Emmanuel College Launches Graduate Certificate in Research Administration
October 06, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bryan Mahoney
October, 6 2008 617-264-7725
BOSTON - Professionals working in the dynamic world of research administration impact some of the largest global health and social initiatives that are sponsored by the federal government. Emmanuel College is pleased to respond to the specialized needs of these administrators through the launch of its new Graduate Certificate in Research Administration.
New this fall, this six-course, 18-credit certificate program provides the opportunity for professionals who administer sponsored research programs at colleges, universities and hospitals to earn an academic credential and expand their professional networks. The flexible and innovative program features a cutting-edge approach, with a rigorous curriculum created as a partnership between Emmanuel College full-time faculty and sponsored research expert practitioners from the neighboring Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA) institutions and beyond.
"Our commitment in Graduate and Professional Programs is to respond to the needs of our professional students, while keeping a key link to the needs of their employers," said Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs Dr. Judy Marley. "We examined other programs for sponsored research professionals in Boston and while there were some programs dealing in the not-for-profit space, especially around community-based projects, community grants and arts administration, there were no graduate-level credentials that specifically focused on federally funded sponsored grants and contracts."
"Research administration is a growing profession in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area," she added. "With Emmanuel's strategic plan of expanding its partnerships with employers in the LMA through its Employer Connect, and with the opening of our new Academic Science Center in the spring of 2009, the Graduate Certificate in Research Administration was a natural fit."
The concept for the program originally came to Marley's attention after discussions with Jennifer Puccetti '89, the Director of Academic Administration in Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. Puccetti serves as the department administrator managing the grants of Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology Dr. Paul Farmer, the keynote speaker during Emmanuel's 2005 Convocation, whose work in social medicine impacts health initiatives on a global scale.
Conversations on employee development needs in the field of research administration, the bodies of knowledge classically associated with professionals in the field and an assessment of professional association's non-credit offerings revealed a unique opportunity to build - with a graduate credential - an expanded base of highly qualified professionals in an untapped field.
"There was definitely a need to strengthen the field of research administration and to increase pipelines through Emmanuel College internships, to generate both today's and tomorrow's professionals in sponsored programs," said Puccetti. "As we began to reach out to others within Harvard Medical School and the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, we discovered there were many others who agreed and were willing to work with us to conceptualize such an offering. The vision was to bring professionals from both hospitals and universities together, with a goal of extended collaboration for increasingly complex sponsored projects."
Puccetti is one of the program's eight collaborators/content experts, a group that includes professionals from several Harvard University schools, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Partners HealthCare. Utilizing extensive feedback from focus groups and professional associations in the field, each syllabus was developed to fit distinctly into a cohort model of six sequential graduate courses. Each course is delivered in an accelerated format of seven weeks and the certificate can be completed in just one year of part-time study.
"The need for a program such as Emmanuel's has been building for some time," said Vice President for Research Administration and Finance at Dana Farber Cancer Institute Mark Daniel, the collaborator/content expert for the "Financial Accounting for Sponsored Programs" course. "As someone who has worked in all aspects of this industry for many years and has trained many new staff during that period, I am excited to be a part of this groundbreaking program and a part of the faculty teaching this content."
Using studies, guest speakers and instructional technology platforms, the program's interactive sessions incorporate the critical facets of sponsored research administration, and include grant negotiations, pre and post awards, contract management, compliance, finance and ethical considerations.
Additionally, students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Research Administration may continue on to the Master of Science in Management program with a specialization in Research Administration by completing only six additional graduate courses.
Currently, 17 professionals representing some of the most prestigious hospitals and universities in the LMA are matriculated in the program's inaugural cohort group. A large number of these students are employed by Harvard School of Public Health, the renowned leader of efforts to advance the health of populations worldwide, which according to Marley, derives 80% of its operating budget through sponsored research, primarily contracts. These Harvard professionals' tuition is fully funded by their employer. The Graduate Certificate in Research Administration program not only allows Emmanuel to play a part in their global not-for-profit initiatives, but to expand the scope of the College's founding mission.
"The work of research administrators and sponsored research at institutions such as Harvard University, the Whitehead Institute and Partners Healthcare impacts society while aligning distinctively with Emmanuel College and the Sisters of Notre Dame's commitment to community and education," said Marley. "With this new offering we build on a tradition of collaboration via this transformative academic initiative which supports the sciences. The graduate courses within the program have the ability to influence sponsored research projects not just within the LMA, but nationally and even worldwide."
"As total research and development expenditures have grown tremendously over the past two decades across the country and even around the world in all areas of science and technology, the need for skilled and trained professionals to manage the administrative, legal and financial aspects of this business have grown as well," said Daniel. "I think Emmanuel College's Graduate Certificate in Research Administration program will become a key component in the set of resources that academic medical centers and research universities have to meet critical employee needs."