The University of Central Florida was selected in 2009 by the
National Council of Research Administrators to start an accredited
and funded research administration program. Since the online Master
of Research Administration and the Graduate Certificate in
Research Administration were implemented in 2011, the program,
housed within the School of Public Administration, has come a long
The fourth cohort of MRA students is preparing to graduate in
August, just before the annual NCURA conference in Washington, D.C.
After our summer commencement, a total of 60 students will have
earned their master's degrees or graduate certificates in research
adminsitration from UCF.
UCF MRA students and alumni have made significant contributions
to their profession which include but are not limited to:
Developing an International collaborative project proposal that
received over $800,000 to build research and administration at a
research institution (Ward, 2015).
Helping a research team develop a program that obtained over $3
million in NIH funding in Uganda (Wakida, 2015).
Creating a strategic plan and becoming the director of a new
department to support research integrity (Strong, 2015).
Establishing a strategic plan and then becoming the director of
a community engagement program for a K-12 school district (Shoup,
Publishing in peer reviewed journals (Atkins, Miner, McClellan,
Presenting at regional and national professional conferences
(Lenfest, Torguson, Kuntz, Minor, Atkins, 2013; Ward, Mercer, 2015,
Khan, Vallery 2016; Saites, Blackwell, 2017).
Many MRA graduates have also earned promotions and salary
increases, professional service appointments and awards. We are
very proud of their successes and for their efforts
in moving the field of research administration forward.
The UCF MRA holistic curriculum was created with the input of a
national advisory board of 25 recognized experts in top tier
research organizations in the field of research administration, and
with the support of instructional design specialists. The program
boasts a 91 percent graduation rate, which is exceptional for
an online program.
If you are interested in joining this incredible group of
research administration scholars and have any questions, please
email Nasrin Lakhani, director of academic support services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quotes from Alumni
"This [program} exposes you to the full depth and breadth of
what research administration is-from contracts, grants and
compliance to federal and state -- as well as technology
transfer, intellectual property and all the sundry of parts that go
with a multi-million dollar research organization." --
John Miner, '13
"My MRA took me from having a sense of know-how to being
knowledgeable. I am able to provide better evidence of practice and
compliance, vet grant funding opportunities with a critical lens,
and administer public resources responsibly… my graduate degree in
research administration promoted my skills and
confidence." -- Tamara Shoup, '14
The MRA program is a comprehensive program that covers
all areas of research administration. The program teaches research
administrators how to operate in academic institutions, the
nonprofit arena, medical centers/hospitals and the industry
itself. Moreover, the program places research administrators into
the role of the researcher. My knowledge base has expanded and
my knowledge, skills and abilities have increased due to
the MRA program. -- April Heyward, '13
Program Director Jo Ann Smith and adjunct instructor Jennifer
Shambrook are the authors of "Future Trends: The Growing Diversity
of Research Administration Observed in a Master of Research
Program," the front-page article in the December 2015 issue of
NCURA Magazine. Click here to read our article on it.