About Us

Office of Sponsored Projects

Our mission is to ignite and support Seattle University's externally funded research, scholarship, creative, and service endeavors. 

  • To be known as a collaborative, creative partner in service to the university community
  • To give vision and voice for sponsored projects in university strategic planning
  • To act as professional mentors and role models in the field of grant and research administration
  • To provide dynamic, relevant, and responsive information, tools, and resources
  • Care: We care for the university’s sponsored project funding by following best practices and promoting the highest ethical standards in our role as compliance officers. We care for the faculty, staff, and students who work with us by demonstrating responsive and effective customer service.
  • Cultivate: We cultivate grant writing knowledge and skills by providing professional development resources and training. We equip faculty and staff with effective tools to write successful proposals and manage sponsored project funding.
  • Collaborate: We collaborate to exchange ideas, solve problems, strategize funding goals, and facilitate partnerships across functional areas, disciplines, and institutions.
  • Communicate: We communicate outcomes, celebrate achievements, and increase visibility of the university’s sponsored project and research activities.

Our Services

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) assists faculty and staff in the pursuit and management of external funding. OSP is also responsible for ensuring compliance with federal regulations and laws, sponsor-specific guidelines, and the policies and procedures of Seattle University.  We serve the SU community by guiding all faculty and staff through the Sponsored Project Lifecycle.

According to the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), for which your OSP team are members, research development encompasses a set of strategic, proactive, catalytic, and capacity-building activities designed to facilitate individual faculty members, teams of researchers, and central research administrations in attracting extramural research funding, creating relationships, and developing and implementing strategies that increase institutional competitiveness.

The OSP supports your research development through:

  • Individual consultations
  • Events to showcase and celebrate your scholarship
  • Inter-institutional networking opportunities
  • Workshops to support your scholarly and proposal development
  • Regular communications such as our quarterly OSP Observer and annual report
  • Prospecting and sharing curated funding opportunities with individuals
  • Maintaining a funding opportunity database 
  • Proposal development resources and support
  • Partnering with the Center for Faculty Development

Access our Research Development Services

The Office of Sponsored Projects offers several services to support your scholarly and programmatic goals. Please get in touch with us early and often as we can provide expert consultations related to developing your research agenda, creating a 'funding roadmap', and conceptualizing your project(s); and assist in identifying relevant funding opportunities for your unique project.

Once you notify OSP of your intent to apply to a funding opportunity, your Sponsored Research Officer will:

  • Thoroughly review the program request for proposals, program goals, and sponsor policies and objectives
  • Develop a proposal checklist and timeline
  • Meet with you to prepare for the proposal
  • Draft your budget and budget justification for your review and refinement
  • Provide copy editing review and review for compliance with sponsor and institutional policies
  • Facilitate internal review and approvals
  • Submit the proposal

Additionally, when of interest, and given the lead time, OSP can provide project conceptualization, proposal management for teams, and enhanced proposal editing support. 

  • Guides you through the proposal process with particular emphasis on budget development, assuring compliance with sponsor and university policies
  • And increasing competitiveness through reviewing for alignment with sponsor criteria and format, and proposal editing (to the extent desired by the Principal Investigator)

Access our Find Funding and Proposal Resources

The OSP is responsible for maintaining compliance with your award agreement, sponsor guidelines, federal regulations, and institutional policies. Additionally, we seek to reduce your burden so that you can focus on your project. We do this through:

  • Negotiation and acceptance of new awards
  • Requesting a new financial account for the external funds to be tracked
  • Orienting the sponsored project PI and support staff with the award’s terms and conditions and related SU policies and procedures
  • Facilitating requests and communication with the sponsor, as needed
  • Providing guidance regarding compliance with awards 
  • Reviewing sponsor-required reports prior to submission
  • Setting up and supporting all subawards and subcontracts
  • Processing procurement transactions, as needed
  • Providing timely balance reports
  • Meeting on a regular or as-needed basis to review the status of your award
  • Initiating award closeout
  • and more!

Access our Award Management resources

Meet the OSP Staff

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) is a five person team, consisting of a director, two sponsored research officers, a grant management specialist, and an academic safety officer. We are available to support you throughout your scholarly journey.

Please don't hesitate to contact us!

OSP team members posing for a photo behind a table of resources

Jenna Isakson, MPA, CRA

Supporting: Policies, Processes, Compliance, Institutional Proposals and Awards

isaksonj@seattleu.edu, 206-296-6161, LOYA 206

Jenna holds a B.S. in Organizational Communications from the University of Portland and a Master in Public Administration from Seattle University, and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA). In 2015, she co-founded the local non-profit KiloWatts for Humanity where she served on the board until 2022. She has held a variety of research administration roles at SU since 2010 before taking a brief foray into donor stewardship and grant management at Woodland Park Zoo and returning to Seattle U in spring of 2019 as Director of OSP. Jenna is engaged with the National Council of Research Administrators, National Organizational of Research Development Professionals, Society of Research Administrators, and the Cohort for Efficiencies in Research Administration (Alternative to Effort cohort). When not strategizing our institutional grant approach, writing policies, and maintaining compliance, she enjoys roadtripping around the PNW with her partner, son, and two dogs.

