Proposal Managers

The following colleges and institutes currently have partnered with the VPRI and have on-site proposal managers. Request proposal development services from your college or institute below.


Kelly Basinger

Kelly Basinger is the Proposal Manager for the Advanced Environmental Research Institute. She has been at the University of North Texas since 2018. Kelly has been working in the proposal process with more than 20 years of experience in university, non-profit, and private settings. She has submitted hundreds of proposals and won hundreds of millions in funding and business. Her curiosity and care for others help guide teams to success. Kelly also likes to coax faculty and staff success with her baking prowess.

Phone: 940-369-5776
Office Location: EESAT 215 D

Headshot of Kelly Basinger

Leyla Kimball

Phone: 940-565-2956
Office Location: Discovery Park

Headshot of Shantelle McDonald

Samara (Sam) Cahill

Samara (Sam) Cahill received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. She worked as a member of the research faculty in the School of Humanities at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, for almost a decade. In addition to her academic publishing, grant writing, and editing in the Humanities, she most recently worked as a Research Development Officer supporting grant proposals for faculty associated with the Texas A&M University Engineering Experiment Station.

Phone: 940-565-3469
Office Location: Science Research Building (SRB) 134

Headshot of Samara Cahill

Kathy Dreyer

Kathy Dreyer is the proposal manager for the College of Business and the McNatt Institute of Logistics. She has worked in grant proposal development in higher education for over 20 years. Her experience includes creating proposals for and managing projects funded by state, federal, and private funds. She earned her doctorate in Applied Gerontology and has taught courses in gerontology, grant writing, and volunteer management. She also has experience in strategic planning, evaluation, and grant writing. In her free time, Kathy volunteers as a Stephen Minister, and as part of a grant writing team for Special Olympics and the Monsignor King Outreach Center in Denton.

Phone: 940-565-3059
Office Location: BLB 331E

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Holly Cieslikowski

Holly Cieslikowski serves as the Proposal Manager for the College of Health and Public Service. Prior to joining the University of North Texas, she spent several years at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where she helped researchers obtain funding in epidemiology, human genetics, environmental sciences, and occupational health. Holly enjoys working closely with faculty and staff to build research teams and develop competitive proposals.

Office Location: Chilton Hall

Dana Thomas

Dana Thomas began her journey in research administration in 2021 at Washington University in St. Louis. It was there that she discovered her passion for the field and decided to further pursue her career. As a Proposal Manager at UNT, Dana is committed to supporting faculty members in their proposal submissions and resubmissions and providing them with the necessary resources and guidance to enhance their chances of securing funding opportunities for their projects..

Phone: 940-565-3851
Office Location: Virtual

Shantelle McDonald

Phone:Reach via MS Teams
Office Location: Hickory Hall 120C


Headshot of Shantelle McDonald

Yao Zhou

Office Location: Discovery Park