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Research Administration Certificate Series (RACS)

What is RACS?
The Research Administration Certificate Series (RACS) is sponsored jointly by the Sponsored Programs Office and Extramural Funds Accounting. It is a certificate program for UC Davis research administrators designed to provide participants with a basic foundation for the administration of sponsored programs. These courses will also help research administrators prepare for the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) exam available through the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC), though the program may not cover all topics on the CRA exam. For more information about CRA certification, visit the RACC Web site.

PRE–AWARD COURSES (5 REQUIRED COURSES, 11 HOURS)
Course Name Description
Introduction to Sponsored Programs What is the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO)? When will I use SPO? What is the process of beginning work with SPO? This class will help you to understand more about this critical campus office. You will be given descriptions of the variety of types of grants and contracts that are Office of Research/SPO responsibilities.

2.5 hours, eLearning or Instructor-Led Training
Proposal Preparation and Submission This course is designed to help you to obtain the information needed to prepare and submit a proposal through the Sponsored Programs Office at UC Davis. Topics include: what you might use extramural funding for, types of sponsors, types of proposals and awards, principal investigator eligibility, understanding a call for proposals, proposal guidelines, components of a proposal, institutional forms, steps to help department research administrator, and how to submit a proposal to Sponsored Programs.

1.5 hours, eLearning or 3 hours, Instructor Led Training
Writing a Proposal Budget: Concepts In this course, participants will learn about the components and principles of a project budget and how these lead to the development of a final proposal budget. Topics covered include: cost components that make up a budget, universal cost principles applicable to preparing project budgets, budgeting techniques and practices, calculating F&A costs, and budgeting tools and resources.

1 hour, eLearning
Writing a Proposal Budget: Lab In this session, attendees will apply the knowledge they obtained in the online class “Writing a Proposal Budget: Concepts”. Attendees will use case studies, sample forms, and group discussion to learn how to successfully complete a proposal budget. Applied activities include topics such as determining budget categories, determining appropriate F&A rate, applying and calculating the correct F&A rate, creating a budget justification, and more!

Prerequisite: Writing a Proposal Budget: Concepts OR completion of in-person Writing a Proposal Budget course in Fall 2010/Winter 2011.
Participants who have not filled the prerequisite one week before the lab will be dropped from the course.

3 hours, Instructor Led Training
Understanding the Awards Process Once a sponsor elects to fund a proposal, the review, negotiation and award acceptance process begins. This course walks you through what is happening in the Sponsored Programs Office, and what to do when the accepted agreement arrives in your office.

3 hours, eLearning or Instructor Led Training

POST AWARD COURSES (8 REQUIRED COURSES, 26 HOURS)
Course Name Description
Principles of Research Administration An overview of the research environment, roles and responsibilities, and resources for federal, state, and UC/UCD guidance.

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training or eLearning
Post Award Administration Part I An overview of the award lifecycle, start-up tasks for new awards, charging practices, ledger review, cost transfers, and subawards.

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training or eLearning
Post Award Administration Part II An overview of effort commitments, cost sharing, changing awards, closeouts, and effort reporting.

Prerequisite: Post Award Administration, Part I

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training or eLearning
A-21 Costing Principles An in-depth study that focuses on understanding and applying tests for allowability, allocability, reasonableness and consistency. Additional topics covered include distinguishing direct from indirect costs, requirements for cost transfers, and effort reporting.

Prerequisites: Principles of Research Administration, Post Award Administration Part I, and Post Award Administration Part II

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training or eLearning
Indirect Costs An in-depth study that covers the practical application of budgeting and re-budgeting with indirect costs. This will be a workshop with lots of hands-on exercises.

Prerequisites: Principles of Research Administration, Post Award Administration Part I, and Post Award Administration Part II

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training
Cost Sharing and Effort Commitments An in-depth study that focuses on when effort and cost sharing commitments exist and how to quantify and properly track them.

Prerequisites: Principles of Research Administration, Post Award Administration Part I, and Post Award Administration Part II

3 hours; Instructor Led Training
Financial Closeouts An in-depth study that covers the steps involved in closing out an extramural award with emphasis on ensuring complete and accurate data in DaFIS to facilitate final financial reporting. Participants will practice using DaFIS reports to complete simple financial reports.

Prerequisites: Principles of Research Administration, Post Award Administration Part I, and Post Award Administration Part II

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training
Decision Support Reports for Research Administration An introduction to the financial reports most commonly used in research administration to monitor expenses and reconcile accounts.

Prerequisites: Principles of Research Administration, Post Award Administration Part I, and Post Award Administration Part II

2 hours; Instructor Led Training

RISK MANAGEMENT (2 REQUIRED COURSES, 5 HOURS)
Course Name Description
Accountability, Ethics and Internal Controls Increasingly we are required to engage in complex decision-making with no clear policy or law to guide us. This course is designed to enhance understanding of why university policies and procedures exist and the importance of UC institutional values in decision-making. The case studies and examples are designed to enhance application of UC values in deciding between valid options that go beyond "legal vs. illegal." Resources will be identified to help participants determine if departmental duties are properly separated and if departmental procedures support ethical decision-making. Participants will also learn what to look for if they suspect or discover departmental fraud or misuse.

3 hours; Instructor Led Training
How to Survive an Audit You've been selected for an audit. What do you do next? How do you prepare? This course is designed to familiarize participants with the general audit process of both internal and external audits from beginning to end. We will discuss the areas auditors commonly focus on, the types of documentation typically reviewed and provide some helpful tips for interacting with auditors and preparing for an audit.

