The STAR RA Pre-Award 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 pre-award 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.

The workshop will take place over the course of five weeks from August 26-September 27, 2024 via Zoom. More information will be sent to managers and enrolled participants as it becomes available. To enroll, managers must complete the following form for the participant. Please contact Cynthia McKenna ( with any questions.

About Bootcamp

The STAR Program provides a 5-week online intensive bootcamp training for pre-award processes. 20 hours per week must be reserved to participate in the program.   

Eligibility: Bootcamp is open to RAs in all career stages. A minimum 2-months of service for those new to research administration is recommended prior to attending. 

Pre-Award Bootcamp includes the following topics:

Assist,, S2S, grants.govProfessional CommunicationExport Controls
Budget BasicsProposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)NSF Proposal Preparation
Calculating OverheadRMS on-demand, 101 & 102NIH 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 & GuidelinesProposal PreparationUnderstanding Technology Transfer
Finding FundingOverview 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 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 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.