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Research Administration Certification Program (RACP)

The next course date is yet to be determined and will be announced via email. 

Instructor Information

General Instructors: Denise McGuire and Javeria Kazi.

Module Instructors: Each module will have content instructor(s). Refer to each module for contact information.

Office Hours: You may contact the general instructors via email anytime there is a need; otherwise you may contact the individual module instructor.

Office Phone: (713) 743-9104 (For all instructors)

Course Description

The Research Administration Certification Program (RACP) is an online training program sponsored by the Division of Research (DOR) for University of Houston (UH) faculty and staff. It is designed to disseminate comprehensive instruction/information pertinent to research administration at UH.

For the participant of RACP, certification will allow him/her to better assist the faculty with departmental research administration. Federal government requirements affecting faculty sponsored projects require knowledgeable research staff to effectively assist UH researchers. The overall goal is excellence in research administration that contributes to the University’s Tier One status.

Certification Policy and Requirements

MAPP 08.01.01 (see copy of Policy in Resources folder in the Programs for Excellence in Applied Research - or PEAR -system): Each UH college, department, and unit business administrator must ensure compliance with the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) Guidelines and obtain certification through RACP. OCG will notify principal investigators, department chairs, deans, division heads, and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of any instances of non‐compliance with OCG Guidelines, as appropriate.

Effective FY2013, DOR requires UH staff managing sponsored projects to complete or renew their UH RACP certification every five (5) years in order to maintain the ability to certify research expenditures in their respective departments and colleges. 

Course Objectives

The participant will:

  • Identify the UH mission with special emphasis on the research mission and experience the academic environment as it relates to research administration.
  • Examine the key components of the entire process of sponsored project administration, including pre‐award, post‐award, and compliance roles.
  • Identify the compliance requirements for conducting research involving human and animal subjects, biohazards, conflict of interest, responsible conduct of research, and research misconduct.
  • Apply the fundamentals of Export Control, Effort Reporting and E-Verification.
  • Identify the components and information required to develop a competitive proposal as well as how staff can assist their faculty with development and submission of proposals.
  • Identify the steps for successful proposal processing and submission.
  • Examine the key components and processes of award negotiation and acceptance.
  • Apply research administration concepts for effective grant management.
  • Apply the fundamentals of the UH closeout policy, cost overruns, and financial reporting for sponsored projects.

Registration and Course Structure

Registration, lessons, course materials and resources will be available only through or through PEAR. Through the PEAR system, RACP will incorporate diagrams, videos and other online resources, which allow for the delivery of subject material in a dynamic manner. Course materials will be accessible for self‐designated learning and study time, as well as to store, print and revisit.

RACP Course Schedule

The entire course consists of nine (9) Modules. 

Maira Gonzalez, Denise McGuire* Module 1: The Academic Research Environment
Jennifer Potocki, Denise McGuire Module 2: Sponsored Projects Overview
Kirstin Rochford, Jennifer Edge Module 3: Compliance (IRB, IACUC, COI)
Sandy Brown, DeSandra Torbor Module 4: Compliance (export control, effort reporting)
Denise McGuire Module 5: Proposal Development and Processing
Debborah Dowell, Tom Gavranovic Module 6: Negotiation and Award Acceptance
Javeria Kazi*, Vanessa Stepney Module 7: Award Management 1
Javeria Kazi, Kimberly Jordan Module 8: Award Management 2
Grace Rosanes, Melanese Philbert Module 9: Closeout and Financial Reporting

*Be sure to contact one of the administrators once you have completed the course.


Grading will be based on the following module requirements:

Homework Assignments: Each module will have two (2) assignments stemming from case study readings, conducting online research and/or a hands‐on application problem and solution.

Module Tests: A (20) question exam will be administered for the content of each module.

Participation: Participation is essential to success in this class. All participants are encouraged to contact the course administrators to answer questions and general troubleshooting. We encourage students to develop mentor relationships with fellow colleagues, staff, and instructors. The interactions between participants and OCG staff are aimed at enhancing learning beyond the content presented in the modules.

Course Evaluation Survey: (optional) A brief questionnaire will be provided at the end of the course for extra credit. (10 points)


Final grades will be drawn from the total number of points the participant earns throughout the course for each of the four assessment criteria. The following table lists the requirements (the same for all modules) and their point values.

Course Assessment Points per Module Maximum Points
Homework Assignments 10 90
Module  Evaluation Tests 20 180
Totals 30 270
Passing Score 70% 189 

In order to achieve certification, the student attain 70% or more of the maximum points (i.e. 189 points or more). No exceptions will be made.

Course Materials: Note:


Although OMB provides this information online, participants are encouraged to purchase the Circulars from the NCURA

Recommended Resources
  • Research Administration and Management, Elliott C. Kulakowski, Lynne U. Chronister, Research Enterprise, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2006.
Additional References 

Note: See Materials folder in PEAR and individual modules for additional resources.

Commitment to Integrity - Netiquette

All students in this course (and other UH employees) are expected to maintain a high degree of professionalism, commitment to active learning and participation in this class, and integrity in their behavior in and out of the classroom. Please access the netiquette rules that will be followed in this class from the course Resources list in PEAR.

Course Activities

  • READING: Required reading materials will be posted on the web and in each module in PEAR. Reading the OMB Circulars is strongly recommended. Reading materials will be used as a reinforcement to complement to in‐class materials. Additional readings will be assigned in each module, where relevant.
  • MODULES can be viewed, stopped, and replayed as many times as needed during the periods of availability.
  • VIDEO CLIPS are incorporated into online material that participants will be instructed to watch.
  • EMAIL/COLLABORATION: Participants are encouraged to communicate and collaborate with their classmates and instructors.
  • MODULE EVALUATION TESTS: There will be an exam at the end of each module, which can be taken multiple times.

Each participant’s grades will be posted in his/her PEAR account.

Important Note: Any form of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, may be reported to your supervisor.

Course policies are subject to change. It is the student’s responsibility to check PEAR for corrections or updates to the syllabus. Any changes will be announced through PEAR or on the DOR website..