Marel KismetianResearch Grant Staff Spotlight:
Maral Kismetian

(September 25, 2020) Faculty, staff and students of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology conduct a host of research thanks to the hard work of a host of administrators.

On #NationalResearchAdministratorDay, we interviewed one of our key staff involved in the process, Maral Kismetian (click for bio), to get background on her responsibilities, career path and the most rewarding parts of her job.


Q: Explain what your main responsibilities are for those not involved with the research grant process.

Kismetian: "I assist and guide our faculty and staff members with their grant applications and/or contract negotiations for many different types of projects including research, student support programs and community/economic development projects. I coordinate the submissions of these proposals and if successful, negotiate the awards with the funding agencies."

Q: Why are you drawn towards working with research grants?

Kismetian: "In my early 20's, I was introduced to the world of grants and how they were linked to public policy. In most cases, grants are the mechanism in which we can implement policies that impact diversity, reduce disparities and make our communities better and more sustainable. Research funding can be used to answer many questions, provide solutions to problems, evaluate impact and make recommendations."

Q: What's your favorite part of your job at Fresno State?

Kismetian: "I love the variety and diversity of my grant portfolio. Any given day, I work with faculty and staff members from different disciplines from agriculture to engineering to economic development. My work is always changing and evolving. I love learning and my job allows me to grow and expand my knowledge in research administration."

Q: What attracted you to attend Fresno State as a student?

Kismetian: "I moved to the Central Valley in 2006 and started working at Fresno State. I love that our campus leadership supports continued education and professional development of their staff. I was interested in public administration, and Fresno State has a great MPA program."

Q: Did you conduct any research background before you became an administrator and in what areas?

Kismetian: "My career in research administration started at San Francisco State. I coordinated research grant programs funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Cancer Institute. While I did not conduct the research directly, I was involved with the planning and the design of the programs. I am a certified research administrator and have a background in program evaluation evaluating U.S. Department of Education grants."

Q: Has there been a specific rewarding or memorable experience tied to your job that you like to share with others?

Kismetian: "I am very lucky to call my job my career. It has given me a sense of purpose in life. I started in research administration almost 20 years ago and there are many memorable experiences. I am so proud of our faculty, staff and students for the phenomenal work that they do. It is a very humbling experience to read about a research finding or the success of a student support program and knowing that I had the privilege of assisting our faculty and staff in these accomplishments."

Q: Can you give an approximate annual overview of our College's recent research grant activity? 

Kismetian: "In the 19-20 annual report, there were 82 grants and contracts submission from the Jordan College and the total 71 awards were funded with a funding amount of $3,592,529."

Q: Are there any other key or unique things about the Jordan College & its research that is important to convey?

Kismetian: "The Jordan College assignment was added to my portfolio about a year ago and I have learned so much about our great agricultural programs and the robust research that is being implemented in the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), Institute for Food & Agriculture (IFA), and the Viticulture & Enology Research Center (VERC) research centers."

Q: Are there any web links I can refer people to for more about research and grants related to our Jordan College faculty/staff/students?

Kismetian: "Our submission and awards records can be found at

For specific faculty and student programs, you can visit the following links for 
Faculty ( & Students ( ).

Our Monthly newsletter archive is also a great resource at: