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.

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Nathan Meier

Nathan Meier is one of two new appointed NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Nathan for his service to NORDP!

Who: Nathan Meier, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Number of Years in RD: 16
Length of NORDP Membership: 8 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Meier.png

I began my career in RD during the fall of 2003 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development hired me as a proposal writer specialist following my completion of a Master of Technical and Professional Communication at Auburn University. My work in proposal development naturally (and rapidly) evolved to include other activities common across RD like funding opportunity identification; large-scale proposal project management; faculty training; federal and agency relations; supporting broader impacts and partnership development; increasing faculty nominations for prestigious honors and awards; coordinating limited submissions; managing internal funding programs; and facilitating the formation of cross-disciplinary, multi-organizational teams. The work I do currently builds on that base of experience and focuses on advancing institutional research goals and fostering faculty success. To do so, I want to help more of our faculty take strategic advantage of the many RD resources available to them and shift from grant-seeking to grant-getting. The difference is subtle but more than semantic!

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

The first NORDP conference I attended was in Austin (2013). I have been at each one since, presenting at five of the last six. A couple years into my membership, I volunteered to assist the 2015 conference planning committee with abstract review and marketing. As marketing sub-committee chair, I pitched the concept of the “Conference Cameo,” which was enthusiastically received, institutionalized, and expanded. In 2017, I joined the Nominating Committee and had the privilege of providing leadership to that dedicated group through the 2018 and 2019 Board election cycles. Since 2018, I have been NORDP’s liaison to the Network for Advancing and Evaluating the Societal Impacts of Science (AESIS). I hope many NORDP members are planning to attend the October meeting AESIS is hosting in Washington, D.C., which will focus on the “Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities on Society.” In June, I was invited by Jill Jividen and Jenna McGuire to join the two of them, Eva Allen, and Michael Thompson to form the core committee for 2020 conference planning. I look forward to working with these talented member-leaders to help organize the biggest and best meeting yet.

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

Like so many others, when I found NORDP, I found “my people.” Over the years, the professional connections formed as a result of my membership have enriched my work and the way we approach RD at Nebraska. For example, we have been motivated by hearing about how others implement faculty development programs or organize focused cohort programs around increasing competitiveness for specific funding programs (e.g., the NSF CAREER Award). Learning about others’ experiences and adopting best practices from the NORDP network has transformed our approach to – and success at – supporting faculty. For the last couple of years, I have really come to value informal, peer-to-peer mentoring relationships. These are excellent venues for brainstorming and information exchange that can help us all do a better job of positioning our faculty and institutions to be more successful and impactful. I learn from and am inspired by so many NORDP members that it would be foolish to try to name names.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

It is quite exciting to stand on the shoulders of the RD giants who provided the leadership necessary to establish and grow NORDP, and it will be an honor to provide input into the strategic planning process. My vision for the future of NORDP is one that is inclusive, strategic, and entrepreneurial. I want the organization to more intentionally cater to the professional needs of members across career stages, credentials, and institution types. I want every RD professional to know they can find a welcoming home in our organization and see themselves in a leadership role within NORDP or at their institution if that is something to which they aspire. I truly believe NORDP must continue to be the primary source to which RD professionals turn for the level and quality of professional development needed to make their best work better and help it evolve over time. To my mind, ensuring member-responsiveness and organizational agility are key to the long-term success of our organization.

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.

Two New Board Members Appointed

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Board members:

  • Kimberly Littlefield, of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, representing the Regional/MSI institutions, and
  • Nathan Meier, of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, representing the overall membership.

These members were appointed pursuant to the bylaws, Article IV, Section F  and 1) filled a seat that was vacant due to a resignation from the Board, and 2) increased the Board to an odd-number of members, in order to avoid a tied-vote situation, by filling the Board Regional/MSI designated seat.

We are excited to begin our strategic planning process with a full Board and look forward to keeping you informed. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Board cameos of your two new Board members.

We would also like to, again, thank former Board members Jan Abramson, Jeff Agnoli, Kellie Dyslin, and Karen Eck for their Board service.

Cheers,

Karen “Fletch” Fletcher

Karen Fletcher
Director, Grants Resources & Services
Office of Research | Appalachian State University
John E. Thomas Hall | ASU Box 32174 | Boone, NC  28608

President 2019-2020
National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP)
www.nordp.org

A Message from NORDP’s President

Greetings, NORDP!

I would like to welcome you to a new year as your President. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year.

This year, your Board is working on putting together a Strategic Plan to move NORDP forward over the next decade and beyond. Many of you (over 1/3 of you!) participated in the Member Services survey earlier this year, which was our first step to finding out how you, as members, are using NORDP. Thank you for your participation! This information is helping guide us in our activities in the coming year.

In the next few months you may receive a phone call or an email from First Point, the organization working with us on your Strategic Plan. Please be candid with them. They are gathering information for a SWOT analysis and getting reports ready to inform your Board during the retreat in September. 

In fact, you can help us with the process right now! Every week or so leading up to the Strategic Planning in September, we will be posting a short poll, posing a question to you to help us gather information for our Strategic Plan. To participate in the first question, please visit here to let us know what you think NORDP should focus on.

