NORDP Board Member Cameo: Karen Eck

Karen Eck is currently serving as the NORDP President for 2018-19. We thank Karen for her service to NORDP!

Who: Karen Eck, PhD, Assistant Vice President for Research
Where: Old Dominion University
Number of years in Research Development: 13
Length of NORDP membership: 9 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Eck-portrait-NORDP2018

I started working at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2005 in a hybrid RA/RD position supporting the Faculty of Medicine. In 2009, I moved to ODU as Director of Research Development where I managed a team of Grant Development Specialists assigned to our 6 academic colleges and was responsible for limited submissions, intramural grant competitions and faculty workshops & outreach. As AVP for Research at ODU since 2015, I have been interfacing with internal and external stakeholders in support of research development and implementation of a 5-year Research Strategic Plan for the university.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

I became aware of NORDP in Fall 2009 when I came to work at ODU and attended the 2nd annual conference in Chicago in 2010. I haven’t missed a conference since then (9/10)! I presented talks at the conferences in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and collaborated to develop a half-day pre-conference workshop in 2016. Before I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2015, I served on the Facilitating Collaboration Working Group, chaired the Enhancing Research Collaboration subcommittee and served as a mentor in the NORDP Mentoring Program. I co-chaired the annual conference in 2017 and 2018, served as Vice President in 2017-2018 and I am now serving as President until July 1, 2019.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

I am going into my fourth and final year on the NORDP Board and I have been fortunate to work with so many smart and motivated colleagues. Two former board members who I consider mentors are Peggy Sundermeyer (former NORDP Treasurer) and Gretchen Kiser (former NORDP President). I have had 3 amazing mentees who I look forward to seeing each year at the conference and from whom I have learned a great deal. Those relationships are special and it was a privilege to exchange and learn with them. It has also been great reconnecting with colleagues in Canada as a liaison to the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) as well as meeting other international members of NORDP who come to the U.S. for the annual conference.

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

Joining NORDP helped me connect to colleagues across the country in similar positions. The exchanges on the listserv and at the conferences were so beneficial and I felt as if I had found my tribe. After a few years, I wanted to get more involved. I had recently helped organize and host a state-wide conference at ODU for research administrators that was successful and I felt I had something to contribute to conference organizing. I liked working in teams to get things done so I ran for a NORDP Board spot the first year elections were held in 2015.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

I think the NORDP Mentoring Program is exceptional. The opportunity for one-on-one mentoring, the care that is taken to match people with like interests, and the resources and support to make it a good experience for mentors and mentees are unique in my professional sphere. Having a mentor, a resource for ideas and problem solving, and feeling supported can make a difference in someone’s career and overall happiness at work. That’s powerful and I think NORDP is rightfully proud of this unique program.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a NORDP board member?

I’m proud of the work I did organizing the 2017 and 2018 conferences. Working on a conference is an intensive group experience where you work closely with your colleagues. It allows you to get to know people and build friendships and trust. It also helped me to learn more about NORDP and how the organization functions. I’m also proud to have played a role in reviving the PEERD program, including recruiting reviewers and coordinating a site visit.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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.

NSF 18-102: Dear Colleague Letter: Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity

This is a great opportunity for RD offices that have NSF funding, and for other NSF funded PIs and their graduate students at your institutions!

DCL 18-102 provides up to $55,000 per student in funding for up to six months to allow recipients to participate in research-based internships in STEM or STEM education research fields in non-academic settings. The goal is to enable students to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that prepare them for entry into non-academic careers.

This opportunity is open to PIs who are supporting graduate students through any active NSF award. To be eligible, a graduate student must have completed at least one academic year in their graduate (master’s or doctoral) program and be making satisfactory progress towards degree completion.

For a description of the activities supported, visit the announcement page, then contact your program officer to discuss your proposal.

2019 CFA Update & Conference Collaborations


NORDP has launched the Call for Abstracts for the 2019 Research Development Conference in Providence, and the application system is now open! All abstract proposals are due by November 25, 2018, at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time).

