REACH Program

Overview of the REACH Program

Under the direction and management of the University Research Administration Training Team (URATT), the Research Excellence in Administration Certificate at Harvard (REACH) Program is an interactive and engaging certificate program specifically designed for Harvard research administrators and other personnel engaged in assisting in the management of sponsored funds.

The REACH Program has three levels: Foundations, Intermediate, and Advanced. To learn more about each level of REACH, including the selection process, course schedules, and more, please follow the links below. 

Please note: each level of REACH is not a prerequisite for the next; for example, a qualified individual can enroll in Intermediate without completing Foundations, or enroll in Advanced without ever taking Intermediate. 

Information Sessions

Information session will be held in August. Exact dates and time are TBD. Please register on the OSP calendar:

REACH Program Online Application Form

 **Please note: prospective candidates are allowed to attend up to two Advanced sessions before they officially apply to the program, and those sessions will count toward your certificate. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Selection Process

Each level has its own specific application requirements; please see each level's individual page for details. Generally, across all programs, applicants will be asked to complete an application form and a short essay. An admissions committee will review these applications and each applicant will be informed via of admission status. The goal of the admissions committee will be to create a balanced cohort with University-wide representation.

Local REACH Program Contacts

For more information about the REACH Program, we encourage you to contact your local REACH Representative. Here is a list of the local REACH contacts:

Tristan Burke, Harvard University Information Technology
Jessica McCann, Harvard Kennedy School
Helen Page, Faina Thompson, Graduate School of Education
Patrick Fitzgerald, Melissa Miranda, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Eileen Nielsen, Diane Standring, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Rady Rogers, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Roseann Luongo, Amy Maltzan, Katelyn Lippman, Central Administration and all other Schools
Suzanne Higgins, Ivona Jukic, Samantha Speyer, Harvard Medical School


Q. Which level of REACH is right for me?

A. Broadly speaking, your years of experience in research administration are a good guideline. Foundations requires 0-3 years, Intermediate 3-5, and Advanced 6 or more. The starting numbers (0, 3, and 6 years respectively) generally serve as absolute minimums, however we do review each applicant on a case-by-case basis.

Beyond minimum experience requirements, only you can decide which level or levels are best - we've had several cases where administrators with many years of experience have completed Foundations and found it very useful. Each level has different teaching styles (e.g. case-study based vs. lecture), time commitments, and application requirements. Those serious about applying to REACH are encouraged to carefully read the relevant course descriptions and webpages, attend information sessions, and send any unanswered questions to

Q. Do I need to be a Harvard staff member to apply to this program?

A. Yes, you need to be an active Harvard staff member to apply and participate in this program. To qualify for Foundations and Intermediate, your official Harvard start date must be at least one month before the application deadline of the cohort you wish to apply. For example, if the Foundations Fall deadline is August 30th, to qualify for enrollment your official Harvard start date must be no later than July 30th of that year. 

Q. Will completion of this program mean I will get a promotion, raise, or bonus?

A. While participation in this program will provide you with an excellent opportunity for professional and personal growth and may give you the competitive edge needed to advance your career, successful completion of this program will not automatically result in a promotion, raise, or bonus.

Q. Is completion of the Foundations program a prerequisite for the Intermediate program, or is Intermediate a prerequisite for Advanced?

A. No, the levels of REACH are not prerequisite to one another. For example, a qualified applicant could apply directly to REACH Advanced without ever applying to or completing Intermediate or Foundations. Qualified participants are welcome to complete as few or as many levels of REACH as they desire. While not common, there have been cases where individuals have completed Intermediate and have then chosen to complete Foundations afterwards. A new application does have to be submitted for each level. 

Q. Why is there an application?

A. The application process allows us to identify interested candidates with a need for this training, assess their commitment to the program, and optimally balance the cohorts with University-wide representation.

Q. Are there pre-class assignments or homework each week?

A. It varies by level - Foundations has regular pre-work and homework, as well as two midterm projects and a final assessment. Intermediate has journal entries due after each class, and a final paper due at the end of the semester. Advanced has journal entries due after each seminar a candidate attends as well as a capstone project. The program is designed to effectively immerse participants in grant administration and therefore we anticipate learning to take place both inside and outside of the classroom. For a side-by-side summary of each level and the respective requirements, please see the chart here: 

Q. I have some questions about the program, who should I contact?

A. Please contact your local REACH representative , or and we can direct you to the appropriate person to speak with.

Q. Will these courses be held during the day or evening?

A.These courses will be held during the work day (weekdays between 8:30am and 4:30pm). Please see the individual webpages for the current course schedules:

Q. If I applied to the REACH Foundations or REACH Intermediate programs during the Pilot offering, do I need to re-do the application if I apply now?

A. Yes. For the Fall 2012 and future cohorts, we have moved to a new, streamlined online application. Please feel free to 'recycle' your previous resume and personal statement, but you will need to complete the rest of the new application online.

Q. If I did not complete the REACH Foundations program, am I still eligible to apply for the REACH Intermediate program? If I did not complete Foundations or Intermediate, am I still eligible to apply for REACH Advanced?

A. Of course! The levels of REACH are independent curricula, and are not prerequisites for one another. We welcome prospective candidates to complete as many or as few levels as is best suited for their career development needs.

See also: REACH