Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Basic Science Administration

Staff Spotlight

Get to know the staff of BSA

Meet the staff that support the basic science academic departments and affiliated centers.

Brent Bell

Associate Director for Research Administration

Office: Ward 8-143
Phone: 312-503-9031

Where are you originally from?

Grampian, PA

What is your educational background?

I have a BA in International Studies from Millersville University, and studied some International Health at Johns Hopkins. I am also a certified research administrator.

Tell us about your professional background.

I have worked in research administration for 16 years. My first job was as a budget analyst/supervisor in the Center for American Indian Health at Johns Hopkins. In addition to working in various positions at Johns Hopkins for 9 years, I worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in their pre-award office for 3 years.  My experience at Northwestern includes time in OSR as well as Research Administration Services.

What is your role in the Basic Science Administration?

I lead a team of Research Administrators who manage the day-to-day research administration operations for BSA. We provide pre-award services including budget development, proposal submission, just-in-time requests and non-financial award management. Post-award services include award set-up, financial oversight, salary distribution and effort commitments, human subject and animal compliance, progress reports, and close-out. I am an advocate for BSA departments in relationships with University central research offices. In the spirit of continuous improvement, I maintain and refine department policies and procedures for the best possible blend of compliance, efficiency, and customer service.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Research Administration rarely has black and white answers. Every day I am learning something new, or applying knowledge to a new or different situation. It keeps me on my toes, and also encourages interesting conversations and debates with colleagues and coworkers.

What are your hobbies/extra-curricular interests?

Fitness, the arts, reading, and travel. My favorite place is Greece, which I’ve been to twice. In my dreams, I would retire to the island of Hydra, where they do not have any cars or trucks. Also, I lived in Madrid for two years, so I’m pretty fond of Spain. My next destination will either be Mexico or Argentina. Next up on my pile o’ books is What I Talk about When I Talk About Running. My favorite authors are John Irving, Michael Chabon, and Jonathan Franzen.