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

  • Borrowing from this popular phrase with origins in Southeast Asia, this session will explore the similarities and differences between research administration offices of all sizes whether central or departmental. While our research volumes are drastically different, the workloads, per capita funding for staffing, and stressors are quite similar. Join us as we provide our perspectives from our different vantage points. We will discuss staffing challenges, remote/hybrid workforces, and dealing with last minute proposals along with the challenge of being all things to all people.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Recognize the similarities and differences faced by leaders of small medium, large and massive research administration portfolios.
    2. Understand how to leverage connections to network in solving problems
    3. Identify common and unique challenges faced by these types of institutions.

    View Recorded Webinar: Same Same, But Different: Departmental Challenges and Successes  (requires MIT authentication)

  • This session will provide a broad overview of the proposed NSPM-33 program requirements. We will discuss which requirements are least likely to change and which have the greatest potential to change before the final guidance is released. We will host a dialogue about what participants are doing at their own institutions to prepare and where they are holding off. Finally, we will offer some ideas for how to start or keep the conversation going at your home institution.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Participants will understand which NSPM-33 requirements are least likely to change versus those still in flux.
    2. Participants will build an understanding of how to engage with key stakeholders despite the uncertainty of the final guidance.
    3. Participants will learn from colleagues about what they are doing in these spaces.

    View Recorded Webinar: NSPM-33 Compliance (requires MIT authentication)

  • This workshop provides a primary basis of understanding of proposals to and awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program is perfect for someone new to research administration, as well as for research administrators seeking to expand their knowledge of federal funding agencies. The curriculum provides an overview of the policies and procedures essential to preparing successful proposals to and managing grant awards from NSF.

    View recorded webinar:  NSF Fundamentals Virtual Workshop (requires MIT authentication)

  • This webinar will explore the internal controls framework for subrecipient monitoring based on federal regulations. By close examination of the rules, this session will break down the requirements (must!") vs. the nice to haves ("should!") and how to create a compliant institutional framework.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    1. Explore subrecipient monitoring federal requirements 
    2. Discuss industry best practices

    View recorded webinar: Get Control over Subrecipient Monitoring Controls  (requires MIT authentication)

  • How do Pre-Award actions affect Post-Award success? This session will incorporate multiple perspectives including those from central offices, departments, and principal investigators, to review common and preventable Post-Award issues and best proactive strategies on how to prevent them in the Pre-Award process.

    Learning Objectives
    By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

    • Provide examples of common post-award issues. 
    • Determine potential solutions in the pre-award process to avoid the common post-award issues. 
    • Describe different perspectives to the proposal to award lifecycle to increase collaboration and understanding.

    View recorded webinar:  Better Together: When Pre-Award Becomes a Post-Award Activity (requires MIT authentication)

  • In this dynamic session, join us as we delve into the exciting realm of remote work and discover the keys to unlocking its full potential. As the modern workforce evolves, effective onboarding and seamless collaboration have become vital for success in the virtual age. Whether you're a leader navigating the challenges of remote teams or an employee transitioning to a remote work environment, this session is designed to equip you with the strategies and tools needed to thrive.

    Discover best practices for remote team collaboration, including effective communication channels, virtual meetings, and trust-building techniques. By the end of this session, you will be equipped with practical strategies and insights to transform your remote work experience, drive productivity, and build a resilient and thriving remote team culture. Join us on this transformative journey as we unlock the potential of remote work and empower individuals and organizations to thrive in the new era of work.

    View recorded webinar:  Remote Renaissance: Unleashing the Potential of Onboarding and Collaboration in the Virtual Age (requires MIT authentication)

  • Join us on a transformative journey into the realm of Research Administration as we explore the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our profession. We will delve into the profound implications and applications of AI, guided by experts well-versed in its nuances. AI is not just a buzzword but a game-changer. Explore, discuss, and connect with your colleagues. AI in Research Administration is a key to unlocking efficiency and innovation, and this session will explore how we got here, the legal and ethical considerations, how we can leverage these tools to enhance our work and take time to share and connect during the After the Show.  

    View recorded webinar: AI in Research Administration: Unlocking Efficiency and Innovation (requires MIT authentication)

  • The new NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy, effective on January 25, 2023, requires a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMS Plan) for ALL NIH-funded projects that generate scientific data. Join us for a discussion of strategies to support researchers in confidently navigating the requirements of this new policy and opportunities to optimize the efficiency of institutional processes while maintaining compliance. We will also discuss common costs associated with data management and sharing activities and approaches for working with researchers to develop realistic budgets for implementing their DMS Plans.

    View recorded webinar: NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy  (requires MIT authentication)

  • We live in a global economy - international collaborations are necessary to pool knowledge and resources to tackle global research challenges. These global collaborations come with increased risks – in addition to working with entities subjects to different laws and security, other geopolitical factors are layered on to make navigation trickier. How can we foster these collaborations and help our researchers and institutions remain compliant?  How do we balance adequate risk assessment with efficient management of subrecipients? In this session, we’ll cover the whole project lifecycle, starting with proposal development, moving to agreement negotiation and subrecipient monitoring, and through closeout. 

