Training for Research Administrators
As the University of Southern California has grown to become one of the world’s leading private research universities, so too has the need to provide advanced training and support to those involved in the field of research administration.
The Department of Contracts and Grants (DCG) is responsible for assessing and addressing the training needs of all USC employees who work in contract and grant development. We are committed to providing the knowledge, tools, and guidance necessary for the USC research community to successfully carry out their sponsor endeavors.
Office Location and Contact
Contact: Noah Congelliere
Address: 3720 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90089-0701
The C&G (Cardinal and Gold) Curriculum is a comprehensive online training program developed to meet the needs of today’s evolving research environment. Our training program allows participants to: a.) develop higher competency, b.) increase efficiency, and c.) improve compliance according to USC and sponsor requirements. Instructional courses have been designed to foster an interactive learning environment while embracing new technologies and processes. Moreover, the certification program ensures a standard level of expertise among those who support the research endeavor at USC.
Who Can Benefit from the C&G Curriculum?
C&G Curriculum is a valuable resource for administrative or other support staff working at a program, department or dean’s office level. All university employees whose responsibilities bring them in contact with any aspect of contracts and grants will benefit from attendance.
C&G Curriculum Description
C&G Curriculum consists of four (4) core courses and seven (7) optional courses offered multiple times throughout the year at both the University Park Campus (UPC) and Health Sciences Campus (HSC). Participants may enroll in as many courses as they choose. Each course lasts from two to six hours and is presented by an instructor. Courses make use of real life scenarios, case studies, course discussion and review exams.
It is not necessary to complete the classes in any particular order, however, we recommend that all students take Fundamentals of Research Administration to learn the basic terms and definitions associated with research administration. The program is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended to those involved in the academic research community.
Course Schedule (2014)
Courses are segmented into specific time blocks throughout the year (see below).
February 17th – April 1st
- The Fundamentals of Research Administration (Core)
- Conflict of Interest in Research (Elective)
April 1st – May 15th
- And the Award Goes To… (Core)
- Navigating the National Science Foundation? (Elective)
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Export Controls (Elective)
May 15th – July 15th
- The Basics of Intellectual Property (Elective)
- Navigating the National Institutes of Health? (Elective)
- Gifts, Grants, or Whatever (Elective)
July 15th – September 1st
- Preparing Your Proposal (Core)
- Help Me With My Budget! (Core)
- Understanding Contracts (Elective)
How Do I Sign Up for the Curriculum?
Signing up for the C&G Curriculum is simple:
- Point your browser to the Trojan Learn portal and log in using your USC ID.
- In the search bar on the upper-right portion of the screen enter “C&G Curriculum” and click search.
- The C&G Curriculum will show up in your search results along with a button next to it that says “Request Training”.
- Click the “Request Training” button and the C&G Curriculum will automatically be added to your My Transcript module.
From your My Transcript module, you can launch the C&G Curriculum and take the then available courses.
Earn a Certification!
Participants who wish to earn a Certificate in Research Administration will be required to take a total of six courses: four (4) core courses and any two (2) optional courses. A June graduation ceremony and luncheon takes place each year to celebrate the achievements of our participants.
Core Class Offerings
- C-1. FUNDAMENTALS OF RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION
- This introductory course will welcome you to the world of research administration at USC and will assist you in mastering key concepts necessary for effective management of sponsored projects. The course covers: the USC research environment and its principles; roles and responsibilities among the research community; general terms and policies associated with USC’s research and creative endeavors; and the lifecycle of a proposal and award.
- C-2. PREPARING YOUR PROPOSAL
- Learn the basics for preparing a proposal, including securing the appropriate approvals and submitting to the funding agency. Topics include types of proposals, interpreting sponsor guidelines, completing sponsor application forms and internal USC forms. This course will also include how to access PARiS, the PreAward Research Information System used to submit and track proposals.
- C-3. HELP ME WITH MY BUDGET!
- A step-by-step primer on preparing a proposal budget. Topics include: cost components of a budget, universal cost principles applicable to preparing proposal budgets, budgeting techniques and practice, cost sharing, calculating F&A costs and budgeting tools and resources. This course utilizes hands-on budget preparation exercises.
