Congratulations to the 2023 NORDP Awardees!

NORDP is powered by the excellence and impact of its members. Each year, NORDP Awards celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of members making exemplary contributions to the organization as well as the practice and/or study of research development. NORDP Awards honor the distinctive achievements and contributions of individuals, collaborative groups or work teams, programs or projects, and organizations. 

Recipients of 2023 NORDP Awards were recognized during the annual NORDP Conference held May 7 to 10 in Crystal City, VA. In the coming months, you will have a chance to learn more about each awardee through in-depth interviews that will be shared through NORDP News. Congratulations to all of the fantastic awardees for your service to our organization and profession!

Rising Star Award

  • Jessica Brassard, Director of Research Development and Communication, Michigan Technological University
  • Katherine Duggan, Associate Director of Research Development, Northeastern University
  • Erica Pitre, Director of Research Development, Emory University

Leadership Award

  • Faye Farmer, Executive Director, Research Development, Knowledge Enterprise, Arizona State University
  • Edel Minogue, Senior Director, Research Strategy & Development, Brown University

Mentoring Award

  • Carolynn Julien, Executive Director of Grants and Sponsored Projects, Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Hilda McMackin, Director, Research Administration Systems and Reporting, Vanderbilt University

NORDP Fellows

  • Karen Fletcher, Director of Grants Resources & Services, Appalachian State University
  • Jennifer Lyon Gardner, Deputy Vice President for Research, The University of Texas at Austin

Innovation Award

  • NSF CAREER Club, Office of Proposal Development (Amanda Bohlin, Matthew Dwyer, Tisha Gilreath Mullen, Katie Pelland, and Jaclyn Tan), University of Nebraska-Lincoln

President’s Commendation

  • Jessica Brassard, Director of Research Development and Communication, Michigan Technological University
  • Becca Latimer, Research Program Director, University of Virginia Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Jessica Moon, Executive Director, Stanford Aging and Ethnogeriatrics Research Center, Stanford University

Holly Falk-Krzesinski Service Award

  • Jill Jividen, Senior Director of Research Development, University of Michigan

Learn more about the NORDP Awards program and view past awardees.

Introducing the Inaugural NORDP Journal Editorial Board

The New Opportunities for Research Development (NORD) Committee is excited to announce the inaugural editorial board for Research Development Review: The NORDP Journal. Keep your eye out for more information regarding the first volume, which is scheduled to publish in Fall of 2024!

Holly Zink

Holly Zink, Co-Managing Editor-in-Chief

Holly Zink, MSA, ACRP-CP, is the Director of Research & Programs at CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. She has served first as the Associate Editor and now as Deputy Editor of the Journal of Research Administration and is the Chair of the Author Fellowship Program for the Society of Research Administrators International. She is also an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Natural Science Illustration. Over the years, Holly has worked as a part of several close-knit teams of researchers from many different disciplines and nationalities with broad experience in research development and medical research environments.

Holly offers a unique combination of professional, academic, and research experiences. Her mission is to develop a culture of collaborative investigation that eliminates traditional definitions and boundaries of research and promotes the joy of research. Holly’s research agenda is at the intersection of biomedical research, innovation and strategy, and research administration. Holly is eager to leverage her skills and the capabilities of NORDP and the Editorial Board to further the profession of research development.

David A. Stone

David A. Stone, Co-Managing Editor-in-Chief

David Stone, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Research and Professor of Interdisciplinary Health and Professor of Philosophy at Oakland University.  He oversees all aspects of the Oakland University research enterprise, including all research development, research compliance, and research mobilization activities, as well as all pre- and post-award activities through the Office of Sponsored Programs. David’s other roles include Associate Vice President for Strategic Innovation and Planning, Associate Vice President for Research, and Director of Sponsored Projects at Northern Illinois University.  

