The first NCURA International Region Workshop
Global Sponsored Project Administration
was held in Zurich, Switzerland – September 2-4, 2015


*photo by sdh_photo

Sponsored by NCURA Region VIII

Location: ETH Zürich, Maschinenlabor, Clasiusstrasse 2, Zurich, Switzerland

Vivian Holmes | Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Kim Moreland | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Context and General Goal

The primary goal of the Global Sponsored Research Administration was to create a supportive environment that allowed research managers and administrators focusing on US grants and contracts in general and with the NIH in specific, to reach their full potential to create, develop, communicate and transfer new knowledge. Recent years have shown that the global reach of universities world-wide have developed dramatically. For each research institution, it is becoming increasingly more important to extend its network of international partnerships and collaborations in education, research, business and healthcare, and with the global development sector, governments, charities and philanthropists. Amongst others this can be achieved by extending and deepening relationships with overseas research organizations.

The Workshop therefore offered interested research managers and administrators a two and one half-day professional development opportunity that focused primarily on the post-award phase of US grants including financial aspects of administering US grants, audits, communication with NIH, monitoring of sub-awardees outside the US. The workshop provided an in-depth look at financial compliance issues through a combination of lecture, case studies, review of audit reports, and a discussion of best practices. The workshop presented the legal as well as financial issues of sponsored programs management.

Target Audience

  • Research Managers/Administrators (pre- and/or post award)
  • Financial Managers/Administrators
  • A minimum of two years of sponsored projects administration experience with US grants
  • Max. 100 participants

Aim / Results

  • Understanding of the role and responsibilities of a US sub-awardee respectively main-awardee;
  • Ability to describe the differences between US grants, contracts and cooperative agreements;
  • Ability to describe the underlying legal framework surrounding US sponsored projects;
  • Ability to identify the Uniform Guidance that govern federally sponsored projects and discuss the key principles of each, including how they apply to the preparation and submission of proposals and the administration of awards;
  • Ability to distinguish between allowable and unallowable costs and between direct and F&A costs;
  • Ability to identify several types of third party agreements associated with sponsored projects administration;
  • Ability to describe the various components of a proposal budget and how to apply the institution’s F&A cost rate;
  • Ability to assist a Principal Investigator in finding sources of US funding;
  • Ability to explain the process through which a proposal to an US funding program travels from the time it begins as an idea with the faculty member to the point of award;
  • Ability to describe the importance of proper closeout of a US sponsored project and the steps necessary to prepare for an audit;
  • Ability to understand and explain the importance of the primary compliance issues facing institutions today when dealing with US grants.


Wednesday, 2 September 2014

14:00–15:00 WELCOME & KEYNOTE
by Graham Harrison, Interim Head, NSF Europe Office (tbc)

15:00–15:30 Introduction
Short introduction of the faculty and their specific field of US sposored research administration as well as the different perspectives of the researchers, sponsors, and university officials they are experiencing.

15:30–16:00 Coffee Break (… and introduction of participants part 01)

16:00–17:00 Terminology
Differences between US grants, contracts and cooperative agreements, third party agreements associated with sponsored projects administration.

17:00–19:00 Reception (… and introdcution of particiapants part 02)

Thursday, 3 September 2014
Refreshments will be available throughout the day in the corridors

09:00–10:00 Finding US Funding (public fundingI)
Overview on where to find funding, funding trends.

10:00–11:00 Finding US Funding (private fundingI)
Overview on where to find funding, funding trends.

11:00–12:00 Introduction into Proposal Development
The steps needed to build a proposal from the budget to the work scope and addresses responsibilities of all parties.

noon Lunch

13:00–14:00 Introduction into Financial Issues
Setting up a budget  and preparing for an audit.

14:00–15:00 Introduction into Negotiation
Process of negotiation and key areas that an institution will need to focus on due to financial or academic risk.

15:00–16:00 Introduction to Award Management
Project setup and the recommended tools needed to manage an award from invoicing to closeout.

16:00–18:00 City Tour

Friday, 4 September 2014

Refreshments will be available throughout the day in the corridors

09:00–09:30 Beyond Geographical Boundaries: Working with US funding outside the US – Exchanging  Experiences (EU GrantsAccess)

09:30–12:30 Parallel Consolidating Workshops


  • Proposal Development
    The steps needed to build a proposal from the budget to the work scope and addresses responsibilities of all parties.
  • Negotiation
    Process of negotiation and key areas that an institution will need to focus on due to financial or academic risk.


  • Finances
    Setting up a budget and preparing for an audit.
  • Award Management
    Project setup and the recommended tools needed to manage an award from invoicing to closeout.

12:30–13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:30 Regulatory and Related Issues
Non-financial regulatory aspect of sponsored research focusing on use of humans, animals, biosafety among others concerns.

