financial conflict of interest issues; facilities and administration costs; purchasing; salaries, compensation, honoraria;  and travel allocability and allowability; working with sponsoring agencies and subrecipient monitoring.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

WS6: Fundamentals of Research Administration and Management
Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

This is a full-day workshop intended for new research administrators. The workshop provides a broad overview of research administration. Topics include the language of research administration, pre-award administration including regulations, funding opportunities, proposal preparation, compliance, budgeting, proposal submission, sponsor actions; including the review process, site visits and pre-award negotiations; post-award administration including post-award review, project monitoring and close-out and compliance.

Certificate: IRAM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify pre and post-award activities for sponsored research activity.
  2. Understand the components of and prepare a proposal and manage the post-award process.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Sharon McCarl, MBA, CRA, Associate Dean, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University

WS5: It's All about the Money
Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

This workshop examines key issues to budget development, review and monitoring and explores a research administrator's role in service to the sponsor, institution and investigator. Special attention will be paid to assessing project costs, including personnel, consultants, equipment, supplies, travel, subcontracts, total direct costs, income, facilities and administrative costs (F&A) modified total direct costs (MTDC) vs. salary and wage base and cost sharing. In addition sponsor guidelines, institutional polices and the financial precepts of 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 200 (Uniform Guidance) will be covered. "Why do we have to do this?" and "Where are the guidelines that say that?" are key questions that will be answered.

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify core costs related compliance expectations associated with federal funding.
  2. Support proposal and award management activities consistant with federal regulations.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Timothy Schailey, MS, Director, Research Administration, Thomas Jefferson University; Erin Bailey, Chief Financial Officer, CTSI University at Buffalo and Erin O’Byrne, Research Administrator, University of Buffalo

Monday, April 3, 2017

M104: New Federal Administration: Impact on Institutions of Higher Educations (IHEs) & the State of Uniform Guidance
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Content level: Intermediate

Given a new administration in Washington, DC, this session will explore potential changes for Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) in federal funding for research, regulations and oversight. With a new President there will be many new appointments in Washington including Cabinet positions, heads of federal funding agencies, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and more. Opportunities for re-examination of troublesome policies will be discussed. By April 2017 the Uniform Guidance (UG) will have been in effect for over two years. As the Council on Government Relations (COGR) and the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) continue to work with the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) to develop and understand implementation of the Uniform Guidance, many institutions are still developing an understanding of what the new and revised policies and procedures mean for their organizations. We will cover major ongoing issues in the UG and provide news on recent developments in the dialogue with Federal agencies, OMB and COFAR. The speakers will offer information and experiences about "What Have We Been Doing?" and "What are the Challenges and Opportunities?" Procurement, Conflict of Interest, Project Close-outs, Internal Controls, Compensation - Personal Services and other topics will be examined.  Join us to discuss these major changes in research administration!

Certificate: FM-E, IRAM-IV

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will gain an understanding of current thought on how the new Federal Administration may impact IHE's research activities.
  2. Participants will gain an understanding of the major issues with the Uniform Guidance and expected developments with it.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Deston Halverson, Senior Manager, Higher Education and Academic Medical Centers, Attain, LLC and Sara Bible, Associate Vice Provost, Research Administration, Stanford University

M103: Advanced Cost Share Concepts: Opportunities for Leveraging in Collaborative Research
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 9:30am to 10:45am

Content level: Advanced

This session will explore creative approaches to leveraging in large, multi-partnered research  opportunities. Administrators will learn how, during the pre-award process, to develop a mixed portfolio of contributions, including such offerings as cost share, in-kind and matching support, waivers on indirect costs, imputed indirect costs, and leveraging existing support for individuals in organizations. Strategies will be explored where Research Administrators (RAs) can take the lead and assist investigators in securing funding from internal and external sources. Participants will individually participate in guided practice to "cobble together" leveraged funds to respond to a large collaborative proposal which includes cost share and matching requirements.

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify and understand various opportunities research administrative leaders consider in cost share and potential leverage resources when responding to large collaborative sponsored research opportunities.
  2. Build a multi-resource model for a hypothetical collaborative opportunity using multiple leveraged resources.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Denise Wynn, Director, Sponsored Research and Programs, North Carolina Central University

LC2: Using Forecasting and Reporting to Meet Your Unit’s Goals
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:15pm

Content level: Basic

The session will focus on tools and techniques involved in the forecasting process. In addition, we will cover how the forecast process can be used to produce better reports for sponsored research projects and department operating expenses and other types of funding. Participants should leave this session with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of forecasting and various reporting techniques.  Identify key metrics in reporting; make data clear and coherent to all stakeholders; challenges in implementing a forecast and reporting processes; getting buy in key stakeholders.

