Young Hall

Young Hall

JAN.-FEB. 2017 |

Sponsored Program Services Pre-Award has made several changes since last summer to enhance its operations. Along with relocating all staff to a single location ― the seventh floor of Young Hall ― staff have identified other ways to improve efficiency and support for the proposal submission process.

Using feedback from faculty, associate deans for research and others, staff have identified opportunities for improvement in proposal preparation, proposal review and staff workload as a result of increased volume and proposal complexity.

Strategic adjustments

  • With the location of Pre-Award staff in one space, the workload is now being managed to allow flexibility to address deadlines from an entire unit perspective, allowing for all 22 Pre-Award specialists to share the responsibility of proposal submission deadlines that primarily impact one college. In the past, for example, a deadline to an NSF Engineering Directorate may have had 40-50 proposals supported by only eight specialists. To accomplish the workload management goal, SPS Pre-Award has revised Jenny Siemers’ title to senior operations manager. Siemers monitors proposal workload activity and assigns proposal support in a way that targets a balanced load and optimizes performance based on expertise, experience, and volume. Sponsor experts are available to assist specialists when assigned a proposal for a sponsor with which they are unfamiliar. The four Pre-Award managers maintain the center structure, ensuring that colleges and regional campuses have dedicated contact and support.
  • To ensure high performance and reduce the time a specialist takes to master the proposal development knowledge, skills, and abilities, SPS Pre-Award has assigned Amber Everest, pre-award manager, responsibilities for training coordination. Along with supervising specialists, Everest ensures there are consistent and coordinated training plans in place to bring new staff up to full operating capacity sooner. Additionally, Everest focuses on the ongoing training needs of the seasoned staff within Pre-Award, targeting specific trainings around upcoming deadlines (i.e. training on NIH proposal preparation in the month prior to a major NIH deadline).

With these strategic adjustments, the Pre-Award centers remain to support faculty in each college/unit. You may continue to interact with each center via the same general email shown below. Pre-Award managers are assigned as follows:


– Amanda Hamaker, director, SPS Pre-Award (ahamaker@purdue.edu)