In 2014-15, David served as an American Council on Education Fellow. He has served as President of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), and is a member of the Charter Class of NORDP Fellows. He currently also serves as President and Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Transformational Education and Responsive Action in a Technoscientific Age (ITERATA). Over the past 25 years, he has taught and conducted research at Harvard’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, Sheffield University (UK) and NIU.  David served as founding director of the South East European Research Center (Greece) where he developed and directed a multidisciplinary PhD program focused on addressing the needs of the Balkan nations following cessation of the Balkan Wars. Prior to that, he served as co-founder of the Pediatric and Adolescent Research Center at Tufts University, as director of Harvard’s Boston Violence Prevention Project, where he founded BostonCares for Injured Youth and as a faculty member for the medical School’s clinical fellows program where he founded the Boston Colloquium for Qualitative Research in Health. David has published in seven disciplines, and taught in five. His recent scholarship examines the nature of interdisciplinarity and takes a transdisciplinary approach to public health, education, and research development.

Nina Exner

Nina Exner, Co-Managing Editor – Publication & Design

Nina Exner, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Research Data Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has served on boards of three research library journals. Nina teaches faculty about scholarly communication and publishing trends. She worked on the NORD Committee’s journal subcommittee from its beginning in 2021. Nina says, “I’m thrilled to see RD evolving to include a professional literature with its own ‘home.’ As a practitioner-researcher I feel like intellectual ownership of the study of our profession is a key part of evolving and creating our unique professional identity. And most of all, I’m really looking forward to the chance to read all of the articles that come out!!!”

Michael Spires

Michael Spires, Co-Managing Editor – Publication & Design

Michael Spires is Research Development Officer at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He has been an active NORDP member since 2012 and has been working in research development since 2006. Michael is a past president of NORDP, served on the Board of Directors from 2014-2018, is a current PEERD Expert, and was a founding member of what’s now the NORD (New Opportunities in Research Development) Committee. Michael worked on the NORD Committee’s journal subcommittee from its inception in 2021. He has served as a peer reviewer for several federal programs and institutional and inter-institutional programs. Michael says, “Way back in the mists of time, I was a typesetter for a local newspaper (and for my college newspaper), and an editor for the literary magazine in high school (a.k.a back when dinosaurs roamed the earth). I’m thrilled to serve as co-managing editor, publication & design, for Research Development Review: The NORDP Journal; this is something we’ve been building toward as a profession and an organization for as long as I’ve been part of both. I can’t wait to start producing content that helps us tell the story of RD as a profession, how it works, and what all of that means to people who aren’t RD professionals.”

Jennifer Speed

Jennifer Speed, Co-Managing Editor – Copy Editor

Jennifer Speed, Ph.D., is a Research Development Strategist at Princeton University. She has been a member of NORDP for four years and has been working in research development for ten years. Jennifer is a scholar and a writer. She says she is looking forward to advancing the professional field of research development through the research to be shared through the journal, and to collaborating with NORDP colleagues in this important work, “The journal offers great possibilities for advancing the professional field of research development.”

Anna Dalby

Anna Dalby, Co-Managing Editor – Copy Editor

Anna Ponzi Dalby is currently interim Associate Director of Research Development at Tufts University where she began in 2017 after roles as an editor, university lecturer, and community program leader. Currently she focuses on building partnerships that advance both faculty and institutional research development capacities, and on designing innovative and creative approaches for faculty to navigate long-term research career strategies and institutional priorities. Anna specializes particularly in education and interdisciplinary proposals, and on developing strategies for the intersection of science and humanities / arts research approaches. Her work builds on both an international background and doctoral work in literature. Anna is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing.

As a member of NORDP since 2019, Anna has attended and presented at the national conference, most recently on a writing community for early female faculty and on a tool for cultivating regional collaborations. She is active in the NORDP Northeast region. Anna says that she “looks forward to combining her publishing, editorial, and RD expertise in the service of building our knowledges around and advancing scholarly approaches to research development.”

