Jennifer Mize Nelson, research associate professor of psychology, is the director of research strategy and infrastructure, effective Jan. 14. The role, part of the Office of Research and Economic Development, is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that help the university achieve its research growth goals.
Nelson brings research administration experience from the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, where she has been director of administration since 2015, and the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, where she served as program site director from 2011-2015 and continues to provide leadership and direction. She has been a Nebraska faculty member since 2011.
As director of research strategy and infrastructure, Nelson will oversee and strengthen the university’s research centers and core facilities, which have shared, state-of-the-art equipment for faculty research projects. To ensure Nebraska researchers have the support they need, Nelson will be creating, implementing and streamlining research center and core facility policies and resources.
She also will administer internal funding opportunities; develop strategies that foster the success of priority research projects and partnerships; and serve on the Office of Research and Economic Development’s senior leadership team.
Nelson’s background is in child clinical psychology. She joined the university in 2009 as a postdoctoral fellow in the National Institutes of Health-funded Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, which investigates children’s cognitive development, including executive control, learning, memory and attention. As a postdoc, and later as site director, Nelson coordinated a major NIH R01 project to investigate executive control development from preschool to school age, which involved coordination with Lincoln Public Schools. Nelson continues to contribute to ongoing NIH-funded research conducted in the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab.
In 2015, Nelson moved to CB3 to help establish the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility and the Salivary Bioscience Laboratory. External research funding for both core facilities has increased under her leadership. She also has developed a network of faculty affiliates spanning UNL, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha; fostered a strong partnership between CB3 and Nebraska Athletics; administered pilot funding within the center; and assisted with large multi-investigator grants, among other accomplishments.
Nelson holds master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.