A Model for Success
Michele Mattoon is no stranger to change. Since she began her University of Idaho career 18 years ago, she advanced through roles in accounts payable, finance, human resources, grant management and grant compliance.
Now Mattoon is a key figure in an exciting new organizational change at the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions (CMCI), which is now part of a larger, multidisciplinary level III institute under the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED).
The name of this new entity: the Institute for Modeling, Collaboration and Innovation (IMCI).
“I was hired as CMCI’s program manager in 2015, when it was funded through a five-year Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health,” Mattoon said.
Mattoon says CMCI will continue to advance U of I’s biomedical research and infrastructure under the new IMCI institute, which will now support the university on a much broader scale.
“Think of it this way. CMCI primarily serves our COBRE grant, and IMCI is COBRE plus, allowing us to expand our modeling efforts beyond the biomedical mission of COBRE,” Mattoon explained.
Mattoon says IMCI’s post-doctoral staff has expertise in mathematical modeling, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, population genetics, machine learning, geospatial modeling, and soon statistical modeling.
Mattoon also points out that IMCI’s support services go beyond modeling research.
“IMCI offers support for grant writing, research strategy, and outreach,” Mattoon said. “Anybody putting together a grant proposal that includes a modeling component, we can help them with it.”
Mattoon helps researchers develop their grant proposal budgets, enter information into VERAS, create proposal-specific checklists, communicate with sub-award contacts, and organize and collect various documents for proposal submission. Her colleague, IMCI Director Holly Wichman helps early stage investigators write successful grant proposals through her Grant Writing Working Group.
Whenever proposals are funded, Mattoon helps researchers manage grant finances, compliance with federal regulations, sub-awards, agency reporting, and personnel management, while Communications and Events Coordinator Lydia Stucki, assists IMCI funded projects with financial processing, event and meeting coordination, and communications.
Mattoon says that IMCI leadership and staff use the same collaborative, service-based model that made CMCI a vital support center for U of I, the state’s leading research entity for addressing large, complex problems. She credits IMCI’s growth and success to IMCI Director Holly Wichman, Associate Director Marty Ytreberg, Assistant Director Tanya Miura, Modeling Core Director Craig Miller, and the many other service-focused leaders and staff that make IMCI successful.
“IMCI serves as a resource for researchers, faculty, students and staff alike,” Mattoon said. “We have the people and programs in place to guide and support interdisciplinary research for U of I researchers from all colleges.”
Mattoon says she is confident that IMCI will grow even further as a level III institute.
“When we started, 25 researchers were involved,” Mattoon said. “Now there are over 70 participating researchers from nine different colleges. Our expansion in scope will create all kinds of new and exciting challenges.”
Mattoon says she is looking forward to the years ahead as a new research institute and encourages researchers to contact IMCI staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Phillip Bogdan, Office of Research and Economic Development