Medical School Research Administration Fellowship

Preparing Future Leaders in Research & Strategy

Research Administration FellowshipAs the biomedical research enterprise has expanded over the last two decades, career opportunities for biomedical Ph.D.'s have significantly diversified. A need for experienced leaders in academic research administration in this new career landscape has emerged, but Ph.D. graduates have had limited opportunity to actively prepare for those careers. The Medical School Office of Research, in collaboration with the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, is offering a two-year, full-time postdoctoral training opportunity to prepare fellows for a successful career in biomedical research administration.

The University of Michigan Medical School Research Administration Fellowship leverages the extensive biomedical research enterprise at the University of Michigan (UM) and the existing strengths of the Office of Research at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS), in collaboration with other units within UMMS, to provide professional experience and skill building in different aspects of research administration. The fellowship offers a unique experience to work closely with and learn from Medical School leaders to explore research administration and build an exceptional foundation to launch a career in research administration. Fellows will have the opportunity to immediately participate in and directly add value to the Medical School research enterprise.

Application Requirements

CLICK HERE to link to the application in Competition Space.

  • Applications are due February 15, 2021 (11:59 PM EST).
  • Selected applicants will be invited to interview.
  • Fellows will begin September 13, 2021.





As the biomedical research enterprise has expanded over the last two decades, career opportunities for biomedical Ph.D.'s have significantly diversified. A need for experienced leaders in academic research administration in this new career landscape has emerged, but Ph.D. graduates have had limited opportunity to actively prepare for those careers. New this year in Michigan Medicine, the Medical School Office of Research, in collaboration with the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies, is offering a new postdoctoral training opportunity to prepare fellows for a successful career in biomedical research administration.

As a premier, research-intensive academic medical center, the University of Michigan Medical School is world renowned with nearly $600 million in external research funding. The Medical School Office of Research proudly supports our internationally-recognized researchers pursuing innovative science to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients, the citizens of Michigan, and beyond. To that end, the UMMS Office of Research strives to enhance biomedical research at UM by maintaining an investigator-focused infrastructure, facilitating and diversifying investigators’ avenues for funding, providing unique mentoring activities, and streamlining research processes. There are more than a dozen units within the UMMS Office of Research that offer support for the research community, ranging from the Biomedical Research Core Facilities to proposal review by the Grant Services & Analysis Office to clinical study development by the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR). Across each unit, the primary mission for the UMMS Office of Research is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the UM research community and contributes to positive patient impact.

In collaboration with the UMMS Office of Research, there are additional administrative units at UM and beyond that contribute to the biomedical research enterprise spanning many functionalities of work to provide career development opportunities for Ph.D. graduates and postdoctoral trainees.

The UMMS Research Administration Fellowship is designed to provide graduating doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees with an opportunity to launch a career in university-based administration. The program selects highly qualified and committed participants to engage in innovative projects that enhance biomedical research at UM. In a series of unit rotations, selected fellows will be immersed in critical units of the UMMS Office of Research and additional partnering units at UM to receive a hands-on learning experience and direct mentorship from leaders in the field of biomedical research.

Why Michigan Medicine?

You can view the latest research facts for the University of Michigan Medical School here.

University of Michigan Medical School facts as of September, 2020:

  • 3,159 faculty
  • $662M Total Awards
  • $398M NIH Awards
  • #10 NIH Ranking
  • $115M Industry Sponsored Awards
  • $552M Expenditures
  • 7,189 Publications
  • 1,914 Active Clinical Trials
  • 241 Invention Reports
  • 1.6M+ Sq. Ft. Laboratory Space

Program Goals & Objectives

The UMMS Research Administration Fellowship connects science and business competencies to diversify a talent pool and prepare fellows for a career in biomedical research administration. At the conclusion of the program, participating fellows will be able to demonstrate the following: 

  • Advanced knowledge in business principles and biomedical research operations and infrastructure
  • Applied leadership and project management capabilities
  • Effective oral and written communication of business concepts
  • Accomplished analytical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Enhanced professional and career development strategies



The UMMS Research Administration Fellowship is a two-year program that consists of core rotations within the UMMS Office of Research, combined with additional elective rotations with UMMS Office of Research units or partners (3-6 months), as well as an extensive impact project within a unit. Year one of the fellowship emphasizes strategic, core rotations aimed at advancing institutional priorities while cultivating foundational business and research administration competencies. The fellowship, through the elective options, allows a customizable immersion into areas of specific interest to the fellow. Additionally, fellows will support executive-level meetings to observe first-hand enterprise management and decision making. Fellows will begin the program with a one-week orientation and onboarding within the UMMS Office of Research. Following the one-week onboarding, fellows will begin their first of several core rotations within the UMMS Office of Research. While in rotations, fellows will continue to meet with the Steering Committee within the UMMS Office of Research for professional guidance and coaching and to monitor progress in the program.

