CHSS welcomes Rashmi Pershad, associate director of pre-award research administration

Please join the college in welcoming Rashmi Pershad as the CHSS associate director of pre-award research administration. Rashmi started with us on March 30, 2022. She is a certified research administrator and has over 10 years of experience in that realm, bringing extensive experience in all areas of research management.

Rashmi joins us from Virginia Commonwealth University where she served as the associate director of research administration in the VCU Department of Internal Medicine. In that role she supported internal medicine faculty from 11 divisions, overseeing administrative resources, processes, and staff, preparing and reviewing grant proposals for external funding, and addressing grant-related issues. Prior to her six-plus years at VCU, Rashmi worked as the assistant director of research at the Carolinas Rehabilitation Center, and as research manager at the Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, where she managed the daily operations of all grant-funded research projects and industry-sponsored clinical trials. She started her career at the DNA Core Facility at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, serving as its co-director and genome facility manager for several years.  Rashmi completed her BSc. (Hons) from University College London and has a Master of Philosophy degree in molecular genetics.  She is a certified clinical research professional (CCRP) and a Certified Research Administrator (CRA).

She is excited to be joining CHSS and be part of a college, where she feels she will thrive in the deadline-driven environment of preparing grants. In her new role, Rashmi looks forward to meeting with the faculty and staff to help them develop the best version of grant proposals for their funding requests. Her calm demeanor and organized approach will certainly be assets to those whom she aids in the grant writing and submission processes. Rashmi enjoys engaging in work that she finds challenging and strives to be a helpful resource to her colleagues.

Changes to Mason's pre-award research administration

Rashmi will be responsible for leading efforts to build capacity in CHSS as part of a university-wide service delivery model change that will move pre-award research administration responsibilities to academic units from the Office of Sponsored Programs over the next several months. For those who may be wondering what “pre-award research administration” is, it is a specialized area of work that facilitates the identification and acquisition of sponsored research funding (grants, contracts, fellowships, etc.) from a variety of sponsors. Sponsored research activity in CHSS includes about 130-180 proposals a year seeking external funding, which result in about $17-$18 million in research expenditures each year. Rashmi will be coordinating closely with CHSS post-award research administration efforts, led by Janice Cohen and her team, who work to make the acceptance and administration of funded projects as seamless as possible in partnership with project directors, department administrators, and their home academic units and research centers.

Rashmi will report to Michele Schwietz, Associate Dean for Research. Her office is located on the 6th floor of Horizon Hall in the CHSS Dean’s Office. Her email is