Steven Smartt

 Number of Years in Research Administration: 34

Institutions: Vanderbilt University, Southern Regional Education Board


Over his 40-year professional career, Steven Smartt has been a public policy researcher, professor, research manager and senior research administrator in a major private AAU-member university, and most recently an academic administrator in a Graduate School with 2,200 students enrolled in 55 Ph.D. programs.   


Smartt earned a Ph.D. in university management from Florida State University.  Among his distinctions as a leader in research administration, he served as national president of the National Council of University Research Administrators.  For NCURA, he has also been a national workshop faculty member, frequent panelist, and lead presenter.  Smartt has also been a regular participant in federal site visit review panels and program review study sections for the National Institutes of Health.  


His post-doctorate career path has included employment by the Florida Board of Regents, the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta, and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.  At Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Smartt’s appointments ranged from assistant professor (teaching courses in social science research design, finance of higher education, and grantsmanship); research associate in the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies (projects on performance-based funding for state universities); associate director and then director of Sponsored Research (grants development, pre-award services, post-award negotiation and budgeting, and subcontracts for a portfolio of $100m/year with sponsors across several federal agencies, state/local governments, foundations, and corporate contracts); federal relations for research policy and funding; and most recently associate dean for academic services in the Graduate School.  The scope of the Graduate School includes Ph.D programs in biomedical sciences, arts and science, engineering, education, religion, and nursing.  


His roles as an associate dean involved promoting and managing external graduate fellowships programs, most notably the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation Doctoral Fellows, Howard Hughes and Robert Wood Johnson Fellows.


Smartt has expertise in the areas of institutional policy development and implementation for research management and compliance.  He has led change-oriented projects that required broad consensus building for new policies ranging from financial conflict of interest, budgeting and accounting for direct costs, to systems for processing stipend payments.  

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.