COVID-19 & Research Restart

OVCR Research-Related Updates Regarding COVID-19 Emergency and Research Restart

Executive Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Karen McCormack as Executive Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs (Designate) in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) effective November 16, 2019, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.

The new Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is the merger of the pre-award Office of Research Services (ORS), OVCR and the post-award Grants and Contracts Office (GCO), OVCR. This realignment presents new opportunities for exceptional service, expertise and education in the pre- and post- award administration of UIC’s sponsored programs to advance the University’s mission and promote collaboration, innovation and compliance.

OSP is responsible for supporting faculty and their departments by:

  • Managing the administrative and financial interactions with sponsors;
  • Minimizing administrative burden;
  • Protecting the interests of the faculty and the University;
  • Developing and disseminating policies and procedures;
  • Assuring compliance with University and sponsor policies.

With over fifteen years of sponsored programs experience and an exceptional professional, Karen joined UIC in November 2013 as the Senior Associate Director in the Grants and Contracts Office, OBFS. She was named the Interim Director of Grants and Contracts and subsequently the Director in September 2017. While with OBFS/GCO, Karen’s accomplishments included her organization of a cohort of pre- and post-award administrators across the University of Illinois System to review and reengineer policies and procedures in response to the single largest regulatory change (i.e. the Uniform Guidance) in sponsored programs’ recent history. Karen served as UIC’s spokesperson during the most recent facilities and administrative (F&A) rate negotiations with the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In addition, Karen is engaged in a number of complex audit inquiries, responses and corrective action planning for the University’s sponsored program portfolio.

Prior to UIC, Karen was the Director of Sponsored Program Accounting at Loyola University Chicago. Karen’s extensive financial management expertise, including the use of metric reports, will be instrumental in ensuring the effective deployment of resources and compliant business practices for our complex sponsored programs portfolio. Her commitment to providing an exceptional customer service experience and her proactive leadership, mentorship, and collaborative skills and styles are assets that will truly benefit the new Office of Sponsored Programs.

Karen received her Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance and Human Resources Management, from Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Please join me in welcoming Karen to her new role in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Joanna Groden, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research