Downer and Farmer join NORDP’s Board

NORDP is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors in 2019. Joanna Downer and Faye Farmer join current Board members for four-year terms beginning July 1.

NORDP provides professional development, networking and means to develop, evaluate and implement effective practices to support the efforts of researchers at the nation’s public and private research institutions. The organization’s members develop strategic research activities in response to the extramural funding landscape, catalyze new collaborations and partnerships and inform funding agencies about ongoing and emerging research efforts at their institutions.

“Research Development is a critical facet of institutions pursuing research,” said Karen Eck, outgoing President of NORDP. “As a fast-growing organization that reflects the nation’s dynamic priorities related to discovery and innovation, NORDP is committed to providing professional development and leadership for those involved in advancing research nationwide. I’m enthusiastic about Joanna and Faye joining our Board.”

Joanna Downer founded the Office of Research Development at the Duke University School of Medicine in 2009 and now leads a team of five research development professionals. She previously worked in science writing and media relations, first at Duke Medicine and then at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“I am intensely interested in developing effective ways to build a pipeline of talented Research Development professionals,” says Joanna. “In my own office, we have carefully defined what we do and how and why we do it and have begun to redesign our work to enhance sustainability, satisfaction, and effectiveness at Duke. As NORDP enters its second decade, answering questions such as how the organization could or should improve will be crucial.”

Faye Farmer founded the Research Development office at Arizona State University in 2015 and today manages a staff of 10. The group’s work involves bringing faculty and staff together for research, which includes designing events, competitive intelligence gathering, proposal management and managing the university’s limited submissions process.

“I envision a NORDP that is attractive and welcoming to entry level professionals who stay for the course of their career,” says Faye. “I see an organization that allows our members to grow their passion, leverage their place, and do some good in the world. I am excited to be a member of an active board and profession that continues to make an impact on global research endeavors.”

NORDP was established in 2010. Membership in NORDP has grown from a grassroots movement of 60 individuals to nearly 1,000 members today. The membership reflects organizational leaders in research, including vice presidents of research, as well as professionals involved in grant proposal preparation. NORDP serves as the pre-eminent professional organization for individuals and organizations seeking to improve their competitive edge.

For more information about NORDP activities and members, visit

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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