Office of Sponsored Projects

Sponsored Projects Team

Ana Abraído-Lanza

Vice Dean; Associate Dean for Research; Professor

Samanta Padalino

Grants Manager

Breandra Pichon

Grants Manager

Andrew Ochoa

Grants Manager


OSP reports to Ana Abraido-Lanza, CSSW Vice-Dean. We are located on the 6th floor and are comprised of the following staff:

Katherine Rochmat, Director

212-851-2348, [email protected]

Katherine Rochmat has worked at Columbia since the fall of 2000 in various positions in centers, departments and central administration at both CUMC and Morningside. She has experience in all aspects of sponsored projects management as well as in other administrative and financial procedures at the university. She is interested in understanding process and information flow and she enjoys working with faculty.

Brea Pichon, Grants Manager
212-851-2349, [email protected]
Brea (like the cheese!) has worked at Columbia since 2016 in progressing financial capacities via its Institutes and Centers. She is happy to boomerang back to Social Work with expanded institutional knowledge and ready familiarity with the community.

Samanta Padalino, Grants Manager
212-854-9803, [email protected]
Before joining Columbia University in 2023, Samanta Padalino was a Research Program Administrator and Research Journalist at Drexel University. She greatly enjoys working with faculty and is devoted to lifelong learning. Higher education is an exciting change in career path for Samanta, who worked for the British Government as an economist and public policy professional for two decades, advising Ministers on pension protection, local economic growth, housing, and the economic regulation of energy, water and postal service sectors.

Andrew Ochoa, Grants Manager
212-854-9191, [email protected]
Andrew Ochoa joined Columbia University as a Grants Manager in July of 2023. Originally from New Jersey and an alumnus of George Washington University, he is passionate about supporting and advocating for vulnerable communities across the globe. Andrew arrives to CSSW’s Office of Sponsored Projects with diverse experience working across the NGO and public sectors managing international humanitarian grants and nonprofit community-based programs. 

Please click here to view portfolio spreadsheet/list.

In general, OSP provides the following services:

Support researchers and grants

  • Prepare and submit proposals and budgets in collaboration with central Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) and the PI
  • Review and set up awards, in collaboration with SPA and the PI
  • Provide post-award grant and financial management 
    • Budget vs actual and projections including quarterly expenditure certifications
    • Expense review including salaries for allowability and budget impact
    • Faculty course buyout and summer salary
    • Prior approval faciliation such as rebudgets, no cost extensions, approval for specific expenses, and others
    • Financial reporting in collaboration with Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF)
    • Administrative and financial aspects of closeout
  • Interpret federal rules and regulations, as well as University policies, as they pertain to sponsored projects
  • Manage annual University effort reporting process on behalf of SSW.
  • Ensure that PIs and staff complete and update required trainings, conflict of interest disclosures and and other compliance requirements.

Facilitate connections among people, resources and opportunities

  • Share updated information on funder and university policies and procedures
  • Organize trainings, brown bags and other workshops and events
  • Provide consultation and guidance on a wide range of administrative, financial and compliance issues

Participate in strategic planning, anti-racism and other OSP and School activities

  • Attend weekly OSP anti-racism strategic planning meetings
  • Serve on DEI Advisory, ADR Advisory and other committees as requested

It is never too early to reach out to OSP when considering or planning a proposal submission!

All sponsored projects are awarded to the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. SPA is the only office authorized to submit proposals on behalf of the University, and they require five business days for review prior to the sponsor deadline. SPA is unable to guarantee thorough review for proposals submitted with less than five days review time, and reserves the right to pull a proposal from funding consideration if any compliance issues are identified post-submission.

OSP is available as early as necessary in the proposal process to help develop the budget and work on administrative aspects of the proposal package. As soon as you know you are planning to submit a proposal please reach out to OSP to discuss the funding opportunity and include any guidance documents you may have from the sponsor. Please note that all communication with SPA should go through OSP.

We can provide assistance on the following for proposal preparation:

  • Proposal checklist with requirements and timeline for on-time submission
  • Completion of sponsor’s required forms including NIH ASSIST or other portal data entry
  • Budget development and assistance with budget justification
  • Assistance with biosketches and Other Support documents
  • CSSW facilities and resources information, and other templates and standard language
  • Institutional information and forms including rate agreement, tax-exempt documentation, and audited financial statements
  • Communication with subawards, consultants and other external partners
  • Coordination of review and submission process with SPA

We treat subaward proposals the same as any other proposal. Even though the prime proposal will not be submitted by Columbia University, institutional sign off is still required and SPA will need five business days for review.

Meet with your OSP representative as you would with any other proposal. At a minimum, you will need to develop a scope of work, budget and justification for the activities that will take place at Columbia University. You will likely also need to submit a biosketch. The prime institution may request our facilities and resources page or other documents.

In addition, if the prime institution does not have specific forms to demonstrate institutional sign-off, we will be required to complete the facepage found on the SPA website.

Please connect OSP with the Department Administrator (DA) of the department that will be submitting the proposal. The OSP Director will need to be listed as an approver on the Proposal Data Sheet in RASCAL. This serves as the official record demonstrating that the School has reviewed the budget and is aware of SSW faculty and/or staff’s participation in the proposed project. 

OSP will work with the external department to ensure that they calculate base salaries and effort correctly for SSW personnel. OSP must receive a copy of the portions of the final budget and justification that relate to SSW support. 

Once an award is made, please notify OSP so we can ensure that salary support is properly charged to the project.

NIH awards typically go to both SPA and the PI. Awards from other funders come on a variety of paths, so if you receive a notification of funding please forward it to your OSP representative. We will review the terms and conditions with you and in collaboration with SPA. SPA performs a legal review while OSP and the PI are responsible for reviewing the scope of work, deliverables, and reporting requirements. The SPA lawyer may ask for your feedback on terms related to publications, publicity or other issues that have a direct impact on the project. You must confirm that you are overall in agreement with the terms and conditions before we can finalize the award. If you have questions about any part of a new grant agreement please raise them during the review process so we can address them before the award is finalized!

Please note that PIs are not authorized to sign grant agreements on behalf of the University. SPA serves as the business official and authorized signatory for all sponsored projects.

OSP will work with you and/or your center staff to review the budget and scope of work to determine if any revisions are needed. Once the budget is agreed upon, OSP will send the project set-up form to SPA to create a chartstring in Columbia’s financial system. The chartstring is the “account number” for the project and gives Columbia’s financial system the information needed to hold funds and charge expenses in the right place.

OSP will share the chartstring with you and your team. It is important to use the correct chartstring for expenses related to each project. We maintain a list of active project chartstrings; please reach out if you have questions.

OSP is responsible for confirming funding for all charges against sponsored projects at the School of Social Work. Please reach out for guidance about specific expenses.

You and your team are responsible for narrative/technical reporting to funders. OSP will work with central Sponsored Projects Finance (SPF) on invoicing and financial reporting. Please note that NIH RPPRs require SPA review and submission, and the same five-day lead time as proposals.

OSP is here to support you and your projects! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

If you need additional space for your project please contact Gerard Bueno ([email protected]), Senior Associate Dean for Administration, Finance & Planning with a copy to Ana Abraido-Lanza ([email protected]), Vice-Dean, and include the following information:

  • Justification for additional space including projected timeline for how long space will be needed
  • Funding source(s) for new personnel who will occupy space, including notice of grant award or approved budget if applicable

OSP can provide verification of funding and duration of award.