The profession of research administration is often one that people fall into, rather than one they formally train for throughout their education. Although post-secondary institutions are starting to recognize the need for this type of training, many Research Administrators working in academia today landed in their role simply because their personality and skill set were well suited to the work.
Every CLAS department is supported by a dedicated Pre-Award Research Administrator and a Post-Award Research Administrator or Accountant. Please see the Department Grant Support Directory for contact information.
To be successful in this field, you must have a passion for providing excellent customer service, a willingness to learn on the job, the ability to be flexible as you work with investigators that have different needs and work styles, and strong communication and organizational skills. And a high tolerance for paperwork doesn’t hurt anything!
This often results in a workforce that has mostly taken different paths to arrive at the same destination and the CLAS grant support staff is no exception. We are fortunate to have skilled teams of pre-award and post-award staff, with decades of experience among them, all working towards the common goal of supporting investigators in successfully seeking and managing external funding.
With that in mind, I am proud to introduce you to the CLAS grant support staff:
Molly Buhrow, Pre-Award Grant Manager (Lead) in CLAS Grant Support Office
Molly leads GSO Pre-Award activities and provides pre-award support to the Departments of Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry, and Earth and Environmental Sciences. She has over 14 years of experience in research administration at the University of Iowa and has been supporting CLAS for nearly three years. She lives in Iowa City with her partner and two dogs and loves to travel to mountains and hike up them.
Kyle Schaefer, Pre-Award Grant Manager in CLAS Grant Support Office
Kyle provides pre-award support for the Departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Health and Human Physiology. Before joining the GSO, he gained two years of grant experience in a similar pre-award role at South Dakota State University and an additional five years managing and writing grants for the South Dakota Humanities Council. Kyle, his wife, and three boys moved to the Iowa City area this summer.
Kris Ackerson, Grant Development Manager in the Iowa Social Science Research Center
Kris is the grant support manager for the Iowa Social Science Research Center and assists faculty in the social sciences and the College of Law. Before working with the ISRC, Kris worked for the City of Iowa City where he wrote grants for parks and trails, transportation infrastructure, and energy efficiency projects.
Kate Gloer, Grant Development Specialist in the Iowa Social Science Research Center
Kate assists social science researchers with grant development, provides feedback on proposal narratives, researches new funding opportunities, and explores avenues for improving success rates for grant applications. Kate joined the ISRC in 2019 after serving for nearly ten years in the Department of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health as a quality management lead in clinical trials research. She’s a big fan of NPR, cooking videos, and ridiculously dark chocolate.
Marcia Rogers, Research Support Specialist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
Marcia provides pre-award support for faculty and research staff in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where she has worked for over 30 years. Pre-award support includes proposal preparation and submission, budget development, document creation, internal routing, and proposal upload. She also provides support for outgoing subawards for the Department. She lives in Coralville with her husband and their dog and has a daughter. She enjoys cycling, walking, and watching Hawkeye football and Iowa women’s basketball.
Ann Knudson, Grant Administrator in International Programs
Ann is a Grant Administrator providing pre-award support to International Programs and all of the arts and humanities departments in CLAS. She has been providing pre-award support since 2011, and prior to that she helped manage several Department of Education grants in the Tippie College of Business.
Jordan Keller-Wilson, Post-Award Grant Manager (Lead) in CLAS Grant Support Office
Jordan leads the post-award team and provides post-award support to the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health and Human Physiology, and Chemistry. She’s worked at the University of Iowa for 10 years in various grant and financial administration roles. She lives in Iowa City with her husband and two cats, and enjoys hiking, camping, and watching Iowa women’s basketball.
Travis Dillavou, Senior Post-Award Grant Manager in CLAS Grant Support Office
Travis has worked with external research awards in some capacity since he was a student worker at the University of Iowa. He has been in CLAS for over three years and provides post-award support for the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Condensed Matter Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. When not managing financial and administrative compliance, you can find him enjoying time with his dog or on the hardwood officiating basketball.
Denise Harder, Post-Award Grant Manager in CLAS Grant Support Office
Denise provides post-award support to the Departments of Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics. Prior to joining CLAS three years ago, she worked in the Carver College of Medicine supporting a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator with pre- and post-award grant support. Denise was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii.
Jennifer DeWitte, Post-Award Grant Manager in CLAS Grant Support Office
Jennifer joined CLAS in November 2020 and provides post-award support for the Departments of Sociology and Criminology and Political Science, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has over 24 years of experience managing grants and contracts with the last 22 years at UI. Jennifer lives in Hiawatha with her husband, her 15-year-old son, and three crazy dogs.
Andrea Shaevitz, Senior Financial Analyst in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
Andrea provides post-award support for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She started her professional career with the department in 1988 working for one of the Space Physics groups preparing budgets for NASA proposals and monitoring the finances and schedules of the awarded contracts. She has a grown daughter and enjoys the peacefulness of her woodland home in the corridor area.
Please see the Department Grant Support Directory for contact information.