STARweb

Instructions for using STARweb

  • Firefox is the preferred browser.
  • Go to the MIT Learning Center Course Catalog on Atlas
  • Log in using your MIT certificate or Kerberos username and password
  • Click on Sponsored Projects & Practices to expand the view of course offerings listed alphabetically.
  • Scroll to the STARweb modules and click on the title to view details.
  • Click the Begin Course button to launch the online learning.

What is STARweb?

STAR stands for Specialized Training for Administrators of Research. STARweb was developed for the Institute by MIT’s Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) to introduce you to the basic principles and policies of sponsored research administration.

Why did MIT create STARweb?

MIT’s mission includes a commitment to knowledge: creating it, sharing it, and applying it to the world’s great challenges. Our reputation for excellence is based, in part, on the extraordinary research taking place here.

Employees in sponsored research administration play an important role in this mission by ensuring that research funds are used efficiently and appropriately. OSP created STARweb to train employees on the rules and responsibilities of research funds management.

Why should I take STARweb?

Once you complete the appropriate STARweb modules you will be able to help your unit remain in compliance with all federal and Institute regulations. You will know where to find needed information and procedures for all basic aspects of research administration. This will enable you to help your unit run more smoothly and to avoid time-wasting mistakes. In addition, the STARweb curriculum provides a solid grounding in all aspects of basic research administration; completing this curriculum could be an important part of your professional development.

Who can take STARweb?

All employees whose positions include any aspect of research administration (i.e., grant management, purchasing equipment or supplies, providing lab technical support) should complete the STARweb modules appropriate for their work. In most cases, your Administrative or Fiscal Officer will request that you complete units she or he recommends. If you have questions on which modules to take, check with your AO or FO.

In addition, the STARweb curriculum is open to any Institute employee. The information below will help you assess which STARweb modules will help you do your job more effectively.

What’s in the STARweb curriculum?

Modules 1-3, the Core Modules

The Core Modules are the foundation of STARweb and must be taken by anyone intending to take additional modules.

  • Module 1―Overview summarizes the basics of sponsored research administration including the key players, their roles and responsibilities, and the necessary financial terminology.

  • Module 2―Cost Principles covers how federal funds may be spent on sponsored projects at MIT. Four key concepts – the cost principles – provide guidance for all financial aspects of research administration.

  • Module 3―Direct Costs describes the most common types of direct costs incurred on sponsored projects at the Institute. Modules 4-8, Research Administration Essentials, divide research administration into more specific topics. You must complete any modules that will help you with your current work responsibilities; you may take any additional modules that interest you.

Modules 4-8, Research Administration Essentials

Research Administration Essentials divide research administration into more specific topics. You must complete any modules that will help you with your current work responsibilities; you may take any additional modules that interest you.

  • Module 4―Proposal and Budget Preparation provides a nuts-and-bolts understanding of proposals, including the phases of proposal preparation (from the funding source to proposal submission); the roles of faculty, department staff, and central office staff in the proposal process; and how to build and submit a proposal.

  • Module 5 – Project Start-up and Monitoring explains the different types of awards and related procedures for monitoring project expenditures. If you make expenditures or monitor research projects, this module contains information you need.

  • Module 6 – Cost Transfers focuses on the principles and procedures of cost transfers on sponsored projects. If you make expenditures or monitor research projects, this module contains critical information.

  • Module 7―Salary Distribution and Certification describes the process for distributing and certifying salary and the tools available to do these tasks. If you assign salary distributions to research projects or monitor research cost objects, this module covers key skills.

  • (Module 8―Equipment and Sponsored Projects explains the rules of acquiring and managing equipment that is a direct cost for sponsored projects at MIT. If you make expenditures on research projects, this module contains information you need. This module is under revision. Updated version to be posted soon.)

Quizzes

All STARweb modules end with a quiz. A score of 100 percent on the quiz is required to complete the module. You will be directed to the appropriate content for any questions that you miss; there is no limit to the number of times you may take the quiz and no scores are recorded except for the final score of 100 percent

How do I get started?

Follow these steps to find the STARweb modules:

  • Go to the MIT Learning Center Course Catalog on Atlas
  • Log in using certificates or your Kerberos ID
  • Click on Sponsored Projects & Practices to expand the view of course offerings listed alphabetically.
  • Scroll to the STARweb modules and click on the title to view details.
  • Click the Begin Course button to launch the online learning. 

As you work on this online training, you'll see your progress and completions reflected in your training record, which you can see in My Training.