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Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I Pilot Course Complete

The Navigate: Advanced Budgeting I Pilot Course Wraps Up Successfully

Our instructor-led Navigate: Advanced Budgeting course completed in Fall 2016 with good reviews.

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This course was the first in a series of three that moved the learner through increasingly more advanced budgeting topics. It is designed to provide immersive complex budget development and preparation training to the learner engaged in research administration.

From class demonstrations and modeling, participants will then apply budget techniques to build their own budgets with budget justifications, each with increasingly more complex elements and attributes. Budgets will represent a broad spectrum of budget types and sponsors. The learner will engage and participate in class walk-through demonstrations, discussion of budget-building and problem-solving strategies typical in the context of proposal submission, and then work through reinforcing budget development homework assignments.

Each learning experience will include laboratory assistance and in-class debrief discussion. By the end of this course, the learner will have mastered the building of two (2) moderately complex budgets and will keep the step-by-step documentation and Excel templates to use in developing similar budgets in their own positions. Budget attributes which will be included in this budgeting course include: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2-year, $315K) and Department of Transportation (DoT) (multi-year, < $1M) budgets for sponsors with mixed effort/appointments in budgets including 12-month, U-Year, VA, and pool (with SVH) appointments;
Multiple methods of fringe rate calculation based on sponsor requirements and appointment types;
Conversation of effort from percent (%) effort to loaded labor hour(s);
Loaded Labor rates included on a task-based, multi-year budget with a base budget period and option years; and,
Simple cost sharing.
As a part of this course, instructors will demonstrate and help build participants' technical skill in the use of Excel and sponsored budget templates.

Additionally, participants will get:

Reinforcement and practice in multiple appointment types, including:
Veterans Administration (VA) 
University-year (U-year)
12-month Approach
Graduate Student Research Assistants
Temp Hourly
Tenets for incorporating VA appointments in proposals and budget justifications
Building loaded labor hour budgets for task-based submissions
Orientation to nuances of Department of Defense and Department of Transportation submissions
Tips and tricks for participation with faculty in developing and planning for complex budgets



These 25 individuals earned Certificates of Completion:

Mindy Alguire, Nicholas Adams, Arijit K Bhaumik, Kathryn J Bothuel, Tawny  Dekar, Hanan Flood, Jennifer L Freeman, Cynthia Gallaway, Crystal M Griffin, Krista L Golden, Fei Gong, Bailey Green, Maryann Hansen, Tamara L Harpe, Tina Lucas, Veronica Rujia Li, Bryon E Maxey, Kristin N Parrish, Melissa Rider, Rebecca Rennells, Maria Dolors Sans Gili, Catherine Robinson, Tabitha L Rohn, Mary Stewart, David Wilkie.

Program Training Team and Course Champions

Over 40 research staff professionals across campus collaborated on the development of this course. The program training team expertly crafted the course to follow the workflow and business process of the sponsored research project lifecycle. Led by Amanda Coulter, ORSP and Sponsored Programs Training Manager, the team included:

  • Kristen Storey, U-M Learning and Professional Development
  • Ron Sober, U-M Learning and Professional Development
  • Raquel de Paula Silvius, Finance Project Management Office
  • Laura Coddington, Finance Project Management Office
  • Design teams of research administrators and central office professionals (see full list)

The course designers consulted with design teams of research administrators and central office professionals to gather input and expertise.

In addition to traditional lectures and presentations, the training included professional scenarios and problems for newcomers to solve. It also introduced newcomers to research administration leaders from around campus and exposed them to both the business challenges and successful outcomes required for a successfully managed research project.

“I loved learning something new and seeing the budget process from a different perspective. I'm very happy to add these skills to my wheelhouse." - Anonymous

The presenters knew the material well and presented it in a fun way.  - Anonymous                            

This was a fun topic. I feel a lot more prepared if I get a proposal like this.  - Anonymous

Great class! I liked the examples and how organized they are presented! Very easy to understand!     - Anonymous    

The material was organized and presented in a way that was easy to follow and understand. The exercises were very helpful and reinforced what was being taught.  Going through the spreadsheet was also helpful. 
- Anonymous    

I learned a lot today as this is kind of a new topic for me. Really appreciate this opportunity.  - Anonymous

Great learning opportunity. Thanks!    - Anonymous




Job aids and tools that don’t require training or interaction, will be made available on the ORSP website, under the "Navigate" portal page.  However, the course has been designed for intense in-person interaction and much of the content will be experienced in-person.

The Navigate portal is the new central destination for training and professional development for research administrators (RAs), navigating research administration at the University of Michigan. The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects and Finance - Sponsored Programs have partnered to improve the professional development resources available to RAs. A number of initiatives will come under this new program, including training, mentoring, and other resources.

  • This newly designed instructor-led was expertly developed for RAs with newcomers to research administration (zero to about two years of experience). This course is not a replacement for the former Research Administrators Instructional Network (RAIN) course. The "Navigate: Fundamentals" course was developed for a different audience and is meant to provide fundamental training for those who need it most, at the beginning of their research administration careers.
  • This course will provide fundamental knowledge about the field of research administration, the research enterprise at the University of Michigan, and the high-level tasks performed at each stage of a sponsored project “Lifecycle.”
  • Research administrators work with difficult business, compliance, and financial challenges, and often undertake them with little or no experience. Providing training for research administrators during their first months in their career is integral to reducing faculty and administrative burden.

We anticipate offering the Fundamentals course twice per year - once in the fall, and once in the winter/spring. Learn more about current offerings on the Navigate: Fundamentals course page.

References and Resources


For questions on Navigate and other training initiatives, please contact