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.
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.
CLAS Grant Support
Carmen Langel, Director, CLAS Grant Support Office
Primary Pre-Award Departments: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Primary Post-Award Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Carmen joined the CLAS Grant Support Office in September 2022. Previously, she worked at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering where she led grant and contract pre-award activities for 15 years. Carmen especially enjoys working with researchers on large multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional proposals. When not supporting CLAS research, she enjoys spending time with her husband and grown sons, playing cards, and traveling. She is a true product of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a BS and MS in Geology and coursework in over a dozen CLAS departments.
Molly Buhrow, Associate Director, GSO
Pre-Award Team Lead
Primary Pre-Award Departments: Biology, Computer Science, and Chemistry
Molly leads GSO Pre-Award activities and has been working in research administration at the University of Iowa since 2007, and has been supporting CLAS since 2019. She lives in Iowa City with her partner and two dogs and loves to hike and travel.
Maggie Spencer, Associate Director, GSO
Post-Award Team Lead
Primary Post-Award Departments: Psychological & Brain Sciences and Computer Science
Maggie leads the GSO Post-Award activities and has been a research administrator at the University of Iowa since 2011. She joined CLAS in April 2023 after nearly 10 years at the Clinical Trials Statistical and Data Management Center in the College of Public Health. Maggie is an Iowa City native and a CLAS graduate. She lives on the east side with her husband, son, and their dog. In her free time, Maggie enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with family.
Kyle Schaefer, Pre-Award Grant Manager, GSO
Primary Pre-Award Departments: Psychological &Brain Sciences, Health & Human Physiology, and Communication & Sciences Disorders
Kyle joined CLAS GSO in late 2020. 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 grants as a program officer and writing grants as a development officer for the South Dakota Humanities Council. Kyle and his wife, Rachel, have three boys.
Kristi Fitzpatrick, Pre-Award Grant Manager, GSO
Primary Pre-Award Departments: Mathematics and the Condensed Matter Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
She has worked in research administration for over 18 years and has experience with a variety of sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and US Department of Education, as well as local and private organizations. She lives in Iowa City with her spouse, two teenage children, and three very spoiled dogs
Tammy Smith, Post-Award Grant Manager, GSO
Primary Post-Award Departments: Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Geographical & Sustainability Sciences
Tammy joined CLAS in March 2022. and has worked at the University of Iowa for 22 years, with the last 12 being in research administration. She lives in Washington, IA with her husband and two dogs. Tammy enjoys a good book and a glass of wine when not spending time with her granddaughter.
Jeff Sebring, Post-Award Grant Manager, GSO
Primary Post-Award Departments: Mathematics, Political Science, and Sociology
Jeff moved from Grant Accounting Office to the CLAS Grant Support Office in March 2022. Jeff and his wife have two boys and live in Marion. Jeff’s family is heavily involved in sports, which keeps them busy throughout the year.
Isabelle Hardy, Post-Award Grant Manager, GSO
Primary Post-Award Department: Biology
Isabelle joined the GSO team in November 2022. She has been with the University of Iowa since 2008, previously serving as a Research Support Manager in the Departments of Urology and Neurology. She has also worked as Program Manager for the Neuroscience and Genetics PhD programs. Isabelle enjoys going to auctions and estate sales, and spending time with her cat and dog.
Bethany Cornwell, Research Support Coordinator, GSO
Bethany recently moved to Iowa from Maryland, where she worked at the Maryland Zoo with exotics and as a dog trainer. She joined the GSO office in January 2023. Bethany supports both the pre- and post-award teams (responds to inquiries, develops budgets, updates projections, etc.), and helps to manage external communications. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and exploring her new state with her dog.
Other Grant Support Personnel in CLAS
Kris Ackerson, Grant Development Manager, Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC)
Kris is the grant support manager for the Iowa Social Science Research Center and assists faculty in the social science departments 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, Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC)
Kate assists social science researchers with grant development and submissions, provides feedback on proposal narratives and application materials, and investigates new funding opportunities. She joined the ISRC in 2019 after serving for nearly ten years in the College of Public Health as a quality management lead in clinical trials research.
Ann Knudson, Grant Administrator, International Programs
Primary Pre-Award Departments: Arts and Humanities Departments
Ann is a Grant Administrator providing pre-award support to International Programs and CLAS. Additionally, she supports units under the Provost Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research. She has been providing pre-award support since 2011; prior to 2011, she helped manage several Department of Education grants in the Tippie College of Business.
Marcia Rogers, Research Support Manager, 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 men’s and women’s basketball.
Andrea Shaevitz, Senior Financial Analyst, 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.