Introducing NORDP’s New PEERD Experts

NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) is proud to announce a new cadre of PEERD Experts who will serve from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2023. PEERD Experts provide an array of services to client organizations interested in valuable benchmarking tools, best practices, and guidance to enhance research development program activities and further the research enterprise at their institutions. In addition to its formal review program, PEERD will be offering virtual consultations, competitive analyses, as well as presentations and workshops. Learn more about PEERD here.

PEERD Experts, 2020-2023:

Jamie Burns

Jamie Burns is a Senior Research Analyst on the Competitive Intelligence (CI) team within Research Development at Arizona State University (ASU). In this role, she’s increased the diversity, capacity, and sophistication of the CI work at the university level. This work has contributed to improving strategic and actionable insights to assess institutional performance, defining and refining the competitive landscape in key areas, and growing research dollars via proposals to federal sponsors. Her CI work includes analysis and visualization of both internal and external data, comparison to competitor institutions, insights gained from human intelligence, and forward-looking recommendations with actionable insights and plans for implementation.

Camille Coley

As a Vice President for Government Relations at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Ms. Coley is responsible for overseeing the federal grants portfolio, international relations, and institution-wide strategic planning. She is actively involved with AMNH’s education programs and the broader impacts of the Museums scientist, as her primary goal is to grow the research enterprise and expand opportunities for large proposals. Before working at the Museum, she was the Associate Vice President for Research at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). During her tenure at FAU, she helped the Division of Research operationalize as a unit with functions from pre-award through post-award to commercialization. She was engaged in the University community as a member of the strategic planning committee and a co-chair of a University task force on meeting community needs and unique institutional responsibilities.

Karen Eck

Karen Eck, PhD, is Assistant Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She interfaces with internal and external entities in support of research development and policy, research strategic planning and partnerships, and regional and other initiatives on behalf of the Office of Research. Dr. Eck has developed and presented faculty/stakeholder workshops on a myriad of topics including team science, the peer review process, foundation funding, and grant writing for DoD, NSF, NIH, the humanities, and large team grants. She has led successful large-scale initiatives, such as a $120.5 million HUD grant awarded to the City of Norfolk and Commonwealth of Virginia in 2016. Dr. Eck has contributed to four broad strategic planning processes: ODU University Strategic Planning Committee 2014-2019 & 2020-2025, ODU University Libraries Strategic Planning in 2014, and developing the first 5-year ODU Research Strategic Plan in 2015.

Sharon Franks

Sharon Franks, PhD is the Senior Director of the Research Proposal Development Service at the University of California San Diego, where she has worked since 1993. Dr. Franks also serves on the management teams of two large UC San Diego-led centers: an NSF Materials Science Research and Engineering Center and a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center. She has contributed to more than 300 proposals to public and private sponsors for which budgets totaled more than $2 billion, and to the success of proposals that have generated more than $700 million in extramural funding. Competitive intelligence, proposal development, and support for early- and mid-career investigators all feature prominently in Sharon’s current portfolio. Dr. Franks has served as a proposal reviewer and panelist for multiple NSF programs, and she is lead author of Education and Public Outreach: A Guide for Scientists, published by The Oceanography Society.

Alicia Knoedler

Across a 20-year career in research leadership and research development, Dr. Alicia J. Knoedler supports and encourages researchers to lead paths of growth and expansion of their research programs, diversify research perspectives, and seek new research directions and partnerships. Dr. Knoedler specializes in crafting, leading and implementing initiatives of strategic value to research across all disciplines and a diverse range of research organizations. She has worked with institutions to identify research areas as strategic priorities, design measures and metrics aligned with research performance and growth, and understand capacity and competitiveness for expanding and diversifying research and support for the research enterprise. Dr. Knoedler is a national leader in developing university-based research enterprises and talent. She has had substantial success in helping individuals craft career-long scholarship trajectories, has a strong record of supporting underserved disciplines like the arts and humanities, and has led efforts to diversify research leadership nationally. She currently serves as the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Miami University.

Jacob Levin

Jacob E. Levin, PhD is Director of Research Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Levin is also Founder and Principal of LGG Research Strategy & Funding Services, a boutique consultancy that has worked directly with researchers and University leadership at more than three dozen institutions worldwide. Previously, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California, Irvine, where he led a 10-member Research Development Office. Jacob is a AAAS Fellow, MIT startup founder, Founding Board Member and Past President of NORDP. He has helped secure over $1 Billion in research, training and infrastructure funding, and has spearheaded the establishment of successful research collaborations spanning all 7 continents.

