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E-ssentials eLearning Modules

Navigate: E-ssentials

Navigate: E-ssentials is a collection of self-paced eLearning modules available in My LINC covering a variety of topics related to research administration
at U-M.

The modules address common tasks, concepts, and business processes encountered throughout the sponsored project lifecycle. 

Navigate: E-ssentials also provide resources and job aids to assist research administrators with the successful management of sponsored projects.

Text-only transcripts are available for download from the eLearning modules.

A Certificate of Achievement is available in My LINC upon completion of a module.

Fundamentals of Research Administration Modules

These modules provide basic information that follows the workflow and business process of the sponsored research project lifecycle. 

    • Proposal Prep and Submission - Overview of the proposal-development and submission process. (15-20 min)
    • Cost of All Kinds - Types of Direct Cost and Indirect Costs, including salaries, effort, supplies, equipment, travel, and more. (15-20 min)
    • Cost Share - Types of cost sharing that might be included in a sponsored project or proposal. (10-15 min)
    • Understanding Effort - Effort in a sponsor budget, appointment types, effort certification, salary recovery and salary caps. (15-20 min)
    • Effort Certification - Effort certification process: why/how/when effort must be reported and certified, consequences of non-compliance. (15-20 min)
    • Financial Monitoring - Primary U-M reporting systems to monitor project financial health, consequences of non-compliance. (20-30 min)
    • Award Modification - Provides an overview of common post-award changes, RTCs, and actions/ modifications. (10-15 min)
    • Cost Transfers - Provides an overview of cost-transfer guidelines, cost-transfer justifications, and the process for completing. (10-15 min)
    • Pre-Closeout Analysis - Analysis of common pre-closeout reports and general tips, strategies, and resources to assist you. (20-30 min)
    • Project Closeout - Builds on concepts in the Pre-Closeout Analysis module: analysis of Uniform Guidance and Financial Status Reports. (20-30 min)
    • Financial Status Report (FSR) - Information covered only in the Financial Status Report portion of the Project Closeout module. (10-15 min)

Additional Topics for Research Administration

  • Cost Accounting Standards - Overview of the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost rate proposal, federal regulations, and compliance. Other topics include: direct and indirect costs, class codes and indirect cost recovery excluded expenditures (ICRX), the effort reporting process, and the annual space survey. (60-75 min)
  • Sponsor Reporting: Research Administrator Best Practices for Supporting Compliance - Overview of sponsor reporting requirements, the importance of compliance, and ways the RA can assist the PI in fulfilling reporting obligations to the sponsor to avoid potential consequences. (10-15 mins) 
  • Project/Grant Chartfield Overview - Review of the Project/Grant Chartfield in M-Pathways, with focus on information related to sponsored projects. (20-30 min)
  • Uniform Guidance Cost Principles - An overview of UG cost principles and managing UG expenses throughout the research project lifecycle. (10-15 min)
  • Monitoring Capital Equipment - Learn ways the RA can assist the project team in complying with sponsor and U-M requirements related to equipment. (10-15 min)
  • GSRA & Postdoc Appointments - Overview of grad student and postdoctoral appointments for sponsored projects relevant to research administrators. (20-30 min)
  • Stewardship - Overview of the role stewardship plays in research administration and ways RAs can practice good stewardship. (10-15 min)


For questions about the Navigate program or other training and professional development related to sponsored research, contact