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RDS has expertise on both the agency and the institution perspectives, which lends to assisting the PI or research teams to develop competitive proposals that address all the criteria required by an agency that a proposal should contain. RDS personnel can assist the PI and research team with checking that all items in a FOA are addressed strategically, to create as competitive a proposal as possible.

Jorja Kimball, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Focus: Proposal & Professional Development

Dr. Jorja Kimball serves as the Executive Director of Research Development Services (RDS), under the Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University. Dr. Kimball leads RDS to support the TAMU research community in developing competitive proposals to federal funding agencies. 

Dr. Kimball is a Regent’s Fellow, a permanent designation and the highest award for staff made by the Texas A&M University System. It reflects her service of more than 30 years in higher education, and 20 years contributing to proposal development and securing more than $160 million in federal research funding for Texas. Dr. Kimball has served as principal investigator (PI) on NSF and NASA funded grants, and as an NSF reviewer. She presently serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Research Administration and as an Author Fellowship program sub-committee member.  Her Ph.D. is from Texas A&M University, with a specialization in Higher Education Administration.  Dr. Kimball’s research is on underrepresented students in STEM, and the retention and progression to degree of engineering students. She holds an MBA and BBA from Texas A&I University, now Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Candice Jongsma, Ph.D.

Director for Multidisciplinary Project Development

Focus: Multidisciplinary Proposals

Dr. Candice Jongsma is the Director of Multidisciplinary Project Development within the Division of Research, Research Development Services. Her primary role is to support the TAMU research enterprise by guiding the proposal development process for multidisciplinary research proposals. Throughout her civil service career with four federal agencies (NIST, NASA, FDA, NOAA), Dr. Jongsma awarded more than $1 Billion in federal financial assistance awards, including managing and growing the largest grants program in the Department of Commerce. She has extensive experience serving as a subject matter expert reviewer on proposal and product submissions to federal agencies.

Dr. Jongsma has held fellowships with the National Academy of Medicine and the National Research Council. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and B.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Biology from Grand Valley State University. She has conducted research in a wide range of areas including agricultural products (foods/botanicals/dietary supplements/tobacco), pharmaceuticals, and biofuels.

Laurie Garton, Ph.D.

Senior Research Development Officer

Focus: Early Career Faculty

Dr. Laurie Garton is a Senior Research Development Officer with the Texas A&M Division of Research’s Research Development Services, focusing on junior faculty professional and proposal development in federal young investigator programs such as NSF CAREER, DoE Early Career, DoD YIPs. In this position she also serves as co-lead of the Junior Faculty Proposal Writing Academy.

Dr. Garton started her academic career at Youngstown State University in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as a tenure-track faculty member, following her B.S., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering (environmental) from Texas A&M University. She joined TEES in 1999 and began work on technical research project grants related to interdisciplinary environmental themes. For over 15 years in that position she focused on assisting junior faculty, especially targeting federal young investigator program grants and conducting workshops and guiding engineering faculty through the proposal development process. As part of TEES Research Development, she also assisted research teams working on multi-PI, multi-institutional level proposal efforts. Dr. Garton has reviewed for NSF, and has expertise with the NSF Graduate Fellows program.

Gabriel Rivera, MBA

Senior Research Development Officer

Focus: Multidisciplinary Proposals

Gabriel Rivera is a Senior Research Development Officer with the Multidisciplinary Proposal Development Team, Research Development Services (RDS). Mr. Rivera supports the proposal development process from inception through submission, for large and strategic multidisciplinary research proposals, including positioning and capture planning, proposal process coordination, grantsmanship, proposal writing and editing, and proposal review.

Prior to joining Texas A&M in 2017, Mr. Rivera worked at New Mexico State University (NMSU) for 15 years, where he facilitated the proposal development process for large ($100M+) federal contracts at NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory. He later became a founding member of NMSU’s Research Development Office, whose purpose was to assist faculty-led research groups in pursuing large, multidisciplinary funding opportunities. Mr. Rivera holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from New Mexico State University.

Christina Howard, Ph.D.

Research Development Officer

Focus: NIH Proposals

Dr. Christina Howard is a Research Development Officer in Research Development Services (RDS), under the Division of Research, where she provides resources and services to catalyze faculty research and scholarship. Dr. Howard works with single PIs and on teams submitting larger multi-disciplinary proposals, and has expertise with NIH submissions/proposals. Since joining RDS in 2015, she has provided individual consultations and proposal critiques, organized proposal writing groups, and conducted grant-related seminars and workshops.

As a leader in the National Organization for Research Development Professionals (NORDP), Dr. Howard brings cutting-edge research development skills to Texas A&M to support the research enterprise. She received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 2010 from The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at UT-Houston (funded by The Marfan Foundation) and UT Southwestern Medical Center (funded through an NIH T32 and a subsequent NIH F32), and served as a co-Chair of an Elastin, Elastic Fibers and Microfibrils Gordon Research Seminar.

Monica Bruno Holder, M.S.

Research Development Officer

Focus: International & Multidisciplinary Proposals

Monica Bruno Holder is a Research Development Officer in the Division of Research, Research Development Services (RDS). Ms. Holder began working at Texas A&M University in 1997 and joined the Division of Research in 2001. She received her M.S. from Texas A&M University in 2014. She currently facilitates research teams and supports proposal development for large and strategic interdisciplinary research proposals; including assisting faculty from pre-submission through proposal preparation, submission, and post-submission review. She also identifies funding sources and solicitations, and has worked with federal agencies including the NSF and NIH.

 In addition to proposal development, she manages International Programs for the Vice President for Research including internal/seed grants and the coordination of international collaborative research efforts. During her tenure, she has facilitated collaborative research partnerships for Texas A&M University with research agencies in Brazil, China, Israel and Mexico. She has extensive experience coordinating and facilitating international conferences for Texas A&M University in correlation with these efforts.

Shannon Eyre

Senior Administrative Coordinator

Focus: Administrative Support

Shannon Eyre is the Senior Administration Coordinator for Research Development Services (RDS) in the Division of Research (DoR). With over 20 years of service at Texas A&M, she has been with the Division of Research for more than 10 years. She provides support for professional development seminars, data collection, and the RDS program for Early Career faculty.

Mrs. Eyre also supports the Postdoctoral Association (PDA), the Bioscience Business Accelerator space, and administrative functions for the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) and Research Development Fund (RDF). 

Isamar Navarro

Administrative Associate IV

Focus: Administrative Support

Isamar Navarro is an Administrative Associate for Research Development Services (RDS) within the Division of Research at Texas A&M University. She provides administrative assistance with timelines for internal grant award extensions, final reports and coordinates logistics for meetings, conferences, seminars and proposal development workshops.

Ms. Navarro earned her Associates degree in Liberal Arts from Blinn College in 2016. Prior to joining RDS, she assisted with administrative and clerical duties for the City of College Station Utility department for 3 years. Ms. Navarro joined RDS in 2019 to provide administrative support, and serve as a resource to the RDS team and associated faculty research efforts.