We’re Here to Help: Leslie Burgess


Program/Project Support Coordinator

My focus

Support is the key word in both my title and in describing my role in the Office of Research Services.  Serving initially in the department as the executive assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research, my position has grown to encompass a variety of areas in need, such as marketing/communications projects like our quarterly research newsletter, our Annual Report, Explore, and various research symposia. In support of UMKC’s new strategic plan goal to significantly increase the number of research grant proposals, I will begin training in Pre-Award services, which assists faculty in finding and applying for funding opportunities.

Where I came from

I have lived in the Kansas City area my whole life, and have worked in academia since graduating from UMKC, first with a BA in Psychology followed later by a MA in Higher Education Administration. My first position at UMKC was in the Counseling and Testing Center as an assistant and test proctor. I then accepted a position at the Kansas City Art Institute where I enjoyed serving as a campus coordinator until graduate school called me back to UMKC to further my educational goals.  I was a Graduate Research Assistant for the International Academic Office during that time and loved helping students study abroad. I joined the Office of Research team shortly after graduating in 2013.

What I love about working in Research Administration

The focus of my undergraduate degree was research and analysis in Psychology and this has been the first position I’ve had that taps into that interest.  I’ve been grateful for an inside view of the amazing research projects being conducted by our faculty.Overall, I love being a part of the ORS team and working with a wonderful group of dedicated, supportive colleagues.

Some favorite things

My husband and I enjoy taking our 3 year old daughter on adventures around the city, from weekend trips for produce at the River Market to rides on the KC streetcar. There are always new art openings to check out and restaurants to try.  Although the winters can be challenging, Midwest seasons are in my blood and I look forward to the warmer months where we venture out to hike, boat, camp, and grill. During downtime I catch up on reading for the book club I host.