Twelve courses are required to complete the Research Administration degree:

  • four core courses
  • two curriculum track required elective courses
  • six elective courses

Core Courses

Required of all students

  • Introduction to Research Administration – 475.601
  • Organization and Leadership for Research Administration – 475.602
  • Introduction to Legal, Ethical, Regulatory and Compliance Issues – 475.604
  • Capstone Project in Research Administration – 475.800
    or
    Research and Thesis in Research Administration – 475.801

Curriculum Tracks

A student must choose two of the four Curriculum Tracks. Courses, other than core courses not in the chosen Curriculum Tracks will not count toward graduation.

  1. Program Administration and Facilitation
  2. Financial Management of Sponsored Programs
  3. Compliance, Legal and Regulatory Issues
  4. Concentration in International Research Administration Management

Sequence of Study

Students should make every effort to take the core courses, other than the capstone, in their first two semesters. The final required course of the program is the Capstone Project in Research Administration or the Research and Thesis in Research Administration, which students can only take in their final semester.

Capstone Project

The Capstone Project Course is one of two courses that a student may select after having completed ten courses in the MS in Research Administration Program. This course is the culmination of the Masters in Research Administration where students will integrate and build on their previous coursework in the program to apply it to practical settings. During the semester students will identify and analyze an issue or problem and propose a solution during this semester-long course. Those electing the Capstone Project may explore issues related to a current research administration project in a “real world” setting. This original work can be for the organization or agency for which the student works or for a hypothetical organization, but it should result in the student conducting original research and applying strategies, testing solutions, and using tools to meet the particular needs of a chosen work environment. To complete the course, students must write a 25 page or longer capstone project paper. If the project is not completed by the end of the semester, students will need to enroll in Thesis and Capstone Continuation – 475.802 (non-credit).

Thesis

The Research and Thesis Course is also one of two courses that a student may select after having successfully completed 10 courses in the MS in Research Administration program. This course is the culmination of the Masters in Research Administration where students embark on designing and conducting research in the field of research administration. The purpose of this core course is for students to refine their thesis topic, develop their research design and conduct and complete the research. The course format is working sessions focused on specific research-oriented tasks. Emphasis will be placed on completing the literature review, designing the research methodology, conducting the research, analyzing the research results and writing a thesis. Students will also complete by semester end their thesis paper. To complete the course students must write a 25 or more page thesis. If the thesis is incomplete students will then need to enroll in Thesis and Capstone Continuation – 475.802 (non-credit).

Core Courses

Provides an overview of research administration including how it has evolved in the United States, the role it plays nationally and at the state level, and how conducting research in the U.S. differs from elsewhere. The course also examines the research continuum and the research enterprise as it exists in higher education, nonprofit organizations, and the federal government. The course allows students the opportunity to become familiar with issues, problems and strategic outcomes as they affect research administration.

The course provides an overview of the organization, structure, and language of the research enterprise; how the enterprise functions in the discovery to commercialization pipeline; who the players and stakeholders are and how they interact; the organizational models used by institutions; the role and effect of national policy in shaping research; the impact of the information age and technology; the qualities and requirements for students to become successful leaders; and, how university, federal, and non-profit research administration organizations are managed and led. The course allows students the opportunity to become familiar with the issues faced by leadership in the ever-changing and fluid world of the research enterprise.

During this course students examine the legal, ethical, and regulatory framework underlying most research activities in the U.S. Students discuss the trajectory of legal, ethical, regulatory and compliance issues affecting research administration, including the role of Congress, the role of the Executive Branch of government, and the role of federal and state agencies in the issuance and auditing of compliance regulations. Students will also discuss practical considerations for human subjects and animal research, financial conflict of interest, misconduct in science, export controls, safety and security and risk assessment.

The Capstone Seminar is the culmination of the Master’s in Research Administration where students will integrate and build on their previous coursework in the program to apply it to practical settings. Students must have completed ten of the twelve courses required for the M.S. degree in order to enroll in this course. During the semester students will identify and analyze an issue or problem and propose a solution during this semester long course. Those electing the Capstone may explore issues related to a current research administration project in a “real world” setting. This original work can be for the organization or agency for which the student works or for a hypothetical organization, but it should result in the student conducting original research and applying strategies, testing solutions, and using tools to meet the particular needs of chosen work environment. To complete the course students must write a 25-35 page capstone project paper. If the project is not completed by the end of the semester, students will need to enroll in AS.475.855.