Learning objectives:

  1. How to build a basic forecast template.
  2. How to develop a summary report from your forecast.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Marchon Jackson, Director of Sponsored Program Accounting and Compliance; Rebecca Hunsaker, Director of Research Administration and Gaye Bugenhagen, Director Administrative Services, University of Maryland, College Park

M203: Understanding Cost Transfers
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:15pm

Content level: Basic

Cost transfers, what are they and why are they an important part of grants management? Cost transfers are best described as the process by which we reallocate expenses that were initially charged incorrectly. This session is designed at the basic level for the new departmental administrators based on the lessons learned from a departmental grants manager. In this session you will learn three allowable reasons for cost transfers, the best practices for who is responsible for initiating a cost transfer, who is responsible for documentation, who is responsible for maintaining information, who is responsible for approval, and the importance of preparing cost transfers within the allowable time frame. At each step of the process, the speakers will look at policies and procedures that ensure cost transfers are compliant with federal and institutional regulations.

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: IV. Financial Management and Compliance

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. List three allowable reasons for cost transfers.
  2. Evaluate cost transfers to ensure compliance with federal and institutional regulations.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Paulette Jones, Administrator University of Montana; Karen R. Sack, BS, Department Administrator, University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Medicine and Surekha K. Vishwasaro, MA, MS, Director of Finance, University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Medicine

M303: Closeout, Don't Shut Down
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 2:15pm to 3:30pm

Content level: Basic

Define the KEYS to unlock a less stressful closeout. Simplify your award management process on the path to closeout completion. Discuss the process of closing out Federal awards at Institutions of Higher Education. Describe how the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance can help to guide Institutions through the closeout process. Identify how the Uniform Guidance helps to determine what is allowable and allocable. Presenters will discuss using tools throughout the closeout process such as checklists and advanced notifications to effectively coordinate closeout processes for the multiple individuals responsible for completing closeout reports and/or certifications.

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: IV. Financial Management and Compliance

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Utilize Federal regulations, Sponsor guidelines and Institutional policies to provide consistency in closing Federal awards.
  2. Create a consistent document or tool to complete a closeout.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Christine Toalepai, Sponsored Programs Administrator, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Marchon Jackson, Director of Sponsored Projects Accounting and Compliance, Division of Research, University of Maryland, College Park and Deborah Fraser, Manager of Cash Management & Invoicing, University of North Carolina Charlotte

M403: Basics of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) – A University Perspective
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

Colleges and universities receiving direct federal awards are typically required to prepare, submit and negotiate a facilities and administrative (F&A) cost rate in order to receive reimbursement for indirect costs. For most people, the F&A calculation appears overly technical and painfully detailed. This session is intended for anyone who is new to the F&A process or would simply like to better understand the basic requirements, inputs and objectives that make up this calculation. Discussion session will include a high-level perspective regarding how the regulations, financial and other data inputs, and submission and negotiation processes work together and will provide practical insight into the application of the F&A rate to the organization’s awards. We will also discuss the impact the new Uniform Guidance will have on preparing and negotiating F&A rates and what participants are doing to prepare for these changes.

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: IV. Financial Management and Compliance

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify what an F&A rate is, its importance and the various types of costs recovered through the F&A rate.
  2. Explore different types of rates and how they impact recovery and understand the process for preparing, submitting and negotiating the rate under the Uniform Guidance.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Alex Weekes, CPA, PARTNER, ML WEEKES & COMPANY, PC

LC8: Managing Service Center Finances
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Content level: Basic

In this Learning Café discussion, senior accounting staff from the University of Maryland, Baltimore will share their hands-on experience with managing the finances associated with several UMB service centers. Discussion topics will include: calculating service fee rates, allowable vs. unallowable operating costs, internal vs. external billings, equipment purchases and depreciation and fiscal year end balances.  Attendees should come away from the discussion with an understanding of the challenges and best practices associated with managing service center financials.

Learning objectives:

  1. Attendees will understand what is a service center and how it operates.
  2. Attendees will understand the financial components associated with service centers.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Jami Kasco, IT Application Analyst Lead, School of Medicine, Institute for Genome Sciences; Karen Clifford, IT Analyst, Applications Lead, School of Medicine, Institute for Genome Sciences and Barbara Wright, IT Analyst, Applications Lead, School of Medicine, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

R6: Overview of Research Administration for Those New to the Grant Process
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 8:30am to 9:00am

Content level: Basic

This session will provide a description and overview of the grant cycle for those new to research administration. Participants will learn the process, start to finish for submitting a grant. From identifying sponsors, collaborators, items to build a budget, how to calculate indirects on complex submissions and working with multiple subcontractors.

