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Welcome to research administration in the VCU School of Medicine!  Whether you are new to VCU or just new to research administration, the following information is provided as an onboarding checklist to ensure you have the information you need to do your job.  If you have any questions about the content on this page please write to  Confidence in your position comes with time and experience but we hope this guide will provide a path towards gaining that confidence in your role!

In addition to this list, the Office of Sponsored Research and Grants & Contracts Accounting have put together a comprehensive "Getting Started in Research Administration" document.

In the first month...

Enroll in online training on VCU's Blackboard site:

To get access to the Banner system, self-enroll in the following two courses:

  • PAA001: Banner Basic Navigation & System/Data Security
  • PAA003: Labor Distribution Training - depends on role, check with supervisor (required for Banner access)
  • Banner Finance New Users:  Internal Controls & Fiscal Responsibilities
  • Banner Finance New Users:  Banner FOAPAL-Forms-Transactions

Once PAA001 and PAA003 are complete, Supervisor will put in ticket for Banner Finance access for the new employee in the Landesk system.  

Additional trainings to self-enroll in on Blackboard:

Attend the next "Grants & Contracts Basic Post Award Accounting" class:

Go to the VCU Training site and search for key word "grants."  You'll see a list of upcoming in-person classes, sign-up for one that is convenient:

Join research administration related listservs:

Browse the SOM Research Administration website, the OSP website, and the Grants & Contracts Accounting (G&C) website to familiarize yourself with various procedures and policies at VCU.

Meet with someone in your department to go over all active, closing, or pending awards in your department/center.

Verify you have received relevant system access:

  • RAMS-SPOT proposal submission system - have your Department Administrator send a request to 
  • Banner Finance access
  • Banner HR access - depends on role, check with supervisor
  • PI Dashboard and RA Dashboard access - will automatically be granted after Banner access established
  • ECRT Effort Reporting system - depends on role, check with supervisor
  • NIH eRA Commons account - depends on role, check with supervisor

Schedule a meeting with the SOM Office of Research Administration team for general School of Medicine process overview and to go over the PI Dashboard - contact

Meet with or write to your department's OSP Team and G&C Accountants to introduce yourself!

PRE-AWARD: If you will be working with investigators to submit proposals, familiarize yourself with the pre-award process:

POST-AWARD: Familiarize yourself with the post-award processes and best practice guides:

Identify contacts in key areas (i.e. SOM Research Administration, your department's business office, OSP, G&C Accounting, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), etc).

Set up a filing system for your department's sponsored research files (or become familiar with the current system).

Establish a process for monthly reconciliation of awards in your department using the PI Dashboard (i.e. prepare reports, check rate of spending, monitor deficits, meet with PI and discuss expenses and labor charges for that month, etc).

And most of all - ASK QUESTIONS!  Writing to  is a great place to start if you don't know who to ask.

You can also read, bookmark, and know the following:

Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance - 2 CFR 200)

VCU Policy Library - all research-related policies

NIH SF424 (R&R) Application Guide - Forms D

NIH Grants Policy Statement

If working with research that involves human subjects (clinical research):

Important links: