Several SHSU Research Administrators, including Susan Hurley, Martha Wilson, and Maribeth Start in the Office of Research Administration, Maegan McKerrow in the College of Criminal Justice, and Allyson Korinsky in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, spent Spring Break in New Orleans developing their professional skills at both the Pre-Award and Post-Award Annual Conferences of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), all to better serve you!

According to Maegan, the NCURA conference is a wonderful and valuable tool for Research Administrators because it gives us a chance to talk about issues with other institutions and see what is going on out there in the research world. Also, it keeps us updated on best practices in our field, ultimately minimizing risk for SHSU.

Maribeth’s favorite part, eating lunch with the National Science Foundation, and specifically having an opportunity to visit with NSF officials, demonstrates Maegan’s comments on a practical level! Maribeth also enjoyed the NSF session update. NSF made some changes that are effective January 2016. Some key changes are that all proposals must be submitted by the AOR (Authorized Organizational Rep) by 5 pm our local time. There is also a new federal website called FAPIIS.gov. This website is where all federal agencies must check if a potential contractor has prior problems with other federal agencies. Agencies must report if they terminate an award for a material reason or if an agency decides not to award solely based on past performance. The records will remain for 5 years. This is a new system, so at the time of the conference there were no records for anyone and currently no records for SHSU, a trend which Maribeth and the Office of Research are certain will continue!

NCURA Conference NCURA Conference

Finally, Susan explains that she focused on sessions that dealt with the new Uniform Guidance and Service Centers. These are two very hot topics in the SHSU world of Research Administration, so the more the department can learn about them, the more effective we will be in managing the different grants and contracts that come our way. 

ORSP’s newest team member, Elizabeth Thompson, Grant Specialist, is already scheduled to attend NCURA’s next regional conference; additionally Dee Myall, Associate Director of ORSP, and Delia Gallinaro, ORSP Executive Director, will be attending NCURA’s annual national meeting in Washington D.C. this summer. We are all looking forward to the benefits attendance at these conferences will bring!