Research Administration Fellowship Flowchart

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee within the UMMS Office of Research is responsible for all administrative duties related to the fellowship program, including promotion, recruitment, rotation development, fellow progress, and evaluation. Members include:

Teri Grieb, Ph.D., Senior Director, UMMS Office of Research
Mary O’Riordan, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Jon Servoss, M.Ed., Director of Commercialization Education, Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Shoba Subramanian, Ph.D., Director of Curriculum & Education, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Professional Competencies

While in the rotations, fellows will continue to meet with the Steering Committee on a weekly basis to monitor progress within the current rotation, as well as demonstrate the completion of additional trainings and professional competencies.

At the conclusion of the program, participating fellows will be able to demonstrate the following professional competencies:

  • Business Acumen
  • Communication (written and oral).
  • Management Skills (time and interpersonal)
  • Leadership and Mentorship
  • Career Development and Growth Mindset
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Networking

Fellows should expect to spend a minimum of two hours per week on activities related to professional competencies (e.g., seminars, conferences, online education/research, etc.) during each rotation. The Steering Committee will work closely with the fellow on resource identification for a targeted development and enrichment of professional competencies. Fellows will demonstrate the accomplishment of competencies through a professional growth project and will also document competency implementation during their unit rotations via periodic written reports and/or oral presentations. Unit mentors will have the opportunity to provide structured feedback to fellows on proficiencies met and on opportunities for growth.

Unit Rotations & Objectives

The individual goals and objectives of each unit rotation will vary depending on the host site and the outlined project for the fellow. However, the broad goals and objectives of all unit rotations are the following:

  • Understand the mission and vision of the host unit via active engagement.
  • Develop a big picture knowledge of unit’s value to the overall research enterprise.
  • Gain professional mentorship and opportunities for growth.
  • Facilitate the acquisition and application of new transferrable skills.

Core Rotations

Grant Services & Analysis
Grant Services & Analysis serves several functions for the Medical School and Michigan Medicine. They review all proposals routed through eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM), provide pre- and post-award support, provide data for sections of the M-DASH and M-STAT systems, and design and implement Research Development services that help faculty become successful in obtaining and maintaining extramural funding.

Institutional Review Boards - University of Michigan Medical School
A component of the University of Michigan's Human Research Protection Program (HRPP), the five Institutional Review Boards of the University of Michigan Medical School (IRBMED) oversee human subjects research conducted at the Medical School and Michigan Medicine.

Leadership, Core Operations, & Management
Medical School Office of Research leadership provides operational and fiscal management of all the supporting units. Critical activities include the implementation of strategic initiatives, leading enterprise change management, and fostering collaborations with the research community across the university.

Biomedical Research Core Facilities
The Biomedical Research Cores are centralized facilities or labs which offer shared services, shared equipment, resources, and expertise to biomedical researchers and investigators on a fee-for-service basis.

Clinical Trials Support Office
The Clinical Trials Support Office (CTSO) is the management team for the seven trans-departmental Clinical Trials Support Units (CTSUs). The CTSO offers enterprise-wide standards, policies, and a common infrastructure. All clinical trials at U-M are required to be supported by a CTSU.

Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) is one of the nation’s oldest and most recognized programs training laboratory animal veterinarians. ULAM provides a variety of services and educational offerings to support the U-M research community and the animals under their care.

Other Possible Rotations

Calendar Review & Analysis Office
The Calendar Review & Analysis Office (CRAO) assists principal investigators and study teams conducting clinical research by providing analysts and support specialists who can provide guidance on the billing calendar, required core documents, our Michigan Budget Enrollment Calendar Tool (MBECT) and even clinical research billing analysts who will audit and work to have clinical research billing errors corrected.

Center for Discovery of New Medicines
The Center for Discovery of New Medicines is the translational research/drug discovery center at the University of Michigan. It brings together the expertise required to advance projects from idea to clinical proof-of-concept.

Central Biorepository​
The Central Biorepository facilitates discovery and improves healthcare outcomes by providing high-quality, highly annotated biospecimens donated for basic, clinical, and translational research.

Data Office for Clinical & Translational Research
The Data Office for Clinical & Translational Research aims to accelerate research by enabling secure access to patient data through investigator-friendly, self-serve tools, and custom data extracts.