2 hours; Instructor Led Training

OTHER RESEARCH COMPLIANCE (6 REQUIRED COURSES, 19.5 HOURS)
Course Name Description
Protection of Human Research Subjects The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regulations require that all human subjects research supported by DHHS be reviewed and approved by a local institutional review board (IRB). With few exceptions, investigators may not involve human subjects in research without their informed consent, and additional safeguards are required when subjects are likely to be vulnerable to coercion or undue influence.

4 hours; eLearning
Please note that this course is available through the CITI web site. Instructions for logging into the CITI site are available here. Either the Biomedical Focus or the Social and Behavioral Focus will satisfy the requirement for the RACS program; it is not necessary to complete both. The completion certificate from CITI must be submitted to SD&PS with your Certificate Series Checklist to receive the RACS certificate.
Animal Care and Use All Individuals including faculty, staff, and students (employees or volunteers) who are named on an Animal Use and Care Protocol or have exposure to live vertebrate animals must attend the "Animal Care and Use 101" course.

2 hours; eLearning
Technology Transfer for the Research Administrator This video from NCURA provides an overview of the technology transfer process (conveyance of intellectual property developed by university researchers over to the private sector where it can be commercialized to better serve the public good) and the thought processes and necessary infrastructure underlying it. Topics covered include the Bayh-Dole Act, the Tax Reform Act of 1986, patents, licenses, options, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks, research agreements, confidential disclosure agreements, and material transfer agreements.

3 hours; eLearning
National Security Issues This NCURA video covers issues involving research that may involve national security concerns, including export control regulations, involvement of and restrictions for use of foreign nationals in research, international collaborations, "sensitive but unclassified" data and research, security issues related to select agents and biocontainment laboratories, facilities and institutional procedures related to export control, negotiations, contract clauses, visa issues, contract issues between universities and DOD agencies on biodefense projects, technology controlled under export controls regulations, issues related to embargoes and sanctions, insight into the federal perspective and implications for research administrators that recent changes to federal regulations governing these issues will impose.

3.5 hours; eLearning
Copyrights at UC Davis How can a law almost as old as our country work in today's high tech world-class research university? This course provides basic information on copyrights and the UC Policy on Copyright Ownership, and how they affect typical needs of our university community. You won't leave as a copyright lawyer, but you will have a better sense of how copyrights work here at UC Davis.

3.5 hours; Instructor Led Training
Conflict of Interest: How to Spot and Manage It The words "Conflict of Interest" have been known to strike fear into the hearts of even the most seasoned research administrators. As institutions increase their research enterprise, the gateway for conflicts widens. Our job is to first identify it – whether real or perceived – and then, if possible, determine ways in which to manage it. The faculty will give tips on what to do when you uncover a conflict and, in particular, for those out in the department, where they can go for help. This NCURA video, with its expert panel, will relate best practices in managing a COI and give examples of what works, and what doesn't.

About 3.5 hours; eLearning

Enroll Online at SDPS
Enroll online through the Staff Development & Professional Services UC Learning Center. You will need your campus login ID and Kerberos password to enter the system. Click on the Contracts and Grants link under Research Administration or search for the title of your class in the Search box. Find the course you wish to enroll in and click the Register button. Please contact Staff Development & Professional Services at sdps@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-1766 if you need enrollment assistance.

Obtain a Certificate
All courses listed above are required for the certificate. To receive credit for each course toward the RACS certificate, candidates must take each course either in person or online. Research Administrators with sufficient experience may receive credit by passing the exams in lieu of taking each course if an exam is available for the course. Exams are composed of 30 multiple-choice questions which cover the material presented in each course. To receive credit for an exam, a score of 24 or more correct answers (80%) is needed. There is a limit of two attempts for each course, after which you must complete the class.

Please note that the course "Protection of Human Research Subjects" is available through the CITI web site. Instructions for logging into the CITI site are available here. Either the Biomedical Focus or the Social and Behavioral Focus will satisfy the requirement for the RACS program; it is not necessary to complete both. The completion certificate from CITI must be submitted to SD&PS with your Certificate Series Checklist to receive the RACS certificate.

To receive a certificate, complete all required courses then submit the certificate checklist to the Staff Development office.

Take Exams on SmartSite
To take an online exam:

  1. Go to SmartSite.
  2. Click the Login button in the upper right corner.
  3. Log in using your campus user ID and Kerberos password.
  4. Click on the RACS link in the header bar. If you don’t see this link, send your DaFIS user ID to dshenn@ucdavis.edu and request permission to access the site.
  5. Click on Resources in the left panel to review the course materials. There is a PDF file for each course containing the presentation materials, plus other resources.
  6. When you are ready to take the exam, click on Tests & Quizzes in the left panel.
  7. Click on the link for the exam you wish to take.
  8. Take the exam. Your score will be automatically calculated and scored with results available in the Gradebook.
For more information and helpful hints on taking exams, click here.

Join the RACS E-Mail List
Members of this e-mail list will receive important notifications from Extramural Funds Accounting about the program, including notifications when new courses are available through Staff Development and Professional Services. To subscribe or unsubscribe from this mailing list, go to the E-Mail List Subscription Management page. A valid campus user ID and Kerberos password is required.


 
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