Who: Carlos Garcia, Director, Research Development & Infrastructure
Where: William Marsh Rice University
Number of years in research development: 9
Length of NORDP membership: 7
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 5
How do you unwind? Reading a good book
My work in research development started when I worked in the Rice University Smalley-Curl Institute, formerly known as the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. We started working with the DOD and other state universities to build a program in the State of Texas. The program was called Strategic Partnership In Nanotechnology (SPRING) and brought in over $30M in research equipment to Texas.
Thereafter, I moved to the Office of Research and settled into my new role as Director of Research, Development, and Infrastructure. In this role, I oversee the Interdisciplinary Research Support Office (IRSO), which is designed to support the development of proposals and the administration of large and strategic projects. IRSO partners with the Office of Proposal Development and other internal departments to submit complex interdisciplinary proposals. Through IRSO, I oversee a number of university centers and institutes. I work in consultation with faculty, department heads, deans, and research center and institute directors to determine the level of support necessary for each proposal or project. We provide strategic planning and administrative support beginning in the startup and continuing through the execution and sunset phase of interdisciplinary projects. We also offer comprehensive pre- and post-award support for these centers and institutes, and coordinate all of our support activities with research administrators and financial officers across campus, including those in Research Accounting, the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance, and the Controller’s Office. In addition to these responsibilities, I oversee the Rice Office of STEM Engagement, Evaluation and Assessment, the Shared Equipment Authority, the Research Support Shop, and the Animal Resource Facility.
When I started this new position, there were no guidelines or predecessors to ask about my duties. A year into my job, I discovered NORPD. It was a relief to know there were others like me!
Since my first meeting, I’ve been able to find support in the vast network NORDP provides. The Southwest local region has also been very beneficial. I would encourage you, if your time allows, to make sure you attend your local chapter. This is especially important if you are new in this profession. You will be surprised how eager and ready this group is to help you. At one of the NORDP meetings, we realized that there was an extraordinary number of members from Houston and from the Texas Medical Center in particular; we started getting together every couple of months for lunch to talk about our roles and challenges, and to offer suggestions to one another on how to meet those challenges.
NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.