On June 5, 2023, Kimberly Kirkpatrick will assume the role of associate vice president for research infrastructure and interdisciplinary institutes and centers at the University of Minnesota. This is a new role which holds a joint appointment in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs. Selected in a national search, Kirkpatrick will serve as a key leader in OVPR and will provide a direct link with the health sciences to support system-wide strategic planning and decision making, especially around shared research infrastructure and facilities.
In this role, Kirkpatrick will oversee University shared research resources, core research services, and related research infrastructure. She will be responsible for managing and growing research infrastructure resources through extramural grants and other funding, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research collaborations between the health sciences and other colleges across the UMN system. In OVPR, Kirkpatrick will oversee the University’s Research Animal Resources and its Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Program, and assist the vice president for research in managing the office’s 10 academic centers and institutes and in formalizing and starting up new collaborations.
Kirkpatrick comes to the University from Kansas State University, where she is a University Distinguished Professor with the Department of Psychological Sciences and the program director and principal investigator of the Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (CNAP) Center, which she developed from the ground up and grew three-fold over five years.
As program director of CNAP, she gained extensive experience in building collaborative interdisciplinary teams and developing plans for research enhancements and managing a mentoring program, in which 9 out of 15 faculty received extramural awards. A successful researcher who has attracted significant external funding, Kirkpatrick helped CNAP members apply successfully for $69.1 million in awards. In addition to her experience with CNAP, Kirkpatrick previously served as core facility director for animal research facilities and has been involved in planning and oversight for major animal laboratory renovations.
“We are excited to welcome Prof. Kirkpatrick to the University this spring, and we look forward to how her expertise in key areas of research administration and development will add to our team,” said Vice President for Research Shashank Priya. “She will have an important role in helping us to establish the critical infrastructure—be it people, systems, equipment, or facilities—and collaboration across the disciplines we will need to grow our systemwide research enterprise.”
"I look forward to working with Prof. Kirkpatrick in this critically important role as a connector across the health sciences and the University," said Vice President for Clinical Affairs Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD. "Her strategic vision and work will help advance our mission to improve care through clinical science."
For Kirkpatrick, the position is a chance to build on her research leadership. “While I absolutely love my role at K-State as a faculty member and center director, I believe that I have found my calling in research administration. I look forward to joining the team at the University of Minnesota and to helping the world-class faculty take their research enterprise to the next level,” she said.
VP’s Priya and Tolar thanked Professor Joe Konstan, associate dean for research, College of Science and Engineering, and the search committee he chaired for bringing forward excellent candidates, as well as members of the University community who participated in the search’s public interviews.