The Research and Thesis Seminar is the culmination of the Master’s in Research Administration where students embark on a designing and conducting research in the field of research administration. Students must have completed ten of the twelve courses required for the M.S. degree in order to enroll in this course. The purpose of this core course is for students to refine their thesis topic, develop their research design and conduct and complete the research. Students will conduct research and write their thesis during this class in earnest. The course format is working sessions focused on specific research-oriented tasks. Emphasis will be placed on completing the literature review and methodology sections of the thesis. Students will also complete by semester end their thesis paper. To complete the course students must write a 25-35 page thesis. If the thesis is incomplete students will then need to enroll in AS.475.855.

This is a non-credit course required for those who have completed all of their course work including the Research and Thesis class or the Capstone Project in Research Administration class, but who are still working on their Research Thesis or Capstone Project. There is a fee associated with this course.

Curriculum Track 1: Program Administration and Facilitation

One track required course and choose any three courses.

This course explores the role of software applications and systems utilized by research administrators and by those seeking and receiving funding. Students examine and compare software applications such as COEUS, SunGard Public Sector, Grants.Gov, GrantsOnline, Conversis, PeopleSoft, ERA Software, Compliance Software, SAP, and others.

From the perspective of funders, this course explores ways in which initiatives become sponsored programs, the role of strategic planning, how proposals are designed and disseminated, how responses are solicited and evaluated. The important role that communication plays is emphasized, and communication strategies and work products are examined. The course also allows students to become familiar with key roles and relationships, such as those played by the program officer, the proposal development specialist, and the principle investigator.

The course explores how research projects and sponsored programs are best catalyzed and later managed utilizing project management theory, best practices, case studies, and research. The course examines the emergence of pre-award research development within the realm of research administration and its impact on post-award project management. Issues related to team building, group dynamics, and building collaborative win-win relationships with multiple principle investigators and team leaders will be emphasized in the course.

This course describes the process of applying for, writing, and evaluating grants and sponsored program opportunities offered through non-profit, foundation, think-tank, government, and university settings. Emphasis is placed on how to evaluate opportunities, how to use online resources, how to ensure that prerequisites are met, and how to respond to RFPs with fully-vetted, well- written proposals. Students will be required to write and edit portions of proposals as well as evaluate current opportunities.

This course provides a detailed examination of request for proposal (RFP) as well as RFAs, RFQs, and other proposal submission requests. It examines the procurement processes of the government through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The course also focuses on award processes from the perspective of those planning and offering them. Students compare and contrast these processes in different environments, including federal and foundation grant-making and private sector funding for specific projects. In the final segment of the course, these same processes—solicitation of proposals, and negotiation and acceptance of awards—will be examined from the perspective of the research administrator at the grantee institution.

The course explores university and corporate research and partnerships. It delves into the history of corporate funding of university based research and how corporations differ from other university partners and how corporations view their relationships with universities. It also examines strategies and best practices needed to organize an academic office of corporate relations; develop metrics to track and manage corporate engagement; the role of intellectual property and technology transfer; stages and categories of university-industry engagement; the role of federal government in corporate engagement; the role of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, including the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable and related national commissions; and, state and local government in academic-corporate relationships.

Developing solutions to policy problems increasingly requires a data-driven approach. Government agencies analyze data to evaluate programs. Research organizations use data to better understand policy effects. Private companies analyze data to develop their policy positions. This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to perform a cutting-edge statistical analysis. Students will learn how to design and test regression models using Stata, an incredibly powerful and widely used statistical software package. Other topics include interaction terms, measures of fit, internal and external validity, logistic and probit regression, and translating statistical findings for broad audiences. The focus of the course will be on using statistical methods in an applied manner; we will concentrate on using statistics to answer meaningful policy questions. Prerequisite: 470.681 Probability and Statistics

(Formerly Influence and Impact of Nonprofits). The goal of this course is to convey the history, size and impact of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector while providing the fundamentals of nonprofit management and the founding of a nonprofit organization. Successful nonprofits today must have strong management systems in place in order to assure quality programs for service and impact. These systems include management of finances, strategic planning, human resources, information technology, marketing, performance measures and other aspects of operations. The course will help the student understand the current thinking regarding "best practices" in managing and improving nonprofit organizations and appreciate the interplay of environmental and organizational factors that influence managerial decision-making. Throughout the course, there will be a comparative perspective that looks at the scope and status of nongovernmental organizations in other countries and the influences on those organizations by their own governments, foreign aid and international philanthropy. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Curriculum Track 2: Financial Management of Sponsored Programs

One track required course and choose any three courses.

This course explores the role of software applications and systems utilized by research administrators and by those seeking and receiving funding. Students examine and compare software applications such as COEUS, SunGard Public Sector, Grants.Gov, GrantsOnline, Conversis, PeopleSoft, ERA Software, Compliance Software, SAP, and others.

Provides an introduction to topics related to financial operations of sponsored programs, including how to establish a financial reporting system, budgeting, effort reporting, preparing for and engaging in an audit, procuring resources, and sub-contracting. Students also learn how to translate the financial terms of a proposal into a project budget and how to engage in specialized oversight and reporting, such as required for projects undertaken within the GSA Schedule.

Focuses on the specifics of financial and non-financial auditing as related to sponsored programs and grants. Clinical accounting is presented as well as the role of clinical research in a university and non-profit research environment. The audit process is also examined in detail and the roles of the financial research administrator, auditors, PI, and project participants are discussed. Special attention is paid to compliance pitfalls, record keeping, information technology, and accepted accounting standards and practices.

Provides hands-on opportunities for students to understand reporting requirements and work with the types of reports required for research projects and sponsored programs. The course examines reporting as a CRM (customer relationship management) and PM (project management) strategy, as well as special requirements affecting research administration. Specific types of reporting requirements are analyzed, including federal government agency-based requirements, Star Metrics, Data Act, and GSA Schedule.

This course covers the Federal Acquisition Regulations or FAR, with an emphasis on contracting with the Defense Department. The purpose of the FAR and its application to different types of contracts is explored. Using a hypothetical program, the development of a large federal contract program is examined from the earliest phases through the delivery of the required product. The different phases and decision points in the program are explored from the positions of multiple participants. Both federal contracts and subcontracts and related contract clauses are examined. By the end of the course, students will have a recognition of how the FAR is applied to federally funded programs.

From the perspective of a nonprofit leader, this course provides a solid foundation in understanding key financial tools such as audits, financial statements, budgets and tax documents. Using these tools, students will analyze and assess the financial transparency, accountability, and health of various national and international organizations, determine the financial strengths and weaknesses within those organizations, learn how to use that information in the decision-making process, and finally, practice making informed recommendations to organizational leadership. This course is not designed to make students financial experts or practitioners. Instead, it is designed to enlighten students on key financial management concepts that improve their ability to be informed leaders, participants, and donors in the nonprofit sector. Students will also explore the responsibilities and consequences of international nonprofits engaging in activities in the US, as well as implications for US nonprofits operating abroad. This is an elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Curriculum Track 3: Compliance, Legal and Regulatory Issues

One track required course and choose any three courses.

This course explores the role of software applications and systems utilized by research administrators and by those seeking and receiving funding. Students examine and compare software applications such as COEUS, SunGard Public Sector, Grants.Gov, GrantsOnline, Conversis, PeopleSoft, ERA Software, Compliance Software, SAP, and others.

This course examines the role of research administrators in safeguarding Intellectual Property (IP), identifying patentable material, creating and operating a technology transfer office, facilitating various aspects of technology transfer, and developing and implementing such specialized agreements as non-disclosure agreements, material transfer agreements, licensing agreements and other related intellectual property agreements. Students examine case studies, case law, institutional and agency policies.

This course examines in-depth advanced issues of compliance, legal and regulatory affairs. Students will examine and discuss critical issues and real world applications in research compliance and research ethics. Topics to be examined include an in-depth examination of research, human tissue centers, use of special populations in research, informed consent, use of primates in research, and misconduct in science. This course will also look at the issues affecting high containment research and facilities, infectious diseases research, and the regulatory agencies that govern these special areas.

