REACH Foundations 101 Program

Foundations 101 of Research Administration: Level 1

*The REACH Programs are currently on hiatus. Please contact for any questions and additional training resources.*



To provide a comprehensive understanding of the administration of sponsored research projects at Harvard from proposal to closeout, and to introduce key resources for the further development of participant knowledge and expertise.

Required Experience

0-3 years in research administration or a related field, must be a current Harvard employee to apply


Online Course/Web Conferences

Time Commitment

The program consists of two modules: Pre-Award (4 sessions) and Post-Award (6 sessions). Each session is approximately 3 hours per week of work. Each session will be a mix of virtual, instructor led sessions, pre-work, and post-session assessments. Check the OSP calendar and the Information Sessions section of the REACH webpage for registration and other information. 


This course will be conducted online via live web conference


Pre-work, post-session assessments


Fall, September-December


Fall app deadline August (Fall 2020 application deadline Friday August 24th.)

Application components

Application form, Recommendation form, Sponsored Systems access, Resume, Personal Statement 


Successful Foundations 101 participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the administration of sponsored research projects at Harvard from proposal to closeout. Participants will also be able to identify key resources for the development of their knowledge and expertise, and know where to find appropriate contacts when questions or problems arise. 

Sessions are held online via live web conference. Sessions will utilize technology to maximize interactivity and discussion. Courses are instructed by a rotating group of subject matter experts that are current Harvard employees. The instructor rotation ensures that those with the most expertise and hands-on experience are teaching relevant topics, and it also allows students the opportunity to meet and network with standout Harvard employees across six Harvard schools. 

Ideal candidates will have experience with Harvard systems and procedures required to process and approve transactions, a working knowledge of Excel, an understanding of the Harvard Chart of Accounts, and will have taken the Overview of Sponsored Projects Administration one-day workshop. 

Selection Process

Current Harvard employees with 0-3 years of research administration or related experience are eligible to apply. Only online applications are accepted. All applications are reviewed by an admission committee, and each applicant will be informed via email of admission status. 

The goal of the admissions committee is to select dedicated, enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates, and to create a balanced cohort with University-wide representation. For more information on the application process, please see the Application section. For a list of important admissions dates and deadlines, please see the Admissions Timeline section below.

Admissions Timeline

Fall Cohort

  • August 10, 2020: Applications launched
  • August 24, 2020: Applications due
  • September 8, 2020: Decisions sent out. Student statements of commitment and confidentiality statements due one week before the first class
  • Mid-September: Classes begin
  • Late November/Early December: Classes end


Prospective candidates must do the following before beginning their application:

  • Meet with their manager to discuss
    • their intent to apply,
    • the time commitment involved, and
    • how to obtain the required sponsored systems access.
  • Obtain verbal support from their manager for participation in the program if accepted
  • Your manager’s endorsement is required for participation in REACH, and it is the sole responsibility of the applicant to obtain his or her manager’s consent. By completing/submitting the application form, you pledge that your manager understands and is comfortable with the time commitment involved and fully endorses your participation in the program. After your application is completed, if we find that your manager is not aware of your application or participation, or that he/she does not endorse you, your application and/or candidacy will immediately be revoked.
  • Have a conversation with the individual who will act as their Recommender in order to
    • indicate the intent to apply
    • obtain his/her verbal consent,
    • inform him/her that he/she should expect to receive an email link to the recommendation form on the day you submit the application
    • Your Recommender will not have to create a SlideRoom account to complete the form.


Complete the online application through the REACH SlideRoom website. You will need to create a SlideRoom account (providing your name/email address) in order to complete an application; this is a one-time process and personal information will not be shared by SlideRoom. Your SlideRoom account can be used to check on the status of your application as well as to apply for any other REACH programs in the future.

Applications are online only - paper applications are not accepted. All forms are electronic, and all notices and recommendation forms are automated for your convenience. Once you begin, the application will guide you through the necessary steps. Please see the Application Components section for details.


Current Harvard employees with 0-3 years of research administration or related experience are eligible to apply. This course is designed to be Harvard-specific, and we cannot accept applications from outside the Harvard community. New Harvard Employees: your start date must be at least one month before the application deadline for you to be eligible for REACH.

Reapplication Policy

We do accept re-applications. Approved applicants that are declined due to space limitations are generally given the option to defer to the next semester's offering without needing to reapply. 

Application Components

To aid prospective applicants with their planning, below is a list of each part of the Foundations application, along with a brief description. Once the online application form is begun, it will automatically guide applicants through the necessary steps. An applicant can complete the form over multiple sessions. As a reminder, the application is online only.

  • Application form - Demographic info, sponsored systems experience, excel experience, training history
  • Recommendation form - Series of short answer questions regarding the applicant, contact info
  • Personal Statement - 500 words or less describing your interest in the program
  • Resume - Most recent version including your current role
  • Sponsored Systems Access - Manager agrees to grant necessary levels of access to GMAS and OBI Grants Management, student commits to taking steps/contacting appropriate individuals