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Research Education

Research Education Programs and Training

Research Education provides training on a variety of topics related to the research enterprise at UTMB. Click on the program title to see more about the program. Watch Daily Announcements and other campus communications for schedule announcements, or check out the class calendar

Regular Programs

Research Education Programming

Research Education Programming

Certified Research Administrator (CRA) Exam Review

Self-guided online

These CRA study materials are an online guided self-study program designed for individuals who would like to take the certified research administrator exam (CRA).  The CRA exam is managed by the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC), an independent certifying body. A CRA designation demonstrates a broad knowledge of all aspects of research administration including, but not limited to, project development and administration, legal requirements and sponsor interface, financial management, and general management.

Training Materials

Subject Matter Expert Topic
 Christy Taylor Bray  Sponsor Interface
 Christy Taylor Bray  Human Resources
 Cathy Sainz  Proposal Development & PreAward
 Kristen Parks  Clinical Trials
 Allan Silva  IACUC
 Frances Streeter  IP-MTA-Export Control
 Janene Shelton


Victoria McNamara IRB
Jennifer Barrows PostAward Administration,
Research Billing & Finance
Christy Taylor Bray Sample Exam
CRA Handbook and Application
Online Practice Test
Contact Information

Candidates applying to sit for the Certified Research Administrator’s Examination must have met these requirements:

1. Bachelor’s Degree and three (3) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration either in a sponsoring or recipient organization or the equivalent in a self-funded organization


2. An Associate’s Degree and five (5) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration either in a sponsoring or recipient organization or the equivalent in a self-fund organization


3. No degree and six (6) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs administration either in a sponsoring or recipient organization or the equivalent in a self-fund organization (this requires completion of a Petition Application (see link below).

If you are planning to Petition to take the examination, please have the Petition application and two reference letters submitted by at least seven (7) days before the application deadline to take the examination.  If you have questions about your petition, please contact Christy Taylor Bray.


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Clinical Coordinator Meetings

1-2 p.m.
Third Tuesdays
Research Building 6, 2.312 (unless otherwise noted)

Research Services sponsors Clinical Coordinator Meetings for the purpose of developing the professional skills of UTMB clinical research coordinators, and to promote networking within our research community. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend and participate.

Upcoming Topics

Date - 2017
Jan. 17
IRB Policy and Federal Regulation Updates
Feb. 21

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DBR 101 and Direct Retro Training

The DBR 101 class will train users on Payroll Basics, the DBR process, DBR reports, and DBR Best Practices. The Direct Retro class will train users on how to identify when to use a direct retro, as well as best practices.  These classes are mandatory for anyone that submits DBRs and/or Direct Retros.

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Grants for Lunch

Noon to 1 p.m.
First Tuesday
Research Building 6, 1.108 (unless otherwise indicated)

Research Services and the Institute for Translational Science, funded in part by NIH grant UL1RR029876, are pleased to co-sponsor a Grants-for-Lunch program for the purpose of developing the grantsmanship skills of UTMB faculty and fellows, and to promote networking within our research community. Please bring your lunch and join us. Informal, interactive discussions cover grant writing and research program management with a primary focus on NIH funding. These sessions are led by experienced research faculty and research administrators, who make a short presentation on the given topic, then open the session for questions and answers. All faculty and fellows are encouraged to attend and participate.

Upcoming topics

Date - 2017
Jan. 17 SciVal and Other Funding Opportunities
Feb. 21 Communicating Effectively
Mar. 21 Recycling Unfunded Proposals
April 18 Strategies For Writing Statistical Sections

See past presentations

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Introduction to Human Subject Research: UTMB Policies, Requirements and Systems

A customizable 2-3 hour classroom presentation delivered to your group. We highlight key policies for conducting human subject research at UTMB, including training on Conflict of Interest, Informed Consent, Working with the IRB, and the Velos and InfoEd systems.
This training is Ideal for groups of new residents, medical students or junior faculty.

We deliver to you on your schedule. Contact Research Education to schedule.

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Navigating the IRB

Navigating the IRB is a 3-part introduction to working with the IRB at UTMB. It is designed for investigators and study staff alike and includes information about the role of the IRB, designing and submitting protocols for IRB review and the proper method for obtaining informed consent. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate, and will receive credit for basic Velos training.

