Advanced Research Integrity Certificate Program

With the Research Development, Integrity and Assurance (RDIA) office, OSP is excited to offer the advanced Research Integrity Certificate to Mason administrators interested in expanding their knowledge around research administration.

The first cohort has been selected and sessions will begin in January.   This program will be repeated and information on applying will be posted later this year.  The Research Integrity Certificate Schedule includes meeting times and session descriptions.

About the Program:

In June, Dr. Aurali Dade, Associate Vice President for Research Development, Integrity and Assurance served as PI on an Office of Research Integrity (ORI) funded conference focused on research integrity for research administrators in collaboration with the Society for Research Administrators (SRA).  She is publishing an article about Research Integrity for Administrators. Below is an excerpt about the upcoming certificate program.

During this two-day intensive conference the PIs, facilitators, and attendees had in-depth discussions about the potential for Research Administrators to advance institutional missions of high quality ethical research and play an active role in the promotion of research integrity as well as the detection of potentially unethical incidents.             

I served as the Mason PI for the ORI conference, taught a module for the research administration certificate program, and attended the research certificate graduation event where advanced certificates were mentioned. The research certificate course director attended the ORI funded conference. During a coffee break at the conference we developed the idea for an advanced certificate in research integrity at Mason. This idea was evaluated and supported by a steering committee responsible for the research administration certificate program and is currently being implemented.

The first cohort of individuals will participate in the advanced certificate in research integrity in Spring 2018. Individuals who successfully earned the certificate in research administration and/or hold the designation of Certified Research Administrator (CRA), (CFRA) or (CPRA) are eligible to apply for the program. This advanced certificate will consist of two-hour topical modules taught weekly for five weeks for a total of 10 contact hours.  1 CEU will be offered. Modules will include: responsible and ethical research; human subjects research; animal care and use, chemical safety and biosafety; data protection requirements, export compliance and sanctions awareness; and financial compliance. Each module will be interactive with a combination of lectures, case studies (by administrative and faculty presenters), and small group problem solving.

Applications will be sought and reviewed within the next month, and the first cohort will be limited to 25 attendees. At the end of the certificate program our goal is that the attendees have a deeper understanding of the complex legal and ethical framework for the conduct of research, understand what types of issues might be problematic, and know who to contact with questions and concerns. This will be evaluated with post-module and post-certificate program surveys of attendees.

We expect that research administrators completing this advanced certificate will serve as ambassadors for high quality ethical research practices both within the central Office of Sponsored Programs and in departments and colleges where they work.  This program will require a significant time investment for instructors, facilitators, and attendees but we believe it is an important step in upholding our commitment to promoting ethical research for federal sponsors and the public.