Leadership for new research award management unit

From: Alicia Reed, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 2:20 p.m.
To: KU Lawrence faculty and staff

KU Research Community,

We are pleased to announce that Jessica Johnson Webb has been selected as the associate director for award management in the Office of Research. She will join us in guiding the award management transformation project launched in February, and then lead the new award management unit after its implementation. Monday was her first day in this new position.

Jessica Johnson Webb

Jessica comes to the Office of Research from KU’s Shared Service Centers, where she has supported departments and individual investigators since 2012 in various roles, including research manager, HR manager, HR coordinator and HR specialist. She previously worked at the Spencer Museum of Art as a project coordinator for an Institute of Museum & Library Services Engaging Communities grant, and as the youth and family outreach coordinator, a position fully funded by a state of Kansas grant.

She holds a master’s degree in art history from KU and a bachelor’s degree in education from Kansas State University.

With Jessica in place, award management transformation at KU is proceeding according to the project timeline. We conducted campuswide listening sessions in March for research stakeholders, who shared insights on current award management successes and barriers. We continue to collect feedback anonymously through the online Award Management Feedback Form. Input from research and staff advisory boards are also guiding decisions, along with data provided by KU Analytics, Institutional Research & Effectiveness.

Starting next week, we will meet with research centers to gather additional feedback and begin a staff-led effort to review and improve award administration processes to ensure consistency, transparency and efficiency. Stakeholders will be asked to provide feedback during this review process.

Thank you for your engagement in this project. Your expertise and perspective are essential to building every aspect of a new award management unit that will provide optimal support for KU investigators while empowering staff with the tools they need to best serve the research community.

We will continue to provide monthly updates throughout the duration of this transformation. If you have questions along the way, please let us know. In the meantime, please help us welcome Jessica to her new leadership role.



Alicia Reed
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research