You are here

aiM Higher - CRA Study Group

aiM Higher will be offered in Spring 2024.

Registration for the Spring 2024 aiM Higher CRA study group is now open and will be due February 29, 2024.

Date: Every Friday from March 1 - May 10, 2024
Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST
Location: The study group meetings will be held via Zoom
Duration: 11 weeks prior to CRA Exam

See the list of current U-M Certified Research Administrators (CRAs)


"I found the Body of Knowledge applicable to nearly all aspects of my job and the group discussions extremely valuable for increasing my understanding of the material. I plan to encourage others to pursue CRA certification, including participation in the CRA study review."

"aiM Higher provides a variety of resources so each person can customize their preparation for the CRA exam."

"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."

aiM Higher

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
CRA Group 2018


aiM Higher is a University of Michigan-guided, 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 an 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 3.5-hour period, test-takers must answer 200 questions that cover the full spectrum of research administration. The curriculum covered by the exam is referred to as the "Body of Knowledge." The CRA credential means that you demonstrate a level of knowledge of all aspects of research administration. 

In addition, CRA exams are offered at multiple locations. You may take the exam anytime within the testing window. The fee for the CRA exam is $395 which must be paid by the participant. The CRA Spring 2024 exam is scheduled for May 11 - 25, 2024, and the exam application deadline is April 10, 2024, by 11:59 pm EST. For more information on the exam visit the CRA website

Schedule and Requirements

Spring 2024 CRA ScheduleAttendees for the aiM Higher study group will need to submit a Registration Form. The study group is held for approximately 8 weeks prior to the CRA exam. The study group is both an independent and guided study. For the Spring 2024 CRA exam, the study sessions will meet every Friday from March 1 - May 10, 2024, via Zoom. The study group application deadline is February 29, 2024, by 11:59 pm EST. The study group will meet:

Date: Every Friday
Time: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST
Location: online meetings via ZOOM
Duration: 11 weeks prior to CRA exam


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

  • Registration is required.
  • All sessions will be held via Zoom meeting.
Supervisor Requirements
  • Ensure the applicant will be permitted time to attend a guided study group every Friday during the aiM Higher program prior to the CRA exam from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST.
  • Approve the applicant's participation in aiM Higher via email. This email will be attached to the application form by the applicant.

Selected Participant Requirements

  • Attend the moderated study sessions. Study sessions are scheduled weekly as one-and-a-half-hour sessions.
  • View weekly webinars offered by Virginia Tech. Subject matters are 2 hours long, are recorded, and may be watched live or at your availability.
  • It is 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 online moderated study sessions with:
    • Guided materials to prepare you for the exam
    • Practice exams
    • Support from other RAs
  • Daily emails (tips, study materials, encouragement)
  • Quizlet group (online flashcards and testing)

What's Expected?

We are pleased to offer study sessions to facilitate the 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