2017 Conference Cameo: Natasha Chopp

#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. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.

Who: Natasha Chopp
Where: Michigan Technological University
Number of years in research development: 5
Length of NORDP membership: 4
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
Most interesting place visited: Glasgow and Stirling in Scotland

In 2012, I started working at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the Vice President for Research (VPR) Department. Hired as an Office Assistant, I mostly did data entry for all the proposal/award activity and submitted proposals on behalf of the n-chopp-002-copyUniversity. Believe it or not I thoroughly enjoyed data entry and I learned a lot about the various types of research being conducted at Michigan Tech. After a few months, I was promoted to the Research Development & Marketing Manager. I quickly took on the responsibilities of managing the internal awards program, developing (and now managing) our internally built crowdfunding platform called Superior Ideas, coordinating limited submission opportunities, assisting students with their fellowship applications/proposals, maintaining the VPR website, and assisting with research development related activities for the faculty on campus.

In 2016, I was promoted to the Director of Research Opportunities. Many of my job duties remained the same but I also took on new tasks. I’ve just recently become one of Michigan Tech’s representatives for the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). FDP is an association of federal agencies, academic research institutions with administrative, faculty and technical representation, and research policy organizations that work to streamline the administration of federally sponsored research. Another one of my new tasks is managing Michigan Tech’s Space Management tool.

I first learned about NORDP when I took on my role of Research Development & Marketing Manager. My colleagues in the Research Development Office were already members of NORDP and they strongly encouraged me to join and attend the conferences. My first NORDP conference was in Austin, Texas and I was excited to learn more about the organization and listen to other Research Development professionals. I’ve even presented at a few NORDP conferences and was a sponsor on behalf of Superior Ideas. I’m happy to say this year will be my fourth NORDP conference.

This year’s NORDP conference I am looking forward to visiting the Denver area and seeing those who I met at the last few conferences. I’m also excited to attend this year’s sessions and learn about new strategies and ideas.

My advice for first time attendees is to put yourself out there and meet new people. Take advantage of the networking opportunities and stay in contact with those you meet after the conference is over. Also, don’t be afraid to share your ideas and ask questions.


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 http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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 rdconf@nordp.org

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