Finance’s Sponsored Programs department is responsible for managing and processing the post-award financial activities of U-M’s $1.5+ billion-dollar research enterprise.
Even though the majority of their staff now works remotely, there is still a familiar sight in the Sponsored Programs office — in a prominent location on the fifth floor of Wolverine Tower you’ll find their oversized goal thermometer. The goal thermometer annually monitors the department’s progress on the thousands of reports that need to be processed over a four month period each fall.
This year, starting on September 8, Sponsored Programs began the monumental work of processing 2,128 reports! These high-profile reports have an incredible impact on research funding across the institution and serve as the foundation for many contributions—health, scientific, technical, and others—that U-M has made to society over the years.
Progress photos of the goal thermometer are being shared every Monday on the Sponsored Programs social media site.
A Positive Kickoff Event
The Sponsored Programs leadership team recently hosted its second annual busy-season kickoff event and welcomed over 50 attendees, including AVPF Brian Smith, to the virtual festivities.
In addition to reviewing the departmental plan to achieve the target goal of nearly 2,200 reports during its busy season, the Sponsored Program team took some time during the meeting to have some fun. Working in small groups, they used photos and tried to identify famous skylines from around the globe. In addition, the entire team worked together to identify famous global icons, such as the Great Sphinx and the Grand Canyon, based on a photo that showed a small portion of the icon.
Brian shared lots of laughs with the team members and noted that he’s always impressed by their commitment to the university and the creativity of Sponsored Programs events.