Penny Miceli

 Number of Years in Research Administration: 15

Institutions: Wellesley College, Keene State College, University of Notre Dame


Penny Miceli began her research administration career in 2004, is certified by the Research Administrators Certification Council, and holds a PhD in developmental psychology.  She has worked for over a decade in liberal arts colleges to build and grow strong research administration infrastructures. Penny’s current work at Wellesley College focuses on pre-award administration and supporting the research efforts of the faculty at this primarily undergraduate, private liberal arts college. She has been a member of NCURA since 2004 and shares her expertise formally by presenting at regional and national conferences and performing peer reviews, and informally through mentorship.  Penny has experienced the peer review process from both sides—as a host institution and as a reviewer.

Previously, as Director of Sponsored Projects & Research at Keene State College (public, primarily undergraduate), Penny was charged with building the institution’s sponsored programs infrastructure and professionalizing its services.  She worked closely with institutional leadership to advance the college’s research culture while respecting the its historical focus on undergraduates, mission of liberal arts education, and vision for the future. She oversaw the growth of a central office delivering pre-award, non-financial post-award, research integrity, and oversaw the integration of the financial research administration functions into that office from a previous separate unit. Throughout, she managed policy and procedure development for sponsored programs, and the administration of institutional research compliance areas such as Human Subjects Protections, Institutional Animal Care and Use, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Financial Conflicts of Interest, and served as the institution’s Research Integrity Officer.  As the research operation grew, she worked to establish effective solutions for Intellectual Property management suitable to the institution’s scale.  

During her tenure at Keene State College, Penny established the institution’s first Research Advisory Council, and developed mechanisms for communicating and reporting out to both administrative leaders and campus constituents.  She created research-related professional development opportunities for faculty, which included grant- and fellowship-writing workshops, faculty roundtable discussions on research and scholarship issues, and new faculty orientation.  Penny successfully advocated for changes to the institution’s internal support of research, including establishment of new funding programs designed to provide strategic investments and seed funding.  She served as campus liaison for key state-wide partnership grants, which were an integral part of the institution’s strategy for expanding its research culture and capacity.  

In addition to her work at Wellesley College and Keene State College, Penny’s diverse past experiences inform her work and lend a broad sensibility to her approach.  At the University of Notre Dame (private, high research volume institution) she spent time on both the pre-award and post-award sides of the operation.  As Assistant Director of the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (College of Arts & Letters), Penny assisted faculty in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in the development of external grant proposals, with special responsibility for those proposals in the social sciences.  She then moved to Notre Dame’s central office to launch post-award outreach services in the College of Science, working to ensure a smooth grant lifecycle from award set-up to close-out.  She also served as the institution’s IRB Administrator, coordinating and advising and 8-member board charged with reviewing and approving research involving human subjects.  In the private sector, Penny worked in the Research & Development (R&D) department of a survey research firm, where her approach to timely, accurate, and personalized customer service was shaped.  

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.