Research Administration Certificate - 988

Mohawk College Certificate
Business professionals in a meeting

Research Administration is a complex and interesting field with roles spanning hospitals, universities, colleges and non-profit research organizations. Positions in Research Administration range from research facilitation to clinical trials, research ethics to laboratory/project management and more. Designed to develop effective research administrators, this program provides opportunities to learn new skill and gain understanding of key areas of research administration across industries to help you move forward in your career.

In partnership with the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA), Mohawk College’s Research Administration College Certificate program is aimed at pre-management research administrators or those planning a career in research administration. The program covers core components of research administration – the funding environment, ethics, integrity and governance, funding proposals, project management, financial management, and contracts and reporting. Completion of this program allows you to gain recognition for your existing skills and develop new areas of knowledge and experience.

Led by industry professionals, courses are offered in a flexible, part-time, online and interactive format that may include face-to-face live video conferencing, allowing you to learn in an engaging environment without interrupting your current employment.

View courses available this term under Program of Studies.

Through our partnership with CARA, all students will also have the opportunity to work with a professional mentor.

To review admission requirements for this program, and to apply, please view the Admissions & Registrations tab.

The Certificate in Research Administration will:

  • Formally acknowledge the students’ competency in research administration
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn new skills and knowledge
  • Recognize students' prior skills and expertise as well as those directly gained through the program.
  • Connect students to experienced mentors to help build your network and gain industry insights.


  • Flexible, fully-online program delivery
  • Innovative teaching technologies to enhance interaction with fellow students and faculty
  • Project and problem-based learning elements
  • Collaborate with fellow students on projects

Professional Mentor

All students will have the opportunity to identify a Professional Mentor. This could be someone from the student’s own institution or a different institution. The role of the Professional Mentor is to:

  • Provide  guidance, support and encouragement throughout the program
  • Help build the student's professional network

Faculty Bios

Angela Zeno

Angela Zeno

Angela Zeno, Manager of Research Accounting at York University and Treasurer of CARA, is a long-time leader in CARA’s finance community and has been recognized for her achievements in welcoming new colleagues to CARA, co-developing conferences workshops for fellow finance experts, and presenting research finance webinars to our membership. Angela is a graduate of the University of Toronto and has a CPA, CGA designation. Angela is a networking catalyst among research finance professionals and she has helped created a collegial, dynamic community of her peers.

Deborah Zornes

Deborah Zornes

As director of research services at Royal Roads University, Dr. Deborah Zornes works with faculty to develop high quality research proposals. Zornes has 20 years’ experience in research administration and has also taught research proposal development for five years. Her research focuses on the role of the university in society, research impact and research evaluation. She is active in three research projects: Increasing effectiveness in sustainability research: A comparative analysis of applied and transdisciplinary research projects led by Brian Belcher; the Evaluative Study of Action Research (ESAR) project led by Eileen Piggot-Irvine; and the Research Administration as a Profession project. Zornes is the current President of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA).

Frances Chandler

Frances Chandler

Dr. Frances Chandler was most recently the Director of Ch’nook Indigenous Education at the UBC Sauder School of Business and prior to that position was the Director of Research Support Services and Associate Director of Research at Brock University.

Her tenure at UBC ended in her retirement in spring 2019 after she received the school's Lesley Wilkins award. Frances is a published researcher who holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree in Urban and Regional Planning (BES), a Bachelor of Education degree (BEd), a Master of Arts in Social Welfare Policy (MA), and a PhD in education with a focus on policy and leadership in higher education. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP) and an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) who has lived in Northern and Southern Ontario, Ghana, China, Kenya, and Vancouver. She has also been employed in the community planning, social work, and grant writing fields and taught college and university courses. In addition to her paid work, Frances has won awards for her volunteerism in Ontario and China, and sat on several boards of non-profit agencies.

