A Message from the President

Welcome to a new year!

I am excited to share the NORDP 3-year Strategic Plan with you today.

Your Board of Directors put a lot of effort into sorting feedback from member surveys, Board members, and past leaders, to ensure that NORDP continues to be the ambitious, innovative, and progressive organization that meets member needs.

Some highlights:

We have shortened and revised our mission statement in an effort to concisely align our strategic efforts with the organization our members want and need: The mission of NORDP is to advance the global capacity for and impact of research by strengthening the practice and profession of research development.

We identified seven common priority areas, or Key Result Areas (KRAs), that we will be focusing our attention, efforts, and resources on in the next three years:

  • governance
  • communication
  • career and professional development
  • diversity, inclusion, and equity
  • advancing the field of RD
  • membership
  • external relations

You will be seeing more information in the coming months about mobilizing these seven areas. If you are interested in working with us, please reach out and get involved. You can find more details on the plan and who to contact to get involved by visiting the following link to view a video or read the transcript.

Thank you for your membership and for your involvement in NORDP. You make NORDP the organization it is and shape its future.

Karen aka Fletch
NORDP President

Reminder: NORDP Strategic Plan Announcement Jan 10th

Please join NORDP President, Karen Fletcher, on Friday, January 10, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST for the announcement of the NORDP Strategic Plan that was approved by the NORDP Board of Directors. This announcement will be via Zoom and you can join the meeting by using the log-in information below. Information about the Strategic Plan will be disseminated after the meeting via the blog and website for those of you unable to attend January 10.

Topic: NORDP Strategic Plan Roll Out to Membership

Time: Jan 10, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/592952056

Meeting ID: 592 952 056

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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aGBGMNQlQ

Strategic Plan Announcement coming early 2020 – A Reflection on 2019

shutterstock_315818024.jpgHappy Holidays from NORDP!

As we close out the 2019 year, I want to thank you for your membership. NORDP’s strength is in our membership and your willingness to volunteer and share information. You make this organization one of the best gifts of the year.

Looking back on 2019, it has been a big year. Because of member volunteer efforts, we’ve hosted webinars, matched mentor and mentee pairs, strengthened alliances, provided diversity, equity, and inclusion training to leadership, awarded NORD grants, increased our membership to nearly 1000 members, and hosted our first-ever sold-out conference! And there are even more endeavors that have been accomplished that are too numerous to recount here. Congratulations to all of you on a successful year!

The organization also embarked on a formal strategic planning process that started with a membership survey we asked all of you to participate in in January (thank you for your participation). We followed up with member polls and conducted surveys with current and past leadership. Your Board of Directors met in September for two days and worked to create a strategic plan for the next three years. Since then we’ve been finalizing the plan and working on a budget that can operationalize the plan.

I am excited to announce that on Friday, January 10, 2020, from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST we will be announcing the outcome of the strategic planning session and the three-year strategic plan! We are really excited about it and looking forward to announcing it through a Zoom conference where we will be live and you can ask any questions. So, save the date! Call-in information will be sent out early that week. If you cannot attend, no worries! We will be recording it and posting more information on the website.

Thank you for your support and your trust in this Board as we embark on this journey together. I appreciate all of you as members, volunteers, past and current leaders, and research development professionals. I am excited to support all the great plans for 2020 and can’t wait to work with you all.


Karen, aka Fletch
NORDP President

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.

Announcing New NORDP Membership Categories

I am pleased to announce that the NORDP Board of Directors has approved two new categories of NORDP membership: Trainee and Emeritus. This step is consistent with our goals to: 1) create a pipeline for new members, and 2) retain the expertise and commitment of active members who wish to continue to participate in NORDP after retirement. Many thanks to NORDP’s Member Services Committee for their thoughtful proposal and recommendations to the Board that resulted in this exciting development, especially to Samar Sengupta and Maile Henson.

Click here for details on Trainee and Emeritus Memberships: https://www.nordp.org/membership


Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President

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.

