Annual Conference Attendance Scholarships Available

NORDP Members with financial need may apply for a scholarship to support their attendance at the Annual Conference. In keeping with NORDP’s goals to increase overall membership and encourage diversity, we are giving priority to applications from new members and first-time Conference attendees and are designating two additional scholarships this year for underrepresented ethnic and racial minority applicants. To apply, please complete the Scholarship Application before the February 13 deadline.


We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

2017 Conference Cameo: Shauncey Hill

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Conference registration:


Who: Shauncey Hill
Where: Mississippi State University
Number of years in research development: 12
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
Most interesting place visited: New Delhi, India

I started working in research administration in the late 90’s as the “copy girl” in the Sponsored Programs Administration office with the official title of Sponsored Programs hill
Assistant. I was the one who made copies of proposal submissions. My days were filled with last minute whiting out, inserting pages, “bribing” the FedEx guy, and racing to the
airport to drop off the package on the due date. I loved every minute of it.

As opportunities presented themselves, I began dabbling in research development, not realizing that it had a name. Eventually, I was promoted to an SPA administrator and then transitioned to departmental administration at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Engineering Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation. This was during an energizing time when MSU’s research direction geared more towards multidisciplinary research and collaboration. My responsibility was submitting all of the proposals for five centers under the ERC umbrella – yes, challenging but exhilarating. Thereafter, I worked for a university-level center under the Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED). In addition to my primary duties at the center (primarily post-award), I spent a portion of my time assisting faculty members and/or departments across campus who didn’t have support (pre-award) as tasked by ORED. This opportunity allowed me to participate in university-level activities, which opened my eyes to the challenges faced in research administration on a broader scale.

After 10 years, the most incredible opportunity materialized when the director of the MSU International Institute asked me to join their team. Established as a part of a presidential commitment to increase global awareness on our campus, the International Institute’s mission is to expand the experience of faculty, staff, and students through global research and outreach programs. I transferred to the Institute as Director of International Research Development in July 2015 and it is truly a pleasure serving in this capacity. The offices of Immigration Services, English Language Institute (formerly ESL), and Study Abroad were merged into this Institute. Then the Recruitment and the Engagement units were created shortly thereafter. Lastly, the International Research Development (IRD) was formed.

Last year, Dr. Rick Nader, Associate Vice President for International Programs informed me about NORDP and encouraged me to attend the conference. This was my first time attending and I really enjoyed the sessions, but regrettably, I focused more on proposal submissions. I didn’t take advantage of the amazing resources and networking opportunities that NORDP has to offer. Therefore, my recommendation to other attendees is to be intentional and fully engaged! I look forward to making meaningful connections at this year’s annual conference!


We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Karen Eck


Name: Karen Eck
Institution: Old Dominion University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Mentor x 2
1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I’ve been lucky to have some great mentors in my career but I also know what it’s like to feel a bit isolated in my work and looking for advice, support, and someone with whom to share ideas. NORDP’s Mentorship Program has been a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and provide an outlet for exchange to our mutual benefit.

2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
How easy it is to reach out and develop rapport with people you either don’t know at all or have met briefly at a NORDP conference. RD professionals have so much in common and this becomes apparent once you start talking! Common ground for us is easy to find and that’s the basis for any good conversation – or relationship.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
The insight I get about the reality of RD at other institutions helps me to think more strategically about my own. I look forward to the time I spend with my mentees. I learn so much from them; it’s a real exchange and I get as much as I give.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
RD professionals play many different roles. It’s interesting to learn about other jobs, which may mirror your job responsibilities, but due to institutional size, history, geography, policy, politics, etc. require a different approach or different strategies.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
We have not set goals for the relationship yet but we have a really good give-and-take. We compare our institutions and share stories. It doesn’t feel like a mentor-mentee relationship but more two colleagues getting together to mull things over. Our experiences are different but our level of expertise feels similar although in different areas.

The NORDP Mentoring Program
The NORDP Mentoring Program offers a formalized pairing process to match a mentor and a mentee with similar professional interests and different levels of experience in order to frame a relationship that offers mutual guidance and support. Once pairs are matched, the mentoring process is an informal one based on the needs of each individual pair.

Posted on behalf of the Mentoring Committee

Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Christina Papke

Name: Christina Papke
Institution: Texas A&M University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Mentee


1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I joined the program as a mentee because I wanted to receive feedback and advice from a research development professional outside of my institution. I felt this could be a great way of generating ideas and gaining different perspectives on how to best assist faculty with their grants. I was also interested in broadening my understanding of research development and how it is structured to meet the needs of faculty at other institutions.

