PAMC expectations on reporting relationships and training requirements for staff performing research administration duties
Revised 11/22/2019

To communicate expectations related to reporting relationships and training requirements for staff who perform research administration duties* in the Campus schools, centers, and institutes.

Grant awards are made to the institution and not the individual. It is the expectation of the institution that all staff with research administration responsibilities support compliance with sponsor, federal, and university regulations in an environment that is free from actual or perceived undue influence. Individuals with research administration duties should have a collaborative but independent relationship with the investigators they support. Accordingly, they should have a reporting line to an administrative leader (e.g., a department business manager) who can ensure objectivity in the performance of these duties and that these individuals are appropriately trained. For scientific staff that have a role in research administration, this guidance applies to the administrative (not programmatic/scientific) aspects of a staff member’s assigned research administration duties; this requirement does not remove the historical reporting relationship of the staff member to the faculty investigator for purposes of programmatic/scientific oversight. Department business managers and unit administrative leaders (or other supervisors of grant administrators) should have a secondary reporting line to their unit’s finance and administration dean/director in addition to their primary reporting line to a faculty chair or director.

Each staff member with research administration duties (including those in non-RACI classified positions) must receive an annual notice that outlines the minimum expectations of their administrative role. The memo should include:

  1. Detailed information related to research administration duties and reporting lines. The reporting line for research administration duties must be to an administrative leader who can ensure objectivity in the administration of research in the unit;
  2. Information about the annual performance assessment (using the Duke Performance Evaluation and Planning [PEP] tool) completed by the staff member's administrative supervisor. If the staff member has a dual reporting relationship with a faculty investigator, the faculty member and administrative supervisor should both contribute to the staff PEP and co-sign the review;
  3. Required training expectations appropriate and relevant to the research administration duties performed;
  4. A defined escalation path for reporting issues or concerns related to research administration.

Employees new to research administration or Duke should receive a notice at the time of hire. For existing employees, updated notices should be shared as part of the annual PEP process or when there are significant changes to duties.

Sample annual notice (for use by unit administrative leaders)
Revised 11/21/2019

TO: [research administrator]
FROM: [administrative leader name]
DATE: [date]
RE: Annual notice of reporting lines, training requirements, and support resources for staff performing research administration duties

As a Duke employee performing research administration duties, it is expected that you have appropriate supervision, training, and support required for the work. This letter serves to communicate those expectations.

Reporting Relationships: For that portion of your work that involves research administration, you will report to an administrative supervisor. If you have other duties that do not involve research administration, you will continue to report separately for that work.
    Administrative supervisor: [administrative leader name]
    Other supervisor (if applicable): [other supervisor name]

Training Requirements: You are expected to complete the training/certification described in the requirements table below and maintain this training/certification as long as your assignment involves research administration duties.

Performance Evaluation: Your annual performance evaluation will be completed by your administrative leader using the Duke Performance Evaluation and Planning (PEP) tool. If you have a dual reporting relationship with a faculty investigator, the faculty member may contribute to the staff PEP and will co-sign the document with your administrative leader.

Reporting Concerns: Duke requires its staff, faculty, and contractors to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and related Duke policies and procedures, and requires the prompt reporting of situations in which individuals suspect that violations may have occurred. Duke wants you to speak up when words, behaviors, or actions are not consistent with our values. Reportable concerns include, but are not limited to, criminal activity, harassment, suspected fraud, compliance violations, and research misconduct. Other breaches of Duke's Statement on Values and Culture, the institutional Code of Conduct, or Duke Health's statement on Integrity in Action should also be reported. Retaliation for reporting your concerns is strictly prohibited.

Reporting options:

  • Contact 1-800-826-8109 to report your concern confidentially to a third-party administrator.
  • Duke's Office of General Counsel, Duke Human Resources, or the Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance. These resources are available during regular business hours for confidential advice and consultation.
  • You may also consult Duke's Human Resource website ( for information about this policy (Duke HR Compliance Policy - Number 04.13).

Please feel free to directly reach out to me if you have questions about anything contained in this letter. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have


[administrative leader name]
[administrative leader title]

Training Requirements

Course/Program Name
e.g., RAA certification, Payroll or Financial training classes, etc.