Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors (OVPR)

The mission of the Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors (OVPR) is to foster expansion of the scale, quality and impact of scholarly endeavors at UT Austin. OVPR is committed to building capacity, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and lowering the barriers involved in scientific and creative inquiry through the development of an investigator-focused infrastructure that supports the needs of UT Austin's diverse research enterprise.

Contact Us - Main Office



Campus Mail Code: G1400

Staff Directory

OVPR Org Chart (PDF)


Daniel Jaffe, Ph.D.

As the Vice President for Research, Daniel Jaffe, Ph.D., and his office support President Hartzell’s priorities of expanding the University’s research capabilities and creating new opportunities for collaboration around campus. The Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors provides support and resources to make it easier for faculty and staff to design, pursue and find funding for projects that advance our understanding of the world and improve our place in it.

Dr. Jaffe has supervised the creation of three cross-campus interdisciplinary initiatives, including a grand challenge program, Bridging Barriers, that brings together more than 150 researchers from 52 specialties and departments. Dr. Jaffe also oversees nearly a dozen core research facilities, including the Texas Advanced Computing Center and Applied Research Laboratories, and the Energy and IC2 Institutes.

Dr. Jaffe’s own research focuses on the formation of stars and planetary systems, and he is principal investigator for a high-resolution near-infrared spectrometer at McDonald Observatory, as well as for a high-resolution spectrometer for the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Dr. Jaffe received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard University and held positions as an Enrico Fermi Fellow at the University of Chicago and as Assistant Research Scientist at UC Berkeley before joining the UT faculty.

See messages from Dan Jaffe, Vice President for Research  


Jennifer Lyon Gardner, Ph.D.

Jennifer Lyon Gardner, Ph.D., is UT’s Deputy Vice President for Research and has led research capacity-building efforts at the University since 2008. She designs and implements programming that promotes collaborative research, such as UT’s campus-wide research grand challenge program, Bridging Barriers, and Associate Professor Experimental (APX), a three-day networking and proposal-writing retreat for newly tenured faculty. She also leads the Research Development group, which provides competitive intelligence and proposal development guidance to research teams pursuing major external funding.

Dr. Gardner received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University in chemistry with a minor in English, and she received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. She was a research-track faculty member at the UT Health Science Center in Houston before returning to UT Austin in 2008 to work in research development.

Before joining the Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors, Dr. Gardner founded the College of Natural Sciences’ Strategic Research Initiatives team and served as its director. She also has served on the Board of Directors for the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) and was an inaugural recipient of the organization’s Rising Star Award.


Mark Featherston

Mark Featherston serves as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors. In this role, Featherston provides leadership support to the Vice President and Deputy Vice President for Research, assisting with the strategic, operational and policy needs of the portfolio and supporting key initiatives to advance the research priorities of the University.

Before joining the OVPR leadership team, Mark served in various leadership roles within the Office of Sponsored Projects, where he acted as an authorized official and led contract negotiation efforts. Featherston is a Certified Research Administrator, with more than a decade of experience in research administration. He received his bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Arizona, and a master's degree in public administration from Texas State University.

Senior Leadership

Mary Steinhardt
Associate Vice President for Research,
Research Policy & Integrity

Michelle Stickler
Associate Vice President for Research,
Office of Research Support & Compliance

Julie Bowers
Assistant Vice President of Finance and Chief Business Officer

Tony Carna
Assistant Vice President for Research,
Office of Sponsored Projects

Julie Hayes
Assistant Vice President for Research,
Core Facilities

Karen Adler
Research Communications

Marc Bruner
Research IT

Seth Wilk
Defense Research Advancement


The University of Texas at Austin
Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors
Peter T. Flawn Academic Center (FAC)
Suite 426, G1400
2304 Whitis Ave
Austin, TX 78712-1111

Administrative Offices

Research Communications

The Research Communications team develops and implements communications strategies to recognize, convey and amplify the impact of UT research, scholarship and creative endeavors via written, digital and visual media. The team also helps generate awareness about resources, trainings and professional development opportunities to help members of the University research community access and manage grant funding.

Research Communications
OVPR Staff Profiles

Research IT

Research IT provides comprehensive and robust IT support services for the Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors, including user support as well as hardware and software support. Through the UT Research Management Suite, Research IT is leading the modernization of UT Austin's electronic research administration (eRA) and support systems in a multi-year, multi-phased project that will provide powerful tools to help reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on investigators.

Research IT

Business Services

The Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors Business Office provides strategic and operational support regarding finance, human capital management and other administrative services for OVPR and its associated portfolio. This includes comprehensive support regarding human resources, procurement, accounts payable, audits and financial reporting. Through coordination with other University business offices, OVPR Business Office staff are committed to providing research support that minimizes administrative inefficiencies while safeguarding compliance of federal, state and University policies.

Research Policy and Integrity

The Research Policy and Integrity (RIO) team is led by the University’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO) and is responsible for developing a principle-based approach to research integrity and ethics. In addition to ensuring University research integrity-related policy practices are consistent with federal guidelines and peer institutions, the RIO is responsible for addressing all allegations of research misconduct in accordance with federal and institutional policies and procedures.