- C-4. AND THE AWARD GOES TO…
- So you’ve submitted your budget and proposal to the sponsor, now what happens? There are many steps to accepting and setting up an award, and this course will unlock the mystery. Discussion focuses on pre-award negotiations and actions such as revised budgets and advance spending; the award acceptance process; post-award management issues, including project changes, rebudgeting, subawards and subaward monitoring; cost sharing obligations; and fulfilling project reporting obligations.
Optional Class Offerings
- O-1. UNDERSTANDING CONTRACTS
- Do you feel like contracts are written in a foreign language? Let us help you crack the code. This course will provide an overview of contract types for both government and industry funding, and discuss the issues of greatest importance to USC.
- O-2. GIFTS, GRANTS OR WHATEVER
- Gift? Grant? Not sure? This course demystifies the classification of awards as gifts, grants or contracts. Instructors provide an overview of the award classification and gift acceptance processes using case studies and other methods.
- O-3. NAVIGATING THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)?
- Preparing and submitting grant applications to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of USC’s largest sponsors, can be a daunting process. This course will help you gain the information and tools necessary to prepare and submit grants utilizing the grants.gov system or PHS 398 applications. Topics include preparing applications for submission, modular grants, the just-in-time process and post-award management.
- O-4. NAVIGATING THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)?
- Let us help you navigate the policies, procedures and regulations specific to the National Science Foundation (NSF). We will demonstrate the use of FastLane, NSF’s official system for submitting and reviewing proposals, the submission of annual and final project reports and all other post-award notifications and requests.
- O-5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN RESEARCH
- Maintaining the highest ethical standards is critical to our work as researchers. This course reviews regulations and policies related to conflict of interest, including terminology, concepts and procedures for disclosing and reviewing a financial interest. Numerous examples and role-playing opportunities guide participants as they learn to complete forms and identify and assess factors that increase concerns related to a personal financial interest. Key resources are identified for addressing researcher questions.
- O-6. BASICS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND HOW IT RELATES TO RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION
- How do we protect the fruits of our labor? Providing a basic understanding of intellectual property — in its many forms — as it relates to the administration of research at USC, this course covers topics including ownership of research records; invention disclosure; publishing; copyrights; patents; trade secrets; material transfer agreements; and tangible research products (e.g., tissue, animal models, cell lines, viruses, chemical compounds and transgenic animals).
- O-7. WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE: EXPORT CONTROLS
- Export Control regulations govern the shipment, transmission, or transfer of certain regulated items, information or software to foreign persons or entities. It is necessary to know about export regulations since compliance is the responsibility of the individual exporting or disclosing information and materials. This class is a guide for anyone who administers international research and foreign students at USC, exports materials and equipment, works with disclosure-restricted technical information, travels internationally or who manages international financial transactions. It is designed to provide sufficient information for research administrators to be able to recognize and appropriate respond to export control issues.
Grants Management Education Program
All principal investigators, co-investigators and research administrators listed on the Proposal Approval Record (PAR) or requesting expenditure authority on a sponsored project account must complete one of the two courses offered as part of the Grants Management Education Program in order to obtain access to sponsored projects funds or the budget administration system. Investigators and staff may choose to complete either the biomedical or bioethical component that is most relevant to their respective job responsibilities.
To enroll, please visit The Office of Compliance.
- ABOVE REPROACH: ETHICAL CONDUCT IN RESEARCH
- A course that emphasizes research integrity issues, such as conflict of interest, scientific misconduct, peer review, data management and mentoring, which will be available online
Important Note: Investigators and staff must complete the course before the funds are awarded for both new and existing awards from the sponsor; at that time: (1) the Department of Contracts and Grants will establish an account on new awards; (2) the Department of Contracts and Grants will provide access to new or incremental funds on existing awards; and (3) Financial Services Administration will provide access to the budget administration system on both new and existing awards. Researchers and staff will have between the time the proposal is submitted and the award is made to fulfill this requirement.