Rachel Goff-Albritton

Rachel Goff-Albritton, Co-Managing Editor – Peer Review

Rachel Goff-Albritton, Ph.D., serves as the Assistant Director of Research Advancement and Mentoring in the Florida State University Office of Research Development and leads the FSU Research Mentor Academy. Rachel began researching barriers and facilitators to faculty grantsmanship six years ago while mentoring in an undergraduate research opportunity program. With a background in clinical sciences (speech-language pathology) and a doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders, she began researching this topic for her RD role in order to provide evidence-based research support services. Rachel recently published a peer reviewed article in the Journal of Research Administration – Faculty Views on the Barriers and Facilitators to Grant Activities in the USA: A Systematic Literature Review.  She is an active member of the NORDP Mentoring Committee’s Mentor Training Team and has served on several other NORDP committees or programs, such as the Nomination Committee, the Mentoring Committee’s Facilitators Team, the Leadership Forum, and the NORD Committee’s journal subcommittee. Rachel says, “With a background in clinical sciences, I value evidence-based practice. I look forward to being a part of the creation of the Journal which will advance the RD field and the quality of our work.  I greatly enjoy continuous learning opportunities and look forward to reading and learning from colleagues’ manuscript submissions!”

Paula Carney

Paula Carney, Co-Managing Editor – Peer Review

Paula Carney, Ph.D., is Director of Research Development in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Previously, she held faculty appointments at the University of Tennessee, Northwestern University, and Chicago State University. Paula has served on the editorial board of an academic research journal, currently is a peer reviewer for several US and International research journals and was an acquisitions editor for a major academic publisher. Her previous roles focused on faculty research career development, learning and development of research staff, and mentoring/mentor training within the academic research enterprise. Within NORDP, Paula serves on the Mentoring Committee where she is part of the Mentor Training Team.

Top 5 Tips for Using the Whova app for the 2023 NORDP Conference

Authored by Nicole Brey

The Whova app may be new to many of you attending the 2023 NORDP Conference in Arlington, Virginia, next week.  To make the most of your conference experience, below is a list of the top 5 tips from a new Whova user to best utilize the app.

  1. Navigation: The navigation menu for the app is on the bottom of the screen, with Home in the bottom left corner.  While you are toggling through the Whova app, this navigation menu remains so you can always find the most important areas.  In addition to Home, this includes Agenda, Attendees, Community, and Messages.  On the Home screen, there are 15 boxes for Additional Resources such as Session Q&A, Exhibitors, and Documents.
  2. Agenda: The Full Agenda by day can be located by clicking the Agenda tab on the bottom of the screen.  This includes not only talks and workshops, but also events like scheduled networking breakfasts, breaks, and poster sessions.  When you identify sessions you would like to attend, you can add them to your own personal agenda by clicking on the calendar icon to the right of the session.  This will populate My Agenda, with the tab to the right of Full Agenda.  You can even set a reminder in Whova to alert you 10 or 20 minutes before the session so you do not miss it.  In addition, you can add your own activities to your personal agenda by clicking Add My Own Activity at the bottom of My Agenda.
  3. Tracks: Inside the Agenda area, above Full Agenda and My Agenda, are Tracks with a drop down menu.  Tracks are color coded by things like funder, level, affinity group, region, and other common threads found among the research development community.  You can filter each day’s agenda by tracks to ensure you attend sessions most relevant to your areas of professional focus.
  4. Community: A community chat can be found by clicking the Community tab on the bottom of the screen.  Here you can add a message to an existing topic like Meet-ups or Job Openings, or you can create a new conversation topic.  If there is a specific topic in the Community board that you want to follow, you can click Follow next to that topic.  You can then filter Community by only those topics you are following.
  5. Attendees: The attendee list and profiles can be found by clicking the Attendee tab on the bottom of the screen.  You can browse attendees or search attendees by keyword such as employer name or title.  In the Attendee profile, you can take notes about them or send them a direct message.  The Whova app also recommends connections for you based on their profiles and yours, so be sure to complete your own profile by clicking on your profile picture, and then the pen icon in your profile preview, to make the most of this networking opportunity.

If you would like more in-depth knowledge of Whova features, be sure to visit the Whova Step-by-Step Guide, Quick Tips and FAQs on the app itself.   The Whova Guide is found under the Additional Resources boxes on the Home page.  We look forward to connecting with all of you, via Whova and in person, at the Conference!

