Training and Meeting Opportunities

Refer to the events calendar for class availability:

Join the Research Administration Listserve to be kept up-to-date on new policies and regulations and learn of new training opportunities as they arise.

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Mandatory Training for PIs and Research Administrative Staff [+][-]

The Office of Research and Innovation and the Office of Finance and Administration, with the support of VCU’s senior administration, have developed mandatory training programs in sponsored project compliance and effort certification to increase awareness and accountability and to reduce risk to the University. All Principal Investigators (PIs), investigators and VCU staff who are involved in sponsored projects or manage funds in sponsored project accounts are required to complete this training program.

Current PIs must complete the training program prior to the issue of an award. New awards will not be processed until the required training is completed. New PIs will also be required to take the training before an award will be processed by the Office of Research and Innovation. Proposals will continue to be processed without delay.

The training programs are available on Blackboard and should take approximately one (1) hour each to complete. To access the program, go to the VCU home page (, click on Blackboard and log-in using your VCU eID. Once in Blackboard, click on the Courses tab and select "School Required Training for PIs, Researchers and Administrators." Select the tab that best defines your role, i.e., "Investigator Training" or "Administrator Training"

All individuals must score a minimum of 80% on each of the corresponding examinations to successfully complete the training program.

You can self-enroll by searching by course name ("School Required Training for PIs, Researchers and Administrators" or search "School Required Training") and selecting "Self-enroll." If you have any problems registering for the course, please send an email to Access will be granted within 24 hours.

Additionally, administrators that are requesting primary or secondary access to the Effort Reporting system (ECRT) will need to first complete the required training and then submit an ECRT Access Request form to Effort Reporting. Instructions regarding the mandatory Effort Reporting Training are located on the University Controller’s Office website as is the ECRT Access Request form.

VCU has an obligation to preserve public trust in the integrity and quality of its sponsored projects. Ensuring that our faculty and staff are aware of and comply with federal regulations and University policies strengthens that trust. We appreciate your willingness to participate in this program.

VCU Sponsored Projects Administration Certification Program [+][-]

We are updating and reorganizing! Our certification program is not currently being offered.

In the interim, read more about events and training opportunities available in "Other Training" listed below.

Other Training [+][-]

NCURA Instructional DVD Library – This library includes DVD’s on various topics in Research Administration. DVD material is designed for those who are new to research administration as well as those who are experienced. The library includes a wide range of informative topics that are useful to a diverse audience including Research Administrators, Fiscal Administrators, Principal Investigators, etc. Click here for DVD checkout instructions.

Grants & Contracts Accounting Training – This training is offered once a month and is designed for employees with less than one year experience working with sponsored programs. The session provides those who are new to grant administration an overview of Grants & Contracts policies and procedures and commonly used Banner forms. Participants must have completed the Banner Basic Navigation course via blackboard/ or other classroom Banner experience. (Register via VCU training webpage).

Effort Reporting (Basic) – This training is designed for effort coordinators with less than one year experience working with effort and /or ECRT. The session will provide an overview of effort reporting, ECRT, and compliance. (Register via VCU training webpage).

Effort Reporting (Intermediate) – This training is designed for effort coordinators with more than one year experience working with effort and/or ECRT. The session provides a more detailed view of effort reporting, ECRT, and compliance. (Register via VCU training webpage).

Training Materials and Quick Reference Documents [+][-]

VCU Training Materials

Getting Started in Research Administration Guide
This guide summarizes the many training opportunities and online resources offered by Sponsored Programs and Grants and Contracts Accounting. It is designed to acclimate those new to research administration and provides course descriptions as well as registration instructions.

From NIH: All About Grants Podcast Service [+][-]

NIH and the Office of Extramural Research (OER) have made podcasts available which feature conversations with NIH staff members. The podcasts are designed for investigators, fellows, students, research administrators, and others. The podcasts vary in length (between 10-20 minutes) and relevant subject matter and are updated every other week.

Please visit the "All About Grants" podcast website here to download podcasts or to subscribe to this service.