The 2013 Bollinger Academic Staff
Distinguished Achievement Award
Grant applications in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering haven't been the same since Janet Fredrick arrived to manage them in February 2010.
Fredrick, who joined the College of Engineering in 2007 to work in the dean’s office on post-award grant management for the mechanical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and biomedical engineering departments, swiftly reorganized processes in chemical and biological engineering and turned herself into a “one-stop shop” for principal investigators who need help preparing and submitting proposals and assistance managing their post-award activities.
Fredrick is not only the first point of contact for principal investigators contemplating submitting a proposal—she also is the last, taking complete responsibility for generating all aspects of faculty proposals. Fredrick stays involved in the process to the point of helping investigators coordinate subcontracts with other institutions, arranging extensions, and even setting up monthly expense reports for grant accounts so they can understand their grant spending in real-time and identify mistakes or overspending early enough to avoid costly consequences. “She is a true master in planning, developing, implementing, and submitting research proposals,” says Milton J. and A. Maude Shoemaker and Beckwith-Bascom Professor Thomas Kuech, the department chair.
Never missing a deadline, Fredrick has led and successfully managed efforts for hundreds of pre-award grant and contract activities in increasing number each year—the majority targeting the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, or National Institutes of Health. In the past three years, these contracts have brought more than $65 million in research funding to the department.
Essentially, Fredrick has made proposals painless, responding to faculty even on weekends if a deadline calls for it. She manages long-range timelines expertly, reminding principal investigators about upcoming deadlines and the very specific requirements of their proposals. She once turned around a major grant enhancement for CBE Associate Professor Christos Maravelias within only a few hours. Before her arrival, Kuech says, faculty often encountered difficulties keeping track of countless agency-specific details and administrative steps. “Our entire research operation would collapse without Janet's extraordinary work,” he says.
She also has participated in an ad hoc committee for advising the UW-Madison Research Policy Advisory Committee, and has helped, over several months, draft a policy that outlines UW-Madison employees’ and the university’s rights on tangible research products. “Janet personifies everything the department looks for in its staff members,” says CBE Assistant Professor Brian Pfleger. “She has exceeded every expectation and is a role model for staff success.”