Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Staff in OSP

The Office of Sponsored Programs is pleased to announce several key positions that have recently been filled:

The OSP leadership team welcomes Urmila Bajaj as the new Director of Accounting and Award Management. In her new role, Urmila will provide leadership and management of the financial postaward functions of OSP. Urmila has a unique depth and breadth to her experience in postaward research administration from which UVA will greatly benefit.

Urmila is presently the Director of Research Finance at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, a private, not-for-profit clinical research center, hospital and graduate medical school located in Duarte, California. At City of Hope, Urmila is responsible for managing financial research operations of basic and clinical research, including the oversight of postaward financial management of clinical trials. She additionally oversees shared resource operations, including 26 core laboratories. Before her work at City of Hope, Urmila was the Associate Director of Post Award Administration at the California Institute of Technology. At Caltech, Urmila strengthened internal controls and reduced audit risks by implementing new systems and reports to monitor federal compliance requirements, including those related to cost sharing, cost transfers and effort/payroll distribution confirmation. Earlier in her career, Urmila worked in research administration and management at the unit level at the University of Southern California as well as in the central sponsored programs office at the University of California, Los Angeles. Urmila has additionally served as an NCURA Peer Reviewer, workshop faculty and presenter. Urmila received her undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Urmila will begin her position at UVA on October 17, 2016. She is currently planning for her move to Charlottesville with her husband, Sunil Bajaj. Please join me in welcoming her.

The OSP Information Team is excited to welcome Nikita Mokhariwale as the newest Senior Data Analyst!  Nikita received her Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Business Analytics.  She brings experience in institutionalized Tableau reporting and has been developing creative visualizations of customer data, which we look forward to her sharing with us. She has worked with various large and small retail clients through 2 multi-national companies and a start-up venture. She has experience with gathering business requirements and creating data-driven planning platforms. Nikita is comfortable managing large volumes of data and modeling solutions which will serve OSP well as we move to a data driven/data enabled organization.  We are looking forward to the energy, enthusiasm and knowledge Nikita brings to OSP.  Please give her a warm welcome when you see her.

The OSP Contracts Team is excited to welcome Asa Lopatin as the newest Senior Contract Negotiator! Asa’s previous experience includes working through disputes in state and federal courts relating to intellectual property, licensing and contracts. He also served as a Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services at the American Arbitration Association, managing client contact and case administration for large complex commercial cases in DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Asa’s legal experience also includes internships with the DC Office of the Attorney General, the DC Superior Court, the US House of Representatives, and the Washington Nationals. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from George Washington University. Asa and his family recently moved to Charlottesville from the DC Area.

The Pre-Award team is pleased to announce that Courtney Polk recently started in the newly-established role of Research Administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), a centrally-reporting and funded position providing unit-level research administration supporting the School of Architecture (AR) and the Data Science Institute (DSI). In this role, Courtney will identify funding opportunities, manage administrative proposal development/submission and oversee post-award nonfinancial and financial matters as needed. Courtney will additionally be available to assist with large-scale, complex/interdisciplinary proposals across Grounds.

This new position plays an important role in ResearchNET, an initiative of the office of the Vice President for Research, the schools, the office of the Provost and OSP to enhance significantly research development efforts across Grounds. The position also supports the Cornerstone Plan’s ambitious goals for growth in scholarly collaboration and interdisciplinary research at UVA.
Courtney brings depth of experience in both grant writing and grant management; she helped win multi-million dollar grants from NASA for the Universities Space Research Association, and more recently did similar work for the Building Goodness Foundation here in Charlottesville. She has worked with a diverse set of sponsors, including federal agencies and private foundations. And, importantly, she has an amazing can-do attitude and keen professional focus. She will be a great addition to the team.

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