Why be Certified in the Research Administration Profession?

There are often unanswered questions by University leaders related to personal professional designations and whether or not time/energy and resources should be devoted to these aims. How do we prepare individuals or an entire team for success? Why is certification important? What does certification mean to your institution? To assist in answering those questions, this presentation is given on behalf of the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC), and current certificate holders. We will share the process of obtaining the Certified Research Administrators designations (CRA, CPRA and the CFRA), explore the value of these certifications and the personal satisfaction that a professional designation provides to you and your teams. Additionally, (just for kicks and giggles) we will get a glimpse of some practice test questions! There will be time for Q&A and sharing of personal experiences related to certification!


Sharon Brooks
Deputy Director of Operations
Duke University

 Sharon G. Brooks is the Deputy Director of Operations in the Office of Sponsored Programs at the Duke University. Prior to her current role, Ms. Brooks was the Director of Post Award Financial Reporting and Cash Management at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her other experiences in Research Administration leadership have been at the University of Virginia and North Carolina State University. With over 20 years of experience in Research Administration, Ms. Brooks has been actively engaged in many internal institutional outreach/training programs, as well as several professional organizations. Currently she is Director of the National Conference on College Cost Accounting (NACCA) and the immediate past Treasurer, Board of Directors, for the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC). She is a past President of the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Research Administrators (VaSRA) and has presented on financial and compliance related topics at NACCA, FRA and at the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) annual meetings. She holds the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) and the Certified Financial Research Administrator (CFRA) professional designations.

David Ross
Sr. Director Preaward Services
University of Notre Dame

David Ross, MBA, CRA, is the Senior Director of Preaward Services at the University of Notre Dame.  David leads the Preaward Team in the development and submission of research grant proposals, contract and cooperative agreement applications.  He has more than 20 years of research administration experience having  previously held the position of Director of Sponsored Research at the Van Andel Institute, and Manager of Grants and Contracts at Western Michigan University.