Conference Cameo: Martin Kirk

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. 
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Who: Dr. Martin Kirk, Operations Director (Research & Researchers)
Where: King’s College London
Number of years in research development: More than 20
Length of NORDP membership: 4 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A chemist

From an early age I was very interested in science. I always planned to study for a science degree and most likely work in research in industry. However, after spending 10 Kirk Photo 2019years in research, I realized that I enjoyed research administration and research development much more than doing actual research. I absolutely relish working with investigators and hearing about their research and helping them reach their goals.

I began my RD career at the University of Calgary where I realized that researchers could greatly benefit from help from an RD team. We started by supporting a specific research infrastructure program that had a novel grant proposal format that challenged researchers and was extremely impact-focused. The RD team/process led to great success and gained national attention because of the disproportionate success rates, etc. I had a fruitful 10 years in research admin and RD at the UofC.

In 2007, I was headhunted to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to lead their research administration and RD unit. Again, a strengthening of the RD unit led to more success. Another 10 years slipped by in a wink.

The headhunters came calling again in 2018, this time looking to fill a position at King’s College London leading the central research admin: awards management, contracts, technology transfer, core facilities, clinical trials, post-grad scholarships, compliance and of course RD.

While at UBC I heard about NORDP and attended my first conference. It was a revelation having a conference dedicated to RD and a program entirely focused around success in RD. I learned many techniques and systems. I was amazed at how much sharing of ideas happened at the conference. I met many fellow RD professionals and found the networking opportunity to be invaluable.

I am very much looking forward to catching up with my colleagues and learning new ideas. RD is a rapidly evolving profession and NORDP, a very exciting forum.

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For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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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