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aiM Higher - CRA Study Group

aiM Higher will be offered in Spring 2017.

Registration is closed but we can place you on a waiting list.

Spring 2017 Study Group Schedule:

Date: Every Friday from
February 24, 2017 - April 28, 2017
Location: Wolverine Tower 1025
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Duration: 10 weeks prior to CRA Exam (May 2017)


"It was a true benefit to be able to have other colleagues from across the University within the group. We all have our own set of experiences that really adds to the weekly discussion. Real life examples help to enhance the Body of Knowledge."

"I love being more knowledgeable about my job and this has helped me explain federal policies to PI's in my regular work.  I love having renewed respect for my profession. I love having a goal."

"Coming from another Institution that does not have a study group, I am very grateful to have it here at UM. The designated study sessions make the Body of Knowledge easier to tackle."

Registration is closed.

Target Audience

The aiM Higher CRA Study Group is recommended for research administrators in preparing for the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) exam. The benefits of certification:

  • Validates their expertise
  • Generates professional recognition
  • Provides personal satisfaction
  • Is an indicator of expertise and knowledge
  • Increases their credibility with faculty and other administrators
  • May lead to increased employment opportunities
  • All can be a role model to other RAs

aiM Higher Facilitates CRA Exam Study Prep

Photo by Sue Kelch




aiM Higher is the University of Michigan guided and self-study program designed to assist research administrators in preparing for the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) exam. The aiM Higher study group is held in the spring and fall for 10 weeks prior to the CRA exam. The program is both independent and guided study. 

The aiM Higher Study Group is to prepare Research Administrators for the CRA exam that is offered by an independent certifying body, Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC). The CRA exam is rigorous, and it must be taken at a designated site and it is administered through Professional Testing Corporation. In a four-hour period, test-takers must answer 250 questions that cover the full spectrum of research administration. The curriculum covered by the exam is referred to as the "Body of Knowledge," and it covers all areas of research administration including project development and administration, legal requirements and sponsored interface, financial management, and general management. The CRA credential means that you demonstrate a level of knowledge of all aspects of research administration. 

In addition, the CRA exams are offered at multiple locations. You may take the exam anytime within the testing window. The fee for the CRA exam is $375 which must be paid by the participant. The CRA spring exam is scheduled for May 6-20, 2017, application deadline for the CRA exam is March 31, 2017. For more information on the exam visit the CRA website.

Schedule and Requirements

Attendees for the aiM Higher study group will need to submit an application form. The study group is held in the spring and fall for 10 weeks prior to the CRA exam. The study group is both independent and guided study. For the spring 2017 CRA exam, the study sessions will meet every Friday from February 24, 2017 - April 28, 2017.

Training Schedule - Spring and Fall
Location: Various (see below)
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (you may bring your lunch or snacks)


Research administrators must have:

  • Bachelor's Degree and three (3) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs.
  • Associate's Degree and five (5) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs.
  • No degree and six (6) years of professional experience in research or sponsored programs.*

*please contact if you seek letters of attestation that are required.

How to Apply for the aiM Higher Study Group

  • Applicants must submit an application form by January 20, 2017
  • All sessions will be held at Wolverine Tower Room 1025 (This is on the 1st Floor of Wolverine Tower. Enter on the ground floor and take the elevator up to 1.)
Supervisor Requirements
  • Ensure the applicant will be permitted time to attend guided study group every Friday for the 10-week period prior to CRA exam from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Approve and sign Registration Form for CRA Study Group aiM Higher.

Selected Participant Requirements

  • Attend 10-week moderated study sessions. Study sessions are scheduled weekly as one and a half hour sessions, and are also available live online, but will not be recorded.
  • View weekly webinars offered by Virginia Tech. Subject matters are 2 hours long, are recorded, and may be watched live or at your availability.
  • Highly recommended to study several hours a week outside of the webinars and study sessions.

CRA Exam Study Offerings

The aiM Higher study group is both an independent and guided program that includes:

  • Weekly webinars (online - partnered with VA Tech experts)
  • Weekly moderated study sessions (in person/online, UMich campus - various locations). Each group participant will be asked to moderate one study session.
    • Guided materials to prepare you for the exam
    • Practice exams
    • Support from other RAs
  • Daily emails (tips, study materials, encouragement)
  • Quizlet group (online flash cards and testing)

What's Expected?

We are pleased to offer study sessions to facilitate University of Michigan Research Administrators in their studies for the CRA exam. This is a wonderful opportunity to go over materials that may appear on the exam and network with colleagues across campus.

The CRA exam is rigorous. These study sessions are not a guarantee that participants will pass the exam as the volume of material is too significant to cover. It is highly recommended that participants prepare for the exam by studying outside of the study sessions.

Preparation Fee

  • There will be no cost to participate in the aiM Higher CRA study group.


References and Resources


For questions on other training initiatives, please contact