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.