Michael Spires

Mr. Spires is an academically well‐rounded scholar, a published author and seasoned presenter, and an experienced reviewer. He has been working in research development full‐time for nearly 14 years, mentored by one of the thought leaders in the field. He has done extensive service to the profession, including multiple leadership positions within NORDP. He has been a mentor, both formally and informally, to a number of research development professionals in his career. Oakland University is the fourth institution where he has either established or helped to establish an RD function where none existed before: two emerging research institutions in different states, an R1 in a third state, and a major non‐profit research institution.

Peggy Sundermeyer

Dr. Peggy Sundermeyer joined Trinity University in 2014 as the Director of Sponsored Research in the Office of Academic Affairs. Prior to relocating to Trinity University, Peggy worked at the University of Minnesota, holding a number of positions in the Office of the Vice President for Research. In 2004 she was asked by the VPR to establish an office of research development, the first of its kind at the UMN and one of the earliest in the United States. The Office of Research Advancement created multiple internal award programs, supported large interdisciplinary applications, and worked closely with Deans who shortly established their own collegiate RD operations with similar goals.

Jessica Venable

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in sponsored research, research development, and project management, Dr. Venable provides clients with strategic advice and support to develop relationships, build capacity, identify appropriate funding opportunities, and apply for funding from federal and private grantmakers. She specializes in funding opportunities for the STEM fields, particularly as they pertain to underserved and underrepresented individuals, institutions, and groups. She has served as Executive Director, Research Universities and Institutions Practice, McAllister & Quinn since 2016 where she assists clients with highest research activity to secure federal funding. Additionally, she has held research positions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Barbara Walker

As Director of Research Development for Social Sciences, Humanities, Fine Arts, and Education at University of California-Santa Barbara, Dr. Endemaño Walker is responsible for catalyzing research innovation and excellence through professional development and mentoring activities with faculty members, along with strategic planning for large interdisciplinary research programs and the broader campus research enterprise. Her other areas of expertise are team science, collective intelligence, and inclusive excellence. Dr. Endemaño Walker is co-author of the book, Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences: A Practical Guide to Grant and Fellowship Proposals. She also advises campus leadership on diversity and inclusion initiatives as the Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost.

Quyen Wickham

Mr. Wickham has over 10 years of experience in research development (RD) from two nationally ranked high research universities working at the both central and center level. During this time, he has had the opportunity to develop an understanding of proposal writing, project evaluation, project management, and proposal management. His experience in higher education administration, team science facilitation, and faculty-focused strategy sessions has resulted in a deep appreciation for how research is accomplished by research development professionals. He has applied his training in USAID and the Shipley Associates proposal development process to effectively managing $150 million in full proposals, netting over $35 million in awards in his first 15 months at Arizona State University. He continues to lead presentations on high value solicitations, manage multiple color team reviews to strengthen proposals, and is a regular presenter at university-wide RD professional development trainings.

Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities 2020

The Network for Advancing and Evaluating the Societal Impact of Science (AESIS Network) invites research managers, science policy makers, funders, knowledge exchange experts and other relevant professionals from all parts of the world together to engage with one another on an advanced online conference platform. The Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities conference will be held October 14-16, 2020.

AESIS is offering NORDP members a registration discount to attend. See flyer and draft program attached.

Entering Mentoring Interactive Webinar Series: A Successful Beta Test

By Samarpita Sengupta

A year ago, when I was thinking of applying for the NORDP mentoring program as a mentee, I was encouraged to apply as a mentor too. I remember the paralyzing terror I felt thinking “what do I know about mentoring someone else” and “how am I even qualified.”

For some people, like the extraordinary members of the NORDP Mentoring Committee, mentoring comes easily, but for others, it is a learned skill. The Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) were established to fill in the gap; to educate researchers of all stages on mentoring; to create best practices; and to establish a mentoring culture within academia.

