Essentials of Research Administration (ERA)

This program 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.

2018 ERA Series

The 5 Cores will take place in early 2018 followed by 19 Elective options throughout the rest of the calendar year. 

5 Cores:

01/23/18 - Core 1: Pre-Award, Part 1

02/06/18 - Core 2: Pre-Award, Part 2

02/27/18 - Core 3: Post-Award, Part 1

03/13/18 - Core 4: Post-Award, Part 2

04/10/18 - Core 5: Compliance


04/27/18 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC

05/08/18 - Proposal Development in KC

05/22/18 - Advanced Hands-On Budgeting in KC

06/05/18 - Contracts & Other Agreements

06/19/18 - Effort Reporting & Other Direct Cost Documentation

06/26/18 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC

07/17/18 - Clinical Trials & Clinical Research Compliance

07/31/18 - Human Research Protection Requirements

08/14/18 - Animal Care & Use Requirements

08/21/18 - International Research I

08/28/18 - International Research II

09/11/18 - Intellectual Property

09/25/18 - Departmental Post-Award Account Management

10/02/18 - Beginner's Hands-On Budgeting in KC (TENATIVE)

10/23/18 - Fee-for-Service & Service Centers

11/06/18 - NIH & NSF Agency Specifics

11/13/18 - Reporting & Data Collection

12/04/18 - Hot Topics


ERA Registration System

Online registration for the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) Certification Series is now open!  This system is available on the SPA website (instead of through EBS), and all 2018 classes are posted here:  You will need to login with your MSU NetID (with two-factor authentication) to access the Course Catalog & Registration information.  A “Help” tab is also available with registration instructions and contact information for further assistance.


Initial Certification Requirements

Participants must complete the following requirements within two (2) years to receive the initial ERA certificate:

  • Attend all 5 Cores AND a minimum of 3 Electives
  • Your certificate will be valid for 2 calendar years, beginning in the year you started the series.

Re-Certification Requirements

In order to keep your certification active, please see the following options:

  • Complete three (3) ERA electives within two (2) calendar years after your initial certificate end-date, and every two (2) calendar years thereafter.
  • Attend one of the following SPROUT approved conferences or training programs (local, regional or national) every two (2) calendar years and send proof of attendance or successful completion to Jenny Lafferty ( and Shannon Lutz ( 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.
  • If you would like an alternative research related training option considered for recertification credit, please send a request to the SPROUT Training Subcommittee Co-Chairs: Jenny Lafferty ( and MaryJo Banasik (


  • Sponsored Program Research Opportunities and University Training (SPROUT)
  • Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (VPRGS)

External Training Opportunities

National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)

Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International