Staff Award for Excellence - Betsy Brouhard

Betsy Brouhard

Betsy and husband Andrew with their two cats, Ellie and Lily

Research Administrator, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Nominator, Jeff Kolodica: "Betsy is lightning in a bottle. She's a top tier research administrator at the University of Michigan and is an invaluable member and contributor to Hem/Onc, Genetic Medicine, and our department. Arguably, one of the best." 

Work Performance

It was evident in her interview that Betsy was one to embrace a challenge. It was even more noticeable that when work volumes were mentioned, Betsy seemed to shrug it off and was even more eager to embrace a challenge. To put this in perspective, prior to joining the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Division of Genetic Medicine, Betsy had submitted just 34 proposals for the School of Nursing from 1/9/17-4/24/18. Since then Betsy has submitted 238 proposals in about 3 years since joining our team. That's about 80 proposals a year.

In addition to proposal development/submission, Betsy works closely with our faculty on their progress reports (Federal and Non-Federal), with the development of various Unfunded Agreements (UFA's- MTA, CDA/NDA, DUA), and updating Other Support documents, among other duties. Betsy has also maintained a small post-award workload.

Since July 2020, the HemOnc/GM finance team has been working with one less FTE on the pre-award side. If the current trend continues, we are on pace to submit more than 300 proposals this year. While some of those proposals are clinical trials, it still represents an increase and would be the most proposals submitted ever in the Division of HemOnc. This does not take into account any proposals submitted by Genetic Medicine. Betsy has embraced this challenge, agreed to increase her workload, and has continued to meet proposals deadlines throughout the institution. Managing this wouldn't be possible without stellar organization, great communication, and an extensive knowledge in grantsmanship.


In leadership we see those who are vocal leaders and those who lead by example. Yet, it's truly what happens outside of the spotlight where we see individuals shine. Is Betsy vocal? Yes. Is she outspoken? No. Would I categorize her as a vocal leader? Only when she needs to be. Does she set a good example? Absolutely. Most importantly, when we look to leaders we see something in them that we may not have in ourselves. We strive to be like them and we want to emulate something (or everything) about that individual to make ourselves better. That's Betsy.

Betsy works hard. Anyone on my team will tell you that. Betsy is knowledgeable, resourceful, and humble. She may not always know the answer, but she knows where to go. She is assertive and confident. She is patient and thorough. Betsy is passionate about what she does. She shares her voice and knowledge on a broader stage. Most recently with the development of a Department of Defense budgeting workshop that will be rolled out university wide as a training course. She's presented processes in front of our department Research Administrators. Betsy takes initiative to reach out to the university's sponsored projects office when clarification/guidance is needed on university wide policy changes. Betsy is also confident and takes pride in her work.

When you strip away the type of work that Betsy does, you're left with the characteristics of someone that we should all strive to be like. Someone who can teach us and inspire us to be better and to work hard. Someone who is passionate about what they do and are hard working. A primary source to go to for help and knowledge. Betsy is easily and hands down one of the best research administrators at our institution. Most importantly, we should all strive to approach our jobs in the manner that Betsy approaches hers. Betsy is a leader and one that I'm thankful to have on my team.

Customer Service

Betsy interfaces with many individuals throughout the institution. These individuals can be peers in other departments/units across the university, counterparts at other institutions, department leads, the Med School, and institutional officials in ORSP. Most importantly, Betsy works for foster and develop relationships with her customers, the faculty.

Each year I receive emails from multiple faculty thanking Betsy for her hard work, efficiency, dedication, quick turn around positive attitude. The faculty feedback below speak to Betsy's exemplary customer service performance.

Faculty Feedback:

  • Betsy – Thank You! for your super-efficient, diligent, and considerate work on this submission. Your great work directly supports our research efforts.
  • Looks awesome! Thx again for all your help with this- I am so amazed you pulled it off!
  • Yay!!! Thank you again Betsy. If this gets funded it will be because you were all in to help me pull it together, even though the inspiration and idea to do it came so late.
  • Betsy - this was a really short timeline for us. I appreciate all your hard work and support on this, including the suggestion on how to get it approved by Int Med even though we were way past the deadline. I honestly thought it was just too late and a missed opportunity when I first emailed you. So, thank you
  • I really want to extend a special thank you to Betsy Brouhard, our pre-grants specialist, as you I know we have submitted a lot of grants recently and she is an absolute pleasure to work with. Always engaged, friendly, responsive and proactive.
  • Can’t thank you enough for all of your efforts with these grants – truly impressed with your work

Process Improvement

Since joining our team Betsy has had free reign to take our existing pre-award process and make it her own. She created and implemented a proposal tracking spreadsheet that is housed on Google Drive. She's created templates for proposals, UFA's, and progress reports which have simplified and decreased the number of follow ups (and emails)  between the faculty and our team. The templates are easy to follow and the faculty have received these templates well. Betsy is well organized with how she approaches proposal development and it is evident with her file structure on the shared drive. Betsy is also considerate of how any changes she makes to the pre-award process may impact how the faculty receive them. She's also considered how other divisions and departments handle their processes as she seeks to continually improve her own.