New Upstate Research Strategic Plan Learn More

Pre-Award Services

Search Research Website

Pre-Award Services

  • Pre-Award Services

The goal of the Upstate Pre-Award Team is to work collaboratively with research faculty to provide all of the non-scientific components and institutional information required to apply for external funding.  We pride ourselves on a faculty-first, full-service, professional approach that allows researchers to focus on the scientific components while we take care of the rest.

Our office is responsible for submitting proposals requesting support for research and other scholarly projects to funding agencies.  We help determine eligibility and develop the proposals needed to compete for them. We also oversee budget development and help prepare any documentation required by a proposal. 

Our commitment to our faculty includes timely, high-quality, professional services that include:
  • Review compliance (including COI, IRB and IACUC) requirements and communicate requirements to faculty
  • Review and interpret Sponsor guidelines, university policies, and federal regulations related to grant submission
  • Assist and advise on budget development (applicable indirects, fringe benefits, and allowable costs)
  • Review, endorse, and submit grant proposals for sponsored research, training, and other projects
  • Review, negotiate, and accept a broad array of agreements, contracts, and subcontracts that support basic, translational, and clinical research projects
  • Respond to JIT and informational requests from sponsors
  • Receive and accept sponsored awards, including reviewing the terms and conditions of an award, and working to resolve issues that may develop before accepting the award

Other related activities
  • Negotiate and execute Materials Transfer Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, and other legal instruments associated with sponsored programs
  • Process incoming grant transfers

We invite you to stop by our offices in Weiskotten Hall, Suite 1111, or email us to discuss your research and upcoming plans to secure extramural funding. 

Jennifer A. Rudes, MS

Jennifer joined the Office for Sponsored Programs in 2006 and has over 20 years of experience in research administration. She is responsible for the direction and management of pre-award grants, agreements, and contract administration. She holds a Master of Science degree in Management from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA and a Bachelor of Science degree from University at Albany, SUNY. Jennifer enjoys all types of fitness, traveling and coffee. Fun fact: Jennifer has completed a Trifecta in the Spartan race series.

Kara O'Donnell, CRA
Sr. Research Administrator

Kara joined the Office for Sponsored Programs in 2016. Kara has a background in grant writing and prior to joining Upstate, she worked on behalf of a local law firm securing grant funding for municipalities throughout Onondaga County. Kara holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and earned her Certified Research Administrator status in 2019. Fun Facts: In her spare time, Kara enjoys traveling, hiking and baking.

Ellen Furnari, MA
Research Administrator

Ellen joined Research Administration in 2014 and became a Research Administrator in 2019. She has a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University’s School of Professional Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College. A Vermont native, Ellen enjoys reading and testing out new recipes. Fun fact: Ellen can juggle. Stop by Weiskotten Hall 1111 and she will show you how.

April Bridges
Sponsored Programs Assistant

April joined the Office for Sponsored Programs in 2014. Prior to joining the Sponsored Programs team, April was an Account Executive with the American Red Cross where she spent 26 years working with corporations across New York state. In her free time, April enjoys ice skating. Fun fact: April is a fitness instructor at Elevate Fitness, come join one of her classes and she’ll make you sweat.

Justin T. Techmanski, M.S.Ed
Research Administrator


Justin joined the Office for Sponsored Programs in 2024. Justin has a history of involvement in research, stemming all the way back to his pre-collegiate education when he served as a research assistant. Justin previously worked in academic affairs at a R-1 designated university. Justin holds a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) with a focus in Higher Education Administration from SUNY Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Oswego. Born and raised in Syracuse, Justin enjoys the food, nature, friends, and family that the CNY region brings him. Fun fact: Justin is an avid botanist; stop by his office to see just a small sampling of his plants!

We value your Feedback

Thank you for visiting the research website. Your feedback is valuable to us as we strive to support researchers and provide information about the exciting research conducted at Upstate Medical University.

Go to top