Jennifer Shambrook

Director, Contracts and Grants Office, Office of Research and Commericialization 2016 Womens History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
I am the Director of the Contracts and Grants Office in the Office of Research & Commercialization. I also teach in the online Master of Research Administration Program for COHPA in the School of Public Administration. I began teaching for UCF in 2013 and came down here to join the ORC staff in 2014.

What is your history at UCF and before UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
During her 30 years in research administration, she has also served at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, the Medical University of South Carolina and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has a PhD in Public Health (Health Promotion and Education) and her research interest is occupational stress and its impact on health behavior in research administrators. She is the author of the 2007, 2010 and 2015 Research Administrator Stress Perception Surveys. Her published works from those data have garnered awards from both the Society of Research Administrators International Symposium and the Journal of Research Administration. Dr. Shambrook has served as President of both the Northeast Section and Southern Section, and Chair of the Education and Professional Development Committee of Society of Research Administrators International. She also served as Chair of Region III of National Council of University Research Administrators. She served as the editor-in-chief of the Research Management Review from 2011-2014. She has been distinguished by receiving both the Excellence Award and Hartford Nicholson Award for her contributions toward the development of research administration as a profession. She has been a member of the teaching faculty in the UCF Master in Research Administration program since the summer term of 2013 and also serves as a member of the UCF MRA program’s advisory board.

What is your academic background?
Public Health with an emphasis in work-related stress and its impact on health behavior. I have also published in the area of demographics, specifically looking at gender, experience, and education with respect to salary in research administrators.

What is your favorite UCF memory?
I have two favorite memories:

  1. Being invited to come here as a keynote speaker at a research administration conference sponsored by UCF in 2007 to present my stress survey data. At that time, I had no idea I would ever have the opportunity to be a part of the UCF research team!
  2. Our team submitting over one billion dollars in research funding in FY15. That was a milestone!

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
Ensure that every faculty member interested in doing research had a competent department or college-level research admin team to assist them in grant seeking and award management at the unit level. In my past experience, this has fostered more competitive proposals and less administrative burden on faculty members seeking to expand the body of knowledge in their areas of expertise.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Don’t let the peer reviewers at the funding agency be your proof readers. Have someone else read your grant proposal before you submit it to the agency.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
What a fun thing to imagine! I would establish The Jennifer Shambrook Grantsmanship Scholars Institute which would provide a grant-seeking enrichment program for junior faculty that would combine 1) mentorship from successfully funded researchers; 2) grantsmanship seminar series with both internal and external presenters; 3) competition for funds for pilot data; 4) culminate in a research day presentation and poster session for outcomes of series (grants submitted, lessons learned, pilot data gathered) where they would offer training to grad students and postdocs on what they have learned.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
I would enjoy having lunch with our Provost, Dale Whittaker. I would love to know more about his vision for research at UCF, what he has learned from his own past experiences with research both here and at his former institutions, and why he chose to take up the harmonica (probably the friendliest of all instruments). J

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Dr. Jo Ann Smith for inviting me to participate in the MRA teaching faculty.

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
After 30 years in this field, there are far too many to name only one. The best have been those that can explain the realm of science in terms that a seventh grader can understand and create a sense of curiosity and wonder that will inspire them to want to learn more.

What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
I enjoyed the final stages of my dissertation research when I camped in a motor home in a state forest in Tennessee and just ate, slept, and wrote non-stop for days. Although, I will admit, I probably enjoy remembering those days more than I enjoyed experiencing them at the time.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Recipes with meaningful stories associated with them. I am a cookbook author on Amazon with several books that have ranked number one in their category. I call them recipe storybooks because I give recipes and the stories associated with them. I began writing the books for my daughters, nieces and other family members to preserve the recipes and stories for future generations. I put them on Amazon as just an easy vehicle to get them to my scattered family. Much to my surprise, they went viral and now there are tens of thousands of copies in circulation.

What is your favorite movie, book or music?
Any movie with James Garner or Robert Duvall; any book by Jane Austen or John Grisham; and any song that will make you want to sing along, laugh, or dance.

What is your favorite vacation destination?
I enjoy travelling combined with service. I have been able to assist in building capacity for research in many developing nations (Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana); as well as share best practices with industrialized world colleagues (New Zealand, Denmark, Great Britain, and Canada.) I have also had the opportunity to serve in medical missions through Mercy Ships in Honduras, and other humanitarian missions in Haiti, the Native American Community in the Carolinas, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana. I enjoy seeing new places, experiencing new cultures, and meeting new people, but doing those things and feeling that I’ve done something to make a lasting impact makes it even more enjoyable.


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