The office of Research Support and Graduate Studies at Qatar University (QU) hosted a training programme for research administration professionals recently. Around 50 professionals from QU and other higher education institutes in Qatar took part in the programme.
Themed “Fundamentals of Sponsored Projects Administration”, the training programme was organised in collaboration with the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). It aimed to provide the participants with an overview of the various aspects involved in sponsored projects administration, including preparation and review of proposals, negotiation and acceptance of awards, financial and administrative management, and closeout and audit, as well as the relevant compliance issues. It was designed for professionals involved in the administration of sponsored projects at higher education and research institutions.
Speakers included California Institute of Technology Office of Sponsored Research director David Mayo, and University of Wisconsin-Madison director of Research Financial Services, Research and Sponsored Programmes Robert Andresen.
They discussed several critical topics such as the difference between grants, contracts and co-operative agreements, the underlying legal framework surrounding sponsored projects, co-funding with end-users, audit and compliance, and ways of finding sources of funding.
Individuals who successfully completed the training programme received 16.5 Continuing Education Credits, which are recognised credits to provide a record of an individual’s continuing education accomplishments and which can be used as educational credits for certification. Certificates were also issued to those who completed the course.
QU vice president for research and graduate studies Prof Mariam al-Maadeed said: “Qatar University has always been on the forefront to meet the research challenges of the country and therefore we conducted this training session. It was a very important event for the university as it sharpened the skills of the administrators and provided them with new tips and tools in research administration. I am confident that the participants at this programme have gained more insights and will become better administrators.”
QU research support director Dr Aiman Erbad said, “Research administration is becoming a sub-field of administration with unique challenges. Qatar University hosted experts from NCURA to share experience with our team and other participants from Qatar. This training allowed research administration professionals to develop their skills and get answers to their daily operational challenges. Qatar University also invited participants from different research offices in Qatar to build a community of research administrators in Qatar and increase collaboration among local entities.”
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