Research Administration

Research Business Operations

Research Business Operations (RBO) provides research administration oversight and support to clinicians and staff conducting research activities at Children’s Mercy. Our department includes professionals experienced in contract and budget negotiation and execution, grant application support, research accounting, research education, and clinical research operations. Our dedicated teams work with internal and external customers to facilitate communication efforts in order to support the needs of those committed to improving the health and well-being of children through research. Please find the contact information for Research Administration and our support team leaders below.

Location: 2420 Pershing, 4th Floor; Suite 401
Phone: (816) 701-1345

Research Administration

Supports the administrative functions related to the execution of research projects at Children’s Mercy.

Tom Curran, PhD, FRS, Executive Director, Research Institute

Mary Tomlinson, Vice President, Research Administration

Tony Jenkins, Senior Director, Research Administration 

Grants Administration Pre-Award

Oversees pre-award functions, including federal and foundation submissions, tracking/reporting proposals, the internal grants program, and assisting investigators with external submissions and identifying funding opportunities.

Candice Foster, Manager, Grants Administration - Pre-Award


Negotiates and drafts, as needed, all manner of research agreements such as confidentiality and data use agreements. Negotiates industry budgets.

Gina Brown, JD, Manager, Research Contracts Administration

Research Education and Communications

Manages general training for Children’s Mercy staff working in research and supports CRI and RBO communication efforts.

Kelly Dickerson, BSN, BS, RN, CCRP, Research Education Manager

Research Accounting

Provides financial management support for Federal, Foundation, Industry, Start Up/Bridge, Residual and Institutionally Funded Awards.

For inquiries related to Non-Industry Funding, please contact

For inquiries related to Clinical Trials Funding, please contact

Sarah Kluesener, Senior Manager, Research and Grants Accounting

Patient Care Budget & Billing

Supports the coordination of Patient Care Budget & Billing in a clinical trial project.

Liz Meng, MBA, Budget & Billing Manager (Patient Care)

Clinical Research Operations and Support

Provides oversight of clinical research operations, including seeking clinical trial opportunities, coordination of trial activities, and driving collaborations between physicians, clinicians, and external research companies.

Jaylene Weigel, RN, MSN, MBA-HCM, CCRC, CPN, Director, Clinical Research Operations