Martha Martin, contracts and grants administrator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS), became a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) in June.
CRA designation is granted by the Research Administrators Certification Council to individuals who have demonstrated the knowledge necessary to serve as an administrator of professional and sponsored research programs. Candidates must have at least three years of related experience and pass the CRA examination. Before taking the four-hour exam, Martin completed a 12-week preparation course and one-day test review.
Martin said the certification helps ensure that professionals “understand research administration from proposal submission through closeout, especially in relation to federal policies and regulations. Now if a researcher asks me if they can charge an expense to their grant, I can more readily tell them if it’s allowable.”
The opportunity to gain certification is a sign that research administration is becoming a more established career path, Martin said. “It’s a growing field and the requirements are becoming more defined, which I think is great for individuals and the university.”
Martin joined SILS in April, having previously worked in the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) for the past four years. She came to UNC in 2005 after moving to Chapel Hill from NYC, where she enjoyed a successful career in media sales and marketing management.