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K-State Today

June 20, 2014



K-State research administrators earn key certification

By Paul Lowe

Several research administrators at Kansas State University have earned certified research administrator status. The certification was awarded for passing an examination given by the Research Administrators Certification Council.

Earning the certification are: Anita Fahrny, assistant director, PreAward Services, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; Debby Werth, contract negotiator, PreAward Services, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; and Ginger Biesenthal, grant specialist, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Research administrator certification from the Research Administrators Certification Council means that an individual, through experience and testing, has the fundamental knowledge necessary to be a professional research or sponsored programs administrator.

The council was formed in 1993 as an independent nonprofit organization that develops and administers a voluntary program for the certification of individuals who meet the requirements established by the council. The council is composed of volunteer individuals from a variety of settings, including institutions of higher education, hospitals, private businesses, research institutes and foundations, governmental organizations, national professional organizations and private educational and research consulting firms. They are committed to the continuing improvement of the research administration profession and in assisting in the education and training of individuals who wish to become proficient in this field.

K-State is already home to experienced administrators who have held the continuous certified research administrator certification since 1996. In fact, of the 10 certified research administrators currently in Kansas, seven are at K-State, including Paul Lowe, assistant vice president for research and director of PreAward Services; Shannon Fisher, director, Sponsored Programs, Division of Financial Services; Lisa Duer, grants manager, College of Veterinary Medicine; Amy Brusk, grant specialist, College of Veterinary Medicine; and Fahrny, Werth and Biesenthal.

The certified research administrator certification is an international certification that focuses on all aspects of research administration, including project development and administration, research compliance, financial stewardship, legal and regulatory requirements, budget development, facility management and sponsor interface, just to name a few subjects covered by the exam. Certified research administrators must apply for recertification after five years. Recertification applicants must include information on their continued participation/employment in the field, and a list of educational activities either taken or taught, and contribute potential questions for use on a future certification examination.

Educational activities may include teaching, serving on professional journal or newsletter review boards, writing articles, serving on boards of relevant national associations, participating in workshops and seminars, as well as academic courses at an undergraduate or graduate level.

K-State’s research administrators are continually seeking professional development to ensure that the requisite support and expertise is in place and available to assist the university community as it pursues its 2025 research goals.