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eSPEAR Certificate Series Overview

This web-based certificate series will introduce you to the various offices within the Office of Research, and the roles and responsibilities of each. You will also be introduced to the fundamentals of research administration, as well as an overview of sponsored projects compliance topics. 

The target audience for this certificate series is FSU research administrators. Completing this certificate will benefit anyone who is responsible for the administration of sponsored projects at Florida State University. 

Please contact Training and Organizational Development via email at, to initiate your enrollment for the eSPEAR Certificate series.  Once you are enrolled you will be given access to all the online modules to be completed within 6 months.

Course Modules:

This course will introduce you to the various offices within the Office of Research, and the roles and responsibilities of each. You will also be introduced to research administration as well as an overview of research compliance topics.

This course introduces research administrators to the requirements for managing federal awards.  Attendees will become familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations, 2 CFR 200, also known as the Uniform Guidance, where the administrative requirements as well as cost principles and audit requirements will be covered.

This course breaks down the process of proposal development and submission into six phases. Upon completion of the course, research administrators will gain a big picture understanding of Florida State University’s process for developing, gaining institutional approval for, and submitting a proposal, while learning unique ways they can provide support to an investigator during each phase.

This course will guide you through the entire award process from the moment a notification of award arrives through award setup and project commencement. Topics covered include:  review of the award document including “unfavorable terms,” award negotiation and internal mechanisms to simplify negotiations, the process for requesting advance funding, award setup, and the roles of the principal investigator/department staff and FSU Research Offices during these processes.

This course is designed to educate research administrators on the foundational information needed to build budgets for sponsored projects. Throughout the module, research administrators will learn how to calculate common expenses associated with sponsored projects, such as salary, travel, and indirect costs. Additionally, a budget workbook is provided at the end of the module that research administrators can use when preparing future budgets.

Internal Controls support the management of an organization’s risk.  As you will learn in this course, if implemented correctly, internal controls can support efficiency while supporting the appropriate management institutional risk.  Also covered is information on the types of audits typically experienced on sponsored projects including what everyone needs to do if they are notified of a pending audit.

This course will provide you with the basic tools needed to effectively manage Sponsored Project expenses. This includes looking up available balances by project/ department, helpful pages in OMNI Financials and Business Intelligence, and understanding what SRA and FSURF are reviewing to confirm compliance and allowability for Sponsored Project expenditures.

 FACET is Florida State University's official employee activity reporting system. We track employee "effort" in order to document how various types of funds are used to support university personnel activities. Effort reporting is required for compliance with federal and state regulations governing sponsored research and other activities at the University.  This course describes what effort reporting is and how it is managed at FSU.

This course will provide you with hands-on information concerning the closeout process for Sponsored Projects. This includes a general timeline, including action items, for successfully closing out Sponsored Projects.

This course will guide you through the administrative management of outgoing subawards (also known as subagreements or subcontracts) issued by FSU under its Prime Award to another organization. Some sponsored projects require collaboration with an external investigator or entity and therefore the establishment of a subagreement is necessary.  Topics covered include subaward processes, an overview of regulatory requirements, subrecipient risk assessments, budget and expense tracking, invoice review and payment processing, as well as subaward closeout.  Both central and department administrators play a critical role in supporting our Principal Investigators in these processes.