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Essentials of Research Administration (ERA)

The ERA certification series provides on-campus training and certification for research administrators and other support staff who have responsibilities for research proposals, grants, contracts, pre- and post-award administration and related activity at Michigan State University.
This training is provided at no cost.


2020 ERA Series 

Online registration is available at



01/21/20 - Core 1: Pre-Award, Part 1

02/11/20 - Core 2: Pre-Award, Part 2

02/25/20 - Core 3 & Core 4: Post-Award, Parts 1 & 2

03/10/20 - Core 5: Compliance



05/19/20 - University Services for Research Administrators*

06/09/20 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC*

06/18/20 - Animal Care & Use Requirements*

06/23/20 - Proposal Development in KC*

07/21/20 - Effort Reporting & Other Direct Cost Documentation*

08/18/20 - Post Award Receivable Process & Financial Transactions*

09/15/20 - Reporting & Data Collection*

10/13/20 - Departmental Post-Award Account Management

10/27/20 - Fee-for-Service & Service Centers

11/17/20 - NIH & NSF Agency Specifics

12/08/20 - Hot Topics

*ERA Electives offered May-September 2020 will be offered virtually.


eLearning Electives:

International Research I

International Research II

Contracts and Other Agreements

To register for one of the above eLearning courses, please email Amanda Jones ( to be added to the course in D2L and receive further instructions on ERA credits.


Initial Certification Requirements

Participants in the ERA program must complete the following requirements within two (2) calendar years to earn the ERA certificate:

  • Attend all 5 Cores AND a minimum of 3 Electives
  • This initial certificate will be valid for two (2) calendar years, beginning in the year the participant began attending ERA sessions.

Recertification Requirements

In order to maintain your ERA certification status, continuing education of 2 Elective credits (or equivalent approved research-related training credits; see below) is required every calendar year (after the initial certification period). Recertification credit options are as follows:

  • Attend 2 MSU ERA Electives every calendar year after your initial certificate end-date, and every calendar year thereafter.
  • Attend one of the following SPROUT approved conferences or training programs (local, regional or national) and send proof of attendance or successful completion to Jenny Lafferty at in Sponsored Programs Administration:
    • National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)
    • Society of Research Administrators (SRA)
    • Grant Professionals Association (GPA)
    • National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)
    • Obtain your Certified Research Administrator (CRA) certificate through the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC)
  • Attend SpartanRAN meetings to receive 1/2 Elective credit for each meeting attended
  • Attend GRAND Forum meetings to receive 1/2 Elective credit for each meeting attended
  • If you would like an alternative research related training option considered for recertification credit, please send a request to the SPROUT Training Subcommittee Chair, TBD (SPA Training Coordinator).


  • Sponsored Program Research Opportunities and University Training (SPROUT)
  • Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation (SVPRI)

External Training Opportunities

National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)

Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International