Past President Update: Karen Eck Keynotes RADPN

NORDP Immediate Past President Karen Eck, Ph. D., provided keynote remarks for The Research Advancement and Development Professionals Network (RADPN) fall mini-conference at the University of Minnesota on October 14, 2019.

Karen also led an interactive workshop entitled, Research Development in Action, which looked at the definitions of research development (RD) and research administration (RA) and their overlap in enhancing sponsored research. The workshop presented different institutional models and RD office structures that are centralized, decentralized, and a hybrid with traditional RA models. Through interactive large and small group discussions, attendees experienced research development “in action” through a series of research enterprise simulations meant to highlight RD skills and activities in different contexts.Eck-2018-portrait-NORDP 2018_3955.jpg

Ellen Freeman, Associate Director in the Office of Research Policy in the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Minnesota, shared these thoughts on Karen’s participation:

“We were delighted to host Karen for our fall conference. As a university, we’ve historically focused on research administration as opposed to research development, and participants were excited to have the opportunity for training in RD. One associate dean for research commented that Karen’s keynote really helped him to grasp the difference between RA and RD and how they work together. I heard many appreciative comments throughout the day, and have already received several emails asking when we’ll do it again.”

In her position as Assistant Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, Karen leads five RD staff with oversight of intramural funding programs, limited submissions, faculty workshops, and proposal support functions for faculty and administrators across Old Dominion’s six colleges. She also interfaces with internal and external entities in support of Research Development (RD) and policy, research strategic planning and partnerships, and regional and other initiatives on behalf of the Office of Research.

Institutions seeking keynote presenters on topics, such as research development in action and the future federal research funding landscape can reach out to peerd@nordp.org.

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.

A Message from NORDP’s President

Dear NORDP members,

As October has arrived I want you to know that your Board has been hard at work for you. The Board of Directors met in-person for two days in September where we took your priorities and feedback from surveys and interviews and drafted a Strategic Plan. It was exhausting, but a lot of fun, too! Now, the Board is working to iron out a few details of the Strategic Plan and is putting together a budget process to work with it.NORDP StratPlan

What is next?

The Board will be voting on approving the Strategic Plan this month! Once the Strategic Plan is finalized, we will organize a meeting with all leadership and committee co-chairs to explain the new budgeting process that will allow us to operationalize the Strategic Plan objectives. Then we will share the plan with the entire membership, setting it in motion.

We are so excited to kick this off! Stay tuned and be on the lookout for more information soon.

Thank you for your membership! Please check out and answer our latest poll – as we are in the midst of conference abstract season – to let us know what you think: “What topics are you most interested in seeing as conference presentations?” You can access it here.

Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President

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.

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Kim Littlefield

Kim Littlefield is one of two new appointed NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Kim for her service to NORDP!

Who: Kim Littlefield, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement
Where: University of North Carolina Greensboro
Number of Years in RD: 23, formally aware of activities as research development, 9
Length of NORDP Membership: 7 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Littlefield 2019

I entered the field as a cardiovascular physiologist researcher. From the start of my career, my intellectual pursuits led me to develop experiential breadth not so much discipline – specific depth which is exactly the opposite skill set that one needs to become a competitive, successful academic, biomedical scientist. Letting go of what the scientific community defines as a “successful scientist” freed me to develop my research development talents. My research development work is best characterized as research advocacy at all levels: individual, unit, enterprise, local, regional and national. As my career has developed, I’ve experienced a necessary shift in the amount of effort I commit towards research advocacy in the unit, enterprise and community levels but still one of the best things about my job is being able to talk with a researcher/scholar directly about their research.

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

I’ve presented a pre-conference workshop and have been engaged with the NORD committee for the last couple of years.

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

New colleagues and connections to institutions where I previously had no point of contact, certainly, but one of the nicest developments has come through strengthening professional and personal relationships with colleagues who overlap in other professional associations such as APLU, especially the Council on Research and COGR.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I’m excited to apply my research advocacy talents in service of this incredible organization and its constituency.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

A press release announcing both new board members can be found here: 2019 NORDP Board appointment release

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.