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify key items for building grant budgets.
  2. Calculate indirect costs on complex submissions (i.e. multiple subcontracts, multiple indirect costs rates).

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Kari Black, Grant and Finance Manager, University of Washington      

R2: It's a Digital World
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 8:30am to 9:00am

Content level: Basic

This session is designed to go over the benefits and challenges into creating a paperless work environment. As systems change and technology increasingly supports research administration, universities are being pushed into upgrading our business practices. This discussion will center on how to takes steps toward going towards a paperless office.

Learning objectives:

  1. Use several applications that will help them elminiate paper and improve effeciency.
  2. Learn about the financial and non-financial benefits of a paperless work environment.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Marchon Jackson, Director of Sponsored Program Accounting and Compliance and Debra  Murray, Assistant Director of Compliance, University of Maryland College Park

R7: Department Administration- Central Office Prospective and Challenges Faced
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 8:30am to 9:00am

Content level: Basic

Department Administrators are faced with many day-to-day challenges: Managing ever changing daily responsibilities, providing assistance to faculty and staff, pre-award and post-award administration, understanding and keeping up on federal regulations and agency requirements, sub-recipient monitoring, human resources and payroll, effort reporting and compliance, meeting administration and many other tasks.

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify key areas of responsibility in department research administration and the challenges faced.
  2. Discuss strategies and tools for managing workflow, building and maintaining good relationships and resolving challenges in the workplace.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Cindy Morin, Financial Manager, Johns Hopkins University and Darlene Herb, CRA, Program Administrator, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

R10: Becoming More Involved in Society of Research Administrators International (SRA International)
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 8:30am to 9:00am

Content level: Basic

This Roundtable discussion will be led by Lynda Olin (Secretary/Treasurer Western Section; co-chair of the Membership Committee and President of the PNW Chapter) and Bill Hoffman (Northeast President). Two experienced SRA International Section Officers and Committee Members will share their experiences on how and why they became more involved with SRA International. They will discuss the benefits of being more active in SRA International and describe the networking connections that each have made. If you are interested in becoming more involved in your Society, either at a Chapter, Section, or SRA International Committee level, please stop by, meet some officers  and learn more.

Learning objectives:

  1. A question & answer session with two SRAI Section Officers.
  2. To get more attendees involved in SRAI Committees and Volunteering Opportunities.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

William Hoffman, MAS, Department Administrator, University of Maryland Baltimore, Dental School and Lynda Olin, Proposal Development Coordinator, Office of Academic Affairs Washington State University Vancouver

T103: Understanding Subrecipient Monitoring
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 9:15am to 10:30am

Content level: Basic

This session will discuss the exciting project that the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) has been undertaking to assist research institutions with the requirements of subrecipient entity monitoring and risk assessment. The overall goal of this Pilot is to reduce administrative burden for both the PassThrough Entity and the Subrecipient Entity. Information about the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Pilot will be shared including information about the origin of the Pilot, steps taken to develop the current Pilot, the new web based version of the clearinghouse, future phases of the Pilot as well as information about how institutions can benefit from the Pilot, even if they are not part of it or an FDP member institution.

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the purpose, goals and schedule for the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Pilot.
  2. Learn how their institution might benefit from the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse Pilot, even if they are not an FDP member institution.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

John Sites, Manager, Huron Consulting Group

T303: Budgeting Basics
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 1:45pm to 3:00pm

Content level: Basic

This session focuses on the theory of what is a good budget and the practical, what are the pieces and how to create a budget. The session will include a discussion of cost principles, budget categories, direct and indirect costs, cost sharing and how to create a budget for a sponsored project.

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: I. Fundamentals of Sponsored Research Projects

Certificate: PA-E

Certificate: FM-E

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify basic principles used in budgeting
  2. Identify various budget categories, determine allowable and unallowable expenses.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Sharon McCarl, MBA, CRA, Associate Dean, Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University

T403: Closeout of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 3:15pm to 4:30pm

Content level: Basic

This session will provide an overview of all National Institutes of Health (NIH) closeout policies and procedures as well as discuss strategies and best practices for proactive compliance. 

