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Research Development

Our Mission

Our mission is to advance UCSB faculty research by facilitating access to extramural funding – contracts, grants, and awards. The environment in which faculty seek research support has never been at once so diverse and so competitive. At RD we work to make sure that faculty have available all the tools for success – from funding source information, proposal review, and writing workshops – to mock panel reviews and site visit preparation for strategic Campus initiatives. By anticipating recurring solicitations, we alert faculty to upcoming major collaborative opportunities requiring significant advance planning.

Our staff is on-call, when needed, to provide our best advice and resource materials, including sample proposals and funding databases. We provide agency- and foundation- specific information that can greatly simplify matching faculty research goals to the most receptive funding source, as well as helping formulate a proposal that speaks to that particular review process.

The Research Development Team

Meredith Murr, Director

Meredith Murr received her Ph.D. from the department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at UCSB in the laboratory of Professor Daniel Morse in 2006.  Meredith holds a B.A. in chemistry from Boston University and M.A. in chemistry from University of Texas at Austin, and has several years of industry experience at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.  During her graduate work at UCSB, she participated in the Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Academies in Washington, DC.  Prior to joining the Office of Research in 2010, Meredith worked in the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships at UC Santa Barbara, developing professional development programs for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Contact for: Large Center/Program Planning, Limited Submissions, Red Team Reviews, PROWESS, Proposal Review, Workshops, New Faculty Orientation

Barbara Walker, Director of Research Development for the Social Sciences

Barbara Walker has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Geography from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Anthropology and African Studies from UCLA.  She is a former NSF ADVANCE Fellow who is involved in several initiatives to promote broader participation in higher education, including an Elsevier New Scholars Grant to develop a Team Science leadership training program for the UC system, specifically aimed at increasing diversity on scientific teams.  Prior to joining the Office of Research, Walker was a NSF Post-Doctoral Scholar in the Departments of Geography and Anthropology at UCSB.  Her past and current research focuses on the political ecology of marine resources in Ghana, French Polynesia, and California, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and NOAA Sea Grant, among others.  She was a Founding Board Member the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP).

Contact for: Proposal Review for Social Sciences, Humanities, Fine Arts, and Education, ISBER Grant Programs, Funding Consultation, Sample Proposals, Workshops, New Faculty Orientation

Brandon Fastman, Associate Director of Research Development for Humanities, Fine Arts, and Education

Brandon Fastman holds a Ph.D. in English from UC Santa Barbara where he taught in the English Department and Writing Program, and worked as an editor at the NEH-supported Writings of Henry David Thoreau. Prior to joining the Office of Research, Fastman served as Education and Outreach Coordinator at a national NSF center that supported research in the social sciences and humanities. There, at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society, he ran an interdisciplinary education program and organized public events. Along with his experience in academia, Fastman has a background in journalism and still freelances occasionally. He has won two first place awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for his education and environmental reporting.

Contact for: Proposal Review for the Humanities, Fine Arts, and Education, Funding Consultation, Sample Proposals, Workshops

Kelly Pillsbury, Research Development Analyst

Kelly Pillsbury has her M.A. in Social Entrepreneurship and Change and B.A. in English, both from Pepperdine University. She worked for two years in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Pepperdine before moving to UCSB to join the Research Development Team.

Contact for: COS Pivot training, funding opportunities searches, Funding Resources Newsletter, Sample Proposals, Seminars CalendarProfiles in Research, Undergraduate Research website & blog


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