Orange Alert

College Appoints First Director of Proposal Development

Melissa Whipps to increase 'volume, scope, success' of grant proposals

March 6, 2019, by Robert M Enslin

Melissa Whipps
Melissa Whipps

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Whipps as its first director of proposal development.

The scientist-turned-administrator will help advance the research mission of the College by working with faculty to increase the volume, scope and success of grant proposals. She also will strengthen relationships between researchers in the College’s sciences/mathematics division and local, national and international funders.

Whipps previously was senior director of the University’s Office of Foundation Relations, which she joined in 2008. During her tenure in this and other positions, she secured more than $13 million for University priority projects.

In 2016, the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored her with the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award.

“Melissa is a strategic thinker who understands the role of a liberal arts college within a top-tier research institution,” says Alan Middleton, professor of physics, as well as associate dean of research and scholarship in A&S. “By promoting research excellence and expansion in A&S, she enables the University to carry out world-class scholarship.”

Whipps will work with Middleton to coordinate internally and externally sponsored proposal submissions. Moreover, they will alert faculty to funding opportunities, and will help prepare nominations for honorary research recognitions.

The duo's goal, Middleton says, is to help the University’s Office of Research increase proposal success-rates and totals.

A&S leads Syracuse in annual R&D expenditures—a metric of research success—with more than $19 million. This amount derives from some 160 proposals that A&S faculty submit each year, valued at approximately $57 million.

“It is important to the long-term success of the College to increase these expenditures. Melissa will help us do this, particularly with interdisciplinary and inter-school and college submissions,” Middleton adds.

Prior to Syracuse, Whipps worked for Oregon Sea Grant and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She earned a master's degree in oceanography from Oregon State University and a bachelor's degree in Earth and environmental sciences from Wesleyan University. 

Whipps is pursuing a master of public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Melissa Whipps Director, Office of Research Development

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin