• ERA, Essentials of Research Administration, SPROUT Training, ERA Workshop, SPROUT Workshop, ERA Course

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.


2019 ERA Series 

Online registration is available at



01/15/19 - Core 1: Pre-Award, Part 1

01/22/19 - Core 2: Pre-Award, Part 2

03/05/19 - Core 3: Post-Award, Part 1

03/05/19 - Core 4: Post-Award, Part 2

03/12/19 - Core 5: Compliance



04/09/19 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC

04/23/19 - Proposal Development in KC

05/07/19 - Advanced Hands-On Budgeting

06/04/19 - Human Research Protection Requirements

06/18/19 - Clinical Trials & Clinical Research Compliance

07/16/19 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC

07/30/19 - Effort Reporting & Other Direct Cost Documentation

08/20/19 - Post Award Receivable Process & Financial Transactions

09/17/19 - Proposal Development in KC

10/01/19 - Departmental Post-Award Account Management

10/08/19 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC

10/15/19 - Purchasing

10/29/19 - Fee-for-Service & Service Centers

11/07/19 - Animal Care & Use Requirements

11/12/19 - NIH & NSF Agency Specifics

11/19/19 - Reporting & Data Collection

12/10/19 - Hot Topics


eLearning Electives:

International Research I

International Research II

Contracts and Other Agreements

To register for one of the above eLearning courses, please email Jennifer Lafferty ( and Shannon Lutz ( 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, Jenny Lafferty (


  • 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