NRMN established curriculums to offer mentor training, mentee training and facilitator training. These courses are now offered through CIMER. NORDP members and pioneers, Jan Abramson and Etta Ward went through the Facilitator training offered by NRMN and CIMER. They immediately saw the potential and began hatching plans for providing mentor training to the NORDP community. As luck may have it, they met Paula Carney, who had gone through the Facilitator training and the NORDP mentor training subcommittee was formed. Subsequently, other members of the group, Kathryn Partlow, Erica Severan went through the training;team member Kristen Boman has worked with the NRMN Mentor Training program since its inception. The subcommittee has recently recruited Tabitha Finch, a new NORDP member, and a trained facilitator.

Over the past year, the Mentor Training subcommittee of the NORDP Mentoring Committee has been hard at work adapting the Entering Mentoring training curriculum for RD professionals. They created case studies, didactics and a workshop to be delivered at the NORDP Annual Conference. And then the pandemic hit!

When the conference was canceled, the team quickly pivoted to a Zoom-based delivery format. After hours of discussions on how to best deliver the trainings, duration of each session and how to preserve the most interactive portions of an in-person workshop, namely, the conversations around mentoring case studies and sharing of personal, sometimes vulnerable, experiences; the team put together the 8-part Mentor Training Session that was tested among a small cohort of NORDP members this past summer.

The sessions were spread out over 8 weeks with one hour each session, followed by a Room in the Zoom where the presenters hung around to keep conversations going and answer questions. The topics covered included:

  1. Introduction
  2. Maintaining Effective Communication
  3. Aligning expectations
  4. Assessing Understanding
  5. Addressing Equity and Inclusion
  6. Fostering Independence
  7. Promoting Professional Development
  8. Articulating Your Mentoring Philosophy

The sessions were well attended and almost all of the people who started the 8 week session were present at the final session. There were rave reviews about the virtual format and its ease of use, the use of breakout rooms to facilitate conversations and provide networking opportunities, zoom polls and word clouds to drive the points home and overall knowledge gained by the trainees. Most people thought very highly of the presenters and found the program met its learning objectives and that the information they gained was going to be useful for them. Open ended questions yielded excited responses from the attendees: “EXCELLENT and very well-done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know a TON of work went into the adaptation of this material, and it showed.”

While most of the feedback was positive, most attendees felt that the time devoted to the sessions was not adequate. One-hour sessions were not enough time to get into deep conversations about the topics being covered.

The Mentor Training team has taken the feedback into consideration and they are now working on innovative solutions to the problem of less time while being cognizant of the limitations of virtual platforms and the associated attention spans. A NORDP Circle has been created so that the beta tester attendees can maintain the sense of belonging to a cohort.

As someone who was once terrified of being a mentor, being a part of the subcommittee and attending these sessions has helped me come a long way. I now know what my mentoring philosophy looks like and I know what my strengths and weaknesses as a mentor and by extrapolation, a mentee are. I feel better prepared for any future mentoring relationships, especially those with people who are different than me. I not only feel that I have grown as a mentor, but the session on addressing equity and inclusion have helped me grow as a compassionate human aware of my biases that I can extend to all my relationships.  

NORDP mentoring committee plans to offer future sessions of the Mentor Training Workshops soon. Furthermore, there are additional exciting opportunities in the pipeline! If you are interested in joining the Mentoring Committee or the Mentor Training team, please email

Stay tuned to this space for more soon!

NORDP-NE Regional Summer (Virtual) Roadtrip to UMaine

Submitted by NORDP NE Communications Coordinator, Bethany Drews Javidi, University of Connecticut

On Wednesday, September 16, over 40 RD professionals from New England went on a virtual road trip to UMaine for the second of two summer NORDP-NE regional meetings. Special thanks to host Jason Charland, Director of the Office of Research Development at UMaine, and to UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, who was the guest speaker. Pres. Ferrini-Mundy spoke on “Opportunities and Considerations for Regional Research Development Collaborations” and fielded questions from the participants about how regional institutions can build effective research partnerships. The discussion was informed by Pres. Ferrini-Mundy’s experience as NSF’s Chief Operating Officer and head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

Many thanks to the other contributors to the meeting: Mark Milutinovich, Director, Large Center Development, University of New Hampshire, shared UNH’s plans to host DoE national lab events in the Northeast–plans that have been reconfigured–but not derailed!–in light of the covid-19 pandemic. Anne Maglia, Member, NORDP Board of Directors and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration and Integrity, UMass Lowell, got the group up to speed on events at NORDP national. Amy Gantt served as facilitator of the Q&A with Pres. Ferrini-Mundy and discussed the region’s work on building a resource listing institutional research strengths and infrastructure to facilitate inter-institutional collaboration.