Session 1: Overview of the Institutional Review Board

Define an IRB and discuss its role at UTMB Identify the regulatory agencies and regulations that govern IRBs
List key best practices when working with protocols subject to IRB review

Session 2: Getting Started - Initial Submissions and Ongoing Research Review

Be able to explain the steps necessary to file an initial submission to the IRB
Know the various steps and procedures involved in a protocol review
Understand when events need to be reported to the IRB

Session 3: Obtaining Informed Consent

Explain the informed consent process Identify the required elements of a consent form

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Sponsored Programs Hot Topics

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Second Tuesdays
Research Building 6, 1.108 (unless otherwise noted)

Sponsored Programs Hot Topics series is designed to assist with grants administration questions and changes and to promote networking within the UTMB research community. These informal, interactive discussions will cover a wide range of research administration topics and research program management with a primary focus on NIH funding. Each session is led by an experienced research administrator who will make a short presentation on the given topic and then open the session for questions and discussion. Administrators and grant coordinators are encouraged to attend and participate.

To ensure this series meets your needs, please let us know what information you hope to take away from the program and/or any questions you might have. You may email your questions or suggested topics of discussion to or to submit questions anonymously, send them to Research Education, Route 0156.

Upcoming Topics

Date  Topic
Jan. 10
Federal Regulations vs. UTMB Policy: Is there a difference and which one should you follow?
Feb. 14

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Sponsored Programs Management 101

In an effort to provide on-going education regarding the management of federally sponsored projects, Research Services offers a 3-session Sponsored Programs Management course taught by Research Services personnel.

The goal of Sponsored Programs Management 101 is to provide the UTMB research community with tools and knowledge so that they are responsible custodians for the federal funds they manage.

This will be accomplished by:

  • Building competencies
  • Increasing efficiency
  • Improving/maintaining compliance with Federal, Sponsor and UTMB requirements

This course is suggested for individuals who:

  • Are new to the field of federal grants management
  • Supervise or otherwise direct the work of employees who are involved in or provide support to, federally sponsored research-related activities
  • Are involved with proposal and/or budget preparation
  • Originate transactions on sponsored projects
  • Approve transactions on sponsored projects (buy or pay) Review or monitor expenditures on sponsored projects

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Research Systems Training

Research Education Programming

Effort Reporting and ECRT Training is mandatory before access to the ECRT system is granted.

Primary and supporting individuals, those who receive salary from a sponsored project, must complete Effort Reporting for Investigators. It is scheduled for 1 hour and is offered quarterly in the classroom or available online at any time.

Upcoming classes for investigators:

  • January 4, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Research Building 6, 1.208
  • January 25, 1:30-2:30 p.m.,Research Building 6, 1.208
Effort Coordinators, those individuals in a department responsible for the administration of time and effort and typically grants programs, must attend a 1-time session that is only offered in the classroom. Classes are scheduled monthly on the second Monday.

Upcoming classes for coordinators:

All classes are 9:30-11:30a in Rebecca Sealy East, 4.302; class size is limited to 10.

  • January 23
  • February 27
  • March 20

Velos is a web-based clinical trials management system, and is the initial entry point for ALL submissions to the IRB.

All new protocol submissions to the UTMB IRB, regardless of whether they are clinical trials or not, must be initiated through Velos before submission via InfoEd. Training will introduce the user to Velos, and demonstrate the steps necessary to begin a study in the Velos eResearch system. Training in Velos is mandatory before access can be granted for the system. If you intend to submit a new protocol to the IRB, you must complete Velos training session and learn the new process and how to navigate within Velos eResearch.

Training is online or in a classroom setting. Visit the Training Calendar to register for a class, or self-enroll in the online version in the ELM. If you have trouble, please contact Research Education to have this training assigned to you for completion online at your convenience.

Training Materials

Training on Demand

Research Education is available to provide custom training for your group. If there is programming you need, or you have a large group of people who need the similar training, please contact us to arrange a program to suit your needs.

Investigator and
Grants Administrator Tools

PreAward Toolkit

PostAward Toolkit


Research Blog

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