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NIH Record Retirees

NEI Grants Officer Grimes Says Farewell

By Linda Huss

Carolyn E. Grimes, NEI grants management officer, retired Oct. 1 after a 31-year career in the federal government, 27 of those years with NEI.

She began her career as a secretary in the License Renewal Branch of the Federal Communications Commission. In 1972, she joined NEI as secretary to the program planning officer in NEI's Office of the Director. In 1975, she accepted a position in the Division of Extramural Research where she was secretary to the chief of the Scientific Programs Branch. It was here that her natural aptitude for grants management was immediately recognized and she was promoted to the position of grants management specialist and ultimately to grants management officer.

Grimes was the focal point for fiscal and administrative management of the NEI grants program. Through the years, she developed strong working relationships with business personnel from a variety of academic and vision research institutions. She was also well known to the NEI-funded researchers who attend the annual meetings of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Well regarded within the broader NIH extramural community, Grimes was frequently asked to participate in policy planning committees and management oversight groups at NIH. Dr. Jack McLaughlin, NEI deputy director and director of the Division of Extramural Research, says, "Carolyn made a tremendous contribution to vision research. She helped advance the research of numerous extramural investigators by her prompt, efficient response to their requests for information and help."

During her career at NEI, Grimes received many awards and citations for her initiative, innovation and organization, including a Special Act Award in 1996 for developing a procedures manual for handling disbursements from the NEI scientific review and evaluation grant. She also showed strong dedication to mentoring and training activities and helped shape the careers of several generations of grants management and management intern trainees at NIH.

Now she says it's time to bid farewell to her colleagues, friends and the workplace she has known so well. The National Advisory Eye Council meeting in October 1999 would have been her 82nd. "We developed a very close working relationship over the years, and I will miss her greatly," says McLaughlin.

The NEI staff embraced Grimes as a colleague, the resident institutional memory and a friend. Although she will enjoy her well-deserved retirement, she will be missed greatly in the NEI and NIH extramural community

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