Department Administration – Basic Sciences
UMMS is home to nine basic science departments doing cutting edge research and delivering top-quality education. Administration within these departments are led by Chief Department Administrators who oversee the organizational workflow of core departmental personnel; manage overall finances such as intramural and extramural funding; administer space and research resources; and liaise with key units such as HR, Office of Research.

Fast Forward Medical Innovation
Fast Forward Medical Innovation offers resources and support to world-class biomedical researchers at the University of Michigan, and across the state. Their groundbreaking funding programs, dynamic educational offerings, and deep industry connections help biomedical researchers navigate the road to successful innovation and commercialization, with the ultimate goal of positively impacting human health.

MICHR Research Development Core
The MICHR Research Development Core provides strategic input and support for grant proposals and research ideas. Services offered by the Research Development Core include in-person consultation; grant editing; large-scale grant support; and workshops focused on grant writing and team science.

Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS)
OGPS is an information hub and resource for trainees, faculty, and staff. OGPS provides a foundation and a community for graduate, postbac, and postdoctoral trainees to explore the next step of their career in the biomedical sciences. The OGPS team develops programs and pathways for students and postdocs to grow intellectually, personally, and professionally on their scientific journey.

Regulatory Support Consultation - The Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research
The MICHR IND/IDE Investigator Assistance Program (MIAP) provides consultation on research involving investigational agents such as drugs, devices, and biologics. MIAP services include determination of regulatory pathway, protocol and informed consent, assistance with FDA meetings, and guidance on navigating investigational agent regulation and compliance.

Research Intelligence & Analytics
Research Intelligence and Analytics provides strategic decision support for the Medical School’s research mission through the execution of complex data-driven investigations, often in collaboration with internal and external partners. Our work spans from retrospective financial analysis, to competitive intelligence, to predictive models of future impact.

Research Policy and Advocacy, Government Relations
Michigan Medicine Dean’s Office advocates to state and federal governments and keeps Michigan Medicine abreast of policy changes that affects research and clinical work. This office, led by Chief Government Relations Officer, also responds in a proactive manner to policy issues.


Example Rotation Projects

Customer Relationship Management - Fast Forward Medical Innovation

Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) has a relationship with a variety of customers, including faculty innovators, student trainees, and industry representatives engaged in business development activities, innovation funding and mentorship, and commercialization education programs. As a result, a strong focus is placed on customer service and relationship management across each of the FFMI initiatives. To manage and analyze these customer interactions, as well as resulting data, FFMI has the need for a UMMS Research Administration Fellow to research, select, and fully implement a customer relationship management tool. The envisioned software tool will be used to drive strategy and improve customer relationships across the FFMI pipeline, ultimately leading to innovations that improve patient health.

Project: Customer Relationship Management Tool
Timeline: 6 months
Advisor: Jon Servoss​
Goal: Research, select, and implement a customer relationship management tool across three FFMI strategies.


Strategic Investment Fund – Leadership and Administration

The Medical School’s strategic investment fund is focused on investing in efforts that further the research mission and enhance the Medical School’s research stature nationally. The North Campus Research Complex tax, a fund initially created in 2009 under a memorandum of understanding with all the Medical School department chairs to tax all sources of revenue at 1.6% to generate approximately $25 million annually to renovate and occupy the former Pfizer research and development facility that has been transformed into the North Campus Research Complex, was renewed in 2019 by the chairs for a new mission: Support of Outstanding Academic Research (SOAR). The committee that oversees SOAR aims to assist with the strategic recruitment, retention, and incentivization of exceptional faculty. The goal of SOAR is to invest in people to create transformative knowledge, advance science, and improve health. To ensure the success of this initiative, Fellows worked with Medical School Leadership to implement this new program from concept to fully operational, including developing tools to evaluate perspective SOAR candidates, identifying metrics to measure the long-term success of the SOAR program, and operationalizing these processes.

Project: Operationalizing a New Strategic Investment Fund for the Research Mission
Timeline: 2-3 months
Advisor: Teri Grieb
Goal: Develop resources to assist department chairs in strategic recruitment, retention, and incentivization of outstanding faculty.

Incentives for Host Units to Participate

The UMMS Office of Research will work with each host unit to meet the following expectations for participation in the program:

  • Designate a rotation mentor to interact with the fellow and report to the UMMS Office of Research.
  • Identify a three- to six-month project and desired objectives appropriate for a Ph.D. trained fellow.
  • Report progress during the rotation and once at its conclusion.
  • Evaluate the fellow’s performance based on the outlined objectives at the end of the rotation.