NORDP 2023: What to Know Before You Go

Greetings NORDP 2023 Attendees:

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Crystal City, VA for our first in-person conference since 2019! Get ready for inspiring keynotes, fantastic presentations, and plentiful opportunities to grow connections. We have put together the following guide that we hope will be helpful as you prepare for your arrival in Crystal City.

🙂  NORDP Conference Concierge 

The NORDP Conference Concierge (not to be confused with the Hyatt Concierge desk!) is located in the Regency Foyer of the Hyatt (2 floors below street level). It’s more than a location! It will be staffed by event management professionals and our wonderful NORDP member volunteers! It’s a place to go when you have a question or problem to be solved, are unsure, or just need a break. For those of you who are new(er) to NORDP, the NORDP Concierge Desk is a great place to learn about NORDP as an organization (e.g., what committees are available to join? Who is on the Board? How can I get involved?). 

Stop by the Conference Concierge Desk anytime during these hours: 

  • Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the NORDP Concierge Desk, you can use the Whova App to directly message Conference Organizers. Find this feature under Community → Ask Organizers Anything.

🚙  Shuttle & Parking & Metro 

The Hyatt Regency Crystal City provides a courtesy airport shuttle to and from Reagan National Airport

  • The shuttle departs from the hotel front drive every 20 minutes on the hour from 4:20 a.m.–12:40 a.m. seven days a week.
  • Terminal 1 pickup location is outside the main doors. Follow signs for Hotel Shuttle Pickup. 
  • Terminal 2 pickup locations are outside of Doors 4 and 7 on the baggage claim level. Follow signs for Hotel Shuttle Pickup. 

If you are driving to the conference and need to park at the hotel, parking fees can be found on the hotel website

The Crystal City metro station is 4 blocks from the Hyatt Regency Crystal City—about a 14-minute walk. 

✅  Conference Check-In 

Conference Check-in is 12:00–6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at the NORDP Concierge Desk. If you are not arriving in that time frame, no worries. Simply come to the NORDP Conference Concierge on Monday morning (opens at 9 a.m.) to check in. 

To check-in:

  • Approach the NORDP Conference Concierge to find large QR codes printed for check-in.
  • Open the camera on your phone to scan the QR code. It will automatically direct you to the Whova app for check-in.  
  • Approach the staff and volunteers to collect your name badge and lapel pin. 
  • That’s it!

Note: if you are NOT using the Whova app, you can still access information about the conferencevia the Whova app website (

Please remember: There is no on-site registration this year! No exceptions.

📱  Need help with the Whova App?

We are so excited to offer the Whova App for our entire conference community! The platform is a resource for attendees, speakers, sponsors, and the planning committee. Activity on the app has been ramping up over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been so fun watching all of you engage! If you are not on the app yet, let us know and we can help. Just stop by the NORDP Conference Concierge in the Regency Foyer of the Hyatt. 

Note: if you are NOT using the Whova app, you can still access information about the conference via the Whova app website (

👋   Welcome Reception 

Join us on Sunday from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. for a Welcome Reception in the Regency Foyer. The Welcome Reception is sponsored by our platinum sponsor, Thorn Run Partners. We are so excited to welcome you to NORDP2023! Brief welcome remarks from NORDP leadership and Thorn Run Partners will be followed by a chance for us to meet each other in person for the first time since 2019!

🌟  NORDP Sponsors

Please make time to stop by our sponsor exhibits in the Regency Foyer to chat with them and find out what’s new in their businesses. Our sponsors make the conference happen! We will also be holding a Sponsor Expo on Monday May 8 from 1-2:30 p.m. Please take this opportunity to check out the sponsor booths! As you visit the sponsors, remember to collect a ‘stamp’ from each sponsor you visit for the Passport Contest. Attendees who collect 20 or more stamps will be entered into a raffle for prizes. 