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: IV. Financial Management and Compliance

Certificate: FM-E

Certificate: NIH-R, Category: II. Post-award

Learning objectives:

  1. Be familiar with the NIH Closeout process.
  2. Identify strategies for using the Commons closeout module to pro-actively ensure timely reporting.
  3. Identify best practices for closing out grants.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Melinda Nelson, Acting Director, Division of Extramural Research Activities and Chief Grants Management Officer, NIAMS, NIH

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

LC13: Creating a Better Working Relationship between the Researcher Administrator and the Researcher
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 9:00am to 10:15am

Content level: Basic

As research administrators we work with many personalities. It can become somewhat intimidating while working with researchers who spend their time writing manuscripts, teaching, attending meetings, presenting their findings, and performing an infinite amount of tasks on a daily basis that we aren’t privy to. It is understandable that the researcher can become frustrated when we make an additional request. It might be a pending form that is required for a submission or a document to issue a payment. How do we approach the researcher with our request and when is the right time to do so? There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer but we want to know what you think. How do you engage the researcher? We have seen time and time again that meeting the researcher in their work area allows them the opportunity to share what they do and it provides them the sense that we care about their research. We need to understand what they are doing and how their research is beneficial to the future medicine. Every institution has those hard to deal with researcher who have barriers and are defensive with every suggestion and or request you make. It is important to make them understand why we are here. We are here to protect the institution and the researchers. How can we get our point across? Are there any suggestions? Customer service surveys can also allow your customers, in this case the researcher to provide feedback on how you and I can improve the office. We need to be open to criticism and we need to understand that the research community are our customers and it is up to us to make their experience as easy as possible. Are there things that you can do to better? We must be open to suggestions. A survey can allow us to understand the needs of our research community. Another option to provide a relationship between a research administrator and a researcher is through an event hosted by your office. Given the opportunity to engage with your customers in a platform where they feel relaxed, introduce yourself, and share with them what assistance you provide to them. Are there examples of what you or your institution is doing to bridge the relationship? At our institution we host a bi-annual two day symposium where the researchers are invited to share a little bit of their research. We get to see our Principal Investigator (PI)’s and research community in a different environment and they get to express what they are passionate about. At this forum we get to introduce ourselves and give them the opportunity to meet us in a setting where we get to have a chat about everything and anything. This face to face interaction creates a better working relationship.  Other discussion may take place in regards to the common problems we run into as a research administrator and what suggestions we all have.  Examples of what each of us have experienced can provide for an interactive discussion group.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe how other organizations develop a good relationship with their research community.
  2. Evaluate the current processes in their own organization and obtain ideas that may beneficial.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Jessica  Portillo, MBA, CRA, Senior Financial Analyst and Kimberly Askew, Senior Financial Analyst, Loma Linda University

W103: Understanding the Contract Lifecyle
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 9:00am to 10:15am

Content level: Basic

This session will provide the participant with an overview of the life cycle from Request for Proposal (RFP) to award closeout on federal and non-federal contracts. In addition, the session will address some of the problematic language associated with the terms and conditions when accepting these awards. At the end of the session, a participant should have a general understanding of how the contract process works and associated complex terms.

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: II.Legal Issues in Research Administration

Certificate: FM-E

Learning objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to administer a federal sponsored research contract from RFP to award in a university environment.
  2. Learn best practices and tips for managing contract funds.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Monique Anderson, Director Administrative Services and Debra Murray, Assistant Director of Compliance, University of Maryland, College Park

W203: Effort Reporting: Understanding the Requirements
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 10:30am to 11:45am

Content level: Basic

Effort reporting is a continual area of focus for Offices of Inspectors General and the Justice Department and is a constant hot topic within the research community. Federal regulations and guidance in this important area are often vague and open to varying interpretations. This session will review recent audit and investigation findings related to effort reporting, discuss common pitfalls/red flags for auditors and offer some best practices on how to avoid them. Among the topics that will be covered in this session are effort reporting fundamentals, as well as some of the more challenging aspects of effort reporting, including what’s in and what’s out of institutional base salary and total professional effort, supplemental compensation, what constitutes a “suitable means of verification” and what exactly is an “independent internal evaluation” of the effort reporting process. Additionally, the presenters will address any changes enacted by the A-21 Task Force.

Certificate: IRAM-R, Category: IV. Financial Management and Compliance

Certificate: FM-R

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the federal requirements of effort reporting and identify industry best practices for designing and implementing an effective effort reporting process.
  2. Learn what federal auditors and investigators look for when auditing effort reporting, and techniques to mitigate risks of non-compliance at your institution.

Prerequisites: None

Speaker(s):

Libre' McAdory, Administrative Director School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore and Lisa Campbell, Associate Administrator for Finance and Research Operations, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins