Guide for New Research Administrators
Welcome to research administration in the VCU School of Medicine! Whether you are new to VCU or just new to research administration, the following information is provided as an onboarding checklist to ensure you have the information you need to do your job. If you have any questions about the content on this page please write to SOMRESADMIN@vcuhealth.org.
In addition to this list, the Office of Sponsored Research and Grants & Contracts Accounting have put together a comprehensive "Getting Started in Research Administration" document.
In the first week...
Sign up for any necessary trainings, both in-person and online via Blackboard:
- Banner Finance Research Accounting
- Fiscal Training: Banner FOAPAL - Forms - Transactions
- Medicine Required Training for Investigators and Administrators (Blackboard, online)
- PAA001: Banner Basic Navigation & System/Data Security (required for Banner access)
- PAA003: Labor Distribution Training - depends on role, check with supervisor
- eVA Purchasing Course - depends on role, check with supervisor
- Grants & Contracts Accounting Training
Join research administration related listservs:
- SOM Research Administrative Listserv - contact SOMRESADMIN@vcuhealth.org to be added
- Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) Listserv
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research Listserv
Meet with someone in your department to go over all active, closing, or pending awards in your department/center.
Verify you have received relevant system access:
- RAMS-SPOT proposal submission system - send request to SOMPROPOSALS@vcuhealth.org
- Banner Finance access
- Banner HR access - depends on role, check with supervisor
- PI Dashboard and RA Dashboard access - send request to SOMRESADMIN@vcuhealth.org
- ECRT Effort Reporting system - depends on role, check with supervisor
- eVA Purchasing access - depends on role, check with supervisor
- NIH eRA Commons account - depends on role, check with supervisor
In the first month...
Schedule a meeting with the SOM Office of Research Administration team for general School of Medicine process overview and to go over the PI Dashboard - contact SOMRESADMIN@vcuhealth.org.
PRE-AWARD: If you will be working with investigators to submit proposals, familiarize yourself with the pre-award process:
- Review the School of Medicine Proposal Submission Process
- Create a calander for proposal submissions (or utilize existing one); find out what's in the pipline and communicate with your OSP Team
- View OSP's "Getting Started in RAMS-SPOT: System Overview & Navigation" webinar
- Learn about "Funding Proposal Workflow - Routing and Notifications"
- View all RAMS-SPOT Get Started guides and webinars on OSP's website
- Carefully review the document School of Medicine Review of Sponsored Program Proposals
- Bookmark VCU's Institutional Fact Sheet for use in preparing proposals
- Bookmark VCU's current Fringe Benefits and Facilities & Administrative (F&A) Rates
POST-AWARD: Familiarize yourself with the post-award processes and best practice guides:
- Guide to Review and Signature in the SOM Office of Research Administration
- New Award Establishment
- Allocation and Monitoring of Effort on Sponsored Projects
- Monthly Reconciliation and Award Analysis
- Subaward Preparation and Management
- SOM Guidance for Joint Appointment MOUs
- Award Closeout
- Grant Transfers
- Salary Cap Cost Share
- School of Medicine Evaluation of Fixed Price Closeout Requests - Executive Summary
- Review the information on G&C Accounting's post-award website
- Become familiar with the process for requesting cost share indexes
- Learn about effort reporting in the ECRT system
- Note where to find the research terms and conditions for awards in your department
Identify contacts in key areas (i.e. SOM Research Administration, your department's business office, OSP, G&C Accounting, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), etc).
Set up a filing system for your department's sponsored research files (or become familiar with the current system).
Establish a process for monthly reconciliation of awards in your department using the PI Dashboard (i.e. prepare reports, check rate of spending, monitor deficits, meet with PI and discuss expenses and labor charges for that month, etc).
Read, bookmark, and know the following...
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance - 2 CFR 200)
VCU Policy Library - all research-related policies
If working with research that involves human subjects (clinical research)...
- SOM Clinical Research Administration
- VCU's Institutional Review Board (IRB)
- VPRI Clinical Research Compliance program
Familiarize yourself with the processes for submitting clinical research studies to the School of Medicine for review.
Learn about putting together a clinical research budget for a study in the School of Medicine
Review the clinical research frequently asked questions page.