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Training Opportunities

Not all SPA classes are taught each semester.  A listing of this semester's classes are posted below.  Please check the Professional Development and Training Opportunities section of the SPA webpage for SPECTRUM and other educational options.


If you have questions about training, please email us.


Training Descriptions

ASSIST for Single Applications

ASSIST is a NIH created software option that works as an alternate web front end to’s “Apply” that permits multiple people to work on the proposal at the same time. The system allows for pre-submission validation and of NIH business rules and pre-population of data from the eRA Commons profiles of the key personnel. After submission, ASSIST includes functionality for the user to track the submission status for both and eRA Commons systems. ASSIST also allows the ability to “clone” application data from previously prepared applications.

This class will explain:
• How ASSIST functions
• ASSIST features that will help
• How to set up a proposal
• Proposal entry and processing

This class is geared to staff and administrators who develop and submit multi-project grant
applications to NIH. Attendance is strongly encouraged before starting a proposal in this system.

Registration is managed by U Learn, see instructions in the Professional Development section of the SPA webpage

Clinical Trials

Have you been curious about clinical trials? This class will remove the mystery and share
interesting and informative data on the subject. You will learn what is a clinical trial and general
information on the important roles in the process. The class also includes a question and answer section with Laura Williams, an experienced Clinical Trials SPA Grant Administrator who can field questions on the SPA Expedited PRF process and other related topics.

• What are the pieces of a clinical trial
• Budget development and compliance issues
• SPA’s role as both resource and guide

This class is for individuals who want to know more about the Clinical Trial process.

Registration is managed by U Learn, see instructions in the Professional Development section of the SPA webpage

Data Management Plans

Come and set your foundation so you will be ready for your agencies roll out of Data Management plans that have been dictated by the Office of Science and Technology. Specifics have not been fully announced by the agencies by likely requirements will include:

• A data management plan, which will be evaluated as a component of the grant application.

This plan will describes the data being collected, strategies for documentation, storage, any considerations surrounding intellectual property, sensitive information or personally identifiable information, plans for sharing and long-term preservation

• Finalized data sets preserved and publicly shared, ideally through existing, public repositories

• Subject to compliance through progress reports

The Libraries are here to help! Come learn about tools, services, and support available here at the U.

EGMS Refresher

EGMS stands for the Electronic Grants Management System, proposal creation software built here at the University of Minnesota for the members of the University’s community. The class will be in review format and cover the common elements of the system:

• Setting up a proposal type that would work with
• How EGMS handles budget calculations
• What else needs to be completed to freeze the proposal and create the PRF

Taken from the most common calls to the EGMS helpline users will discuss the most common
issues and learn how to avoid common proposal pitfalls.

This class does not take the place of the SPECTRUM EGMS Proposal Prep class.

This class is for individuals who have EGMS experience or took the Training Services EGMS class but would like a refresher course.

Registration is managed by U Learn, see instructions in the Professional Development section of the SPA webpage

Electronic Subaward Invoice Processing

Come learn about the new electronic subaward invoice processing system developed by SPA and the SPA IT group for managing subaward invoicing called Workflow Gen. Experts will share some tips and tricks for navigating the electronic invoicing process including:

• Understand Uniform Guidance’s impact on the subaward invoice and closeout process
• Gain perspective of the electronic invoice submission, review, approval, and payment process and all the players involved
• Comprehend the online approval screens and steps required for PIs
• Learn how to set up email filters to organize subaward invoice emails and departmental email boxes so all necessary departmental staff can view emails and invoices
• Gather resources to review subaward invoices and to prevent and resolve subaward invoice issues (e.g., unallowable costs, incorrect F&A calculations, duplicate invoices)
• Understand how to access the online WorkflowGen portal to run subaward invoice reports and how to review invoices through the portal rather than sorting through email approval requests

Registration is managed by U Learn, see instructions in the Professional Development section of the SPA webpage

F&A All you Ever Wanted to Know and More…

Ever curious about what F&A is? How is it calculated? What are waivers? What is the waiver
process? How does this affect my proposal? How does it affect my award? F&A costs, formerly
known as indirect costs and overhead, are costs which are necessary to support research and
other sponsored projects, but which cannot be readily assigned to individual projects. As a key
element of proposal creation and award management learn the ins and outs from Judy Krzyzek.

This class will explain:

• What is F&A
• What are waivers
• The waiver process

This class is geared to individuals who want to know more about F&A and the waiver process.

Registration is managed by U Learn, see instructions in the Professional Development section of the SPA webpage Workspace has rolled out new functionality called Workspace. Currently approximately 5% of all proposals are being submitted using this system. Workspace is an additional option for individuals or organizations applying for funding opportunities. Workspace is a shared, online environment where members of the same organization may simultaneously access and edit different forms within an application. For each funding opportunity announcement (FOA), you can create individual instances of a workspace.

Registration is managed by U Learn, see instructions in the Professional Development section of the SPA webpage.


xTrain is an online application, part of eRA Commons that allows both grantees and Federal staff to access and share administrative grant information. Institution users electronically prepare (enter data), route, track and submit Appointments Re-appointments, Amendments, and Termination Notices in the system. xTrain is also used by Agency grants management staff to process Appointments and Termination Notices submitted electronically.

Participants will learn:

• Understanding of system’s key roles
• How to get started navigating the screens
• How to process PHS forms 227 (the appointment form) and PHS416-7 (termination forms)

This class is geared to individuals who will be working with NIH Training Grant awards or have interest in the subject.

NOTE: To register for this class, please choose a session from the schedule below, and send an email to with the title of the class, session date, and your name.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.