Working with passionate researchers across UVA allows Claudia to connect with a variety of projects ranging in all sorts of academic fields. She loves the diverse nature of her work, but Claudia didn’t always know she’d be working in research.
Claudia Scholz is the Director for Research Development at the School of Data Science.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from Mount Holyoke College, Claudia continued on to study sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. She received her PhD in the field in 2005.
After graduate school, Claudia initially pursued a career in teaching with plans to become a professor. Early on in her career, though, she began to move into the research space, aiding different programs at Trinity University and then Spelman College.
“I kind of jumped off the faculty track early on and became an administrator because I was really interested in supporting other people’s research,” Claudia said. This career change brought her to the University of Virginia and the School of Data Science where she does just that.
“Research development is a really interesting profession because you might start in the morning helping a poet apply for a National Endowment for the Arts grant and end the day looking for the origins of life with a chemist,” Claudia said. “So, it really suited me.”
"I was really interested in supporting other people’s research."
When Claudia arrived in Charlottesville, the School was still known as the Data Science Institute – or DSI for short. In her role as Director of Research Development, Claudia supports faculty and students in research efforts that cover a wide variety of subjects.
“Largely what I focus on is seeking extramural funding for research, so a lot of support for grant writing but also support in locating collaborators both internal and external to UVA,” Claudia said of her work. She frequently assists faculty members, but Claudia often helps students as well.
In her work with students, Claudia helps with capstone projects, a unique feature of the residential MSDS program that allows students to apply the data science toolkit to a real-world problem. In addition to this, Claudia manages the Presidential Fellows program.
“That for me is really exciting, that breadth of exposure to different problems."
A highlight of Claudia’s job is that ability to work across many disciplines to promote learning for a greater good.
“That for me is really exciting, that breadth of exposure to different problems…and the toolkits that data science brings to bear to be of service to the production of knowledge across the human experience.”
In addition to her work with researchers, Claudia is the Founding Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council at the School of Data Science.