This course looks at what is needed to develop, maintain, and manage compliance, legal and regulatory issues in a research hospital or health care setting. The elements of patient care, clinical trials, and other research administration issues affecting healthcare are discussed. Areas such as the Physicians Self-Referral (Stark) Law, Anti-kickback laws, HIPPA and HITECH regulations as well as the Privacy Rule, and the Security Rule are examined. Elements of a good compliance program are also discussed.

This course examines how to prepare and execute research contracts and industrial agreements. It examines issues affecting both domestic and international contracting, including issues such as U.S. regulations that affect the contracting process, good terms and conditions in research contracts, maintain your nonprofit status, safe harbor laws, unrelated business income, and profit v nonprofit legal issues. The course also examines issues related to the human dynamics and cultural aspects of international and industrial contacting.

This course discusses special issues both domestic and international that affect research administration. Special issues such as seeking, obtaining, and monitoring an export control license, issues affecting research with pharmaceutical companies, issues affecting small business contracting, and requirements for international conflict of interest, research integrity, and use of research results will be discussed.

Regulatory affairs are comprised of the rules and regulations that govern product development and post-approval marketing. In the U.S., the FDA establishes and oversees the applicable regulations under several statutes, many regulations, and partnerships with legislators, patients, and customers. Biotechnology products may be classified as drugs, biologics, or medical devices. Each type is regulated by a different center within the FDA. This course provides an overview of RA and its effect on product development. Topics include RA history, regulatory agencies, how to access regulatory information, drug submissions, biologics submissions, medical device submissions, GLP, GCP, GMP, and FDA inspections.

This course provides an overview of the important ethical, legal, and regulatory issues that are critical to the biotechnology industry. The course shares current trends and essential elements of ethics, legal issues, and regulations in a way that allows for an appreciation of how each influences the others. Students will examine core ethical values that guide the practice of science in the biotechnology industry. The course will provide an overview of legal issues, such as protecting inventions, intellectual property, licensing, and the range of regulatory oversight mechanisms with which the biotech industry must comply. This course will review the implications of strategic ethical, legal, and regulatory choices that add value to the biotechnology firm, customers, and society.

Curriculum Track 4: Concentration in International Research Administration Management

One track required course and choose any three courses.

This course examines how to prepare and execute research contracts and industrial agreements. It examines issues affecting both domestic and international contracting, including issues such as U.S. regulations that affect the contracting process, good terms and conditions in research contracts, maintain your nonprofit status, safe harbor laws, unrelated business income, and profit v nonprofit legal issues. The course also examines issues related to the human dynamics and cultural aspects of international and industrial contacting.

This course discusses special issues both domestic and international that affect research administration. Special issues such as seeking, obtaining, and monitoring an export control license, issues affecting research with pharmaceutical companies, issues affecting small business contracting, and requirements for international conflict of interest, research integrity, and use of research results will be discussed.

This course discusses, analyses, compares and contrasts the higher education and research landscapes and infrastructures of a number of countries around the world. The course focuses on the ever changing research information management landscape, including initiatives such as information systems, unique identifiers, international standards, metrics, league tables, and scholarly communication. This course also looks at processes to engage in policy, health, and public discourse in higher education management. It also examines the successful operation and the associated perils and pitfalls of trans-national research offices.

This course looks at differing international funding mechanisms and how to navigate them. It focusses on collaborative proposals where at least one partner is not in the jurisdiction of the funder, and also joint funding initiatives involving funders from more than one jurisdiction. All aspects of the grant lifecycle are covered from identification, through proposal development, submission, negotiation, management, and close-out.

This course examines the differing regulatory environments in a number of countries and how these differences can be managed within a joint collaborative project or initiative. Similarly differing standards of ethical and compliance requirements and attitudes are examined. Ethical standards for research are discussed and analyzed from a global perspective. International initiatives such as the World Congress on Research Integrity and the Asia Pacific Research Integrity Network are discussed. Best practices in regulatory and compliance issues are also addressed.

This course discusses and analyzes a myriad of cultural and social mores that can foster or inhibit effective communication and collaborative work, even for those sharing a common language. The course will provide strategies and best practices to enhance effective communication across institutions and to anticipate, recognize and address misunderstandings before they escalate. Issues include: language, local meanings, socio-political structures, cultural identity, time zones, working weeks, institutional imperatives, faculty-administration dynamics, and the role of a research administrator in differing countries.

STATE-SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR ONLINE PROGRAMS

Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

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