Sponsored Programs, Tech Transfer Directors Named

Posted: January 8, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Emily Yaghmour

Ann McGuigan is the new director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, replacing Jennifer Murphy, who has become the first director of Mason’s new Office of Technology Transfer. McGuigan comes to Mason from Illinois State University, where she served as director of its University Research Office for four years.

One of the reasons McGuigan was selected for this position, says Chris Hill, vice provost for research, is her considerable experience in developing general policies related to research. “We need to build and rebuild some of our policies,” says Hill, “and McGuigan’s expertise in this area will be valuable.”

“Ann also comes with glowing recommendations for being a good manager of people, and that’s an essential element to the Sponsored Programs operation,” says Hill. The Sponsored Programs staff assists faculty members in submitting research proposals, in negotiating contracts with funding agencies, and in managing the funding once it is received.

Murphy is now director of the Office of Technology Transfer, after serving as director of Mason’s Office of Sponsored Programs for 12 and a half years. George Mason established the office last July to help the university find ways to benefit from its intellectual property. Murphy was a natural choice for this position, says Hill. “For the last three or four years, she’s been handling technology transfer activities as essentially an overload on her position as director of Sponsored Programs.”

The responsibilities of the new office, Murphy explains, are to encourage faculty members to identify and disclose research results that can and should be commercialized; to make sure that those results are protected, either by patent or copyright; to look for ways to market the results, either by creating licensing agreements with existing businesses or enabling the creation of start-up companies around the results; and to manage those licensing agreements and the income they generate. At the moment, Murphy is the only full-time staff member in the office. Two individuals work on a part-time basis to process patent applications.

For more information, contact McGuigan at x32298 or Murphy at x32985.

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