New for 2019:  There are a number of formats to consider for presentations. Individual or panel presentations may be proposed for one- or two-hour sessions. You also can pitch a one-hour roundtable, or a 5-minute Lightning Talk. Details can be found in the CFA.

If you’re looking to collaborate with others to develop a panel idea or workshop, there’s now a new option for connecting with potential co-presenters! Try out our message board at, which will allow the NORDP community to post ideas, search for like-minded colleagues, and craft stronger presentation abstracts.

When you visit, simply click on the “Conference Presentation Collaborators Exchange.” There, you can see what ideas others have shared and post a reply within individual folders if you’re interested in a topic. You can propose brand new ideas by clicking the “Create Thread” button in the upper right-hand corner.

Please contact Jenna McGuire with questions (

Mentoring Committee Highlights

Hello from the NORDP Mentoring Committee! Our mission is to equip research development professionals for success by offering meaningful mentoring expertise, support, and resources.

Here are a few committee highlights as we move into the fall semester:

This summer, we collaborated with the Professional Development Committee to present a series of mentoring webinars, all of which are now available in our Mentoring Toolkit on the NORDP website (log in to the members-only section, then visit the Mentoring Committee page).

Besides access to the mentoring webinar series, the Mentoring Toolkit allows NORDP members to explore tools for self-assessment, goal-setting, and strategic planning; and further reading on mentorship. Whether you are cultivating a mentoring relationship or interested in developing mentoring guidance for faculty, we have resources available.

The Mentoring Committee is also working with the Inclusive Excellence Committee to serve the mentoring needs of a growing and diverse organization.

This year, we are continuing to 1) network with other organizations who provide mentoring support and 2) build mentoring resources and training for NORDP members. Stay tuned for more updates.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the committee, or are interested in joining us, we would love to hear from you! Are there any mentoring topics you would like to hear more about or any resources that you would find helpful? Feel free to leave a comment or email us at

2019 NORDP Annual Research Development Conference Call for Abstracts is now open!


The 2019 NORDP Annual Research Development Conference Call for Abstracts is now open! Submit your abstracts by Sunday, November 25th at 11:59 pm PST. This deadline will not be extended.

#NORDP2019 will be bigger than previous NORDP Conferences, with three full days of programming! (That’s more than 20 hours of extra content and presentations for RD professionals!) This conference will offer the standard one-hour sessions and the always popular Ideas Showcase, and NEW this year:

  • The conference registration fee will include all activities (no separate pre-conference day to have to justify), making the conference more inclusive for all conference attendees.
  • Two-hour sessions, which will allow presenters and participants to discuss a topic in greater detail and engage the content more fully.
  • Lightning Talks, which are five-minute presentations that allow individuals to share new and creative ideas for fostering research development.

Mark your calendars! This year’s early bird rate is $640, making NORDP 2019 an affordable 3-day conference (comparable to other professional conferences). These new formats, in addition to more networking time, should make NORDP 2019 the best Research Development Conference ever!

Jill Jividen will serve as 2019 Conference Marketing Chair, so you will be hearing more from her (and maybe a little less from me) as the conference approaches. Stay tuned to the blog for further details on NORDP 2019.

Michael Thompson
2018 Conference Marketing Chair

Jill Jividen
2019 Conference Marketing Chair

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.

NORD Initiative 2018: Cycle II Funding

The 2018 NORD Initiative (Cycle II) competition is now open. Please feel free to distribute this information to any / all who may interested in this opportunity.

Submission Deadline: Monday, November 12, 2018

Award Cycle: 2018 NORD Award 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2019

Discipline/Subject Area: NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development

Funding Available: 4,500.00

NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative and InfoReady  announce the 2018 Cycle II competition for the NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. Our goal in sponsoring this effort is to begin to establish research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, whether or not they are also NORDP members. Cycle II proposals will be accepted until the application deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, November 2, 2018. A non-exhaustive list of topics and research areas of interest to NORD are addressed in the program announcement. NORD expects to award 3 projects in Cycle II.

We thank the InfoReady Corporation for sponsoring these awards.

View the competition.