Congratulations to BME’s Allison Morris on Earning Her CRA Designation

Certification enhances professional credentials

Congratulations to BME Research Administrator Senior Allison Morris, who recently received her Certified Research Administrator (CRA) designation from the Research Administrator Certification Council (RACC). The RACC certifies that an “individual, through experience and testing, has the fundamental knowledge necessary to be a professional research or sponsored programs administrator,” according to the organization’s website.

Morris, who has worked in the profession for three years, wanted to take the exam as soon as she reached that mark. ”One of the qualifications is that you have to be an RA for three years and have a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “I just hit my three years in September, and I wanted to take the test as soon as possible” The exam is offered twice a year–once in spring and once in fall.

Morris wanted to earn the CRA to demonstrate her commitment to professional development and lifelong learning. She said that studying for the test provided her with skills she can use in her job and also highlighted examples that she might one day need to use. To prepare for the exam, Morris participated in a study group called aiM Higher through U-M and another through Virginia Tech. “I highly recommend this for others who are interested in taking the exam,” she said. “Study groups and information sessions are really the bread and butter of success for anyone taking this test.” To maintain her designation, she will need to recertify every three years.

“You don’t have to have a CRA to be a good RA,” Morris added. “Going through the CRA process, though, helps you to know a variety of things that you might not deal with on a daily basis, but might one day be useful. I think that going through the experience and having the CRA might give someone a little more confidence when dealing with an extraordinary situation. I also want our faculty to be proud of our staff, so I hope the CRA brings a higher level of credibility and reflects well on our department and the university.”