Throughout the year, please make use of the listserv to ask your colleagues about RD, and don’t forget to subscribe to the NORDP Blog for relevant NORDP and RD news.

Also, I want to know what matters to you. I am starting a two-way communication avenue called “Ask the President.” Please, if you have any questions or comments about NORDP and/or the Research Development field, just “Ask the President” by emailing president@nordp.org.

I look forward to working with all of you next year!

Cheers,

Karen “Fletch” Fletcher

Karen Fletcher
Director, Grants Resources & Services
Office of Research | Appalachian State University
John E. Thomas Hall | ASU Box 32174 | Boone, NC  28608

President 2019-2020
National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP)
www.nordp.org

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Joanna Downer

Joanna Downer is one of two new elected NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Joanna for her service to NORDP!

Who: Joanna Downer, Ph.D. – Associate Dean for Research Development
Where: Duke University School of Medicine, Research Development Office
Number of Years in RD: 10
Length of NORDP Membership: 8 years

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

Downer2

I entered RD in the spring 2009 to help the institution respond to the federal stimulus package, otherwise known as “ARRA”. Funded by Congress to keep the economy moving after the economic downturn of 2008, the stimulus package included a lot of funding for NIH and “shovel ready” projects. After working on three construction grant applications that spring and summer, the School invited me to start an effort to facilitate development of complex research grants. At first RD activities were on top of my other responsibilities, but over time I negotiated an exclusive focus on RD. The office has since grown to 5 FTEs, including myself.

Our primary charge is still facilitating development of complex research grants (providing project management, expert guidance, critical review, comprehensive edits, and compilation, among other services). We complement this effort through direct support for a small number of individual investigators and by offering training sessions through existing programs for faculty and grant managers. As a School of Medicine, our portfolio is largely NIH, but over the past year a colleague has proactively enhanced faculty awareness of DOD and NSF opportunities, and so applications to other sponsors are increasing.

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

I joined NORDP in 2010 after learning about it through a Duke colleague at the time, Rick Tysor. However, I wasn’t able to attend a conference until 2015, when the timing was moved to late April/early May and – finally – away from the NIH deadline for P-type grants. I happened to be part of a panel that first year, after responding to a request on the listserv from Eva Allen of Indiana University Bloomington for co-presenters on teaching faculty to write. Working on a presentation with other NORDP members in advance of the meeting allowed me to start making connections early, and the camaraderie of everyone at the meeting sealed my fate – I found the conference to be so engaging and invigorating that I committed to bringing my whole team every year, a request the School agreed to. I’ve presented at each Conference since then, which I find to be a great way to both contribute my knowledge to the RD community and gain insights from others, through development of panel presentations and through discussions at and after the sessions. I also have hosted a networking dinner each year except 2019 – my topic of choice was always “work-life balance.”

Since 2016, I’ve also been involved in committee work, joining and then quickly volunteering to co-chair the Professional Development Committee. Last year I also joined the Strategic Alliances Committee as a member of its Training Working Group and as the liaison to the National Association of Science Writers. This year, I was honored to be among NORDP’s Rising Star awardees.

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

Joining NORDP and attending NORDP conferences has been my principal avenue for meeting others engaged in RD outside of Duke, and I’ve found the listserv and conferences to be invaluable. The only downside I can detect at this point is that now that I’ve made so many friends and contacts through NORDP, it can be hard to find time to meet new people for time spent catching up with folks I’ve met in years past! One way I’ve tried to carve out time to meet new people – even if just in passing – is volunteering for the registration desk at the conference.

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

I feel at “home” in NORDP and I’m eager to give back, to help shape the organization’s next 10 years, and to make sure others feel as welcome as I did.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I understand the organization is taking part in a strategic planning process over the coming year, and I very much look forward to participating in that process. I’m also very excited about advocating for new professional development opportunities that the Professional Development Committee and others will be working toward in the coming year, including enhanced online and electronic learning opportunities and a full roll-out of the “NROAD to RD” training program framework that Samarpita Sengupta of University of Texas Southwestern is leading. These expanded resources are also likely to help drive re-design of the NORDP website, and so I look forward to being at least familiar with those efforts.

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.

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Faye Farmer

Faye Farmer is one of two new elected NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Faye for her service to NORDP!

Who: Faye Farmer, Executive Director – Research Development
Where: Knowledge Enterprise Development, Arizona State University
Number of Years in RD: 10
Length of NORDP Membership: 8 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Farmer head shot medium July 2019.jpg

I came up through the ranks in Research Development. I began as a proposal editor and am now Executive Director of Research Development at Arizona State University (ASU). I describe myself as a scientist who loves writing, so proposal development is my happy place. In 2009, as a proposal editor, I recognized the value of industry proposal management practices as a reproducible and scalable approach to academic proposal development. In 2011, I brought that experience to the university research office. While I joined the office of research at ASU in 2011, the current configuration of Research Development as a functional unit was established in 2015. The office includes proposal management and graphics, competitive intelligence, limited submissions, and research related events and has a staff of 10. My team works with ASU research faculty, staff, and leaders to improve funding success and grow the research enterprise, we seek to empower and embolden every faculty, staff, and student member at ASU to increase their competitive edge in support of the expanding quality and quantity of the research enterprise.

