Roles & Responsibilities

McCormick Research Administration supports faculty with proposal submission and management of sponsored research at Northwestern University.

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Research Administration Leadership

Director of Research Administration and Assistant Director of Research Administration

The McCormick Research Administration Office is responsible for the oversight of research administration in the School, which includes supervision of the Research Administrators, facilitating training initiatives, collaboration and coordination with external units (including OSR and ASRSP) and working with the Deans to fulfill school initiatives.

Research Administrator (RA) and Associate Research Administrator (ARA)

Research Administrators assist faculty members in the department with all administrative aspects of proposal development. Research Administrators also serve as a resource for department staff on sponsored project award management.

McCormick Scientific Grants Editor

The Scientific Grants Editor helps faculty develop competitive arguments for their research proposals, checks language usage, and develops a unified voice among multiple authors. Junior faculty projects and large-scale proposals receive priority attention, but all McCormick faculty are welcome to use the services provided by the scientific grants editor.

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McCormick Departments and Offices

Departmental staff members are responsible for financial transactions on sponsored projects. They also assist faculty in the financial management of sponsored projects.

  • Business Administrator (BA)
  • Financial Administrators (FA)
  • Financial Assistants (FA)
  • Program Assistants (PA)
  • Administrative Assistants (AA)
  • Professor Lab Administrators

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McCormick Office of Corporate Relations

The McCormick Office of Corporate Relations connects industry partners with McCormick talent (including students, faculty, and research institutes) to form innovative, collaborative relationships for research, education, and recruiting.

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McCormick Faculty

Principal Investigator (PI)

The Principal Investigator is responsible for the design, conduct, and reporting of the research project. The Principal Investigator is also responsible for assuring research is conducted in accordance with federal regulations and University policies and procedures.

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Other Northwestern Offices

Office for Sponsored Research

The Office for Sponsored Research (OSR) assists in proposal development, reviews and endorses proposals, negotiates agreements, and accepts awards on behalf of Northwestern University. They also assist in non-financial sponsored project management.

Office of Research Development

The Office of Research Development (ORD) identifies strategic funding opportunities, connects Northwestern University investigators to build effective teams, and coordinates large and complex proposals involving multidisciplinary research initiatives. They also coordinate funding agencies’ limited submission requests for proposals.

Office of Accounting Services for Research and Sponsored Programs

The Office of Accounting Services for Research and Sponsored Programs (ASRSP) is responsible (along with the PI) for financial reporting, invoicing, collecting revenue, coordinating audits, and processing transactions related to their sponsored projects.

Office of Cost Studies

The Office of Cost Studies provides analytical, cost accounting, and effort reporting expertise to the management of Northwestern University’s research enterprise.

Northwestern University Conflict of Interest Office

Northwestern University Conflict of Interest Office (COI) oversees and implements the University faculty and staff conflict of interest policies and procedures. They also ensure University compliance with applicable conflict of interest regulations, provide guidance and support to the University community regarding conflict of interest policies, systems, standards, and procedures, and administer and support the activities of University Conflict of Interest Committees.

Innovation and New Ventures Office

The Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) manages Northwestern University’s invention disclosure, assessment, patenting and marketing processes.

Office of Foundation Relations

The Office of Foundation Relations works with faculty and administrators who seek funding from private foundations by finding funders, providing guidance on writing, and planning foundation visits. They coordinate and track all foundation activity on behalf of Northwestern University.

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews, monitors, and approves human subject protocols for all research projects involving human research subjects..

INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) tracks and manages animal subject protocols for all research, teaching, and testing involving animal subjects.

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Who Can Help Me?


Contact the Research Administration Staff if you have a question about: 

  • Account Code Opening
  • Allowability of Costs
  • Award Status
  • Computer Purchases
  • F&A Waiver Requests
  • Fabricated Equipment Requests
  • No-Cost Extensions
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Out Year Funding
  • PI Eligibility Request
  • Pre-Spending Request
  • Proposal Preparation
  • Rebudgeting
  • Space Requests
  • SubAward Management

Contact the Departmental Staff if you have questions about:

  • Award Balance
  • Cost Share Award Management
  • Deficit Resolution
  • Discretionary Account Management
  • Effort Certification Management
  • Hiring Research Personnel
  • Project Close-out
  • Purchases and Reimbursement
  • Track Released Funds
  • Sponsored Research Salary Charging

Contact the Scientific Grants Editor (Jennifer Howard via email or phone at 847-467-6472) if you have questions about:

  • Grant Proposal Writing and Editing
  • Large-Scale Grant Assistance
  • Program Managers Communications
  • Timeline Planning for New and Junior Faculty