🔘 ​​ Code of Conduct 

We have posted a NORDP2023 Conference Code of Conduct in the Whova App and on the conference website. In both platforms, it can be found under Logistics → Conference Code of Conduct. Please review it when you have time. If you witness any violations of the Code of Conduct during the conference, please report it using the reporting form linked in the Code of Conduct.

 👕  Attire ​​

Attire for the conference is business casual, and casual after hours. Be sure to bring workout clothes/shoes if you’re planning on taking part in morning exercise. The forecast is for seasonal temperatures, warm during the day (75-80℉) and cooler at night (50-60℉), with humidity running between 55-89%. 

The meeting spaces at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City can get a little chilly. Consider bringing a layer that makes you comfortable and feel good. 

🍽️  Meals 

Your registration fee covers the cost of breakfast and lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference. We have made every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions and requests. Please find one of the service staff if you have any questions. 

Dinners will be on your own—please check out the Whova App under Community → Meet-ups & Virtual Meets to find a Networking Dinner to sign up for, or grab dinner with a colleague or a friend. We have put together this map that provides multiple restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. 

🚰  Water bottle

In the interest of practicing sustainability, we ask that conference attendees bring their own water bottles to the conference. There will be water stations available at breakfast, breaks, lunch, and receptions to stay hydrated! 

🎒 Bring a backpack or tote

No swag bags will be given at check-in this year. If you like to carry things around the conference with you, consider bringing your own packable tote or backpack. 

🏙️ ​​ Optional Social and Fitness Activities

In true NORDP fashion, you all have stepped up to lead amazing social and fitness activities. From walking to local coffee roasters, to enjoying an evening meal around a discussion topic, to swimming laps — there are many options to add some fun to your agenda. Find current options in the Whova App under Community → Meet-ups & Virtual Meets. Don’t see something that you’d like to do? Feel free to post something for others to join!

🧰  Workshops

RSVP registration for the three workshops is now open in the conference app. 

  1. Strategies for incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during proposal development. (2 hours)
  2. Framework and tools for planning several kinds of workshops (4 hours)
  3. Building communicative and collaborative capacity for cross-disciplinary teams using the toolbox dialogue method. (2 hours)

You can find the workshops by navigating to the agenda section in the app and then searching for them on Tuesday morning or using the ‘workshop’ tag under the tracks function. Click on the session and then you should see a button that says “+RSVP”. We will not be accepting RSVPs via email—sign-up is only through the app (either the mobile app or web browser app). 

If you previously added a workshop to your personal agenda, you will still need to go into the app to RSVP (i.e., adding to your personal agenda did not save you a seat). As the workshops have limited capacity, please only sign up for a workshop if you plan to go. Whova will automatically create a waitlist and notify you if/when spots open. For these sessions, we will be scanning name badges at the room door. Please arrive on time for the workshop; we are providing a 5-minute grace period, after which we will notify individuals on the waitlist that a spot has opened. 

❤️  NORDP’s Got Heart 

This year’s conference committee wanted to make an impact in the community where we are convening. To do this, we are partnering with Carpenter’s Shelter, a local organization that supports individuals and families experiencing and at risk of homelessness to achieve sustainable independence through shelter and housing placement, guidance, education, and advocacy. We will be collecting items and monetary donations during the conference until 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Requested items, as a link for monetary donations, can be found on the Whova App and on the website under Logistics → NORDP’s Got Heart. 

Check out the ‘Meet-Ups’ section of the conference app, Whova. Members will be organizing morning walks to CVS or other stores to purchase items for donation. 

We will total both items and monetary donations and present all donations to a representative from Carpenter’s Shelter on Wednesday during our awards ceremony. 

​​🖼️  Presenting a poster

If you are presenting a poster, try to find a time between 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8 to hang your posters up on the display boards (located in room Independence B). Posters will be up for the majority of the conference in Independence B. Please take down your poster by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Any posters left after noon will be thrown away. 

