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Navigate: Fundamentals Pilot Course Complete

The Navigate: Fundamentals Pilot Course Wraps Up Successfully

Navigate Fundamentals Thank You Card on Buffet TableOur instructor-led Navigate: Fundamentals course completed in Spring 2016 with rave reviews.

This pilot Navigate: Fundamentals course was offered to newer U-M research administrators with less than 12 months of experience.

The course consisted of seven full-day instructor-led sessions (four in the fall, three in the winter), culminating with a capstone project to demonstrate success.Certificates of Completion

The pilot cohort participants included research administrators from colleges, schools, and units on campus (picture below). 

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)

Navigate Fundamentals Team LeadsThe 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.

“This course was so helpful. It taught me all the basic knowledge leaving mostly department specific questions only.”

“All presenters are well prepared, and it’s interesting and helpful to hear their stories and experiences.”

“I liked the detailed level that things are explained. The variety of speakers is also helpful since it allows for many perspectives.”

“I really liked the structure/organization of the materials. Learning about project set-up and the different office roles (ORSP/SP) was extremely helpful.”

Navigate - Navigating research at the University of Michigan.
Navigate: Fundamentals Course: Navigating Research Administration at the University of Michigan


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