The Office for Research Administration’s primary purpose is to support the Emory research enterprise. By providing excellent service and technical expertise in proposal development and support, sponsored programs administration, and compliance requirements, ORA facilitates research efforts across campus. The ORA responsibilities extend from helping researchers to identify funding opportunities, to negotiating contracts with external parties and financial administration for ongoing projects.


The mission of the Office of Research Administration (ORA) is to provide collaborative administrative support, efficient systems, and technical expertise to facilitate scholarship, research, and discovery within the Emory community from inception through application and dissemination.


The Office for Research Administration consists of multiple individual offices, each of which retains specialized expertise in specialized areas of the research process to facilitate overall success. These may be categorized by their functions, which include compliance, contracting, finance, and operations.

ORA Org Chart


Office of Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs (ORCRA): The Office of Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs supports research compliance functions around risk assessment, oversight, training, and monitoring. ORCRA is responsible for facilitating the work for research misconduct, research conflicts of interest, export controls, regulatory non-compliance, FOIA requests, and regulatory site visits. Their efforts ensure that the extensive research mission of Emory is upheld with the utmost integrity and attention to relevant mandates.

 Export Control (ECO): The ECO is responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring, and coordination of Emory’s Export Control Compliance Program. This includes supporting research and academic departments related to the sharing of information and materials with international collaborators. They also provide assistance to business units in assessing obligations as related to compliance with US export control regulations. This may include developing compliance procedures, tools and/or providing implementation oversight. 

 Conflict of Interest Review Office (COI): COI provides oversight, systemic safeguards, and regulatory expertise in managing individual and institutional financial interests that could impact research and scholarly activities. In doing so, we support Emory investigators and scholars in maintaining integrity in their research efforts. 

 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC): IACUC office has the responsibility of ensuring the proper care, use, and humane treatment of animals used in research, teaching, and testing. They provide technical and administrative support, along with regulatory expertise to researchers across campus. They coordinate with the faculty-led IACUC committee and skilled veterinarian staff. Their collective activities ensure that investigators can fulfill their obligation to plan and conduct animal experiments with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles.

Office of Research Integrity and Compliance: The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance supports a variety of administrative functions around risk assessment, oversight, and monitoring. Their efforts ensure that the extensive research mission of Emory is upheld with the utmost integrity and attention to relevant mandates.

 Institutional Review Board (IRB): IRB facilitates ethical and compliant human subjects’ research. Along with supporting the university’s ethics review committee, they are the central component of Emory’s multi-tiered Human Research Protection Program. They maintain a toolbox of documents designed to aid researchers in preparing submissions and to aid project implementation.

 Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO): EHSO keeps our researchers and campus safe from hazards around campus or produced/used during research experiments. Their services include trainings and guidance around hazardous materials, tools to maintain compliance, and safety assessments and precaution implementation. Their work promotes safe and compliant operations, ensuring the safety and health of people on campus and the environment.


Research Administration Services (RAS): Research Administration Services (RAS) units provide faculty assistance with pre and post award activities.  Their support with the compliance and administrative requirements of the grant life cycle allows researchers to concentrate on the science/study; while being excellent stewards of their sponsored funds and outcomes.  The RAS consists of nine unique units imbedded across campus.  The 9 units include the following:

Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP): The OSP provides efficient and expert central pre-award and non-financial post-award research administration support to the Emory research community by collaborating to seek, obtain, and administer extramural funding in support of the University’s mission

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT): OTT is the hub of activity for innovation at Emory.  The office serves as the front door for companies looking to partner with researchers, clinicians, and staff to discover, develop, or source new technology ideas that will lead to products.  OTT’s activities include negotiating confidentiality, data use, and material transfer agreements; compliance with federal and research sponsor requirements for intellectual property; technology scouting; commercial evaluation of new inventions; intellectual property protection; marketing new technologies; license negotiation for intellectual property rights; start-up support; and education.

 Clinical Research (OCR): The OCR has a hand in many operational aspects of conducting clinical research at Emory. Their roles include research staff trainings, clinical trial invoicing, pre-award activities, and ensuring that study data is updated in a variety of internal and external systems. In these workstreams, they cross boundaries to meet the needs of researchers through service excellence.

 Research Grants and Contracts (RGC): RGC is responsible for central oversight and expertise related to post-award financial services of sponsored projects, including ensuring that invoicing, reconciliation, and financial compliance are maintained in partnership with school and central administration.


Office of Strategic Operations & Training: The Office of Strategic Operations & Training (SOT) facilitates the Vice President for Research Administration’s efforts to operationalize ORA-wide strategy to create a robust and resilient research infrastructure to support grant and contract management. SOT manages strategy and training initiatives, facilitating communications and continuity across all partnering offices and processes to ensure integration, transparency, and efficiency. SOT is positioned to enhance ORA’s bandwidth by creating synergies and coordination among units responsible for grants and contracts administration (RAS, OSP, RGC, OTT, OCR), including leading working groups focusing on the transition of awards between groups (intergroup activity), and their respective systems; as well as leading ORA’s training team which focuses on developing, organizing, providing and tracking training internally and within Emory’s internal research community. 

Strategic Operations (Dragon Team): The Office of Strategic Operations’ Dragon Team is the SOT’s dedicated process improvement team. They drive strategic initiatives that optimize cross-functional business processes across the ORA, strategic partners, and the research community. Utilizing a process improvement toolbox and strategic expertise, the team ensures that ORA continuously improves to support Emory’s research enterprise.  

Research Administration Information Technology (ORAIT): ORA-IT serves as a technology facilitator, intermediary, and project liaison on behalf of ORA departments with various third-party vendors and the University’s central IT division (LITS).  Staff work in close collaboration with ORA units to understand and enhance IT infrastructure and processes and maximize service delivery.


The Office of Research Administration (ORA) will support the overarching mission of the research enterprise by executing three distinct areas of focus:

Building a Robust and Resilient Infrastructure 

  • Update and communicate research policies and procedures
  • Adopt research information technology solutions
  • Collaborate with schools/units to build the necessary infrastructure for research administration

Pursuing and Reaching Operational Efficiency 

  • Publish program and operational metrics 
  • Undertake scheduled external program reviews
  • Solicit feedback from stakeholders on service through surveys, Faculty Advisory Board, and other methods
  • Implement continuous quality improvement projects led by the ORA Dragon Team 

Recruiting and Developing a Strong and Supported Workforce 

  • Publish program and operational metrics 
  • Provide a robust orientation, onboarding activities, and continued career development program
  • Initiate the One-ORA enterprise enhancing career ladders and movement across offices[1]

[1]ONE ORA is an initiative that includes 10 projects focused on recruiting, securing, training, and retaining ORA’s workforce. The 10 projects include the following: 1) telecommuting and workplace flexibility, 2) career pathing, 3) leadership development, 4) workforce engagement, 5) manager training, 6) employee training, 7) centralized recruitment, 8) new employee orientation and onboarding, 9) new employee training, and 10) compensation and equity review.