OVPR Announces New Organizational Structure

Amy Kircher, AVP for External Affairs and Strategic Initiatives

The Office of the Vice President for Research has created a new organizational structure to better serve the University’s research community.

Amy Kircher’s role as associate vice president (AVP) for external affairs and strategic initiatives transitioned from part time to full time in September. Two other AVP positions, one for research integrity and compliance (job no. 351403) and the other for research infrastructure and interdisciplinary centers and institutes (job no. 351407), are taking applications now. Until these two positions are filled, AVP Frances Lawrenz will continue in her leadership role until her planned retirement in spring 2023. On the administrative side, Pamela Webb will continue in her long-time position as AVP for research administration. 

AVP Amy Kircher’s external affairs and strategic initiatives portfolio will help grow the size and impact of University of Minnesota research by creating new funding opportunities and supporting discovery and innovation by University researchers through development activities. Her responsibilities include engagement with government and public institutions, corporate entities, and international partners, with a focus on increasing the University’s competitiveness for research resources. Once the new AVP structure is fully implemented, she will also manage OVPR’s internal (UMN) funding programs

The to-be-filled AVP for research integrity and compliance position will oversee OVPR’s regulatory committees (IRB, IACUC, OBAO) and research integrity policies. The to-be-filled AVP for research infrastructure and interdisciplinary centers and institutes position will help grow the University’s roster of shared research facilities and equipment for the benefit of University faculty and oversee new centers and institutes for OVPR. This AVP will also work to enhance the interdisciplinary collaborative funding and research opportunities between the health science-based colleges and other colleges across the UMN system. 

“I am pleased to find many existing strengths in our office’s leadership that are aligned with the evolving vision I have for our future,” said Vice President for Research Shashank Priya, who began his tenure at the University on September 30. “That said, I believe that this reorganization and new additions to our team will allow us to better serve the research community through expanded and improved infrastructure for our research. We will continue to strengthen our research facilities, infrastructure, administrative and regulatory processes, as well as expand connections with external research partners and funders.”