Research administrators’ support key to top 5 rank in NIH funding

An award of support from a federal or non-federal source marks a significant achievement for a researcher. But, in accepting a grant award, grantees agree to comply with the requirements in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Policy Statement. That’s where our team of research administrators takes charge.

That NIH Policy Statement describing the terms and conditions of grant awards is 406 pages long! And, every funding agency has its own set of rules and regulations. It’s no wonder it takes a team to ensure compliance in such areas as:

  • Spending
  • Animal care and use
  • Human subjects
  • Reporting
  • Institutional requirements
  • Anti-sexual harassment, research integrity and ethical conduct, and anti-discrimination

Compliance with all these regulations requires the support of both institutional and departmental research administrators. The Department of Otolaryngology offers researchers grant monitoring and management support in the form of a senior research administrator; clinical research manager; research statistician; and a number of research coordinators.

Donna Krekel, senior research administrator, processes all grant applications, sets up funded projects and ensures compliance with spending, payroll and reporting. Her support starts long before application submission and continues post-award to make sure all reporting requirements have been met.

“Handling such a large volume of grants and all other items that come with this position can be challenging,” she says.  “Ultimately the goal is to keep everyone happy by getting their information back to them in a timely manner.”

Sara Kukuljan, division manager of clinical research, trains and advises staff and faculty on the complex regulatory requirements of human subjects’ research. She oversees all human subjects protocol submissions and assists researchers with internal and external audits of human subjects compliance.

Dorina Kallogjeri, research statistician, works directly with faculty, residents and students to ensure proper experimental design and analysis. Her involvement ensures the integrity of data collection and storage as well as the accurate interpretation and application of research findings.

Colleen Richmond, Banan Ead and Melissa Allen serve as research coordinators. They are responsible for many aspects of human research studies like monitoring spending, recruiting and enrolling human subjects, and acting as liaison between the research team and the funding agency.

Although their duties are quite varied, they all acknowledge the importance of their roles to improving human health. “I remain focused on the clinical importance of the statistical findings, the appropriate interpretation of study results and real-life applications of the findings,” says Kallogjeri.