NORDP 2019 Rising Star: Joanna Downer

The NORDP Board of Directors established the Rising Star Award in 2016 to recognize up to three members annually who have made outstanding volunteer contributions and show great potential for future contributions to NORDP and the Research Development Profession. Awardees are announced at the NORDP annual conference, presented with an etched glass plaque, and receive free registration for the following year’s annual conference.


Joanna joined NORDP in 2010. She has been a member and, since 2016, co-chair of the Professional Development Committee. As such, she developed and contributed to numerous, significant enhancements to NORDP’s Webinar Program, including an RD webinar topic framework, standard evaluation, presenter instructions, and hosting scripts. She now spearheads development and delivery of a growing number of webinars, organizes logistics, and works to continuously improve webinar content and process. Joanna is also the Strategic Alliances Committee liaison to the National Association of Science Writers (since 2017) and a member of the NORDP Training Working Group (since 2018). A regular NORDP Conference presenter and contributor to the listserv, Joanna has become one of NORDP’s go-to persons for RD best practices. Joanna’s selection as the inaugural recipient of a NORD Research Grant in RD further exemplifies her commitment and capacity to advance our field.

Posted on behalf of the 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.

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