Katie Porter.jpg

Katie Porter

Katie Porter is Director of Research Administration at Hamilton Health Sciences, Canada’s second-largest hospital network. Her portfolio includes Ethics, Research Development, Human Resources, Research Contracts, Business Development, Research Infrastructure as well as the HHS Research Insurance Corporation. In the 2018 fiscal year, HHS conducted research valued at $200 million dollars. She holds an Executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University, and has developed programming for and taught at both McMaster University and Mohawk College. Her book Steer Your Career is used as a textbook at the University of South Central Florida’s Master of Research Administration degree. Her contributions to the research administration profession have been recognized with awards from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators, the Society of Research Administrators International, and, most recently, the Association of Research Managers and Administrators awarded her the Outstanding Contribution to Research Management and Administration Award. An expert in administering both applied and clinical research, Katie’s leadership has been described as influential and collaborative, connecting the vision to the team.

Robyn Roscoe

Robyn Roscoe

Robyn is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15 years of experience in the management of large health research projects, and over 20 years experience in project management in the scientific and technical fields. She is currently Director of Management and Administration for the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre, responsible for project, finance and operations management. She previously worked in the environment sector and oil & gas industry as a project manager, operations specialist and environmental manager. She holds a BSc from the University of Manitoba. Since 2004, she has been delivering training workshops and presentations throughout Canada, reaching more than 2,000 trainees and professionals looking to develop and expand their management and leadership skills. In 2011, she started her own company, Lyric Management, to deliver training, event management and career consulting. In 2016, she received the Research Management Excellence Award from the Canadian Association of Research Administrators, and in 2017 she received the CARA Innovation Award. These awards recognize exceptional, creativity and innovative research management and outstanding contributions and dedication to the profession nationally and internationally.

Sarah Lampson

Sarah Lampson

Sarah was appointed CARA ED in 2013 after more than a decade as a research administrator. With the support of the CARA board and many other great volunteers, Sarah has brought many new programs and initiatives to CARA and looks forward to another year of increased services to our members. Sarah previously worked in various progressive roles at McMaster University, Associated Medical Services, University Health Network and Hamilton Health Sciences. Sarah co-authored the books The A-Z Guide to Research Contract Review and Steer Your Career: A Research Administrator's Manual for Mapping Success which are in use at 450 institutions globally. Sarah has received national and international recognition for her contributions to research administration.

Donna Walker

Donna Walker

Donna Walker is the Director, Research Financial Reporting and Audit at University of Toronto, and has been with the University since 2012. In her capacity as Director she is responsible for financial reporting and audits of all research funding received at University of Toronto. Her office also works with other Central Divisional units at University of Toronto in the administration of research grants, and lends support to Principal Investigators in the financial administration of their awards.  Donna is an active member in CARA and has presented both at National & Regional Conferences as well as webinars relating to the financial administration of research funding.  She enjoys working with colleagues at other institutions to develop best practices in financial administration and strengthen the networking relationship of financial administrators across Canada.

Program Contact
Continuing Education Business
  • Prospective students should be aware that this specialized program is tailored towards current and aspiring research administrators
  • To reserve a spot in the program, please email your resume and a brief expression of interest, explaining why you want to take the program, to
  • Once you've received official acceptance into the program you must become a CARA (opens in new window) member before registering for courses.

The program of studies displayed below applies to students starting the program in the 2019/20 academic year. Students who began in other academic years may require different courses to be eligible to graduate. If you have questions regarding a strategy for completion contact Continuing Education -  Interdisciplinary, Creative, Media and Business

Click on the Course number or Course title for more information on each course.

Visit the Mohawk College Bookstore Textbook Search (opens in new window) for information on textbooks.

This entire Program of Studies has 6 courses and courses are approximately 5-10 hours of work per week. Each term a minimum of two courses are available for registration. Courses that are currently not available (N/A) for registration will be offered in the future semesters. Click on the Course Schedule tab to review upcoming course offerings.

