COHPA Home
  • Blog
  • 2014
  • Research Administration Student Wins International Award for Abu Dhabi Partnership
ShareThis
Text Size:
Print This Page

M.R.A. Student Wins International Award for Abu Dhabi Partnership

Click image to enlarge

By Karen Guin

Winona Ward, a student in UCF's online Master of Research Administration program, is in San Diego this week to receive the Society of Research Administrators International's top award for international collaboration.

The society's 2014 Partnership Award for International and/or Inter-collegiate Collaboration recognizes Ward's outstanding leadership in establishing a partnership with The Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, that will create and staff an entire research office for the organization.

"It's an extraordinary accomplishment," said Jo Ann Smith, director of the M.R.A. program and assistant professor of public administration.

The Petroleum Institute is a teaching and research facility supported by some of the world's largest oil companies, including BP, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Total and Shell. Last fall the institute announced a Request for Proposals to develop a dedicated office to support its growing research initiatives.

Ward learned of the RFP in her role as executive director of sponsored programs at Louisiana State University. With assistance from Smith and several partners, she crafted and submitted a proposal to the institute with details on how to structure, operate, budget and staff a research office in Abu Dhabi. The proposal called for collaborations with LSU, UCF, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the National Council of University Research Administrators and a research-law expert. The cost would be $800,000 for two years.

Ward learned this spring that the institute had selected her proposal, and in June the organization flew her and three team members, including Smith, to Abu Dhabi for a site visit. That's when Ward's knowledge, leadership and "a special finesse" took center stage, according to Smith.

"There were many organizational and cultural differences to consider," Smith explained. "Winona's ability to navigate these unique challenges, negotiate with different organizations and cultures, and nurture complex relationships were crucial to moving the partnership forward."

Within two weeks of the site visit, the institute signed an agreement with LSU, with Ward serving as principal investigator. Now she is leading the project by email correspondence, weekly meetings and return trips to Abu Dhabi. Smith's current role is to oversee an international search for the institute's first director of sponsored research.

Ward can take great pride in her accomplishment. Not only did her proposal forge a significant international partnership, it also fulfilled a course requirement in the M.R.A. program, PAD 5850 - Contracts and Grant Management, for which she earned an "A."

Share and Enjoy:

Mentioned : Jo Ann Smith
Categories :

Archive

The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
— Michael Neimann M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
— Adam Stubley B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
— Jamie Dyson Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
— Daniel Barr V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
— Krysti Griffith Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
— Deborah Reith Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
— Jacqueline Iaquinta Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
— April Heyward Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
— Richard "Ben" Hagen Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
— Carlos Gual Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
— Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13) 
Give a Gift - The College of Healh & Public Affairs