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

Like many, I’ve found ways to work contributions to NORDP throughout my career whenever I could. In fact, building a presence at Arizona State has consumed my time and attention for the past few years. During that time though, I’ve managed to serve as a mentor and mentee, present at a conference or two, coach workshops at conferences, and stay active on the listserv. For the past several years, ASU has sent a rather large group to the conference (hovering around 10 each year). I’d like to think that is in some way because of the enthusiasm I bring to the RD landscape at ASU.

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

It is a common refrain from members….It all started at my first conference. What seemed like an impossibly big conference in California in 2011 pales in comparison with our current conference configuration. But, like others, I was inspired to return back to ASU and implement some of the ideas! I remember many of the presentations, the keynotes, and the networking. Since that time, I’ve never hesitated to reach out to anyone in NORDP to ask a question, get an opinion, recruit to co-present, and connect on a topic. In addition, my network of consultants has increased exponentially. I am able to connect departing faculty with their new RD office or use an RD office as a connecting point for incoming faculty. At conferences, I make a special effort to find new faces at conferences because I am excited to watch their career grow. My relationship landscape is continually changing, which I truly enjoy.

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

Karen Eck was my mentor in 2017. (She’s the past-president of NORDP.) In addition to being an amazing mentor, she was also extremely positive about my taking a leadership role in NORDP. Because of our discussions, I (still) have post-it notes up over my desk, two small, yellow tabs that are sandwiched between a shelf and artwork from my kid, that say “LEADERSHIP” and “NORDP”. But, I wasn’t prepared to take that step until 2019. The decision took a lot of reflection on my skills and abilities, my vision for the organization, and wanting to be a part of the community of great people who are already serving in volunteer leadership roles. Because of the deep respect I have for my immediate office, I wanted to be certain they were also okay with my taking this step. Finally, with the blessing of my family, I put my name in the hat. It was a great reminder for me that we are a constellation of networks that rely on each other and support one another. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve NORDP as a board member.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I am committed to bringing my best and most authentic self to NORDP leadership. If you were at the conference, you heard my candidate speech. The premise was a simple concept: #ISeeYou. I am committed to celebrating the many and varied paths that led us to NORDP; creating a community of inclusivity that encourages continued growth of our professional selves and our organization; and ensuring that NORDP remain a safe space to share our stories in order to grow our collective expertise and diversify our knowledge base. I am convinced that we all work hard to grow research at our institutions and businesses, but I’m also certain that NORDP can more clearly reflect and nurture all ages, races, genders, skill levels, education levels, and aspirations within our organization. The national research agenda requires that we try to prepare ourselves and those we work with for whatever climate is next. NORDP is the place where we make that happen!

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.

Downer and Farmer join NORDP’s Board

NORDP is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors in 2019. Joanna Downer and Faye Farmer join current Board members for four-year terms beginning July 1.

NORDP provides professional development, networking and means to develop, evaluate and implement effective practices to support the efforts of researchers at the nation’s public and private research institutions. The organization’s members develop strategic research activities in response to the extramural funding landscape, catalyze new collaborations and partnerships and inform funding agencies about ongoing and emerging research efforts at their institutions.

“Research Development is a critical facet of institutions pursuing research,” said Karen Eck, outgoing President of NORDP. “As a fast-growing organization that reflects the nation’s dynamic priorities related to discovery and innovation, NORDP is committed to providing professional development and leadership for those involved in advancing research nationwide. I’m enthusiastic about Joanna and Faye joining our Board.”

Joanna Downer founded the Office of Research Development at the Duke University School of Medicine in 2009 and now leads a team of five research development professionals. She previously worked in science writing and media relations, first at Duke Medicine and then at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“I am intensely interested in developing effective ways to build a pipeline of talented Research Development professionals,” says Joanna. “In my own office, we have carefully defined what we do and how and why we do it and have begun to redesign our work to enhance sustainability, satisfaction, and effectiveness at Duke. As NORDP enters its second decade, answering questions such as how the organization could or should improve will be crucial.”

Faye Farmer founded the Research Development office at Arizona State University in 2015 and today manages a staff of 10. The group’s work involves bringing faculty and staff together for research, which includes designing events, competitive intelligence gathering, proposal management and managing the university’s limited submissions process.

“I envision a NORDP that is attractive and welcoming to entry level professionals who stay for the course of their career,” says Faye. “I see an organization that allows our members to grow their passion, leverage their place, and do some good in the world. I am excited to be a member of an active board and profession that continues to make an impact on global research endeavors.”

NORDP was established in 2010. Membership in NORDP has grown from a grassroots movement of 60 individuals to nearly 1,000 members today. The membership reflects organizational leaders in research, including vice presidents of research, as well as professionals involved in grant proposal preparation. NORDP serves as the pre-eminent professional organization for individuals and organizations seeking to improve their competitive edge.

For more information about NORDP activities and members, visit https://www.nordp.org/.

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.