Dave Richardson

 Number of Years in Research Administration: 24

Institutions: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Georgia

Dave Richardson initiated his research administrative career in 1992 and has been actively involved in the field of research administration at both the national and global levels.  Dave served numerous times on the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Board of Directors and in 2010 served as the organization’s President.  He is a frequent presenter, workshop instructor, and invited speaker sharing his knowledge of research administration around the globe.   Dave currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of Sponsored Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dave began his research administrative career at the University of Georgia.  He managed a pre-award team responsible for proposal submission, award negotiation, and award setup.  It was during this time Dave honed his sponsored budgeting skills and learned the fundamentals of managing a service team dedicated to assisting the faculty in their pursuit of external funding.  While at Georgia, Dave had the unique opportunity to serve as a business manager for a large international project and gained the appreciation of the decentralized perspective and the demands for meeting a sponsor’s expectations while juggling the sometimes-conflicting requirements for complying with the sponsored agreement terms and the institutional practices.  

In 1998, Dave joined the administrative faculty of Virginia Tech assisting the Office of the Vice President for Research in developing academic research indictors of excellence.  In 2001, Dave was selected as the Director of Sponsored Programs overseeing all pre-award and post-award services. Dave reorganized the research service operations to best serve the faculty and staff and implemented many operational best practices that remain in place today.  He developed protocols for managing outstanding accounts receivables, initiated the transition from paper to electronic files, authored multiple policies based on compliance needs and best practices, and hired the inaugural training coordinator dedicated to sponsored project training for both the faculty and staff.  He concluded his time at Virginia Tech serving as the Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Programs Administration.  

In 2006, Dave accepted the position as the Assistant Vice President for Research and Director of Sponsored Programs at Pennsylvania State University. He managed a decentralized staff dedicated to supporting proposal submissions and a centralized staff dedicated to award negotiations. Dave oversaw the related electronic research administrative systems and initiated the development of a dedicated principal investigator portal as well as implementing a digital routing and approval process.  He concluded his time at Penn State as Associate Vice President for Research with the additional duty of providing management over the Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Office whose mission was focused on making large, complex, and interdisciplinary proposals more competitive.

In 2013, Dave accepted the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In this role, Dave oversees the proposal submissions and award negotiations as well as the Office of Proposal Development dedicated to supporting strategic interdisciplinary proposal submissions.   During his tenure at the University of Illinois, Dave reorganized the pre-award operations, initiated the development of a campus-wide 225-member research working group devoted to research compliance of the institutional sponsored portfolio and successfully secured resources for the development of a dedicated research administrator certification program.  In addition, Dave is part of the executive oversight team that is responsible for replacing the research information systems from proposal routing to protocol compliance. 

Dave is fortunate to have served four excellent research institutions and from this experience gained a multi-institutional perspective on the management of an institutional sponsored portfolio.  Combined with his exposure to a global community during his leadership in NCURA, Dave has gained an appreciation of best practices of research administration around the globe. 


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.