Sarah Bricknell, MBA, CRA

Supporting: ALB, CAS, CCE, COE, LAW

bricknellsar@seattleu.edu, 206-398-4407

Sarah has a B.A in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford, and is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA).  Prior to joining the OSP team at Seattle University in 2018, Sarah held the roles of financial analyst for Citibank in New York City and director of development for a supportive housing agency in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She currently sits on the National Council of University Research Administrators Region XI Advisory Committee and is a member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals.  Originally from Connecticut, Sarah enjoys reading, exploring and spending time with her husband, three children and two dogs.

Kara Luckey, PhD

Supporting: CSE, CON

kluckey@seattleu.edu, 206-398-4408

Kara holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado, as well as a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science. Prior to joining SU, Kara served as Research Development Consultant at the UW-Tacoma where she supported faculty across all disciplines in developing competitive projects and proposals submitted to a range of public and private sponsors. Kara has also led grant-writing efforts and conducted externally-funded independent and collaborative research at CU-Denver and worked as a transportation and land use planner in private consulting. At SU, Kara enjoys supporting faculty in all aspects of their research, from the early stages of designing projects through helping to manage external awards. She is deeply engaged with the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), including as co-Chair of the Predominately Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) Affinity Group.

Aika Foz

Supporting: Post-award activities for all divisions


Aika holds her Bachelor of Arts in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior from the University of Washington, Bothell. Before joining the Office of Sponsored Projects team in 2023, Aika served as a Budget Fiscal Analyst with the Grant and Contract Accounting department at the University of Washington. In this role, Aika managed grant and contract budgets from setup to closeout and processed financial reporting for federal and nonfederal grant and contract accounts. Aika’s Redhawk roots go back to 2016 when she first joined the SU community as the Senior Operations Assistant for the University Advancement department. Aika supported the accounts payable and procurement processes for the UA cost centers and facilitated department-wide trainings during the introduction of ProcureSU. Aika is engaged with the National Council of Research Administrators and the Society of Research Administrators International. Outside of research administration, Aika also enjoys photography, filmmaking, journaling, and traveling the world with her husband and their three daughters.

Breena Stoner, MS

Supporting: Safety infrastructure and policies for the academic divisions

bstoner@seattleu.edu, 206-296-6102, ENGR 643, Academic Safety Website

Breena has a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Central Florida and an M.S. in Biochemistry from Stanford University, and she is a Registered Biosafety Professional. Prior to joining Seattle University in 2022, Breena started her career in safety as Assistant Biosafety Officer at UCLA and then served as Senior Safety Engineer at Caltech. She is engaged with the Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity (ABSA) and the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA). Breena finds joy in skiing, good food, books, video games, and listening to too much NPR.

Collaboration with the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), based in Academic Affairs, and the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR), based in University Advancement, share a collaborative relationship in the pursuit and management of privately-funded sponsored projects. OSP is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with sponsor guidelines and policies, as well as university policies, procedures and approval processes. CFR is primarily responsible for building relationships between Seattle University and corporations and foundations, which may often result in grants for specific faculty research or programs at SU.

It is when SU faculty and staff explore, pursue and are awarded grants from privately-funded sponsors that OSP and CFR's relationship intersects. The below diagram can assist in understanding the relationship between OSP and CFR.

OSP Advisory Council

The Office of Sponsored Projects Advisory Council serves an advisory function for the OSP by making recommendations on strategic planning, policies, procedures and new OSP initiatives in support of faculty research and sponsored project endeavors. The council provides guidance on how best OSP can engage faculty in seeking external funding; identifies priorities and strategies for faculty research development and interdisciplinary collaborations;  provides a feedback mechanism for SU faculty to the OSP; and cultivates the campus research culture through communication and engagement with the OSP.

AY2023-24 Members

  • Deborah Ahrens, School of Law
  • Elizabeth Dale, College of Arts and Sciences
  • David Fainstein, College of Education
  • Yen-Lin Han, College of Science and Engineering
  • Brittany Heintz Walters, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Brett Kaiser, College of Science and Engineering
  • Henry Louie, College of Science and Engineering
  • Eunice Rhee, Albers School of Business and Economics
  • Nova Robinson, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Alic Shook, College of Nursing
  • Yen Tran, Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons
  • Benjamin White, College of Nursing