Mandatory Courses

Register Course number Course title Course Hours
Course description: Identify relevant stakeholders and potential collaborators. Analyze and align funding requirements with appropriate funding opportunities. Evaluate proposal requirements such as: human resources, project timelines, equipment, research outcomes, reporting, and budget requirements. Develop effective funding proposals.
Credits: 3
Course description: Define the benefits of having a contract in place, including considerations of intellectual propriety and business development impacts. Analyze the main types of contracts that are relevant to a research administrator and choose appropriate contract option. Interpret the key terms and conditions used in research funding contracts.
Credits: 3
Course description: Examine the life cycle of a research grant, as well as processes and procedures used to setup and manage project finances, including consideration of collaborators/stakeholders. Devise a cost recovery plan in order to achieve impact on the sustainability of research. Organize, process, and record expenditure claims and invoices. Produce budget reconciliations and compare financial status of a project to projected. Analyze the impact of external factors on the project cost.
Credits: 3
Course description: Explain how research institutions generate/receive funding. Outline the main private and public sector funding streams available in Canada. Analyze research funding trends and issues in a Canadian context.
Credits: 3
Course description: Examine the role of the research administrator in creating a culture for the responsible conduct of research. Prepare for ethics approvals for research, management of project data and information; privacy and confidentiality; legal and institutional requirements for reporting, financial management, conflict of interest.
Credits: 3
Course description: Apply essential principles of project management into research administration. Investigate scope development, risk assessment, schedule and cost management, communications, human resources and team development. Develop tools and skills to manage administrative projects as well as provide input and support for research project development and execution.
Credits: 3

The list of scheduled course offerings for this program is below. Please note that all offerings are subject to change. Not every course is offered every semester, so please consider this schedule when planning your academic path.

Program Length

Approximately 1 to 2 years
** subject to change

~ $310 per course + CARA Membership. Most courses don't require textbooks

Intakes Fall, Winter, Spring
Application Process Students must apply and be accepted prior to registering
Course Load 5 to 10 hours per week, per course


Courses may be taken in any order.

Course Code Course Name

Spring 2020 

(May to Aug)

Fall 2020

(Sep to Dec)

Winter 2021

(Jan to Apr)

Spring 2021 

(May to Aug)

Fall 2021

(Sep to Dec)

Winter 2022

(Jan to Apr)

Spring 2022 

(May to Aug)

Fall 2022

(Sep to Dec)

RSCH10010 Introduction to Canadian Research Funding Environment   MyCanvas     MyCanvas     MyCanvas
BUSN10176 Contracts and Reporting MyCanvas MyCanvas     MyCanvas     MyCanvas
BUSN10175 Developing Funding Proposals   MyCanvas   MyCanvas     MyCanvas  
RSCH10012 Research Project Management MyCanvas   MyCanvas       MyCanvas  
MGMT10155 Financial Management in Research Administration     MyCanvas     MyCanvas    
RSCH10011 Research Ethics, Integrity and Governance MyCanvas     MyCanvas   MyCanvas    
Getting Started

Login to MyMohawk
MyMohawk is the college portal used to access your student account information, email, grades and more. Your username and password can be found on the Continuing Education Acknowledgement of Registration & Student Account form that was sent to you after you registered for your course. Visit the Getting Started - MyMohawk Guide for step-by-step instructions.

Access Mohawk Email
On the MyMohawk Home screen you will see a link to Mohawk email. Visit the Getting Started – Mohawk Email Guide to learn how to set up your account on your devices.

Access MyCanvas
On the MyMohawk Home screen you will see a link to MyCanvas, Mohawk College’s Learning Management System. Visit the Getting Started - MyCanvas Guide for step-by-step instructions. Please note your course will not appear in MyCanvas until the scheduled start date.

Find your Textbook
Use the Mohawk College Textbook Search to find your course materials.

Explore Student Services available         

Online learning courses provide you with the opportunity to learn online, anywhere, at your convenience!  You can study at home or at work - wherever you like, whenever you like, within a predetermined time frame.

Courses are delivered over a set time period and are led by instructors. Most courses do not require that you be online at a certain time of day or night, but that you are active in the course during the schedule. There are scheduled start and end dates and you cannot start courses late nor finish early.

Visit the MyCanvas Course page for registration information and a step-by-step guide to get started. Please note your course will not appear in MyCanvas until the scheduled start date.

"I enrolled in the Certificate in Research Administration Program to gain a better understanding of how the different departments in a research institution work together. Having only two years of experience as a Research Officer, I knew there would be a lot for me to learn. I can say I was absolutely right, and I’m even finding myself reading about subjects I thought I was familiar with and discovering there was still a lot I didn’t know or didn’t understand properly”.

