Sponsored Projects Administration was pleased to welcome a UASP (University Administration Support Program) IREX Fellowship recipient in the first week of February. Clement Matasane, Grants Coordinator at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s College of Health Sciences (Durban, South Africa), will be staying in Muncie until the first week of March to learn about research administration at Ball State University.
Matasane will be meeting with faculty, staff, and administrators across campus to gain an enhanced understanding of how research administration works at the university level, with a prospect to develop an implementation plan for his own research office upon returning to Durban. He hopes to become familiarized with several aspects of the Ball State research enterprise, including identifying funding opportunities, electronic research administration, pre-award, post-award, and compliance.
"We are trying to do more at the university I work at and my main goal is to develop a plan of action to take back with me when I return," Matasane said. "We need more human support, special project officers, and overall a more centralized process for research administration."
Matasane spent the past two weeks visiting with various staff at SPA, as well as faculty members across campus to network and witness the processes of internal and external funding. He said he admires the working relationships and interactions of collaborators on campus.
"I believe in hand-in-hand working relationships and everyone works as a team here," he said. "Everyone shares the responsibilities and tasks when it comes to completing grants. When there are challenges, they sit down and talk about them together."
Matasane said his first two weeks in Muncie were busy with meetings and interviews, but he is also interested in seeing what the community has to offer.
"I have gone to dinner with some of the staff at SPA and I would love to see a show at Emens Auditorium before I leave," he said. "I am so thankful for this opportunity and the support of IREX and Ball State. It's difficult to be away from my family, but I have received a warm welcome from the entire office and university."
Matasane will be flying to Washington D.C. on March 3 to complete his fellowship program. Upon returning to Durban, Matasane said he is looking forward to maintaining the relationships he formed while working at Ball State.
"This is an everlasting relationship," he said. "I will continue to collaborate with the staff at SPA and treat them as my mentors as I take this next step at my university."