By Abby Weingarten
Where do professors go when they need help securing grants and fellowships for scholarly projects? To the Office of Research Programs & Services (ORPS) at New College—a resource that recently gained a new director.
His name is Justin Miller, Ed.D., and he came to Sarasota after nearly 14 years at Ball State University in Indiana. As the new ORPS director, Miller will oversee the office’s mission to assist faculty as they pursue research endeavors (through agreements, awards, contracts and grants with the government, nonprofits, foundations and corporations).
“I’m responsible for primarily the ‘pre-award’ side of the sponsored projects lifecycle—that is, from finding funding opportunities to developing and submitting proposals, and, if the stars align, negotiating and accepting awards,” Miller said. “I also serve as the Institutional Review Board (IRB) administrator, which reviews human subject protocols.”
This work is nothing out of the ordinary for Miller, who grew his own research enterprise at Ball State—transitioning from a proposal manager, to a director of the pre-award office, to a director of a combined pre- and post-award office that employed more than 20 staff members. He now looks forward to building and growing “the scholarly enterprise” at New College, he said.
“I am absolutely passionate about the undergraduate scholarly experience,” Miller said. “I had such a great experience getting to explore my discipline as an undergrad, and I know sponsored projects can be such an amazing tool and vehicle—for faculty, staff and the institution as a whole—to continue to support everyone in their scholarly and creative pursuits.”
As for his own scholarly pursuits, Miller’s focus has been on sustainability and green education. He even helped secure funding for a geothermal energy system at Ball State, greatly reducing the school’s carbon footprint. While working on his doctorate of education (Ed.D.) degree from Ball State, he studied the greening of the curriculum and the institutionalization of sustainability.
Miller also holds a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree from Arizona State University, and a bachelor of science degree (B.S.) in religious studies from Ball State. He began his career as a program coordinator with the Arizona Humanities Council and then migrated to higher education.
Moving forward, Miller hopes the New College community taps the exceptional resources that the ORPS offers.
“Far too often, offices like ours get set aside as the place you go when you want a federal grant. And, while we obviously love those, we offer so much more,” Miller said. “We offer sponsored projects with state, local, industry, nonprofit and foundation sponsors, as well as the potential to collaborate with so many partners. I see so much potential and opportunity here.”
For more information on the ORPS, visit ncf.edu/academics/research-at-new-college/orps/
Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.