NCURA Virtual Workshops and Webinars

The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) is focused on advancing the profession of research administration through education, knowledge sharing, and the fostering of a collegial and respected global community. Through its membership with NCURA, MIT is pleased to offer live viewing of NCURA webinars via an MIT Zoom session and provide access to recorded NCURA webinars for our research administration community. Future NCURA Live Webinars to be shared via an MIT Zoom session will be announced to the MIT Research Administration community via the Research Administrators listserv (Please see the RAS Subscriptions page to join the listserv).

Recorded NCURA webinars:


NCURA Developing Compelling Budget Justifications – August 16, 2021

Budget justifications have taken on increasing significance in recent years, moving from explaining to reviewers the basis of cost calculations to persuading them that the items are critical to the success of the project. In this webinar, you will learn how to craft a budget justification that not only conforms to Uniform Guidance expectations but also effectively establishes the credibility of the proposed project. Infrastructure supports will also be explored, including sample questions, templates, and automation. Inserting a few more specific details in targeted places in the narrative and budget justification can earn the essential benefit of the doubt points that elevate your projects into the “Funded” category. 

View Recorded Webinar: NCURA: Developing Compelling Budget Justification  (requires MIT authentication).


NCURA: NCURA: Participant Support Costs – August 2, 2021

Participant support costs require special treatment and clear communication throughout the award life cycle. This webinar will help you understand what participant support costs are and why they are special. We will discuss the rules and regulations governing participant support costs.  We will talk about how to budget, set up, and manage participant support costs. We will also touch on audit considerations. So if there have been instances where you’ve struggled to confidently validate the allowability of participant support cost or if you could simply use a refresher on the fundamentals, then the Participant Support Costs webinar is for you. No matter if you reside in pre, post, or the department, this webinar will provide you with the knowledge and fundamental framework needed to manage participant support costs going forward. 

View Recorded Webinar: NCURA: Participant Support Costs  (requires MIT authentication).


NCURA: Avoid “Returned without Review….” An In-depth Look at Agency RFPs – June 3, 2021

Successful proposal submission requires research administrators at both the central and departmental levels to have a solid understanding of sponsor guidelines. Efforts to minimize the risk of receiving a proposal as “returned without review” are essential to achieving the goal of getting a complete and compliant package out the door on-time. As proposal development can be a labor-intensive and often frustrating endeavor, having a strong comprehension of an agency’s requirements is an important job skill. 

Join us as we delve into a robust discussion on one of the best tools you can utilize in your quest for success – the Request for Proposal (RFP). Topics to be discussed will include the importance of the RFP and its requisite components. We will review a diverse pool of RFPs and highlight similarities and identify those components that are unique to specific agencies. 

View Recorded Webinar: Avoid “Returned without Review….” An In-depth Look at Agency RFPs  (requires MIT authentication).


Excel Tips for Pre- and Post-Award Administrators – May 6, 2021

Do you use Excel to analyze and report data? If so, you’ve probably asked yourself, "Why does this take so long? Is there a better way?" If you use Excel for budget development, you have probably asked yourself, "How can I develop a budget more quickly/accurately?" In this intermediate-level session, you will learn how to use tables, formulas, pivot tables, and conditional formatting that will help you navigate your path to success. This is a 90-minute session and participants should bring their own laptop to the workshop. Excel templates will be provided on the day of the workshop for participants to use as they follow-along. Adequate time will be provided for participants to personalize the templates for use back home. 

View Recorded Webinar: Excel Tips for Pre and Post-Award Administrators  (requires MIT authentication).

Download Course files from Dropbox


Audits: What's Hot  – April 29, 2021

This webinar is a professional development opportunity that focuses on a recap of the NSF, NIH, NSF Covid audit initiative and other OIG Audit work plans and recent audit results and settlements. This webinar provides an in-depth look at audit issues through a combination of audit trends, review of Federal audit reports, and a discussion of day-to-day best practices. 

View Recorded Webinar: Audits: What's Hot  (requires MIT authentication).


Navigating “It Depends…” – April 8, 2021

Everyone loves flexibility, nuance, and individuality until it comes time to make a decision. Research administrators spend a lot of time navigating the gray, interpreting vague regulations, accommodating non-standard situations, and considering special requests for exceptions. In this webinar, we’re going to discuss strategies for coping with the vagaries of our profession. We’ll consider why different institutions establish different rules, why central offices sometimes make “inconsistent” decisions, and why project-specific needs often confound our best efforts to routinize. Registrants will be polled prior to the webinar to identify any specific issues that they would like to discuss. 