😷  COVID-19 awareness at the conference

We encourage all conference attendees to practice good hygiene. Best practices for conferences include frequent handwashing, mask-wearing if you are at risk or concerned about exposure for any reason, and communication through the event if someone at the conference tests positive for COVID. We refer to the latest CDC Guidance for Travel

  • In Arlington County, Virginia, the community level is Low (as of 5/3/2023) Feel free to keep an eye on this website for the latest information.
  • Follow any prevention advice given to you by your healthcare provider. 
  • If wearing a mask is necessary and/or important to you, please bring the best mask for you. 
  • If you are interested in acquiring a mask or a COVID test while you are at the conference, there are several nearby places to purchase. (CVS Pharmacy, Target, 7-eleven, grocery stores)

Fletcher’s Leadership Honored with 2022 Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award

Named for NORDP’s founding President, this award is voted on by the Board of Directors and given annually to a NORDP Member in recognition of outstanding service to the organization, to the research development profession or field, and to peers.

Karen Fletcher, Holly Falk-Krzesinski Service Awardee

Who: Karen Fletcher, Director of Grants Resources & Services

Where: Appalachian State University

Number of years in research development: 13

Length of NORDP membership: 11 years

You have served NORDP in numerous roles and capacities over the years. Could you share a bit about what that journey has been like?

The visual metaphor that comes to mind when I think about my journey with NORDP is that of a flashlight where the light starts out very concentrated but grows, and shines over a wider and wider area. When I started out in NORDP I was really cautious – I was new to research development and the field was just getting off the ground. As I got to know NORDP, I was asking myself: “Where do I see myself in this organization given the talents I feel I can bring? And what are the skills I’d like to develop?” I feel like I’m good at organization, so when I initially joined the Mentoring Committee, I started volunteering to do things like writing up meeting minutes; my involvement continued to grow as I was invited to take on additional tasks – and I said yes to all of those invitations because everything was so interesting to me and I wanted to learn how to do it all. I was eventually asked to be a co-chair of the Mentoring Committee, and then I had the opportunity to run for the Board. I thought, “Hey, I think my organization skills could be put to good use to support the Board and NORDP at large.” I may be starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but as the secretary position on the Board became open, I thought, “Oh, here’s another chance to use my organizational skills.” I thought the secretary position would be a safe role because I couldn’t become Board President if I held that role, but the joke was on me because I ended up leaving the secretary position (which I loved) early when I was invited to be vice president.

Within NORDP, there are so many opportunities to be involved. I just started trying everything because I wanted to know what it was about. I was willing to take things on where I felt like I had the talent and skills to put towards them. I’ve ended up doing a lot of things, which has been really exciting for me.

In your view, what makes an effective leader, and how has your philosophy of leadership informed your work within NORDP?

I think good leadership boils down to this question: “How do you empower the people who are around you?” When you empower people to make what they think is the right move, it makes them effective, and the job of a leader is to highlight that. A big part of my philosophy is servant leadership, which I think helps empower the teams I lead. Good leaders give advice and input, but they also know when to ask their team, “How do you think we should be solving this problem?” It’s about giving power back. My philosophy of leadership has changed throughout my professional journey, from wanting to do all the things to realizing – as I held various leadership positions – that one person can’t do it all and that collective ideas are much more effective. And as a leader, if you empower your team, it allows you to put your attention elsewhere when needed.

As NORDP president from 2019-2020, you played a key role in implementing a long-term vision for NORDP, informed by input from NORDP members. Why do you think this process was so important for the organization?

I think 2019-2020 was a turning point for NORDP as an organization. It felt like the organization had entered our “teenage years.” Membership had been growing and exceeded 1000 for the first time. As a Board, we knew it was important to start mapping out where NORDP goes next as an organization and that the time was right to create a more formal strategic plan. When I was vice president and Karen Eck was president, we, with the Board, initiated a member survey because we needed to know what the members wanted for NORDP, what they thought was working, and what needed improvement. We’re an organization of volunteers and we’ve grown because of the efforts of our volunteers. NORDP benefits from having members in a variety of positions across a variety of institutions and we wanted to hear from members about where they saw research development going as a field, making sure that we were serving them during the strategic planning process.

