Brenda Kavanaugh


Number of Years in Research Administration: 24

Institutions: University of Rochester


Brenda Kavanaugh currently serves as Associate Director of the Office of Research and Project Administration providing pre-award and non-financial post award support for a diverse portfolio of sponsored research projects.  She has signature authority in the absence of the Associate VP for Research Administration. She is responsible for the review and submission of grants and contracts to all types of funding agencies which requires a working knowledge of their electronic systems, the review of incoming and issuance of outgoing subagreements, award review and acceptance and the negotiation of clinical trial and research agreements. Brenda is one of the project managers for the conversion of the office to all electronic files.   She also plays an instrumental role in training and educating University faculty and staff in research administration matters and currently serves as the NIH liaison for the University of Rochester.  She serves side by side with the University’s Compliance Officer as Faculty for the University of Rochester’s mandatory certification program entitled “Continuous Learning for Administrators of Sponsored Programs (CLASP)” and currently serves as University faculty for the credit bearing “Practical Skills in Grant Writing” course available to junior faculty and the newly created “Junior Faculty Core Curriculum” course.  


Prior to her current position, she served in the University’s Clinical Trials Coordination Center providing administrative support for several multi-site clinical trials followed by a position in the NIH funded Alzheimer’s  Disease Center.  In addition to the responsibilities associated with this multi-project grant, she provided both pre-award and post-award support for several R01’s, an institutional training grant, and several foundation grants.  


Brenda also worked as Center Administrator for the Center for Aging and Developmental Biology working shoulder to shoulder with Neuroscientists recruited from around the world.  Brenda managed the physical move of the faculty and their labs to the Center and assisted them with the transfer of their active funding to the University of Rochester.  Along with her research administration responsibilities she managed all immigration issues, capital equipment procurement, and human capital supervising a staff of 6.  When the Center Director was named Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Brenda assumed the administrative duties required by the Dean’s office including management of institutional bridging funds and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute award.  She subsequently assumed additional administrative responsibilities for the Center for Human Genetics and Molecular Pediatric Disease. 


A member of NCURA since 1995 Brenda  has served as Chair of the Professional Development Committee, a member of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee, Treasurer for her Region, a member of the Board of Directors, and Faculty for both National and Regional traveling workshops.   In 2012 Brenda received the NCURA Region II Distinguished Service Award.  Brenda has consistently served as a panelist and presenter for workshops, sessions, and discussion groups at NCURA meetings, both regional and national since 2003.

NCURA Peer Program engagements are priced as a flat fee, scaled to the sponsored programs total active award dollars in the last fiscal year, regardless of type of Peer Program engagement.