View Recorded Webinar: Navigating “It Depends…” (requires MIT authentication).


Is Remote Working...Working? – March 11, 2021

How is remote working really working? Join this webinar to acknowledge how work is progressing as a research administration community and to discuss new challenges that may appear as we re-enter the workplace. Whether your institution has been completely virtual or had a balance of presence, the paradigm of remote work has brought creative solutions to communications, technology, and work/life balance. 

View Recorded Webinar: Is Remote Working...Working? (requires MIT authentication)


Data Security in a Remote Environment – February 22, 2021

This session focused on common non-technical issues experienced during the pivot from the traditional office environment to working from home.

Topics included:

  • Working from Home Policy Document
  • Setting up a home office, ergonomics, equipment, requirements for VPN, 2 Factor Authentication,
  • Privacy considerations (e.g., Data on home system, cell phones subject to audit)
  • Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIA) - Keep personal & university data separate
  • Use of Microsoft Teams - Is that environment ok for Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) information?
  • Remote desktop to Office or applications on home equipment?
  • Resource Availability at home; sharing Broadband/WIFI with family / apartment, etc. 

View Recorded Webinar: Data Security in a Remote Environment  (requires MIT authentication).


Your Work and Life Matter: Managing Fear, Anxiety and Stress During Pandemics  – January 14, 2021

Fear, anxiety and stress are realities for employees, particularly during pandemics. Having the tools in order to process these emotions and to overcome obstacles that they present is paramount for success. Building your toolbox with creative techniques will aid in the process. This webinar is designed to address some of the impactful areas that employers and employees need to resolve and address to minimize the effects that fear, stress and anxiety may create. The presenters will provide practical tools, strategies, and approaches to address and embrace fear, stress and anxiety to help plan for the foreseeable future. 

View Recorded Webinar: Your Work and Life Matter: Managing Fear, Anxiety and Stress During Pandemics  (requires MIT authentication).


Navigating the Revisions to the UG – December 14, 2020

In this webinar we will discuss key changes reflected in the 2020 revision, including updated definitions, new requirements as well as modifications to existing requirements. Our discussion will include the government’s purpose in making a particular change, as well as the potential impact to institutions. Please join us for an informative session reviewing one of the key documents impacting sponsored awards at our institutions. 

View Recorded Webinar: Navigating the Revisions to the UG  (requires MIT authentication).


Subawards and Subrecipient Monitoring – October 15, 2020

Already know the basics of subaward monitoring? Let’s take a deep dive into the complexities, obscurities, and changing landscape of subawards. In this webinar we’ll talk OMB changes, risk appetite, lesser known federal requirements, foreign subrecipient monitoring, subrecipients requiring additional monitoring, and much more!

View Recorded Webinar: Subawards and Subrecipient Monitoring  (requires MIT authentication).


NCURA Foreign Influence Requirements Roundup – September 30, 2020

With the wealth of information constantly coming out (or being promulgated) related to foreign influence issues, concerns – and requirements that agencies need to impose to address those concerns – it can be hard to keep up with what research administrators need to comply with. This webinar will be a pragmatic snapshot of the national picture, what requirements exist today from various federal agencies related to foreign influence and related national security issues, and what is most likely (but no promises!) heading our way in the coming months. Some research administrators already deeply embedded in foreign influence issues may not learn anything new; for the rest of us, this will allow an opportunity to “catch up” or confirm the current interpretation of the guidance  as well as having an idea of what requirements or legislation may be bubbling up in this space in the coming months.

View Recorded Webinar: NCURA Foreign Influence Requirements Roundup  (requires MIT authentication).


NCURA Compliance and the Uniform Guidance – September 15, 2020

The Uniform Guidance is one of the most important regulatory changes implemented in decades. While its purpose was to reduce administrative burden and safeguard against waste or misuse of funds, compliance remains the primary focus. With new proposed changes on the horizon, IHEs (Institutes of Higher Education) once again prepare to implement policies and procedures in a seemingly never-ending quest for compliance. This session will explore the Uniform Guidance sections on cost principles, internal controls, and audits.

View Recorded Webinar: NCURA Compliance and the Uniform Guidance  (requires MIT authentication).


Additional NCURA Virtual Workshops and Webinars are available for viewing via the MIT Atlas Learning Center, where you can access these NCURA learning offerings.