Meet the Team
Associate Vice President for Research Development
Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Shanahan is the Associate Vice President for Research Development as well as a Professor in the Department of Political Science. As a public policy scholar, her research centers on how policy narratives influence public opinion and policy decisions. She is a co-architect of the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF), a popular and internationally renowned policy process theory. Her current application of the NPF is centered on risk communication, specifically the development of a narrative risk communication framework that situates scientific risk information in story form. Her research crosses multiple policy domains—zoonotic spillovers, natural hazards, human-wildlife conflict, and cyber security. She has been awarded over $6.5 million in research from National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies and foundations. She enjoys skiing and hiking in the mountains of Montana.
Dr. Nicole Motzer is the Director of the Office of Research Development at Montana State University. Prior to this role, she served as the Assistant Director for Interdisciplinary Science at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). Trained in geographical sciences, Nicole now specializes in team science and interdisciplinary research. She has been awarded over $1 million in research grants from private and federal funders, and is driven to help others realize their own research goals through the support, training, and programming she provides.
Tracy Gatlin is the Assistant Director for the Office of Research Development at Montana State University. Tracy has approximately 10 years of proposal development experience as a prior Fiscal Manager for the Office of Sponsored Programs, and a Grant Administrator for the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. Additionally, Tracy is currently working towards a Master of Public Administration at Montana State University and serves as a voting member on the Institutional Review Board. She specializes in proposal budget preparation, NIH grants, and early career proposal development including training programs and fellowships.
Elizabeth joined MSU’s community in 2004, when she started working as a data analyst for Facilities Services. In 2005, she became the College of Engineering’s communications specialist. She has been a pre-award specialist since joining the Office of Sponsored Programs in 2016. Before moving to Montana in 2003, she worked as a communications specialist for a non-profit industry association and for the Community Health Institute at another land-grant university, Kansas State. She is happiest when she is tending to native plants and hanging out with her husband and Alaskan malamute.