Pawar has extensive operational and leadership experience. She became the director for research affairs at the College of Medicine in 2008 and, after developing the office’s basic and clinical research infrastructure, became assistant dean for research within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2014. A researcher by training—she has a PhD in molecular cellular biology/cancer biology, a Master of Microbiology, and a Master of Business Administration—she used her expertise to lead a transformation in the college’s research operations, including overhauling and expanding its pre-award services, restructuring and updating the Federal Capacity Grant Program and developing a full suite of training and development activities. Prior to accepting her new role, Pawar was the assistant vice president for research for the Division of Agriculture, Life & Veterinary Sciences & Cooperative Extension.
In the newly created position in RII, Pawar will oversee all university research operations, including grants and contracts pre- and post-award services, research compliance, infrastructure and communications and strategic research program management. She will report directly to Elizabeth Cantwell, Senior Vice President of Research and Innovation.
“I believe in driving change by utilizing systematic problem-solving skills while deeply engaging diverse stakeholders to better understand their interests and gain commitment,” Pawar said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the university’s robust research enterprise in this new capacity.”
The UA conducts more than $687 million of research annually, placing it among the largest public research institutions in the country and first in the state. RII supports the university’s world-class research enterprise and advances transformative excellence in research across campus, with particular attention to its land-grant mission of service. RII enables the research success of faculty by supporting university research centers, institutes, museums and core facilities; providing research development, stewardship, compliance and safety services; and securing strategic external partnerships.
“Fundamentally, RII is charged with serving the research community across campus,” Cantwell said. “From conception to completion, our researchers ought to have a full understanding of the comprehensive resources available through RII and be supported at every level of their work. Dr. Pawar is very well suited to lead RII’s transformation into an enabler and expeditor of innovation and impact well beyond the university.”