Education and Training

The Office of Sponsored Programs is committed to training and supporting all faculty and staff involved in research and research administration. Education is the combined effort of all various units in the Medical Center engaged in the research administration process. Programs have been developed to meet the requirements of sponsors, including the federal goverment, and to ensure that students, faculty, and staff understand the issues surrounding compliance and the responsible conduct of research. Programs focus on sponsored project applications, eRA Commons, Coeus, federal regulations, sponsor requirements, and management of sponsored program funding, among others. 

OSP staff is continually involved with the research education process within the greater community of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Informational checklists outlining various OSP-managed processes can be found below:  

Certification Programs

Individuals involved in the administration of sponsored programs face a multitude of challenges: they must stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about federal regulations and individual agency requirements, provide accurate and timely assistance to faculty, gather and distribute relevant information, and administer and maintain awards, among other tasks.

Within the ever-changing landscape of sponsored research, it is now more important than ever to possess abroad overview of the various aspects involved in both internal and external sponsored programs, including the preparation and review of proposals, negotiation and acceptance of awards, financial and administrative management of said awards, closeouts, and audits, among other relevant compliance issues.

Both the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) and Certified Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA) programs contain the necessary overview needed for those working in this field. For more information, please visit the Research Administrators Certification Council website

Professional Organizations

National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)

NCURA, founded in 1959, is an organization of individuals with professional interests in the administration of sponsored programs (research, education, and training), primarily at colleges and universities, with a mission towards: 

  • Promoting the development of more effective policies and procedures relative to the administration of sponsored programs to assure faculty's maximum potential in academic programs
  • Hosting regional and national meetings to foster the discussion and exchange of information and experiences related to sponsored programs in colleges and universities 
  • Providing for the dissemination of current information and exchange of views on mutual concerns
  • Promoting the development of college and university research administration, as well as the administration of other sponsored programs, as a professional field and to stimulate the personal growth of the members of the Council 

NCURA serves its members and advances the field of research administration through education and professional development programs, the sharing of knowledge and experience, and by fostering a professional, collegial, and respected community. 

VUMC continues its strong presence within NCURA: for more information on how to get involved, please visit the NCURA website

Society of Research Administrators (SRA)

The Society of Research Administrators International is dedicated to the education and professional development of research administrators working in varied organizational settings, as well as the advancement of research administration as a profession. 

Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the society has approximately 4,000 members who work in research administration at hospitals, universities, nonprofits, and within the federal government. Most of the membership is U.S.-based research administrators; however, approximately five (5) percent of the members are based abroad. The society holds one annual conference for research administrators each year and two (2) regional section meetings are also offered, along with approximately a dozen chapter meetings. For more information, please visit the SRA website