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Meet Ewa Lech, Post Award Training and Compliance Manager

March 05, 2023

What is your role at Yale School of Medicine (YSM)?

I’m the post award training and compliance manager in the Department of Internal Medicine. In my role, I assist with the recruitment and training of newly hired employees on the post award team. My expertise lies in research administration, with a special focus on compliance and process improvement. I also manage two central departmental processes: the submission of annual progress reports on sponsored projects to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the oversight and financial management of NIH training grants, which provide funds for clinical and postdoctoral fellows who are pursuing a career in research.

Have you been involved in any projects that you are particularly proud of?

I’ve been involved in many projects I’m proud of, but one in particular stands out. A few years ago, I was the operations manager for a small department at YSM, the Department of the History of Medicine. In that role, I was exposed to many aspects of managing a basic science department, and I had the pleasure of working with distinguished historians of medicine and science. One project I worked on was assisting the chair, John Warner, with processing, organizing, and facilitating the transfer of images he and his collaborator and coauthor, James Edmonson, selected to be included in their book Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine: 1880–1930. As someone who loves reading, visiting bookstores, and exploring new literary content, I enjoyed witnessing the creative process of writing and publishing a book. The book is now a part of my private book collection. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of how we are all part of one team, even those who are behind the scenes. Together, we have a direct impact on Yale’s progress and contributions at the forefront of science, medicine, and education.

Why did you decide to work at YSM?

I wanted to feel that my work contributes to my immediate community and to the society at large. I believe that YSM is focused on that priority. In addition, I really enjoy being part of an academic environment. YSM has allowed me to continue to thrive in that kind of environment past my formal education years. Finally, YSM is a diverse employer that offers career develpment. I was excited by ongoing learning and growth opportunities available at YSM.

How did you become interested in your line of work?

I started out with an interest in the psychology and stages of learning in early childhood. My interest has evolved into finance and sponsored research administration. When an opportunity came up to help those new to research administration and post award management, I felt that it was an exciting opportunity to combine my two passions together.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of my work is seeing someone we hired on our team thrive and succeed. It’s also very rewarding when I learn about faculty members and their research teams feeling that they have the support they need from our business office to focus on their research and teaching.

Why do you love working at Yale?

I love being in an environment where scientific discoveries are made. I also enjoy being surrounded by an academic community focused on improving health disparities in my immediate and broader community. The research that our faculty and their labs do is fascinating, and we, the staff, are often the first ones to know about the progress and the scientific discoveries being made. I learn something new every day.

What is a fun fact about you?

Before working at Yale, during my college years, I worked one-on-one with kids in elementary school who struggled with math. My job was to assess what stage of development they were at based on Jean Piaget’s cognitive stages of development. I also engaged these children in a series of logical games and play-based activities to help them reach the next stage in their cognitive development before their struggles with math negatively impacted their experience at school.

Submitted by Serena Crawford on March 06, 2023