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Research Administration Boston Staff
Fall 2011, Issue 13

Zoya Hamilton, Todd Conley, and Jessica Chen, under the direction of Paul Murphy, work together to provide research administration services to faculty and staff on the Boston Health Sciences campus and the Grafton campus of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Zoya Hamilton, senior associate director, joined the Office of Research Administration in July 2008. She has a BS in secondary education, an MS in psychology, and an EdD in administrative leadership, as well as graduate training in sociology, law, and accounting. Hamilton is a certified research administrator with over 11 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining the Office of Research Administration at Tufts, Hamilton was associate director of research and sponsored programs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “I enjoy interacting with colleagues on a variety of tasks, and I love challenges,” says Hamilton. “In addition to being one of the university officials who approves grant awards and submissions, my goal is to be a resource for proposal processes and grant rules and regulations.”

Todd Conley, associate director, joined the Office of Research Administration in December 2008. He has a BS in political science and is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and the Society of Research Administrators. Conley has 10 years’ experience in proposal development, budget analysis, and grants and contracts review. He previously worked for Boston Medical Center and for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Hamilton and Conley manage a heavy load of submissions, averaging 15 to 20 per month, with occasional 50-submission months. Each submission requires careful review to ensure accuracy and completeness. Although balancing the workload is challenging, Hamilton and Conley agree that the final product—funding for Tufts researchers—makes their efforts worthwhile. “The most rewarding thing is when you get that email from that PI acknowledging your work and showing appreciation for it—thanking you,” Conley says.

Hamilton and Conley are responsible for

  • Pre-award administration of grants and contracts for research support from federal, state, foundation, and corporate sources
  • Post-award services concerning budget reallocation, compliance, and no-cost extensions
  • Contract negotiation, issuing subaward agreements and modifications
  • Ensuring compliance with sponsor and Tufts requirements
  • Communication with faculty on funding agency updates

Jessica Chen, staff assistant, joined the Office of Research Administration in November 2010. She has a BA in psychology from Boston University and was a research assistant in a child development laboratory at Harvard University. “It’s rewarding to learn a whole new field,” says Chen, “and to realize that it’s a growing field. The business-related skills that I’ve learned here are going to be very valuable to me in whatever I do.” Chen is the primary contact for NIH eRA Commons and NSF FastLane account registrations, for the status of proposals and subcontracts, and for funding opportunity elists. Her other responsibilities include assisting with the limited submissions process, distributing notices of awards, and entering proposals and updates into the office database.

Who Is Your Research Administrator? (For Boston and Grafton)

Zoya Hamilton provides services to:

  • Departments in the School of Medicine
    • Anatomy and Cellular Biology
    • Biochemistry
    • Office of Educational Affairs
    • Molecular Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
  • Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention
  • Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA)

Todd Conley provides services to:

  • Departments in the School of Medicine
    • Molecular Biology and Microbiology
    • Neuroscience
    • Ophthalmology
    • Pathology
    • Public Health and Community Medicine
    • All other Clinical Departments
  • Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
  • School of Dental Medicine

For research administration service providers on the Medford/Somerville campus, and for more information on the Office of Research Administration, please go to http://researchadmin.tufts.edu.



Tufts University, Office of the Vice Provost
Health Sciences Campus: (617) 636-6550
Medford/Somerville Campus: (617) 627-3417
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