    View recorded webinar:  Implementing and Managing International Proposal Development and International Subawards (requires MIT authentication)

  • Research administrators live with dual roles, serving to facilitate our investigators’ research while also monitoring compliance with sponsor and university regulations.  The work we do to assist investigators with their proposals and awards helps build a relationship that engenders trust.  That trust, however fragile, supports our interactions when difficult communications are necessary. Trust is definitely the starting point for potentially contentious meetings, but it is not sufficient by itself.  If conflict, anger, or resentment arise, research administrators will need tools to listen to each investigator’s perspective, to calmly convey their own messages, to gain understanding of opposing positions, and to offer options to investigators.  This session will provide insight into the special pressures facing our investigators; offer suggestions on building positive relationships; discuss ideas for handling instances of conflict and anger; and present tips for best practices in your communications.

    View recorded webinar: Strategies for Working with Investigators: Crucial, Critical, Courageous Conversations (requires MIT authentication)

  • Managing all the terms and conditions, agency guidelines, and federal regulations for an award may seem less than straightforward. We will take a trip down the terms and conditions rabbit hole, meet Alice's friends, and learn how they all get along in their unorthodox world. Together, we will learn to navigate the hierarchy of conflicting terms without being late to the party!  In this webinar we will use real life examples to understand how to navigate our way through the terms and conditions rabbit hole.  Participants will learn to identify applicable terms and conditions for an award and learn how to determine which terms to follow when there are conflicts.

    View recorded webinar: Alice and the Terms & Conditions Rabbit Hole (requires MIT authentication)

  • Cost transfers are always an area of high scrutiny. While the simplest suggestion is to prevent them altogether, in many cases they are unavoidable. This webinar will explore the federal requirements surrounding cost transfers and examine how two different institutions have implemented policies to monitor compliance and mitigate the risk associated with these types of transactions. We will discuss ways to ensure all cost transfers are appropriate, timely, and most importantly, sufficiently documented.

    View recorded webinar: Cost Transfers: Evaluating Your Current Procedures to Mitigate Risk (requires MIT authentication)

  • Charged by the National Science and Technology Council’s Research Security Subcommittee, NIH and NSF have been leading a multi-agency effort to create common disclosure forms, which include Current and Pending/Other Support.  This webinar will cover the context in which NIH and NSF have made updates to their Current and Pending/Other Support formats, as well as go through specific changes made to each agency’s forms. 

    View recorded webinar: Current and Pending/Other Support (requires MIT authentication)

  • Panelists from the NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA) discuss common questions from the community related to NIH Data Management and Sharing plans, including budgeting and allowable costs.

    View recorded webinar: Q&A with OPERA –  Data Sharing and Disclosures (requires MIT authentication)

  • Updates to the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 23-1) including revisions to the biographical sketch and current and pending support, and the transition to for proposal preparation and submission.

    View recorded webinar:  NSF Update (requires MIT authentication)

  • A comprehensive review about the newest policy updates and how their respective institutions may be impacted. Topics include recent and upcoming changes to NIH policy, compliance requirements, and so much more!

    View recorded webinar: Agency Day: NIH Update (requires MIT authentication)

  • Learn the latest information and timelines on NSPM-33 guidance. Our group will discuss the guidance and recent updates, focusing on the requirements of Research Security programs.

    We’ll also talk about approaches to managing these requirements, including what institutions are doing in anticipation, including:

    1. Campus coordination and buy-in
    2. ORCID adoption
    3. Disclosure policies (proposal and COI/COC)

    View recorded workshop: NSPM-33: Best Practices and Lessons Learned (requires MIT authentication)

  • Working with faculty to assign the cost of resources to a project poses a challenge, especially when those resources benefit multiple (yet highly related!) projects. Articulating a solution to distribute costs among projects that is acceptable to sponsor, institution, and PI is one of the trickiest in research administration.  You may know general guard rails; but, is the approach defendable? Come join our panel for the presentation and follow-on “Ask the Speaker” session addressing the allocation definition and acceptable practices. In addition to informative background, the panel will work through case studies that may feel instantly familiar and challenge you to produce clever solutions.

    View recorded webinar: Allocating Costs Effectively: How to Divide the Pie (requires MIT authentication)

  • Central offices take responsibility for submitting official institutional Financial Reports to sponsors; however, ensuring the data is accurate requires a partnership with the PI and their Departmental Research Administrator/s. There could be pending transactions, commitments, adjustments that the department has submitted but that have not cleared the financial system. There could be pending requests for budget changes or extensions. Departmental Research Administrators often have information that the central office is not privy to, so communication before and during the Financial Report preparation is essential. In this Webinar, we will discuss best communication practices between central and departmental offices related to financial management and reporting.

    View recorded webinar: Financial Reporting at the Departmental Level and Strategies for Successful Collaboration (requires MIT authentication)

  • Our panel will share their experiences and insight on developing these skills for their self and their teams. We will discuss the dynamics that a changing workforce and remote environments bring into play and will share tips and strategies with the audience.