15:30 What’s next?
End of the event


 Vivian Holmes is the Director of Sponsored
Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Vivian has been involved in research
administration for over twenty years.  As
Director of Sponsored Research at the Broad
Institute, her primary focus is research
compliance and the development and
implementation of research policies and
procedures including new systems
for grants management and financial reporting.

At the Broad, Vivian oversees the consolidated office for sponsored research; the administrative hub for proposal development, pre- and post-award management and compliance.   The Broad Institute OSR team serves as the frontline interface with external sponsors, collaborators, faculty, scientists as well as all other administrative groups on matters related to funded research.

Prior to joining the Broad, Vivian was Director of Finance and Administration for the Division of Medical Sciences at Harvard University.  There, she was responsible for finance and operations of academic and pre-doctoral programs in collaboration with Harvard-affiliated hospitals and research institutions.

Vivian has been an active member of the National Council of Research Administrators (NCURA) since 1993 and continues to participate, learn, and train. She serves on several committees including the Board of Directors, is a member of NCURA’s Traveling Workshop Faculty and a frequent panelist on operational and compliance issues. Vivian served as NCURA’s 2014 President.

  Kim Moreland is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs at the
University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Kim is on the Board of Directors of the Council on
Governmental Relations and the Federal
Demonstration Partnership.  She is a former
president of the National Council of University
Research Administrators (NCURA).  She has served
as a member of the NCURA national teaching
faculty and the national peer review faculty.  Kim is
a recipient of NCURA’s national Award for Distinguished Service in research administration and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration.  She currently chairs the NCURA Select Committee on Global Affairs.

 1 Welcome to the Maschinenlabor of ETH Zürich!
 2 Last minute adjustments before the opening of the registration desk
 3 Agatha Keller welcoming the attendees of the GLOBAL SPONSORED PROJECT ADMINISTRATION WORKSHOP.
 4 Keynote speaker Graham Harrison, Acting Head of NSF Europe talking about the NSF’s international collaborations and international strategies.
 5 Annika Glauner on the context and goals of the workshop as well as on the role of NCURA and the International Region.
 6 Questions do not respect breaks: Attendee in conversation with Kim Moreland.
 7 Vivian Holmes on negotiating an U.S. grant.
 8 An engaging audience in inspiring conversation with the faculty.
 9 Reception of the NCURA Global Sponsored Project Administration with a view over Zurich.
 10 Networking during the coffee break.
 11 Kim Moreland and Vivian Holmes on finding public U.S. funding.
 12 Conversations on proposal development amongst the participants during lunch.
 13 Hands on with Kim Moreland during her workshop on “Finances and Award Management”.
 14 Day 3 and the audience does not get tired: vivid discussions on financial aspects.
 15 The enthusiastic faculty and organisers on Day 3 (from left: Agatha Keller, Vivian Holmes, Kim Moreland, Annika Glauner

International Region Meeting

April 26 – 29, 2015 — Drake Hotel | Chicago | USA


The second International Meeting was a joint meeting between the international region and region IV. This was an very well-attended meeting and brought together people from across the globe. The theme of the meeting, Research Administration Going Global, built on the 2014 theme.

Information on the meeting includes:

In addition to the conference, people were also able to register for full-day and half-day workshops, as well as the Stay An Extra Day Academic Research Institution Tour.

Program Co-Chairs:

  • Eva Bjornda, International Region / Region VIII
  • Kirsten Yehl, Region IV
    You could follow the Spring Meeting Co-Chair Kirsten Yehl on her personal Twitter account!

Region Chairs:


Awards announced at 2015 region meeting:

The first international region awards were presented by Dr Bryony Wakefield, Chair, International Region at the 2015 Joint Spring Meeting between Region IV & Region VIII.

Distinguished Service Award 2015 – for excellent and significant contribution to  NCURA Region VIII and research management. Awarded to: Agatha Keller

Outstanding Volunteer Service Award 2015 – for enthusiasm and commitment to NCURA Region VIII and research management. Awarded to Annika Glauner and Eva Björndal.

VIII awards

April 9, 2014 — Washington Hilton | 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW | Washington DC| 20009 | USA

The first International Region Meeting brought together leading thinkers to address, from a multiplicity of perspectives, the synergies between four hotly debated issues in research and higher education world-wide: internationalization and mobility, excellence, funding and social inclusion. The Swiss Embassy hosted a reception for conference participants to congratulate NCURA’s Region 8 for their first International Meeting. The one-day conference in Washington, DC was followed by the fifth congress of the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) at the same location from 10 – 13 April 2014.

2014 Region VIII Meeting – April 9, 2014  |  Washington, D.C.


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