Aileen Dinkjian

Aileen Orlino Dinkjian, MPH

Research Project Manager, Research Development (RD) and Team Building


Dr. Aileen Orlino Dinkjian is currently the Research Project Manager for the Research Development Core at the SC CTSI. Dr. Dinkjian works with program leadership to initiate, implement, pilot, and assess new program efforts focused on building multidisciplinary research teams, ensuring and evaluating program success, and tracking program outcomes. Dr. Dinkjian leads the Research Development Core in developing objectives and action plans and drives these to completion to systemically build research partnerships across diverse disciplines.

Dr. Dinkjian spearheads the Mock Review program, which provides junior investigators and graduate students, who may have limited or no grant-writing experience, with feedback on proposals intended for submission to NIH K-series. Dr. Dinkjian facilitates the review process between the applicants and reviewers to ensure junior faculty receives adequate and helpful feedback. She also provides management to ongoing pilot funding and team-building efforts; transition new initiatives from start-up to sustainable phase; engage appropriate stakeholders to ensure program success; work to secure research funding and resources; build strategic alliances in support of research programs with industry, foundation, and other agencies; recognize, develop and implement solutions to program-wide, challenges that require general systems and processes; ensure effective implementation of new team-building initiatives including formal efforts in the science of team science across research development.

Dr. Dinkjian is also a member of the CTSA External Reviewer Exchange Consortium, raising USC research faculty opportunities to serve in a nationwide grant reviewer program. She also leads the Community Reviewer Training Program in bringing diverse perspectives from community domain experts into the pilot grant reviews.

Contact Information

Professional Background

Dr. Dinkjian has 20 years of a proven track record of success in working with and providing support to local, state, and federal governments (and now academia), to writing and supporting community grants, developing improved processes to program management, writing and reviewing policies, and leveraging an organization's quality assurance through ongoing evaluations. She is a leader in managing small to large-size project teams in a collaborative and fast-paced environment. Dr. Dinkjian is also accomplished in developing work plans for a project workstream, understanding dependencies, maintaining project economics, and keeping leadership informed of progress and issues. Her breadth of exposure to diverse working environments and technical issues brings forth unique and innovative perspectives into her current work while identifying skills and resources needed for timely and quality deliverables while maintaining flexibility for unanticipated issues. Dr. Dinkjian received her doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California, Master of Public Health from The George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cal Poly Pomona.  


Community advocacy; public health education; career development training; pomeranians; cooking; coffee; tennis; going on adventures with her family.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.