New initiatives to support UNT's Tier One research

Jan. 22, 2020

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

In the short time that I have been at UNT, I’ve been impressed by our dedicated researchers and the variety of work happening across campus, and I am so proud to have joined UNT’s soaring research program. I am excited to see the heights we will reach together.

The Division of Research and Innovation is dedicated to advancing the research enterprise at UNT, which is a Carnegie-ranked Tier One research university following the focus of R1 Our Way. To better support your research success, I have reorganized my division and implemented several new initiatives to create efficiencies and more effectively help you find solutions and expand UNT’s research impact on the world around us.

Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) under Chuck Tarantino, assistant vice president, will continue to receive all proposals for funding but will coordinate with Research Contracting and Agreements (RCA), a new unit that will review contract language and handle negotiations as well as licensing for all research-related activities at UNT. This new operational team, under the leadership of Michael Rondelli, associate vice president, includes Steve Tudor, assistant director of licensing; Janis Miller, grants and contracts administrator, and Amanda Anaya, administrative coordinator. It’s the first time our university truly will have a fully funded and staffed team to move proposals forward for our faculty and for UNT.

I also have named Pamela Padilla as associate vice president for research and innovation and tasked her with assisting me in leading this division with special emphasis on new initiatives related to faculty research development. She kicked off a major new grantsmanship training program in December with a workshop led by Peg AtKisson, a well-funded, successful researcher and an amazing presenter. Peg will lead a second workshop in February, with more to follow annually, so that we are training faculty to write grant proposals that can withstand the stringent review processes.

Pam also is leading our new D.C. Faculty Fellows Program, which will take 20 recently hired faculty, selected by deans across campus, to Washington, D.C. in February to visit program managers at agencies that make the decisions about science funding. I have had great success in implementing similar programs at other institutions, and I know this will be a big win here at UNT.

Additionally, we will be partnering with interested colleges to jointly fund new positions for an in-college grant manager/editor, who will team up to help faculty submit larger, interdisciplinary grant proposals – the type that are getting the attention of funding agencies more and more. This program will further assist our researchers in achieving success across different areas.

These initiatives are part of a focused strategy to advance UNT’s research standing and really open up faculty to the external funding dollars they deserve. Every faculty member at UNT, no matter what their discipline – from pottery to pulsars-should have a shot at attracting an infusion of external funding into their program. I am passionate about this need for faculty resources to help their dreams come alive and I am determined to help faculty win the funding game. It is an exciting time to be at UNT.

Sincerely,

Mark McLellan

Vice President of Research and Innovation