About Research Administration

ERSO Research Administrators (RAs) help UC Berkeley Principal Investigators (PIs) focus on their groundbreaking and world-class research efforts by providing customized cradle-to-grave administrative and management support for their sponsored projects. RAs serve as the PIs first point of contact and they:

  • develop and/or oversee research proposals, awards, and transactions in contract and grant management
  • maintain records in compliance with institutional and sponsor policies
  • manage grant, contract, and award administrative work
  • act as liaisons between departments and collaborate with campus partners to administer financial and accounting services for sponsored awards


To be eligible for an ERSO RA, a PI must be either applying for externally sponsored funding or a research related gift OR already have an active sponsored award or research gift. Eligible faculty and/or their department may request research support by sending an email to: ersocgmgrs@erso.berkeley.edu.


The following list of services is divided into sections, but all services are provided by the assigned RA as listed here. Services provided to PIs who have an assigned ERSO RA will span the full life-cycle of an award. Having a single RA manage a PI’s portfolio from cradle-to-grave allows the PI and RA to build a relationship and shared understanding of the PI’s research funding portfolio and program requirements in accordance with UC Berkeley and the funding agency’s policies.

Pre Award - Proposals

  • Work with PI to review solicitation and establish proposal submission schedule/checklist as well as set expectations for receipt of technical and administrative materials, in accordance with ERSO proposal review deadlines.
    • More time is needed if there are subawards, cost share, or if it is a complex proposal.
    • PIs should communicate proposal plans with RA as early as possible.
  • Work with PI to ensure accurate and timely proposal submission in accordance with sponsor and university policies.
  • Provide administrative proposal development support including developing draft and final budget, budget justification, cost sharing and applicable documents (incl. budget, justification, and letters of commitment), subawards, etc. in accordance with sponsor and university cost policies.
  • Assist in proposal preparation as part of collaborative proposals with other institutions.
  • Assist with agency requested revisions, as needed.
  • Liaise with SPO/IAO, as needed.

Post Award - Fund Administration

  • Work with SPO/IAO and PI to review and understand award document terms and conditions and compliance issues, and remind PI of any unusual requirements and regulatory changes/issues.
  • Review the initial award budget once CGA completes set up and reallocate as needed.
  • Evaluate allowability of costs to ensure compliance with regulations related to sponsored projects. Should unallowable charges be allocated to a sponsored project, work with PI to implement resolution in a timely manner.
  • Liaise with PI and HR/Payroll to assist as needed with funding information for personnel paid on research funds.
  • Work with PI as needed to review and approve requisitions/vouchers in BearBuy, incl. confirming allowability, allocability, and obtaining PI approval on subaward invoices.
  • Prepare accurate and timely monthly financial reports, which includes reconciliation, projections, and management of encumbrances.
  • Work with PI to avoid overdrafts. Should overdrafts or deficit sweeps occur, implement resolution in a timely manner.
  • Assist faculty with summer salary decisions and approve funding.
  • Monitor cost-sharing and prepare cost share reports as required per the award terms and conditions.
  • Assist with effort reporting.
  • Assist with cost transfers and verify/review all expenditures to ensure accordance with fund terms, reasonability, and availability of funds.
  • Assist in subrecipient set up, monitoring, and reporting as required by the award terms and conditions.
  • Support and provide information to CGA for billing/invoicing and collections, as needed.
  • Work with PI and CGA to ensure timely closeouts, including extensions and completion of all interim and final financial and administrative reports.


  • Work with PI to ensure adherence to relevant university and sponsor policies and compliance with campus policies, grant award terms and conditions, etc.
  • Review accuracy of effort reporting and assist with timely completion.
  • Work with PI and Managers/Supervisors to assist central offices in responding to auditing requests.

Other Services

  • Assist in requesting exceptional PI/PD status, if needed.
  • Work with PI to submit and establish research gifts.
  • Work with PI and the Business Contract and Brand Protection (BCBP) Office to establish, execute, monitor, invoice (when necessary), and close out business contracts.
  • Maintain record retention.

Non-Routine Programmatic Assistance

Services listed below are beyond the scope of core research administration that facilitate and enhance research programs. These duties are not in the scope of the research administrator and are the responsibility of the department, center, faculty support administrator or other programmatic employees:

  • Seminars, workshops, travel and conference/event coordination
  • Clerical/administrative support to PIs, GSRs, visitors, etc.
  • Technical report production
  • Custom financial reports
  • Publication preparation
  • Post award/grants management services for administratively complex research projects, for example:
    • Large, complex programs such as research centers that entail assembling and managing teams of investigators from other institutions.
    • Projects which involve extensive data accumulation, analysis and reporting.
    • Projects that require making travel and meeting arrangements
    • Individual projects requiring project-specific database management; individualized graphics or manuscript preparation; human or animal protocols; and multiple project-related investigator coordination and communications.

Central Offices

Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) and Industry Alliances Office (IAO)

SPO and IAO are the authorized bodies on campus responsible for reviewing and approving proposals for submissions. They are also responsible for interpreting, negotiating, and accepting contracts and grants for sponsored projects funded by federal and state agencies, foundations, international, industry, and other public and private sources on behalf of the University. SPO and IAO also give departments approval to submit proposals directly to sponsors but only after they review them and when necessary/appropriate. Check out their website using the link above for more details.

Contracts and Grants Accounting (CGA)

CGA is primarily responsible for billing and cash collections throughout the life of the sponsored project as well as award closeout. They also prepare and submit financial reports to the funding Sponsor. They manage the internal Billings and Accounts Receivable system in UCOP's Financial Management System to assure data integrity. Check out their website using the link above for more details.

Business Contracts and Brand Protection (BCBP)

BCBP has the delegation to execute contracts associated with business relationships, non-common goods and services, strategic alliances, and copyrights. BCBP will only execute business contracts in accordance with the applicable University policies and procedures governing the particular transaction, including but not limited to Business and Finance Bulletins, University policies, and relevant guidelines issued by the appropriate functional areas within the UC Office of the President. Guidance to determine the appropriate contracting office can be found with the Contracting Office Decision Tree (https://bcbp.berkeley.edu/contracting-berkeley). Check out their website using the link above for more details.