Office of Research & Creative Scholarship



Elizabeth Demski, Associate Vice President

Elizabeth Demski

Elizabeth Demski, Associate Vice President

The Office of Research and Creative Scholarship was established in 2012 by AVP Liz Demski, with the goals of providing vision and strategic leadership for the College’s research and creative missions and to enable Emerson to build its external funding base, expand its reputation for scholarly and creative excellence, and strengthen its commitment to practice-based research and creative scholarship. Liz is highly qualified to lead this important function for the College, having had more than 20 years of experience in research administration at Saint Anselm College, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Lee Pelton stated that “Her experience and the contacts that she has built throughout her career will enable her to offer creative strategies to attract financial support for the College. I expect her to be both a catalyst and guiding force as the College develops the new Office of Faculty Research and Creative Scholarship.”

Liz works with faculty on a dedicated basis to assist with finding, applying for and managing external funds to support their research and creative scholarship. She has made it a priority to strengthen the support and infrastructure for faculty research at Emerson, seeing it as a needed investment to ensure more opportunities for faculty to secure external funding to advance their research. Liz conducts trainings for faculty and graduate students, oversees student fellowships (i.e. Fulbright, Rhodes) and serves as the College’s Compliance Officer for research. Liz also serves as Co-Chair of the Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC) and facilitates competitive internal grant processes for faculty and she is an ex-officio member of the College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Liz serves as a resource for all faculty and staff pertaining to their research and to external funding. Liz is an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and the Society of Research International.

Andrew Shepard, Assistant Director

Roles in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship:

  • 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 agency guidelines that include cost share documentation, final financial reports and award close out.
  • Provide timely and reliable information and financial reports to faculty and administrators, off-campus partners and sponsors, federal and state agencies, private foundations and the corporate sector.
  • Stay current of all research related post award sponsor and college policies and 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.
  • Works with Financial Affairs to reconcile financial records, process expense documents and award closeouts.

Consultants (Beginning in January)

Nikki Borman

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

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.