David Stone, Dara Little gain new job duties

David Stone and Dara Little
David Stone and Dara Little

Two administrators in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies have new responsibilities.

David Stone, who remains associate vice president for research, has added administrative responsibility for the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity and support of research operations.

Dara Little has become director of the Office of Sponsored Projects.

“The Division of Research and Graduate Studies encourages and supports the independent and collaborative efforts of NIU researchers, scholars and artists. The current reorganization will allow the division to enhance the quality of support provided to members of the NIU community while also increasing our ability to address ever-expanding regulatory responsibilities,” said Lisa Freeman, vice president for Research and Graduate Studies.

“Dara Little and Dave Stone and everyone associated with the Division of Research and Graduate Studies will continue to work together to advance the university goals articulated in the Great Journeys Strategic Plan and Vision 2020,” Freeman added, “by helping faculty and trainees to obtain and sustain extramural funding, and by helping NIU to design and implement compliance structures that are both fail-safe and faculty friendly.”

Stone promotes and supports the development of interdisciplinary, collaborative and independent faculty research initiatives at NIU, and advances the development of strategic partnerships with other institutions.

He also collaborates actively with other units within to the Division of Research & Graduate Studies (Office of Sponsored Projects, Technology Transfer Office, Graduate School) to support research centers/institutes and the academic colleges. He and his staff will focus their efforts on expanding professional development opportunities for faculty, staff and trainees, and maintaining campus-wide scientific integrity and research compliance.

“In this era of finite resources and increased compliance burden and federal regulatory scrutiny, it is more important than ever that research compliance and integrity work smarter,” Stone said. “This is the challenge I am most looking forward to.”

Under Little, the Office of Sponsored Projects will continue to assist all members of the university community with the development and submission of proposals for external support of scientific, scholarly, artistic, instructional and public service activities.

She reviews and approves proposals for submission and awards received by NIU from extramural sponsors. She also develops, reviews and negotiates complex contractual agreements on behalf of the university, and provides logistical support to faculty for external funding.

“The faculty and staff at NIU represent some of the best minds in their fields and the pursuit of external funding is critical to transforming their disciplines and the world we live in. With that, the OSP understands that securing and managing external funding can be a minefield in which research and academic goals intersect with a myriad of policies and regulations, both from the sponsor and the university,” Little said.

“I welcome the opportunity to support faculty and staff efforts to secure and maintain external funding through grants and contacts and to work with other university units to strengthen the research administration infrastructure that is so important for the success of sponsored programs at NIU.”

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