Office of Research & Creative Scholarship
Eric Asetta, Executive Director
A native of Lexington, Eric Asetta began his career in research administration at Harvard University’s Office for Sponsored Programs in 2001. From 2004 to 2007, he served as the Research Support Coordinator for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, before joining the newly established School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard (SEAS) in 2007. His most recent position at SEAS was as Assistant Director of Research Administration.
While at SEAS, Eric helped to develop an infrastructure that enabled the nascent Research Administration Office (RAO) to support the development and management of researchers’ sponsored funding portfolios. With steady growth in research funding expenditures from 2007 onwards, the Research Administration Office worked tirelessly to facilitate new endeavors and collaborations, all while fostering a culture of compliance and adherence to University and sponsor guidelines. Eric also spearheaded and co-developed numerous training initiatives and training materials in research administration for colleagues, School staff and faculty, and University administrators, including the Research Excellence in Administration Certificate at Harvard (REACH) Foundations program.
Eric earned his B.A. in English and American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and holds an M.A. in Government from the Harvard University Extension School.
Andrew Shepard, Assistant Director
Andy has over 25 years’ experience in grant and contract research administration. He has worked on both the pre- and post-award administration of sponsored awards. Andy was the first full time Director of Research Administration for Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has since worked at various academic and medical institutions throughout New England. During his ten years at the University of New Hampshire, he was promoted to Associate Manager of the pre-award office, responsible for supervising a staff of five in research administration.
Andy’s strength is working with faculty in the development of the business section of their research proposals. He has provided extensive support in the formal solicitation, negotiation, acceptance and administration of sponsored projects. As a grant professional, Andy has maintained critical knowledge and expertise in the applicable federal policies and procedures related to grant and contract administration and communicating them to faculty members. He has used his negotiation of numerous research contracts to develop boiler plate contracts for consultants and Industrial agreements.
Andy’s role as ORCS Assistant Director is to:
- Provide comprehensive post award fiscal management of sponsored funds including the pre-audit and processing all grant expenditures and monthly review of expenses against the approved budget. Work with faculty to resolve financial issues.
- Invoice sponsors to assure a positive cash flow for all grant awards and monthly review of all receivables.
- Ensure grant awards and PI’s are in compliance with grant award terms and reporting requirements, College policies and sponsor guidelines.
- Provide timely and reliable information and financial reports to faculty and administrators, off-campus partners and sponsors.
- Stay current of all research related post award sponsor and college policies to assure compliance with federal, state, and college research regulations.
- Provide faculty and student training required to improve grant management skills, including budgeting and budget management, fiscal processes, compliance regulations and reporting requirements.
Andy has an Economics degree from Tufts University and a MBA from the University of New Hampshire.
Nikki Borman began her career at MIT where she managed relationships between sponsoring entities, including NIH, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Department of the Navy, DARPA and others. She was the point person for oversight response to federal entities to these, and other agencies including the IRS. In addition she was responsible for developing the Institute’s business model serving faculty innovators. During her 25-year career she has held senior client facing positions with KPMG, Ernst & Young and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
She is an accomplished professional with extensive cross-industry experience in the management of complex matters in the research management and innovation environment. She has managed operations and systems for higher education research institutions and has been a key contributor to the enhancement of sponsored research opportunities for her clients. She has developed complex pursuit plans to serve technology and research rich enterprises, capturing multi-party collaboration opportunities to the benefit of her clients. Her approach emphasizes building on client strengths to allow for rapid tracking of relevant opportunities. She also brings a thorough understanding and capability in overall research management, coupled with strong systems design and development skills to support the research and innovation enterprise.
Michele O’Shea has twenty-three years of experience in research administration, beginning her career at MIT, in management of sponsored research applications, resultant inventions and patent administration. She is a highly skilled professional, particularly as these relate to government requirements and submissions. She has been active in providing input to the developers of Federal databases on Government requirements from the grantee perspective. She has developed and implemented administration procedures for non-profit organizations to guide the research enterprise. During her career she has held senior responsibility positions with Ropes & Gray and Partners Healthcare.