2017 Conference Cameo: Eric Wayne Dickey

#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: Eric Wayne Dickey, Research Program Administrator
Where: Oregon State University, College of Liberal Arts
Number of years in research development: 19
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2
How do you unwind? Reading and writing, family and staying healthy.

I started grant writing just to find funding to support my own interests in creative writing. On a whim, I attended an introduction to grant writing workshop put on by the Pacific Non-Profit Network in Medford, Oregon. This was back in 1998, before databases and internet search engines. I remember spending three or four days pouring over the big Foundation Directory books. I found four sources. I followed the directionEric Wayne Dickey pictures and applied to them all. I ended up winning $10,000 to help support a three-month writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center. The VSC awarded me half and the other half came from a grant made by the John Anson Kittredge Fund for Individual Artists administered by Harvard University Law School. I was thrilled, to say the least.

After that, I started helping other people find funding for their projects. I helped an organization solicit funds from several sources to deliver relief supplies to hurricane Mitch survivors in the Honduras, and I helped a few other people and groups. Then in 2002, I landed a job working for Oregon Sea Grant supporting their granting program in coastal and ocean sciences research and education. I worked for OSG for 12 years. It was a great place to be; we were doing some meaningful and much needed work. I learned a lot about grant writing from sitting on the awarding agency side of the table. But I always felt like the poet in the house of science, so I began looking for work supporting arts and humanities efforts.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when the College of Liberal Arts here at OSU posted the position I now have. I’ve been here since August of 2014. I help liberal arts faculty find and apply to funding for their research and scholarly activities. The terms “liberal arts” and “research” do not often get used in the same sentence, but we actually do quite a bit of research. I am pleased to say that in the short time I’ve been here, I’ve helped grow the program by 70%.

It was when I began my current position that I first heard about NORDP.  I attended a conference in 2015. I was sad to have to miss the 2016 conference, but I am very excited for the forthcoming 2017 conference in Denver. I feel a kinship with research development people; it’s like they are my people. At that first conference, I was invited to co-lead a discussion table on managing our own creativity while on the job. Many of us share similar challenges, and maintaining a positive outlook can be one of those challenges. The conferences are a place to share our struggles, learn new strategies, find opportunities, and celebrate our successes. It’s a good group of people.

Being a NORDP member has been very beneficial. The conferences are a great place to get ideas on how to inspire, motivate, and manage faculty pursuing funding. Similarly, the website and the e-mail list have also been very helpful. I am really looking forward to the conference. I hope to meet new people who have similar interests in liberal arts research development. Sometimes I think Anna Brailovsky (UMN) and I are the only ones! I am really looking forward to coming away from the conference with new ideas and new inspirations.


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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