Administrator Research Certification (ARC)



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Program Purpose

The Administrator Research Certification (ARC) Program (formerly the Research Administration Training Program) has the following goals in mind:

  • Build a program in-house, so it is tailored specifically to the Princeton University audience
  • Offer a rigorous professional development program for Princeton University staff interested in sponsored research
  • Develop an extensive, in-depth training opportunity covering the cradle-to-grave sponsored research life cycle at a basic level and in a way that is accessible to all
  • Create new networking opportunities and build a supportive community of knowledgeable research administrators
  • Provide Princeton’s research administrators an opportunity to receive an internal certification and show off their hard work!

Intended Audience

The ARC Program offers professional development opportunities to those new to or interested in a career in sponsored research (less than 2-3 years of experience) or for those new to Princeton. The depth and breadth of this program ensure that even seasoned research administrators will find the investment of their time worthwhile.  ORPA will prioritize the program for those new to Research Administration or Princeton and open to all interested parties.

Program Curriculum

The program currently consists of a set of core classes and a set of electives:

training program curriculum



All enrollees will begin the program by taking Introduction to Research Administration at Princeton University, followed by the Pre-Award Administration module classes in the order laid out above.  These introductory classes serve as the foundation for the later curriculum and are designed to expose the enrollees to the fundamentals of research administration.   The balance of the program may be completed in any preferred order.

Program Hours to Certification and Time to Completion

Each class is 90-minutes of instruction. Therefore, the required training hours to complete the program is approximately 25 hours of core classes and 9 hours of electives. In addition, to receive certification, assessments in the form of “homework” will be required to be completed.

Enrollees will be expected to complete the program within 24 months of enrollment.

Pilot Program Information - CLOSED

The Research Administration Training Program’s pilot (now ARC) cohort launched February 2022 and ended in November 2022 with 12 enrollees. The pilot program tested the Research Administration Training Program among a small and committed group of early-career or new to Princeton staff interested in providing meaningful feedback, leading to the program’s further development and improvement.

The pilot intended:

  • to prioritize Princeton employees with material research administration responsibilities in their positions,
  • staff with two years of research administration experience or less,
  • and staff newer to the Princeton community.
  • The program aimed to assemble a pilot cohort representing individuals from diverse areas of research administration and backgrounds.

While the pilot period is closed, the new program intends to launch the Fall of 2023, aligning with the new Academic Year. 

Pilot application form. Supervisor signature is also required. Selections were announced in December 2021, and a January 2022 orientation session was held for the selected participants.

Participation in the pilot cohort requires the following commitments - Guidelines for the full program will vary slightly.

  • Attendance at each scheduled in-person core class and selected elective courses. See Pilot Program Schedule
  • Completion of pre-course assignments and any homework assigned for each class.
  • Completion of evaluation and feedback forms after each class and providing periodic program-level feedback as requested.

Return the completed form as an email attachment no later than Tuesday, November 30th, to Courtney Kohut, Training Program Manager, at [email protected]. Questions can also be directed to the same email address.

Collaborating Offices and Groups

The Research Administrator Training Program is a collaborative effort across a variety of offices and groups at Princeton. The following offices and groups will teach segments of the program:

  • Dean of the Faculty (DOF)
  • Graduate School (DGS)
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Office of Audit and Compliance (OAC)
  • Office of Research and Project Administration (ORPA)
  • Research Integrity and Assurance (RIA)
  • Selected grants managers
  • Sponsored Research Accounting (SRA)
  • ….and more!

Program Development Support

The Research Administration Training Program is being developed with the indispensable help of:

  1. Grants Manager Focus Group: Alison Coakley, Sara Guerin, Jessica Johnson, Zack Kaado, Yvette Kupersmit, Sarah McGovern, Ashlee Prewitt-Crosby, Kristen Seith, Kathe Slatas, Bob Sullivan, and Patti West.
  2. Steering Committee: Elizabeth Adams, Hope Caldwell, Maureen Connolly, Karen Haskin, Floe Fusin-Wischusen, Matt Kotsovolos, Stuart Leland, Paula Looney, Sarah McGovern, Glynis Sherard, Liliana Keany and Courtney Kohut.

Questions regarding the program can be sent to Courtney Kohut, Training Program Manager, at [email protected].