Grunwald named NDSU Associate Vice President for Research and Faculty Development

Heidi Grunwald, PhD, has been hired as the associate vice president for research and faculty development in the NDSU Office of Research and Creative Activity. She will play a vital role in NDSU's efforts to increase faculty success in securing external funding and to pursue strategic research priorities with both state and federal funding potential. She will help build momentum in key strategic research priorities through enhanced programs critical to building faculty success at all ranks in all the disciplines across campus (STEM, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, and more).

With an extensive background in research administration and development, Grunwald brings valuable experience to the position. During her nearly two decades at Temple University, she held various positions, including the role of assistant vice president for research. In this capacity, she managed diverse aspects such as operations, budgeting, financial reporting, and oversight of clinical trials.

Throughout her career, Grunwald has worked with partners including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and local, regional, and national health and justice organizations. She co-designed software for managing survey panels and she co-founded a technology transfer, spin-out company that created software specializing in empirical legal research.

Grunwald is excited about the opportunities at NDSU. “It’s an important time for NDSU and I know that I can contribute to the great future of the institution,” she said. “I look forward to building and supporting a creative, successful team who can grow new sustainable, inter and transdisciplinary applied research and practice programs that will improve the global community.”

Joining NDSU at a time when research is a key priority, Grunwald will work to support and maintain NDSU’s R1 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education ranking, one of NDSU President Cook's top priorities, and to build upon the existing research ecosystem with a focus on faculty success and research development programming. With new internal funding opportunities, such as the North Dakota Economic Diversification Research Funds, expected to launch soon, she will also manage forthcoming internal competitions and limited submission.

Grunwald’s team will be responsible for enhancing NDSU's ability to compete for external funding by providing resources, training, and assistance related to developing successful research programs, such as grant writing workshops and faculty professional development opportunities and proposal writing resources and tools.

"Because of the CHIPS and Science Act and other recent legislation there are significant federal funding opportunities in research available now and Heidi can maximize our potential for success at those opportunities,” said NDSU VPR Colleen Fitzgerald. “Heidi and the Research and Faculty Development Unit team will provide hands-on support focused on faculty, especially early career hires.

Grunwald will serve on Fitzgerald’s leadership team, and will work collaboratively to identify and address gaps, capitalize on opportunities, and leverage resources and assets for greater return on investment for NDSU.

“Someone with Heidi’s background is a key addition to our office,” said Fitzgerald. “Her experience as an academic researcher and as an administrator providing service to faculty members across a wide breadth of college environments has provided her with a key understanding of researcher needs along with the operational challenges present in today’s research administration. I am especially excited about the potential for growth in NIH and biomedical and health research, and in building out center-level initiatives, with the track record she brings to NDSU.”

Grunwald will begin her new role on August 18, 2023.

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