Focus on Details Leads to Grant-Application Success

Chelsea Dahlstrom Recognized for Research and Creative Works Staff Award
Chelsea Dahlstrom portrait inside UMKC Student Union

During her graduate program at UMKC, Chelsea Dahlstrom, senior business operations associate for the Office of Research Services and recipient of the Excellence in Research and Creative Works Staff Award, had a taste of assisting with research on faculty projects and was able to see into that world.

“When I interviewed for this job, I was interested in continuing to serve UMKC’s research interests but on a much broader scale,” she says.

Dahlstrom has worked with faculty principal and co-principal investigators on more than 25 grant applications, including some of the largest that UMKC has received in its history. Throughout this process, Dahlstrom has taken an active role in supporting the application process and helping faculty research staff successfully navigate the grant systems.

“We consider Chelsea a go-to resource for determining what the fine print means for any of our proposals,” says Jacob Marszalek, associate professor of statistics and nominator. “Even if UMKC is not the lead, Chelsea calls upon her experience and know-how to provide information and advice when navigating the process.”

Dahlstrom sites her natural curiosity as a key component in her success on these projects.

“I love learning about the projects,” she says. “Since my role involves a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy, it would be easy to feel detached, overwhelmed or uninspired, but I find that when I focus on the actual work that’s happening, the discoveries being made, the people being served and helped by these projects, that’s when I’m able to be the most effective in my role. There’s always something interesting and exciting in every single project, and focusing on that makes all the work much easier.”

Anthony Caruso, associate vice chancellor of research and physics and engineering professor, and Daniel McIntosh, astronomy professor, who are both involved in some of UMKC’s largest grant requests related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics + Medicine (STEM+M), noted Dalhstrom’s enthusiasm and professionalism in their combined recommendation. 

“Her co-workers see her has a rising star. Chelsea is cultivating a culture of excellence with both faculty and staff “During the last year she has shown real leadership and collaborative spirit in helping to raise funds for a campus-wide STEM+M ecosystem initiative.”

Dahlstrom says the best part of her job is witnessing and supporting all of the amazing work happening across both campuses in everything from the medical sciences to the humanities to community outreach. Dahlstrom was overwhelmed that her co-workers nominated her for the award. 

“It was such an amazing and generous thing to do,” she says. “Everyone at Office of Research Services is wonderful and we love getting to support the faculty and staff everyday on the important work here at UMKC.”

Published: Apr 18, 2019