Office of Research Development

The Office of Research Development (ORD) works with faculty and staff to creatively develop and secure new funding opportunities, increase competitiveness for sponsored research, engage with sponsors (federal and state), support and enable faculty research leaders, and help to build grantsmanship capabilities campus-wide. Click here for our Research Development Services one-pager.

Activities fall into four main areas: grantsmanship consulting and capacity building programs; large-scale proposal consultation and coordination; internal grant programs administration; and strategic research development initiatives as described below, along with the ORD staff and their areas of responsibility.

Research Development Support 

1. Grantsmanship Consulting and Capacity-Building 

  • Individual proposal grantsmanship reviews, 1:1 support for narrative development
  • Outreach/training workshops and networking opportunities led by ORD staff, external consultants, or agency personnel

2. Large-scale Proposal Consultation and Coordination

  • Scouting, agency outreach, networking, strategic development
  • State cost-sharing commitments
  • Government relations (state, federal, agency) coordination
  • Technical writing and editing
  • Collaboration and coordination across Research and Engagement units: UMass Innovation Institute, Office of Grants and Contracts Administration and the Research Business Managers Network
  • Investigator-initiated workshops for early planning/development of potential large-scale proposal opportunities

3. Internal Funding Opportunities

The campus offers a range of internal grant programs

4. Strategic Research Development Initiatives

The ORD team works to build research capactity in key strategic areas. Past examples include: 

Collaborations Across Campus Units

In addition to working closely on research development strategic planning and direct proposal development support with other Research and Engagement units (UMass Innovation Institute, Research Business Managers Network, Office of Grants and Contracts Administration, and the Technology Transfer Office), ORD works with University Relations, Development and Alumni Relations, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Office of Institutional Research, Institute for Teaching and Excellence in Faculty Development, and academic units via college Associate Deans for Research and Center and Institute Directors to advance the campus research mission. 

The University has also been an active member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) since 2015. The WUN is a global higher education and research network of 18 universities engaged in over 90 active research initiatives, and involving more than 2,000 researchers and students on a diverse range of collaborative projects which address some of the world’s most urgent challenges. Learn more.


ORD offers several faculty oriented workshops. Click here for more info.

Staff Contacts

Loren Walker, M.S.,, 577-3725
Large-scale proposal development, strategic research development initiatives, research networking, research analytics.

Mary Fechner, Ph.D.,, 545-4893
Proposal Development Specialist
Proposal development, faculty research development programs, grantsmanship training and outreach.

Mary K. Green, MHS.,, 545-8641
Research Development Associate
Proposal development, faculty research development programs, Broader Impacts, grantsmanship training and outreach.

Michelle Wonsey, B.S.,, 577-3726
Program coordination, office management, and general research development inquiries.

Please note: All proposals for sponsored projects must be submitted through the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration (OGCA). See OGCA staff contacts by program area.