    View recorded workshop: Successfully Onboarding Your Staff in the Virtual World (requires MIT authentication)

  • In this webinar we will look at roles and responsibilities in research administration through the lens of 3 institutions. We will examine the difference between responsibility, authority and accountability as impacted by institutional policies and procedures and sponsor terms and conditions. We will also use case studies to identify how gaps in roles and responsibilities can create challenges for an institution, and we will discuss ways to mitigate identified gaps.

    View recorded workshop: Roles and Responsibilities: How to Assess and Create Clarity (requires MIT authentication)

  • Important Decisions are often based upon evaluating information against a risk-benefits assessment.  Knowing the questions to ask, the data to seek, and the approach to take alongside the consideration of the costs and impact of making or failing to make the right decision. For many leaders, this is critical skill that for is developed over time and one that must be learned-- it is also a skill that requires the whole team to be involved.

    Our panel will share their experiences and insight on developing these skills for themselves and their teams. We will discuss the dynamics that a changing workforce and remote environments bring into play and will share tips and strategies with the audience.

    View recorded webinar: Asking Ourselves the Right Questions to Make the Important Decisions: A Critical Skill for Your Whole Team (requires MIT authentication)

  • This workshop provides an overview of the issues associated with research compliance across the lifecycle.  We will cover regulatory requirements, audit hot topics and ways to reduce research compliance risks.

    Participants will:

    1. Gain a basic understanding of compliance and some of the hot topics in research compliance.
    2. Become aware of the range of research compliance concerns across the lifecycle.
    3. Take away best practices for compliance management and risk mitigation.

    View recorded workshop: Research Compliance Across the Lifecycle (requires MIT authentication)

  • This Webinar is a professional development opportunity that focuses on recent audits performed by federal agencies and their inspectors general, as well as OIG work plans and settlements. This will include the recent National Science Foundation report “Promising Practices for NSF Award Management,” which draws observations from 18 audits in the past four years. This Webinar looks at frequent issues found and a discussion of day-to-day best practices.

    View recorded webinar: The Latest in Audits (requires MIT authentication)

  • In January, OSTP issued NSPM-33 implementation guidance for federal agencies. The guidance refers to the use of DPIs, or Digital Persistent Identifiers. This session will be an educational session on DPIs – what they are, how they work, and how they can be an important part of a researcher’s workflow. In particular, this session will cover information about ORCID as currently the only DPI that meets the requirements listed in the OSTP guidance.

    View recorded webinar: ORCID and the OSTP Guidance on NSPM-33 (requires MIT authentication)

  • The Office of Management and Budget, National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health provided updates on recent changes:

    OMB Update (Gilbert Tran, OMB)
    The Office of Management and Budget oversees the implementation of the President’s vision across the Executive Branch. Join us for the latest updates from OMB

    View Recorded Webinar: NCURA Office of Management and Budget Update (requires MIT authentication).

    NSF Update (Jean Feldman, NSF)

    This session will cover new developments related to proposal and award policy at NSF. NSF staff will provide a comprehensive review of recent policy changes as well as major updates to NSF’s proposal system modernization efforts.

    View Recorded Webinar: NCURA NSF Policy and Award Updates (requires MIT authentication).

    NIH Update (Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, NIH)
    In this comprehensive review, participants will learn about the newest policy updates and how their respective institutions may be impacted. Upon completion of the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about new and existing policies and procedures. Topics include recent and upcoming changes to NIH policy, compliance requirements, and so much more!

    View Recorded Webinar: NCURA NIH Update (requires MIT authentication)

  • The NIH has issued guidance regarding the preparation of Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) and the reporting of effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on research projects.

    With the release of the revised Grant Policy Statement in October 2019, NIH revised their definition of Other Support. The revised definition “…includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at the institution the researcher identifies for the current grant.

    View Recorded Webinar: NCURA Guidance on the Preparation of NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) with COVID-19 Impacts and Other Support (requires MIT authentication)

  • Have you ever been working on a project or process and known there must be a better way?  Are you tired of spending hours brute forcing a solution to a problem?  Is your office full of administrative fires that keep cropping up at 4PM for a 5PM deadline? This webinar will address the history and theory of working smarter using tools and processes available to anyone at any level.  You have the power to implement these types of changes, even if you don’t have backing from your department.

    View Recorded Webinar: NCURA Work Smarter, Not Harder: The Tools, Methods and Technology to Increase Productivity (requires MIT authentication)

  • In Research Administration, we talk about cost sharing as a real cost to our institutions and we recognize what is at stake if we don’t meet a cost share commitment. We often wish we could redefine commitments that were made in the proposal because they are difficult to track, and we find ourselves scrambling to resolve shortages or recovery from internal sources at the very end. Join us as we go beyond the basic definition of cost share. Webinar hosts will discuss their experiences and share how they tackled cost share challenges throughout the life of the project. Case studies will be used, and best practices shared as you consider how to alleviate some of the administrative burden.

    View Recorded Webinar: NCURA Cost Share: Tackling the Challenges (requires MIT authentication)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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).

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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.