We’re Here to Help: Andrea Uhl


Senior Grants & Contracts Administrator

My focus

I assist the University faculty and staff in the grant application and award process. I serve as an advocate for our faculty doing my best to provide the tools and explanations to allow them to communicate their project and/or research plans and goals as effectively as possible.

Where I came from

Although I was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri I’ve now called the Kansas City area my home just a few years longer. My first home in the metro was on the campus of William Jewell College where I studied Vocal Music Performance, Political Science, Psychology and History. Later, I transferred to UMKC to continue my studies and found a wonderful first “real job” working in the School of Biological Sciences. My introduction to grants, research and grants management all started 18 years ago, filling out carbon grant forms on a type writer for the faculty in SBS! Enjoying the academic culture and opportunities here at UMKC I continued on as a fiscal officer in SBS, then moved to the Grants Officer position at the School of Medicine and eventually landed at the Office of Research Services as a Grants and Contracts Administrator. In 2009 I had the opportunity to explore healthcare grants and research administration at The Children’s Mercy Hospital where I spent six years working with researchers and faculty as a grants specialist. As my children were starting pre-school and my husband’s business was growing I diversified my efforts; I started a part-time research and grants consulting business, while managing our business and spending as much time with our twins as possible. As our children started kindergarten, the opportunity to “come back home” to UMKC and the Office of Research Services presented itself at the perfect time for me and my family. I’m so happy to return to the campus I love doing the work I’ve come to love!

What I love about working in Research Administration

The faculty we work with have the brilliance and expertise to formulate some amazing projects to teach, improve and develop many expansive fields. Research Administration can be full of complex and tedious tasks covering everything from proof-reading to composing detailed budgets, filling out multifaceted and intricate forms and providing endless information and justifications. Assisting faculty through these administrative tasks, I feel I am doing my part to provide the tools for them to grow and progress in their research.

Some favorite things

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family; husband Nathan, daughter Blythe and son Phineas. The twins keep us busy with many activities including soccer and family game night but I also find time to enjoy singing, running and training for races. This October I plan to run my third full marathon and take a break from the “long races” to enjoy some beautiful Kansas City Fall weather with outdoor yoga and cycling with my family.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a local working group appointed by animal research facilities in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Public Health Services (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Among the most important IACUC functions are to:

  • Review and approve proposed activities that will involve animals as well as any significant changes in IACUC-approved proposals that may arise later.  These proposals must be approved by the IACUC before activity begins and provide detailed information such as assurances that alternatives to potentially painful procedures were actively considered, that a veterinarian was consulted in the design of the project to assure that pain or distress animals might experience will be avoided or minimized and that the project does not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments.
  • Inspect all animal facilities and study areas every six months.
  • Monitor the institution’s program for humane care and use of animals; evaluate compliance with the AWA, PHS Policy and other requirements and report to the responsible institutional official and federal agencies as described in their respective rules.
  • Investigate concerns or complaints received from facility personnel or the public.

Suspend an activity involving animals if the activity is not being conducted in accordance with the AWA and PHS Policy as approved by the IACUC.

The IACUC oversees the specific use of animals by formally reviewing animal use protocols and granting approval prior to the work commencing. Recently the IACUC compiled data from the past 3 years on the number of days it took to secure approval of 68 protocols.  On average it took 42 business days to secure approval of which 25 days were “IACUC days” (administrative handling and IACUC review). The review timeline is posted on the IACUC website: http://ors.umkc.edu/docs/default-source/iacuc/iacuc-review-timelines.pdf?sfvrsn=0

The 2 valid methods of protocol review are either full committee review (FCR) or designated member review (DMR). (PHS Policy IV.C.2.) To reduce the burden on the IACUC members, a pre-review is done by the research compliance staff, attending veterinarian and the IACUC chair to confirm the information provided in the IACUC protocol by the PI is correct.  Veterinary pre-review allows for the attending veterinarian to review the protocol to ensure that any and all veterinary matters are addressed. Once PI addresses the concerns or questions from the pre-review the protocol is sent to all IACUC members for review. The IACUC member(s) may feel that FCR is needed or as in most cases the protocol goes to a DMR.

FCR may only be conducted at a convened meeting with a quorum (simple majority) of members present. A majority vote of the quorum present is needed to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of a protocol. When substantive modifications are required in a protocol to secure approval, the resubmitted protocol must be reviewed using either FCR or DMR.

DMR may occur only after all IACUC members have been provided with the protocol to be reviewed and have an opportunity to call for FCR. If FCR is not requested, at least one member of the IACUC qualified to conduct the review is designated by the Chair. DMR may result in approval, require modifications in (to secure approval), or request FCR. DMR may not result in disapproval.

The ORS Moves to iThenticate

The ORS moves to Protect Against Plagiarism in Grant Application Submissions

Last Spring the UMKC Office of Research joined a number of universities taking steps to avoid unreferenced or copied material in grant application submissions by launching the voluntary use of iThenticate, a cloud-based plagiarism detection utility.   iThenticate, the worldwide leading plagiarism detection technology, is used by a growing list of scholarly publishers, academic institutions, and funding sponsors including the NIH, NSF, DoE, CDC and others.  In the case of grant application submissions, plagiarism can be unintentional, yet the consequences for allowing a submission to go forward with unreferenced or unintentionally plagiarized material can be devastating not only to the investigator but to the institution as well.

In order to protect our faculty, students and the institution itself, the ORS is, at present, offering voluntary iThenticate pre-screening of grant applications prior to submission.  The service should not delay submission since it can be accomplished and analyzed in less than an hour.  However, it is recommended that pre-screening take place a few days before the ORS submission deadline such that any necessary corrective measures can take place prior to final submission.  It is envisioned that mandatory screening will become standard operating procedure within a year or two since this is the direction being taken by all major institutions.


For additional information on the iThenticate service see: ORS Plagiarism Prevention

Funding for Excellence 2018

The proposal deadline for the FY18 round of the Funding for Excellence Faculty Research Grants  program is Friday, September 15 at 5:00.  A full description of the Funding for Excellence Program as well the application submission portal and a budget matrix are available on the Office of Research Services web site at:   Funding for Excellence Program

Briefly, the Funding for Excellence Program (FFE) is an institutionally funded grants program to support the highest level of research, scholarship, and artistic endeavors by UMKC faculty. FFE grants are awarded once a year, on a competitive basis, by a decision of the UMKC Research Advisory Council. The program will provide funding for faculty projects up to $15,000. The three goals of the FFE program are to:

  • Enhance the research stature and scholarly reputation of UMKC
  • Support excellence in the scholarship, research, and creative endeavors of tenured and tenure-track faculty members of all ranks; and,
  • Provide a financial means to achieve a tangible result.


Please email Leslie Burgess (burgessla@umkc) or me (dreyfusl@umkc.edu)  with any questions you may have on the program in general of the upcoming submission deadline.

Mark Your Calendar

Funding For Excellence Deadline

UMRB Deadline

Fall KCMD Symposium

  • Friday, October 13th in the UMKC Student Union, Multipurpose Room 401

Faculty Research Symposium

  • Friday, Dec. 8th, 2017 in the UMKC Student Union, Multipurpose Room