NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Natalie Fields

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here:

Who: Natalie Fields, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Research Communications
Where: Emory University School of Nursing
Number of years in research development: 7
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? A coral reef

I came to Emory University in 2011 with no background in academic research.  I had come from a non-profit as a director of development, therefore, I had some knowledge about grants but was still a far ways off from NIH R-level experimental research! I worked as a Pre-award research administrator for about five years. Currently, I work in the Office of Nursing Research, directing our strategic initiatives (i.e., mock reviews, lunch & learns, research dissemination) to support faculty, students and fellows in their research endeavors.Picture1

Last year’s NORDP conference has played a huge role in my current position. Our office restructured a few years ago, which opened up the opportunity for us to redefine some of our services. The timing for finding NORDP was perfect. I attended the 2017 conference and for the first time was able to clearly define my role (particularly outside of pre- and post-award research administration). When I returned from the conference I had great perspective and strategic vision about what direction I wanted to take our office in. At the conference, I learned more about how other schools organize and manage all the “other stuff” not directly related to proposal development or award management, such as research communications and fostering external relationships—so much so, that I came back from the conference and presented a plan for expanding our office’s services to include more strategic initiatives and research communications. This led me to a promotion from Senior Coordinator to the Associate Director of the Office of Nursing Research. Thank you, NORDP!

At this year’s conference I look forward to engaging with colleagues from other institutions at the networking dinners (they’re great!). Also, I have new ideas for my office and I think this year’s sessions will help me think through those ideas and gather new information to formulate them into a plan.

To get the most out of the conference I would recommend having plenty of business cards to hand out and brainstorm questions with your team before you go so that everyone can get the most out of the conference even if they aren’t there.

See you there!


We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

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