Paul Tuttle is one of three new elected NORDP Board Members in 2018. We thank Paul for his service to NORDP!
Who: Paul Tuttle, Director of Proposal Development
Where: Office of Research Services & Project Management, North Carolina A&T State University
Number of years in research development: 18
Length of NORDP membership: 7
What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?
I began working in the field of research administration at North Carolina A&T from 2000 to 2003 and returned as the Director of Proposal Development in 2015. In the interim, I worked at Winston-Salem State University as their Associate Director of Sponsored Programs and as a grants consultant and later the Managing Grants Consultant for Hanover Research advising client colleges and universities on strategic research advancement. Like many of us, I had been doing RD work without realizing it—I felt that I had “found my people” after attending my first conference in 2012 in Alexandria.
I have spent my entire career working to strengthen higher education institutions’ research enterprises. In my current role at North Carolina A&T, I help faculty understand the funding landscape, oversee and facilitate grantsmanship training, coordinate new faculty research orientation, help faculty express their project visions in words, facilitate interdisciplinary teaming for research across campus, and help guide the strategic directions of the Division of Research and Economic Development. I feel that I have come home to my dream job, in which I not only help individuals and teams to grow, but departments and colleges as well.
What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?
I began my engagement with NORDP first as a conference attendee and presenter, marrying my background in business and technical writing with my current career in positioning, developing, and writing proposals. Over time, I became curious about how the pre-conference workshop planning was done, so I joined the committee. Because I have always been interested in professional development, I also joined the PD committee. Throughout my involvement with NORDP, I have had numerous informal mentors in how to do RD better; these mentors’ guidance and the chance to see NORDP up close and in action have helped me grow. I see my participation in and service to NORDP as a way to give back to the organization, which has given me so much.
What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?
I have met countless people at NORDP conferences over the years, building many relationships serendipitously after conversations at lunch, on breaks, at receptions, and so forth. I try to follow up on these conference contacts via phone or email to continue our conversations: it has been so helpful to me that so many NORDP members are so friendly and willing to share their knowledge and experiences.
What inspired you to run for a position on the NORDP board?
I was actually nominated by two members of the NORDP board. I had not been expecting it at all; I was tremendously flattered by this surprising and validating gesture. I was honored and humbled to be accepted by the board as a candidate and voted on by the NORDP membership. I view my nomination, candidacy, and election to the NORDP Board as the single largest professional compliment I have ever received.
What initiative are you most excited about in your new role as a board member?
The RD field and NORDP are both maturing, and I am excited about the chance to help guide that process. Recognition of the differing career paths toward becoming an RD professional are a sign of that maturation. We are getting closer to being able to define not only the skill sets of a NORDP RD professional but also what RD is or can be for people at different levels in a higher education institution, from a VPR at an R1 to the newest, most entry-level departmental research administration. I am also very interested in diversity and inclusion initiatives, and not simply because I currently work at the largest HBCU in the U.S.: I want to ensure that all are represented and have an opportunity to voice their perspectives and that as a discipline and an organization we appreciate and utilize the richness of the diverse viewpoints among both existing and potential NORDP members.
Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee