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Tamara Hatch Named SPARC Director

 Tamara Hatch has been named director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC) at UNCW.
Tamara Hatch has been named director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC) at UNCW.

After a nationwide search, Tamara Hatch has been named director of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her appointment will begin June 26, 2024. Hatch will lead the support of all sponsored programs across the university, manage research process compliance and oversee policies and procedures for externally funded projects accepted on behalf of the university.

“I am excited for the wealth of knowledge Ms. Hatch will bring to the SPARC team,” said Stuart Borrett, associate provost for Research and Innovation. “UNCW continues to grow its sponsored research and impact, as university investigators and research teams work to solve complex and challenging problems facing society. Under Ms. Hatch’s experienced leadership, I look forward to seeing SPARC further enhance their work to support our university community.”

SPARC is one of seven units comprising Research and Innovation at the university. The office plays a foundational role assisting faculty and staff applying for funding and managing awards for research projects and other programs. SPARC is also responsible for legal compliance with local, state, federal and private sponsor policies.

As director, Hatch will guide a team of SPARC professionals who help researchers and project directors develop and submit proposals, negotiate contracts, manage funding awards and ensure compliance. Since July 2023, the office has supported the submission of over 220 new proposals requesting over $100 million. In the last five years, UNCW has been awarded more than $91 million in sponsored program funding that fuels discovery and innovation, creates high-quality learning opportunities for students and directly supports students, faculty and staff.

“I’m excited to join the SPARC and Research and Innovation Service Team to serve the faculty and university to achieve individual and institutional research goals,” said Hatch. “It is gratifying to see UNCW’s strategic plan with research at the forefront of its growth trajectory.”

Hatch brings over 23 years of experience, working for the Office of Sponsored Programs at James Madison University. Most recently, she served as the director, during which she advised leadership and managed core procedures while navigating unprecedented institutional research growth. This included a doubling of annual awards within five years, laying the groundwork to implement new electronic research administration (eRA) software and strategic planning activities, among other regular duties.

In addition to her administrative experience with sponsored programs and compliance, Hatch has served on several research-based committees and task forces, including: the Biosafety Committee, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Research and Scholarship Task Force - a group that oversaw JMU’s transition to an R2 (high research activity) university.

Hatch earned an MBA from James Madison University and a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Additionally, Hatch holds the title of Certified Research Administrator (CRA).