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Herbert DaCosta

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Research Development Manager

Herbert DaCosta supports large-scale multidisciplinary funding opportunities that contribute to the Illinois research enterprise. He has over ten years of experience writing and editing proposals in both academic and industrial settings, as well as experience as an industrial research engineer, developing novel catalytic converters to decrease regulated emissions from diesel engines and new technologies to capture carbon dioxide and to convert it into useful products. Dr. DaCosta has served as a panel reviewer for NSF and as a peer-reviewer for four science and engineering journals. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry with minors in physics and computer engineering from the University of Florida and a D.Sc. in chemistry from the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Suzanne Berry-Miller

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Research Development Manager

Suzanne Berry-Miller identifies strategic funding opportunities for the campus, and serves as a project manager for multi-disciplinary and large-scale research proposals, including writing and editing technical and non-technical proposal components. She received her Ph.D. in Human Oncology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and was a faculty member and IGB Affiliate at Illinois prior to joining the OPD. Dr. Berry-Miller has more than 10 years of experience organizing research teams, and developing and editing large-scale and collaborative proposals for numerous funding agencies, including NIH, DOE, NSF, and USDA-NIFA.

Melissa Edwards


Managing Director

Melissa Edwards manages the day-to-day operations of the Office of Proposal Development, working with the OPD team to provide strategic proposal support for the Illinois research community. Melissa also oversees strategic reserach communications activities for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. 


Sowmya Anand

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SOWMYA ANAND Research Development Manager

Sowmya Anand supports large-scale multidisciplinary funding opportunities that contribute to the Illinois research enterprise. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from The Ohio State University. She has over 20 years of experience with writing and editing proposals, managing both small scale and large scale research projects in the Social Sciences involving the use of survey methodology, and writing and editing analytic reports. She has previously worked in the Survey Research Laboratory at UIC as Coordinator of Research Programs, and in the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University as a lecturer and as postdoctoral researcher. Her prior work experience also includes a six-year stint with The Gallup Organization, India, as Associate Project Director, where she gained considerable experience in conducting research on various aspects of employee, customer, and consumer behaviors. Dr. Anand has several publications in academic and professional journals.