Research Development Team

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Brandon Gaut, PhD

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation


Brandon has been a faculty member at UC Irvine since 1998. His research focuses on the evolutionary genetics of plants and particularly studies the processes that shape genetic diversity in crops. He has published over 150 papers and book chapters, and he has given more than 130 invited lectures throughout the world. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Young Investigator, the President of the international Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the Chair of his department. He is also an AAAS Fellow, but he is most proud of his undergraduate teaching awards. Whenever possible, he heads outside to hike, surf and bike throughout his native Southern California.

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Melinda Gormley, PhD

Research Development Officer

Phone number: 949-824-6771

Melinda assists faculty, postdocs, and graduate students with developing competitive grant proposals. She has been working in research development since 2010 and writing about science and scientists for much longer, having received her Ph.D. in history of science. Melinda volunteers with AAAS as both as working group member of the Governance Modernization Project and Secretary of Section L for the History and Philosophy of Science. Melinda enjoys kayaking, walking, and reading in her spare time.

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Justin Sarkis, MS

Research Development Coordinator

Phone number: 949-824-9698

Justin has worked in research development in the School of Biological Sciences at UCI since March 2020. He has worked in proposal development since 2017 in academia at UCR and in industry at Clean Energy Fuels. In 2019, he earned Foundation-Level Certification from the Association for Proposal Management Professionals, which certifies knowledge and understanding of correct proposal best practices. As Research Development Coordinator, Justin helps faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the School of Biological Sciences acquire funding for research and fellowships through proposal development. Outside of work, Justin is an avid listener of classical music and likes to attend classical music concerts.

Pre-Awards Team

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Jason Park

Contracts and Grants Director

Address: 5201 Natural Sciences II
Phone number:

Jason has been at UCI for 15 years and has previous experience in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering. His primary role in the School of Biological Sciences is to help faculty prepare grant applications by interpreting the guidelines, developing budgets, and coordinating the required elements with collaborators and other institutions.  He also helps with post award management of extramural awards.  In his free time, he enjoys golf, tennis and biking.

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Megan Vu

Principal Pre-awards Analyst

Phone number: 949-824-3489

Megan has worked at UCI since 2004 and has worked in research administration since 2010. Her primary role in the School of Biological Sciences is to lead the pre-award staff and provide pre-award support to faculty and researchers. Outside of work, Megan enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends, and likes to travel.

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Carmen Bastos

Senior Pre-awards Analyst

Phone number: 949-824-4772

Carmen has been at UCI since 2006. Her primary role in the School of Biological Sciences is to assist faculty, postdocs, and graduate students with grant proposal submission. Carmen enjoys hiking and camping with family and friends in the desert, mountains, and coastal regions of California.

If you are unsure who to contact, please send an email to