An informal networking session concluded the meeting, where members throughout the region connected and shared their experiences in RD.

The NORDP-NE group wished friend, RD advocate, and mentor Kathy Cataneo well in her upcoming retirement. We are all indebted to Kathy for her leadership in establishing NORDP-NE and laying the groundwork for the professionalization of RD nationally.

NORDP-NE is also grateful to the dedication of its Chair, Jeralyn Haraldsen of UVT, for her leadership and efforts in bringing the meeting to fruition and for hosting the region’s first summer (vitrual) roadtrip to the University of Vermont in July.

NORDP LEAD Kickoff September 29

Wondering how to make the most of your NORDP membership? Interested in enhancing your leadership capacity and professional network? Curious about what it takes to land an advanced role in research development?

If so, join the kickoff conversation to learn about NORDP Leadership, Engagement and Development (NORDP LEAD) scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, September 29.

NORDP LEAD is being established to help create pathways for member engagement, service and leadership across all levels of NORDP and the research development profession. The program is intentionally designed for all NORDP members to participate. 

The program will launch with the Sept. 29 kickoff conversation. Following a program overview, a moderated panel featuring four NORDP members will discuss the opportunities for and personal benefits of committee service and leadership, board of directors service and institutional leadership. Panelists include:

  • Jeff Agnoli, Ohio State University
  • Vanity Campbell, University of California
  • Kimberly Eck, Emory University
  • Samarpita Sengupta, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

There also will be an opportunity for participants to network and engage with colleagues in Zoom breakout rooms. Join in the conversation, make new connections and gain additional information or perspective. Please click here to register for the NORDP LEAD kickoff.

Beyond the initial discussion on Sept. 29, NORDP LEAD will engage and support participants using the peer mentor group (PMG) model. PMGs connect NORDP members at many levels of professional development to share resources, provide feedback and act as accountability partners in skill building and professional development related to increasing engagement, service and leadership potential.

Please contact with questions.

Introducing the Charter Class of NORDP Fellows

The Board of Directors of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) is pleased to name 13 long-time members to the charter class of NORDP Fellows.

As announced during NORDP’s recent Year in Review meeting, the Board is introducing several new ways to recognize individuals whose work is advancing the organization’s mission. Included among these new forms of recognition is designation as a NORDP Fellow.

Selection as a NORDP Fellow is an honorific distinction that recognizes the accomplishments of members who have made sustained contributions to NORDP and worked tirelessly to advance research development as a profession and/or as a field.

NORDP Fellow status is considered the highest professional honor our organization may bestow on a member. The charter NORDP Fellows are:

  • Jan Abramson, University of Utah
  • Jeff Agnoli, Ohio State University
  • Susan Carter, Santa Fe Institute
  • Kathy Cataneo, University of New Hampshire
  • Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Elsevier
  • Gretchen Kiser, University of California, San Francisco
  • Alicia Knoedler, Exaptive
  • David Stone, Oakland University
  • Peggy Sundermeyer, Trinity University
  • Kay Tindle, Texas Tech University
  • Barbara Endemaño Walker, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Kari Whittenberger-Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Anne Windham, Brown University

The Board chose to seat an inaugural class of 13 NORDP Fellows to honor NORDP’s founder Holly Falk-Krzesinski plus each of the 12 years the organization has hosted an annual conference. Nominations for the charter class of NORDP Fellows were solicited among and considered by the Board of Directors.

Charter Fellows were selected based on distinctive and sustained contributions to NORDP, ranging from organizational development and growth to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusive excellence to peer network development and mentoring.

In the future, members will have the opportunity to nominate colleagues for NORDP Fellow status, new awards for innovation and leadership in research development, and the long-standing Rising Star Award.

A call for nominations for all NORDP awards to be made in 2021 will be issued before the end of September 2020.

The charter class of NORDP Fellows and the recipients of NORDP’s 2021 awards will be formally recognized in conjunction with the 2021 NORDP Annual Research Development Conference. Information about prior recipients of NORDP awards is available here.

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.