There are several benefits for being a host unit and participating in the program:

  • Coach a biomedical Ph.D. trained fellow to develop and implement a project that holds value to the unit.
  • Bridge connections to other research units through innovative projects.
  • Contribute to the educational mission of the university by acting as professional mentor, teacher, and career guidance coach in your area of expertise.
  • Directly help shape the future biomedical research administration workforce.
  • Accelerate and strengthen the University of Michigan’s motto as Leaders and Best by creating novel and forward-thinking opportunities for Ph.D. graduates.
  • Receive national and international recognition in the program marketing and recruiting efforts.

Compensation & Benefits

Fellows receive a salary competitive with leading administrative fellowship programs as well as a competitive benefits package, including health care insurance and dental and vision plans. Each fellow also receives support to attend up to two conferences.


2020-2022 Cohort

Christie Rodriquez RamirezChristie Rodriguez Ramirez, Ph.D.

Christie completed a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez and her doctoral degree in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. During her graduate training she completed the Translational Research Education Certificate program from MICHR and a DEI Certificate program from Rackham Graduate School. Christie was also a Science Communication Fellow with the U-M Museum of Natural History (UMMNH) and a Yale-Ciencia Academy Fellow.

Christie continues her involvement with UMMNH community engagement events and DEI initiatives at the University of Michigan. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and is learning Italian and Korean as her third and fourth languages. Christie is looking forward to the invaluable mentorship and experiences she will receive during this postdoctoral fellowship to help her navigate a career path in biomedical research administration.

Shelly UnsworthShelby Unsworth, Ph.D.

Shelby earned her PhD here at Michigan in cell and molecular biology. She did her thesis work with Dr. Sunny Wong, studying how sensory nerves promote skin cancer. She completed her postdoctoral training in ophthalmology with Dr. Alon Kahana, where she worked on a clinical trial for patients with orbital skin cancer. As a Research Administration Fellow, Shelby hopes to promote increased synergy between basic and clinical research with the ultimate goal of improving patient health outcomes. In her free time, Shelby serves as the head coach for the University of Michigan synchronized swimming team.

2019-2021 Cohort

Kelly KennaleyKelly Kennaley, Ph.D.

I chose to pursue a position as a UMMS Research Administration Fellow to more fully explore the business side of science and become more involved in facilitating the overall advancement of scientific discoveries. I am now working to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of operations and infrastructure necessary to lead an innovative and successful academic medical center and to develop an understanding of where Ph.D. expertise can be leveraged and most impactful in this field.


Kaylee SteenKaylee Steen, Ph.D.

My experiences at U-M with Developing Future Biologists and miLEAD (student consulting group) have helped shape my desire to seek out career opportunities that help drive science forward in an equitable manner for people across all disciplines and demographics. My goal for this fellowship is to build the skills, knowledge, and networks that will help position me to be a leader in this administrative space.


How many fellows will be accepted in 2021?

Two fellows will be selected to participate in the 2021 cohort.

When will I hear back from the review committee?

All applicants will learn of initial decisions by the Selection Committee in early March 2021. Selected applicants will be contacted to set up an interview, with final decisions made in March.

Can I apply if I did not graduate from the University of Michigan?

Yes! Applicants must be graduating doctoral students from UM or current postdoctoral trainees at UM (regardless of where your PhD was obtained) in a biomedical or life science-related field.

When do I need to complete my Ph.D.?

You must have your Ph.D. completed by the start of the program on September 13, 2021. For Ph.D. students whose degree will not be conferred after August 2021, please provide a letter of support from your mentor indicating that all of your degree requirements and lab commitments will be completed before the September start date.

Does this position require a background check/screening or drug test?

As with all employees in the U-M Health System and Michigan Medicine, a background screening is required for employment. For more information on the policy for background screenings, visit U-M Human Resources.

Pre-employment drug testing is also a requirement of the U-M Health System and Michigan Medicine for all selected candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer of employment/appointment, and may use a third party administrator to conduct the drug screening. For more information on the policy for drug testing, visit U-M Human Resources.

Does the Medical School Research Administration Fellowship program sponsor international students for H1-B visas or green cards?

No, at this time we do not sponsor international students or post-doctoral fellows for our fellowship program.

Is the fellowship a full-time job? What is the time commitment?

The fellowship is considered a full-time job/effort. You cannot participate in an additional postdoc training, other employment, or any other fellowships while participating in this program.

When does the program start?

The program will begin on September 13, 2021.

I'm already a postdoc. Do I qualify?

Yes! A current UM postdoc can apply. You do not have to have a completed Ph.D. from UM. 

How should Letters of Recommendation be submitted?

The Letters of Recommendation are sent through the system during the application process. You will be asked to provide email addresses for those that you wish to submit on your behalf. They will send your Letter of Recommendation directly through the system. You can view this feature while drafting your application in Competition Space.


If you have any questions about this fellowship, please reach out to