New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Faye Farmer

Faye Farmer is one of two new elected NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Faye for her service to NORDP!

Who: Faye Farmer, Executive Director – Research Development
Where: Knowledge Enterprise Development, Arizona State University
Number of Years in RD: 10
Length of NORDP Membership: 8 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Farmer head shot medium July 2019.jpg

I came up through the ranks in Research Development. I began as a proposal editor and am now Executive Director of Research Development at Arizona State University (ASU). I describe myself as a scientist who loves writing, so proposal development is my happy place. In 2009, as a proposal editor, I recognized the value of industry proposal management practices as a reproducible and scalable approach to academic proposal development. In 2011, I brought that experience to the university research office. While I joined the office of research at ASU in 2011, the current configuration of Research Development as a functional unit was established in 2015. The office includes proposal management and graphics, competitive intelligence, limited submissions, and research related events and has a staff of 10. My team works with ASU research faculty, staff, and leaders to improve funding success and grow the research enterprise, we seek to empower and embolden every faculty, staff, and student member at ASU to increase their competitive edge in support of the expanding quality and quantity of the research enterprise.

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

Like many, I’ve found ways to work contributions to NORDP throughout my career whenever I could. In fact, building a presence at Arizona State has consumed my time and attention for the past few years. During that time though, I’ve managed to serve as a mentor and mentee, present at a conference or two, coach workshops at conferences, and stay active on the listserv. For the past several years, ASU has sent a rather large group to the conference (hovering around 10 each year). I’d like to think that is in some way because of the enthusiasm I bring to the RD landscape at ASU.

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

It is a common refrain from members….It all started at my first conference. What seemed like an impossibly big conference in California in 2011 pales in comparison with our current conference configuration. But, like others, I was inspired to return back to ASU and implement some of the ideas! I remember many of the presentations, the keynotes, and the networking. Since that time, I’ve never hesitated to reach out to anyone in NORDP to ask a question, get an opinion, recruit to co-present, and connect on a topic. In addition, my network of consultants has increased exponentially. I am able to connect departing faculty with their new RD office or use an RD office as a connecting point for incoming faculty. At conferences, I make a special effort to find new faces at conferences because I am excited to watch their career grow. My relationship landscape is continually changing, which I truly enjoy.

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

Karen Eck was my mentor in 2017. (She’s the past-president of NORDP.) In addition to being an amazing mentor, she was also extremely positive about my taking a leadership role in NORDP. Because of our discussions, I (still) have post-it notes up over my desk, two small, yellow tabs that are sandwiched between a shelf and artwork from my kid, that say “LEADERSHIP” and “NORDP”. But, I wasn’t prepared to take that step until 2019. The decision took a lot of reflection on my skills and abilities, my vision for the organization, and wanting to be a part of the community of great people who are already serving in volunteer leadership roles. Because of the deep respect I have for my immediate office, I wanted to be certain they were also okay with my taking this step. Finally, with the blessing of my family, I put my name in the hat. It was a great reminder for me that we are a constellation of networks that rely on each other and support one another. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve NORDP as a board member.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I am committed to bringing my best and most authentic self to NORDP leadership. If you were at the conference, you heard my candidate speech. The premise was a simple concept: #ISeeYou. I am committed to celebrating the many and varied paths that led us to NORDP; creating a community of inclusivity that encourages continued growth of our professional selves and our organization; and ensuring that NORDP remain a safe space to share our stories in order to grow our collective expertise and diversify our knowledge base. I am convinced that we all work hard to grow research at our institutions and businesses, but I’m also certain that NORDP can more clearly reflect and nurture all ages, races, genders, skill levels, education levels, and aspirations within our organization. The national research agenda requires that we try to prepare ourselves and those we work with for whatever climate is next. NORDP is the place where we make that happen!

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.