2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
As a mentee, I was surprised – and pleased – to discover that there is a lot of flexibility in the program. Rather than being very formal and structured, it is up to each mentor-mentee pair to set agendas and decide what works best for them.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
Through interacting with my mentor, I have gained a number of ideas that I have been able to incorporate into programs, events, and meetings with faculty members. I also look forward to sharing my ideas and gaining feedback on how to refine and improve them.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
I feel that I have gained a better appreciation for the services offered and structure of research development offices at other institutions. It has been fun to compare notes and see how our offices are both similar and different, and to use those notes to think about things that might be useful to suggest at my institution.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
The NORDP Mentoring Program has been excellent! Hearing a perspective from someone outside my institution has allowed me to learn more broadly about research development. During our hour-long meeting each month, I enjoy asking questions, hearing about resources my mentor has found helpful, and exchanging ideas. I see the Mentoring Program as a great starting point for learning how to develop a professional network that includes multiple mentors with expertise in different areas, and also mentees as I grow in my experience.

NORDP Annual Conference Attendance Scholarships Includes Support for Diversity


NORDP is pleased to announce that we will offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships again this year for those with financial need who wish to attend our Annual Research Development Conference in Denver, Colorado, May 8 – 10.   In keeping with NORDP’s goals to increase overall membership and to encourage diversity, we are for the first time designating two scholarships for underrepresented racial and ethnic minority applicants, as well as giving priority to applications from new members and first-time Conference attendees.  It is expected that each applicant will approach his/her institution or organization to request co-funding to attend the Annual Conference.

Please watch for the availability of the Conference Attendance Scholarship Application on the NORDP website soon.  The deadline for applications will be February 13.

Mentoring comes in all shapes and sizes

Have you ever been influenced by someone and chances are that person never even knew their impact on you?

During the 2013 Annual NORDP meeting in Austin, TX I was invited to join a dinner group hosted by Ioannis Konstantinidis.  It turned out that the dinner group was full, but he told me to come anyway.  We walked a short distance to a restaurant and when we sat down at our table Ioannis told us about the rich history of the restaurant, Threadgills.  I love history, music, and stories so I was captivated: a country music lover, Kenneth Threadgill, opened a filling station in Austin, TX in the 1930s and was granted a beer license, making him the first person in the county with alcohol.  His filling station/tavern became a popular place for musicians who played in the area to grab a drink after their shows.  Threadgill loved people and found that music “smoothed out…conflicts that usually occurred when longhairs crossed paths with rednecks.” In the 1960s his establishment welcomed “folkies, hippies, and beatniks” to sing on Wednesday nights.  Janis Joplin is said to have developed her “brassy” style at Threadgills. (For more information on Threadgills, visit

Ioannis continued to host the dinner group as if we were all old friends and we shared stories and conflicts from our own universities. He gave the entire dinner group his business card and later via the NORDP website, asked me to join his professional NORDP network. Ioannis reached out to this professional network occasionally afterwards, which strengthened my commitment to participate in NORDP and give back. Research Development professionals may not be musicians, but it seems Threadgills is still a place where people can cross paths and share stories.

Because of Ioannis’ dinner invitation, I then attended one of the NORDP committee meetings during the meeting the next day, I later volunteered on a committee, I volunteer during our Annual meetings, I became a mentor, and now volunteer on various committees as well as serve on NORDP’s Board of Directors…with Ioannis. I emailed Ioannis recently to let him know how his kind gesture of allowing me to join his dinner group impacted how I view my NORDP membership and my growth in Research Development, he said he had no idea.

We all can have an impact on one another. Mentors can be formal or informal and may have influence on people they may never consider mentees.  I encourage you to reach out to your NORDP colleagues, whether through a dinner invitation at the next Annual Meeting or by becoming a mentor through the NORDP mentor program. For more information, visit

Karen Fletcher
NORDP Board Member
Mentor Committee Co-chair

Membership Drive Launches in 2017

Greeting from the Member Services Committee!

It is the time of year to reflect, connect and make a difference. As I look back over the many things for which I am thankful, being a member of such a great organization filled with generous peers and colleagues who willingly share their time and expertise definitely makes the list.a86a6025

As I speak to people from around the country, I am still surprised at how few have heard of NORDP. On the flip side, it is so rewarding to hear from new members who feel like they have finally found ‘their people’ and professional organization home. NORDP enjoys high attendance (~60%) of members at our annual conferences. We expect this trend continues for the next conference in Denver, Colorado on May 8-10, 2017.

This year, at the leadership retreat of the Board, we agreed the time has come to take active measures to increase NORDP’s profile nationally. One strategy to accomplish this is a membership drive. To that end, we have set a goal of attracting 100 new members by the end of our fiscal year on September 30, 2017.

As with many initiatives, grassroots efforts are powerful. You will start seeing regular posts with small ‘calls to action’ of little things each of us can do to raise awareness and refer new members. Since the new year lends itself so well to re-connecting, we hope that you will mention NORDP to peers and colleagues.

In the meantime, we are ramping up activity on our social media outlets and encourage you to join, and invite others to join, the LinkedIn group and subscribe to our Twitter feed.

Happy 2017!

Terri Soelberg
NORDP Board Member
Member Services co-Chair