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

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 20 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

08/21/18 - International Research I

08/28/18 - International Research II

09/11/18 - Animal Care & Use Requirements

09/18/18 - Proposal Development in KC

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

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

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

10/30/18 - Intellectual Property

11/06/18 - NIH & NSF Agency Specifics

11/27/18 - Reporting & Data Collection

12/04/18 - Hot Topics

ERA Registration System

Online registration for the Essentials of Research Administration (ERA) Certification Series is available on the SPA website (instead of through EBS): 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 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 on an annual basis (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) every two (2) calendar years 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 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