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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.

2021 ERA Series 

Online registration is available at www.ora.msu.edu/train.


01/19/21 - Core 1: Pre-Award, Part 1 (first half)

01/26/21 - Core 1: Pre-Award, Part 1 (second half)

02/09/21 - Core 2: Pre-Award, Part 2

02/23/21 - Core 3 & Core 4: Post-Award, Parts 1 & 2

03/09/21 - Core 5: Compliance


05/18/21 - University Services for Research Administrators

06/08/21 - Health and Human Services (DHHS) Human Research Protection Program Compliance

06/17/21 - Animal Care & Use Requirements

06/22/21 - Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Research Compliance

08/31/21 - Proposal Development in KC

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

08/17/21 - Post Award Receivable Process & Financial Transactions

08/24/21 - Beginner's Hands-on Budgeting in KC

08/31/21 - Proposal Development in KC

09/14/21 - Reporting & Data Collection

10/12/21 - Departmental Post-Award Account Management

10/26/21 - Fee-for-Service & Service Centers

11/09/21 - Beginner's Hands-on Budgeting in KC (2nd session)

11/16/21 - NIH & NSF Agency Specifics

11/30/21 - Proposal Development in KC

12/07/21 - 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 Amanda Jones (ajjones@osp.msu.edu) 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 Amanda Jones (ajjones@osp.msu.edu) 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
  • Serve as a member on SPAC or the SPROUT Training Committee for 1/4 elective credit 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