Macarena Pampillo

"The courses that I have taken so far in the Research Administration Certificate program have been very interesting and exceedingly useful. Through discussions with my peers in the program, I have learned so much about the topic areas as well as how common issues are handled at other institutions. The instructors have been really well organized, engaged, and responsive to suggestions. I have also very much appreciated the involvement of international students in the program. They have brought a different and interesting perspective to the discussion topics. Overall, I am very happy with the way the program is organized, the course content and relevant assignments, the instructors, and the Mohawk College elearn platform."

Jacqueline Dockray

“Excellent course, practical content and instructors are very knowledgeable & quick to respond to any questions.”

Toni Tidy

"The Research Administration program offered through CARA/Mohawk College is a wonderful learning opportunity for both new and existing administrators in the profession. Research is unique, complex and always evolving. This program offers administrators the knowledge needed to understand all aspects of research administration from both the pre award and post award side. The online aspects of this course has been beneficial in providing flexibility in time management. As a working mom, I found this valuable to be able to listen to lectures and read the material when it best suited my schedule. In the short time frame I have been enrolled in the program, I already have gained a greater understanding of the challenges and complexities institutions face in the research environment. I look forward to learning more throughout the duration of the courses."

Simonette Wood

"Taking part in the Certificate in Research Administration has already been a great help in my current role. The applied nature of the assignments allow me to use them in my daily work, and relate my work to the course material. In addition, the coursework provides the opportunity to explore all areas of research and aspects of research administration, which I hope will be a resource for future career opportunities."

Theodore Konya

"Research Administration Certificate program is an excellent match to my interest, as I am interested in a career in research development. The course contents are highly valuable in terms of building upon my expertise. Furthermore, this program provides a platform to communicate and share knowledge and experience with the professionals in diverse institutions in Canada, a fantastic opportunity to learn from each other. This program is doing wonders to me - I commit to contribute to the CARA community and wish success of the program."

Sanjukta Choudhury

"I enrolled in the Research Administration Certificate Program to increase the depth and breadth of my knowledge in research administration. I have been very pleased with the program so far.  The instructors are very knowledgeable, the course assignments are relevant and practical, the readings build on the lecture material, and the discussions not only encourage you to think about processes and procedures from different perspectives, but also provide a great opportunity to share and connect with colleagues across Canada and around the world."

Nicole Balliet

Learning Outcomes

The graduate will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Explain how research institutions generate and receive funding.
  2. Analyze research funding trends and issues in a Canadian context.
  3. Design a system/program that provides effective administrative support for legal, regulatory and ethical compliance.
  4. Align funding requirements with appropriate funding opportunities.
  5. Compose funding proposals with key considerations including: budgeting, human resources, financial management, reporting and impact enhancement/commercialization of research.
  6. Plan for human resource considerations that are relevant to multiple phases of research, including: proposal development, project life-cycle, and post-project.
  7. Manage detailed project budgets that are aligned with project timelines and total costing.
  8. Analyze the main types of contracts that are relevant to a research administrator and choose appropriate contract option.
  9. Design internal audit mechanisms to support external audits.

*This information can be helpful for your resume or for interview talking points in this field.


Career Opportunities

Work in a research administrator role at hospitals, universities, colleges and non-profit research organizations. Positions can include:

  • Contracts Specialist

  • Ethics Officer

  • Grants Officer

  • Research Project Manager

  • Research Coordinator

  • Research Compliance Officer

  • Research Grants Facilitator

  • Research Accounting Analyst

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website:

Fees and Pricing

The cost of the Certificate in Research Administration consists of the course fees, CARA membership and any additional learning resources.

CARA Membership: $175/year

Some minor additional learning resources may be required

Cost: ~$310/course + $175 for CARA membership = ~$2,000


The Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) has a bursary available through Mohawk College which is managed at the College and an internal bursary fund the association manages. The internal bursary fund is the Dr. Frances Chandler Bursary Program which provides an opportunity for CARA to recognize and support the efforts of members who are advancing their own knowledge and the profession itself through their participation in the program. The bursaries may be used to fund registration fees, CARA membership and books. To apply to this fund, please return the application (opens in new window) to sarahlampsoncara [at] If you have any questions or wish to apply verbally, please email Sarah Lampson.