IMR welcomes new administrator and grants developer

The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) welcomes Joanna Gardner as our new administrator and grants developer.


Gardner brings to the institute her six years of professional experience at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining IMR, she worked since June 2016 as a program coordinator in the Department of Physics. Before that, Gardner served as fiscal associate for four years at the OSU Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS).


“My goal is to not only enhance the existing funding programs internal to Ohio State, but to also find the right external funding opportunities for those IMR awardees and new IMR faculty teams,” Gardner said. “Providing full-service support through the grant proposal and award process allows our members to leverage IMR’s investment into bigger and broader materials science.”


Gardner is eager to continue getting to know the IMR faculty members, and connecting them with available grants and opportunities. Feel free to reach out to her at


Before coming to Ohio State, Gardner served as a senior paralegal in the Traffic and Criminal Defense Office at Luftman, Heck and Associates, LLP in Cincinnati, Ohio. In that position, she generated monthly expense and revenue reports, reviewed case law and prepared defense cases for trial, and regularly filed court documents at the Hamilton County municipal and common pleas courts.


Gardner moved to Columbus in 2012 to join CAPS, where she acted as promotional and advertising design consultant, university fund and post-award grant monitor, and student administrative assistant supervisor. In the Department of Physics, she was a pre-award preparer and submitter, post-award grants manager, and college commitment and budget monitor. She built upon that experience through several supplemental professional development programs, including conflict management and diversity leadership training.


Gardner studied communication at the University of Cincinnati from 2003 to 2006. She continues her education as a Buckeye, currently earning a bachelor’s of arts in communication and bachelor’s of science in sport industry. A longtime sports enthusiast, her love for athletics also exists outside the classroom. She is a professional football player in the Women’s Football Alliance, playing middle linebacker and tight end for the Columbus Comets. Gardner stays active in the central Ohio community through volunteerism and spent three years coaching adult basketball skills with the Franklin County Special Olympics.




Story by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations Coordinator


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