Patricia Clark appointed associate VP for research at Notre Dame

Author: Joanne Fahey

Patricia Clark

Patricia L. Clark, the Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Chemistry and director of the Biophysics Instrumentation Core Facility at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed an associate vice president for research, effective July 1.

Clark will be responsible for research development, including assisting faculty in creating a successful research portfolio, collaborating with federal and military research agency advisors and leading a team of proposal development specialists.

“As a faculty member who also runs an extramurally funded experimental research lab,” Clark said, “I am excited to work with the wider Notre Dame Research (NDR) development and administration teams in order to help connect faculty to emerging funding opportunities while also continuing to grow as a scholar in my field. I am eager to continue the tremendous positive trajectory we are on for research growth at Notre Dame.” 

Clark, who has been on the Notre Dame faculty since 2001, is a biochemist whose research laboratory uses a wide range of biophysical and other approaches to investigate protein folding in the cell. While at Notre Dame, she has received more than $14 million in research funding. From 2013 to 2018, Clark led a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research network composed of eight laboratories at seven universities. Currently, research in her laboratory is funded by grants from NIH and the W. M. Keck Foundation.

Clark founded the Biophysics Graduate Program in 2018, which she led until earlier this year. She has received multiple awards throughout her career, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award and the Barany Award from the Biophysical Society. She has also twice received Notre Dame’s Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Patricia to the NDR team as our new associate vice president for research development,” said Robert J. Bernhard, vice president for research and professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. “Her perspective as an active researcher with extensive federal funding, both historic and active, will be invaluable both to our early career faculty, who will look to her and her team for mentoring, and to our senior faculty contemplating multi-investigator, multi-university grants and contracts.” 

Notre Dame Research’s development team assists faculty in developing a successful research portfolio. The team provides faculty with expert guidance on connecting to potential resources, collaborators and funding, as well as cultivating relationships with federal, state and corporate funding agencies. The team also serves Notre Dame faculty by helping to develop high quality, competitive proposals that lead to success. As part of the proposal development services offered by Notre Dame Research, the development team assists individual faculty or faculty teams with complex proposals, including reviews by technical experts.

Clark will replace Richard E. Billo, professor of computer science and engineering, who has served in the role since 2013. Billo contributed significantly to the dramatic growth of research awards during this period, helping to double award funding from more than $90 million to over $180 million in 2019, in addition to driving a dynamic internal awards program.

“Richard’s responsibilities included assisting faculty in identifying research funding opportunities and then helping them to secure funding from those opportunities,” Bernhard said. “Richard has been an integral part of, and in some cases the leader of, the efforts that have enabled our substantial growth. I want to personally thank him for his efforts on behalf of the University.”

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Originally published by Joanne Fahey at on June 17, 2021.