The STAR RA Bootcamp program provides intensive training in research administration processes allowing new RAs to quickly and accurately contribute to their respective departments.

Bootcamp provides high-level training, focusing on topics that are applicable university-wide. Departments are expected to provide training for their specific processes and procedures in tandem with bootcamp.

Bootcamp additionally promotes team building and development of a support network by making connections within the cohort and with colleagues and subject matter experts across both campuses.

Special thanks to the STAR Advisory Board and to our pilot participants for their help in developing this initiative.

Click here to see a list of RA Bootcamp graduates.


Registration for the fall RA Bootcamp is now closed. Please email Cynthia McKenna ( to join the waitlist.


About Bootcamp

The STAR Program provides a 6-week intensive bootcamp training for pre-award processes. 15-20 hours per week must be reserved to participate in the program.  A post-award pilot is currently in development. 

Eligibility: Participants must be new to research administration, serving in their roles for a year or less. 

Pre-Award Bootcamp includes the following topics:

Assist,, S2S, grants.govProfessional CommunicationSTAR 115: Export Controls
Budget BasicsProposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)STAR 216: NSF Proposal Preparation
Calculating OverheadRMS on-demand, 101 & 102STAR 217: NIH Proposal Preparation
ComplianceSchool PI Eligibility PoliciesStaying Organized in Research Administration
DA Roles & ResponsibilitiesSTAR 100: Research Lifecycle, On-boardingTerminology/Acronyms in Research Administration
Federal and Institutional Policies & GuidelinesSTAR 105: Proposal PreparationUnderstanding Technology Transfer
Finding FundingSTAR 107: Overview of Outgoing SubawardsUniform Guidance

At the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Submit a grant
  • Be familiar with costing principles
  • Create a budget
  • Understand University submission requirements
  • Understand University policies governing proposal submissions

Additionally, participants will:

  • Meet the minimum requirements of a Grant Assistant job classification
  • Earn 20 credit hours towards completion of the STAR Certificate.

By the end of the program, new RAs will have gained exposure to the breadth of pre-award requirements and will have developed enhanced skills, allowing them to make greater contributions in their departments/divisions.

Participant Expectations

  • Protect 15-20 hours per week to keep up with the curriculum.
  • Attend each day’s training, all live meetings, and complete all homework assignments in a timely manner.
  • Actively participate during live meetings and group exercises.

Hiring Manager Expectations

  • Provide supplementary training specific to the area. The bootcamp will not cover departmental policies and processes.
  • Provide department application examples (either recently completed or newly received) that coincide with weekly exercises.
  • Protect 15-20 hours each week for the participant to attend live meetings and successfully complete program requirements (create a support back-up plan). Participants should not be asked to take vacation or work overtime in order to participate.
[My employee] has already hit the ground running and is currently supporting several proposal submissions.

I couldn’t imagine starting this job WITHOUT this program!

The networking was my favorite part. It is essential to have peers to bounce ideas off in this industry.


The next STAR RA Bootcamp, Pre-Award will be held September 12-October 21, 2022. Registration for the fall RA Bootcamp is now closed. Please email Cynthia McKenna ( to join the waitlist.