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Sponsored Project Online Training

Sponsored Project Online Training (SPOT) is a series of online on-demand training offerings that resulted from a partnership between Sponsored Research and an advisory committee of representatives from various departments.

  • SPOT courses are short (20-to-30 minute) interactive videos that introduce learners to key concepts in the sponsored project lifecycle and are designed for those who are new to research administration.
  • Microlearning modules are short videos that address specific topics and help guide viewers through a process in more detail than a job aid.

All online offerings are presented via Northwestern’s digital learning platform, myHRLearn. Click on the course titles below to find out more and access registration links.


Introduction to Sponsored Research

Register now for Introduction to Sponsored Research

Learning objectives: 1) Define sponsored research, 2) Explain why institutions engage in sponsored research, 3) Identify the players involved in sponsored research, and 4) Identify the sponsored project lifecycle phases

A Beginner's Guide to Sponsored Project Solicitations

Register now for A Beginner’s Guide to Sponsored Project Solicitations

Learning objectives: 1) Demonstrate how a solicitation provides guidance for developing a sponsored project proposal; 2) Critically evaluate a solicitation for eligibility and feasibility; 3) Identify main components of a solicitation and essential structural information; 4) Discuss supplementary information and how to acquire it

Proposal Development and Submission

This course is temporarily unavailable while it is being updated.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the standard administrative components required for all proposals.
  2. Understand how to fulfill internal Northwestern University and sponsor-based requirements to create complete administrative components.
  3. Understand how proposals are reviewed by the Northwestern Sponsored Research office and are submitted to sponsors.

Proposal Budgets 101

Register now for Proposal Budgets 101

Learning objectives: 1) Define key terminology related to budgeting; 2) Explain how to calculate salary cost and fringe; 3) Explain how to chose the correct indirect rate and how to calculate indirect costs correctly; 4) Outline introductory strategies / process for budgeting

Proposal Budgets 102

Register now for Proposal Budgets 102

Learning objectives: 1) Explore in greater detail topics introduce in Proposal Budgets 101, including revising a budget, selecting the correct F&A rate based on project type, and budgeting for special direct cost categories; 2) Introduce additional key budget terms and concepts

How to Read an Award Document

Register now for How to Read an Award Document

Learning objectives: 1) Identify key information in an award document; 2) Recognize the type of an basic features of the funding mechanism that has been awarded; 3) Be able to use an award document to determine the actions required to fulfill obligations to the sponsor

Setting up an Award

Register now for Setting up an Award

Learning objectives: 1) Define terminology relevant to award set-up; 2) Verify that all required elements are in order so that an award can be set up; 3) Understand with which offices and resources you will need to interact throughout the set-up process

Budget Management Basics: Projections & Reconciliations

Register now for Projections and Reconciliations

Learning objectives: 1) Introduce the learner to relevant terminology and tools; 2) Provide an overview of the processes of budget projection and reconciliation; 3) Discuss the importance and relevance of budget management to administering a sponsored award

Award Closeout Basics

Register now for Award Closeout: Basics

Learning objectives: 1) Understand the responsibilities of different participants in the closeout process; 2) Be able to access and use tools that facilitate closeout; 3) Identify the actions and documentation required for closeout to occur

Microlearning Modules

The “No Tears NRSA”: How to Successfully Prepare and Submit and Individual Fellowship Application

Description: Learn how to complete the required administrative components and successfully develop and submit a “No Tears NRSA” application
Total viewing time: 13 minutes

Subcontract Invoicing
Description: Learn about the subcontract invoice routing process, the roles and responsibilities of those involved, and the required data elements on a subcontract invoice

Total viewing time: 9 minutes