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Karen Marker

Grant Proposal Strategist & Writer
Administrative Office
Phone: 208-426-5721 | Fax: x6-4466 | Office: GAA 204
Karen Marker

Karen provides grant proposal strategy and editing services for faculty across all College of Engineering departments. She lives on the line between left and right brain, and since 2010, has supported over 300 proposal submissions. Karen helps faculty develop strong grantsmanship skills, with a particular focus on helping early career faculty get started on the right foot to conceptualize strong research programs, plan and write proposals that appeal to particular funders, and connect with the many institutional resources available.

Karen has helped faculty obtain funding from federal organizations such as the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and NASA, as well as state funding and corporate funding as from Google and the W.M. Keck Foundation. Her largest win was in supporting a 2014 $10 million NIH award that launched an interdisciplinary Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Matrix Biology. She has also been instrumental in helping faculty secure NSF CAREER awards from 2015–2019.

Karen's role during proposal development is to bring shape to funding ideas, and examine strategy, document structure, and visual and editorial design to ensure that faculty communicate ideas effectively in clear, readable proposals. Given researcher and student interest in sustainability and a growing need to address complex, interdisciplinary problems, Karen also maintains a particular desire to help faculty who want to promote systems thinking, product and process design to minimize resource use, environmental stewardship, and a greater sharing of ideas between technologists, artists, and business people.

Karen brings more than fifteen years of corporate experience to this role, where as a writer, information architect, and creative strategist consulting with a variety of Fortune 500 companies, she helped the teams she worked with produce proposals, design documents, websites, and presentations that clearly described their ideas and were easy to use. She also ensured that those ideas were responsive to client needs, priorities, and desired performance outcomes.

Karen has a master’s degree in Instructional Systems from Indiana University (it’s much like a degree from the college’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Department), and a BA from Brown University in both art and English. She performs in community theater, plays guitar, and (sometimes) maintains an art portfolio at