The next year when I was president, the Board mapped out the strategic plan, relying on all of the member feedback gathered through the member survey to create seven Key Result Areas (KRAs). It was a whirlwind two-year process, and I think it was an important learning experience for all of us on the Board. We had a lot of enlightening conversations about the field and where the Board and NORDP membership saw it going that have really stayed with me.

What do you see as the biggest rewards, and challenges, of serving in leadership roles within NORDP?

I’m going to start with the challenges, and one that immediately jumps out at me is imposter syndrome. I’ve certainly felt it as a NORDP member when I contemplated serving as a committee co-chair or running for the Board. I think imposter syndrome is alive and well, particularly when you start out in research development and you may feel like, “I don’t really know what’s going on” or “I don’t have anything to contribute.” But you do! We have amazing members with amazing talent, and we all deserve to be here. I think time is another challenge – so many NORDP members are doers, and there’s almost always so much that we want to be involved in but balancing that with the commitments of our everyday jobs and our other lives can certainly be a challenge. Communication – getting the right information to the right people at the right time – can also be a challenge. I remember working on the messaging when we had to cancel the 2020 conference due to Covid-19 and being confronted with the challenge of how, when, and with whom to communicate when so much was unknown.

But the rewards are so plentiful. The network that I’ve developed since I’ve been in NORDP and the enduring friendships that have come out of that have been some of the biggest rewards. Beyond that, I have had opportunities to share my talents in new ways and try things I didn’t know I wanted to try. Leading an organization of 1000 people is an opportunity NORDP gave me that I never saw coming. You get back what you give when you’re a NORDP volunteer. Everything I’ve done in NORDP has in some way informed what I do in my everyday job in positive ways and I’ve been able to move up in my career because of the information I’ve learned and the skills I’ve gained as a NORDP member and leader.

More recently, you have played a crucial role in revitalizing the New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Committee. What has that process been like, and what do you see as the greatest opportunities for the field of research development moving forward?

I’m excited about this effort! Dave Stone, the original chair of NORD, really laid the framework for this committee, and it’s been exciting to take up the mantle. The NORD / InfoReady Grant program is now an annual competition and the previous grant awardees have been collecting data and generating reports. Our effort is focused on making sure we’re continuing to put those grant dollars to use to advance projects that will benefit RD as a field. The other really exciting project that NORD has been diligently working on is the Research Development Review: The NORDP Journal. I think this is one of the biggest and most exciting things for research development: to have a home for the information and research on research development as a discipline and how it impacts other disciplines. NORDP members are asking when The NORDP Journal will debut because they want to publish there going forward, and the fact that we will soon have a dedicated publishing space for RD is very exciting. I think this is an endeavor that is really going to make a difference for our field. Keep an eye out for NORD’s announcement of the inaugural Editorial Board soon!

What advice do you have for NORDP members who aspire to greater service within NORDP or the field at large?

I would tell members to find that talent or passion that you would like to do more of, and try it out within NORDP! It could be something that you’re passionate about but that you don’t get to do much in your everyday job. Or, if there’s something you’d like to learn how to do that you don’t feel you’re an expert in, NORDP can offer a safe space to learn new skills. Maybe you’d like to learn more about technology and hosting virtual meetings but you don’t get to do that much in your job. You can come to NORDP, join the Professional Development Committee and learn all about hosting webinars and have a ton of support while you learn. I love that within NORDP: we’re all here to help each other and learn together.

Mentoring Reflections: Brooke Gowl & Kartik Yadav

The yearly NORDP Mentoring Program offers a structured mentoring experience for NORDP members. This month, we catch up with a current mentor-mentee pair as they share their reflections on their mentoring journey.

Brooke Gowl is currently serving as Research Development Associate at Duke University, Durham, NC. She has been in research development for over 13 years. Her PhD is in Neuroscience. She is a member of NORDP’s Mentoring Committee and formerly served on the Member Services Committee. She is also a mentor and mentee in NORDP’s mentoring program. She serves as a mentor for Kartik Yadav currently in NORDP’s mentoring program. 


Kartik Yadav is the Director of Research Development and Administration at the University of California Irvine (UCI) Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. He has researched vulnerable populations in Los Angeles and India for over a decade. In his current RD role, he mentors junior faculty and Ph.D. students in developing and designing complex research grants for prestigious and competitive funding agencies and in the scientific development and operational, regulatory (IRB), and financial aspects of research grants to ensure their successful completion. Regarding the Research Administration role, he has led both Pre‐and Post-Award grants, ranging from simple to incredibly complex. In addition, he has collaborated with other partner institutions, both national and international (India, Botswana, Europe), to develop grants and provide training and support for developing programs. He is a mentee of Brooke in the NORDP’s mentoring program.

Q1: What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2022-2023 NORDP Mentoring Program?

Brooke: I have been a NORDP mentor every mentoring program year since 2019. My participation in the program has been a pleasure, and I knew that I wanted to participate again for the 2022-2023 year and plan to sign up for the 2023-2024 program year. I originally applied to be a part of the mentoring program to be a mentee and a mentor so that while I received knowledge from someone, I was also giving support to someone else.

Kartik: Although I have been conducting research and developing grants with PIs for over a decade, I recently stepped into a more formal role for the school. I felt the need to learn more, and the NORDP mentorship program was the best option!

Q2: What is your favorite part about your relationship?

Brooke: I have really enjoyed getting to know Kartik. I look forward to our monthly Zoom calls. I enjoy talking with him about what is happening in his life and giving advice as needed. My favorite part of our relationship is that while Kartik is learning from me, I am learning from him.

Kartik: I just love it! It provides me a safe space to ask any question, discuss and learn all about Research Development from Brooke’s vast experience. Besides our monthly Zoom meeting, Brooke was always available to answer my questions. 

Q3: How has participation in the Mentoring Program helped broaden your horizons about Research Development in general and/or affected your daily work in particular?

Brooke: The mentoring program has helped me to improve my mentoring skills. My participation has given me the opportunity to learn about Kartik’s work responsibilities, his institution, where he lives, etc. and the opportunity to provide him some suggestions and advice based on my past experiences, discussing what worked and what didn’t.   

Kartik: It has been an excellent success for my professional development, and with Brooke’s support, I created an internal/external proposal review process at my institution. In general, I got many insights from the world of Research Development!

Q4: What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?

Brooke: I have been surprised by how much mentoring is a two-way street. Kartik and I both benefit from the relationship by learning from each other.

Kartik: The extraordinary guidance from Brooke in availing all the available resources and networking across the NORDP platform. 

Q5: Any words of wisdom or encouragement for those wanting to apply next year? Any other thoughts you would like to share? 

Brooke: I encourage my NORDP colleagues to be mentees and mentors, but I especially encourage them to be mentors! There is always a demand for mentors, and if you do not think you are quite yet ready to be a mentor, NORDP has an excellent Mentor Training course! NORDP also provides excellent support to both mentors and mentees through a wealth of tools in Wisdom Share and through virtual get togethers called McHuddles. We also have facilitators that can help answer questions and provide support to mentee pairs. In addition to being a mentor and mentee, I also serve as a facilitator on the Mentoring Committee. I encourage all NORDP members to get involved in mentoring and other NORDP initiatives.

Kartik: If you are new to RD or want to move to RD or have been in RD, I would strongly recommend joining this program. It gives you a great perspective of the RD world at various, different levels and provides a strong network of experts volunteering their time towards your professional development.

The application for the 2023-2024 NORDP Mentoring Program is currently open until Monday, May 22. You can participate as a mentor, a mentee (or both), or participate in a Peer Mentoring Group (PMG - which you can join anytime via Wisdom Share). To participate, the first step is to apply for the Mentoring Program and complete your mentor and/or mentee profile. This short video provides a step-by-step overview of the application process. (Note: For current users in Wisdom Share, separate instructions were sent for how to participate in the 2023-2024 Mentoring Program.)