NORDP Board Election Results

Dear Colleagues,

Voting in the 2019 NORDP Board elections ended on May 31. A record 48% of members participated in the election this year! That is almost double the participation rate from last year. The NORDP Board of Directors ratified the results of the election this week and I am pleased to announce our two new Board members who will serve a four year term beginning July 1, 2019:

  • Joanna Downer, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research Development, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Faye Farmer, M.S., CP.APMP, Executive Director, Research Development, Arizona State University 

Thank you to all the candidates for their participation in the election. We are fortunate to have a strong volunteer culture within NORDP and we thrive on the energy and enthusiasm of our members and volunteers.

Congratulations and welcome to Faye and Joanna!



Karen Eck, PhD
President |2018 – 2019
Board of Directors |2015 – 2019
NORDP – National Organization of Research Development Professionals 

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.

Vote for New Board Members by May 31

The annual election for NORDP’s Board of Directors is open until 11:55 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 31. Two new Board members will be elected in 2019.Voting_Icons-01-512.png

The election will be held via secure electronic ballot using Election Runner. Your ballot should have arrived via email on Monday, April 29. Email reminders will be coming periodically for those that have not yet voted.

Only individuals whose memberships are current are eligible to vote. If you believe you are eligible to vote but do not receive an electronic ballot, please check your spam folder and then send a message to if you are unable to locate your ballot.

Please take the time to review the Board of Directors candidate profiles and cast your vote for up to two individuals. Vote by May 31!

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.

2019 Candidates for NORDP’s Board of Directors

Four NORDP members are seeking election to the organization’s Board of Directors in ballot2019. The candidates pursuing a seat on the Board are:

  • Joanna Downer, Duke University
  • Faye Farmer, Arizona State University
  • Katie Howard, Appalachian State University
  • Jenna McGuire, Ohio State University

Learn about their interest in serving NORDP in a leadership capacity and their qualifications for Board service by reviewing the candidate profiles.

NORDP’s annual Board of Directors election will open on Monday, April 29, and close on Friday, May 31. Members who are in good standing will receive the ballot information via email from Election Runner. Please whitelist emails sent from “” to help ensure you receive your ballot.

Contact the Nominating Committee ( if you have questions regarding the candidates or the NORDP Board election process.

Request for Comments: Proposed Changes to NORDP Bylaws

Preamble from the NORDP Governance Committee: The Board of Directors is considering making changes to the NORDP Bylaws, as described below. Before implementing any changes, the Board posts the proposed changes so that NORDP members may review them and comment. 


Dear NORDP members,

At the October 23, 2018 Board of Directors meeting, the Board unanimously voted to amend Article VIII, Section I of the NORDP Bylaws (adopted 12/22/2015), which discusses the role of the NORDP Immediate Past President (IPP) on the NORDP Board. Per NORDP policy, we are publishing the proposed amendment for membership review and comment.

The current Bylaws stipulate the IPP shall be an officer of the Board, with voting privileges. The IPP is meant to serve in this officer role by providing advice and counsel, as a former NORDP President, to the Board. The assumption was that the IPP would still be serving in their Board term during their IPP year (the term for a NORDP President is one year, meaning that we have a new IPP every year).

A Board member has a four-year Board term, and a Board member can serve as President in their fourth year. However, if a Board member serves as President in their fourth year, they roll off the Board when they are IPP and they no longer have voting privileges. Even so, the Board still desires to benefit from the IPP’s perspective and experience. For this reason, the Board has decided to exercise its ability to appoint members by appointing an IPP whose Board term has ended as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board.

To reflect this decision, the Board proposes to amend Article VIII (Officers and Agents), Section I (Election and Term of Office) of the Bylaws as follows (added text in italics):

The officers of the Corporation shall be elected by the Board at the annual meeting of the Board of Directors, or at another regular or special meeting called for that purpose, after due notice has been given. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall serve for two years. The Vice President normally serves one year as Vice President and then a second year as President. If a member is elected directly to the presidency, the term shall be for one year. The President shall then serve one year as Immediate Past President. In the event that the President will not be a member of the Board during their Immediate Past President year, either through resignation or completion of the term as a Board member, they will retain their Immediate Past President role as advisor to the Board by serving as an ex-officio, non-voting member. 

If you are a NORDP member, and you have comments or concerns about the proposed change to the Bylaws described above, please post your comments here, on the blog. You may also post them to the NORDP listserv. The comment period closes on May 3, 2019. At that time, all comments received will be reviewed and considered by the Board. Thank you for your review and input!

NORDP Board Member Cameo – Rachel Dresbeck

Who: Rachel Dresbeck, Senior Director, OHSU Research Development
Where: Oregon Health & Science University
Number of years in Research Development: 20
Length of NORDP membership: 9 years

Dresbeck_Headshot.2018When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do? I had just finished my PhD in literature and was teaching at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Four tenure-track positions were open in my department, and I couldn’t bring myself to apply to any of them. I love community colleges—they are the most innovative thing about American higher education—but I knew that this wasn’t my path. My dean told me that a research institute at Oregon Health & Science University was looking for a contractor to teach science writing to their trainees. I applied, was hired, and never looked back. I had virtually no science background but my training in philosophy and literature, as well as my teaching many undergraduate sections of composition, served me well—I could decode. I could follow a variable through a process and identify inconsistencies and contradictions. I also had grant writing experience, so that helped. I loved the work—I loved learning about all the molecules and models, the norms of scientific culture, all of it.

In the beginning, I worked freelance on science writing and editing and grant writing, eventually turning it into a small business. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur, but having my own business was incredibly rewarding. I enjoyed finding and working with clients across the world and helping them make their dreams come true, whether that was an awarded grant or a successfully defended dissertation or publication in a high-end journal. At that time, my children were small, so I also liked the flexibility. Eventually, though, my children were in school—and OHSU had become my largest client. Using our superior proposal-writing skills, my friend and I persuaded OHSU’s vice president of research that he should create an office for research development. We established that office in 2004, and I have been there ever since. The early focus was on finding funding and proposal development, but now we do many more things: run funding programs, provide strategic advice for investment and programming, serve as a resource for institutional positioning, and much more. I am so appreciative that I foster research at the highest levels of the institution. But I still teach that same science writing class! I love it—it keeps me connected to the daily work of the research.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)? I first found out about NORDP from a colleague who attended the first Science of Team Science meeting and thought NORDP would be up my alley. I attended the conference in Chicago in 2011 and was very excited to find my tribe. For the first time, I did not have to explain what I did for a living. I have attended every meeting since then, presenting at all of them in some capacity or another.  I helped with planning the 2013 conference in Austin. I was recruited by Jacob Levin and Holly Falk-Krzesinski as the conference chair for the 2014 meeting in Portland, joining the board as vice president that year. I served as president in 2015-16 and immediate past president the year after that. In 2017, I ran for a second board term, under the election system that the board had put into place when Dave Stone was president and I was vice president.

I have always been on what is now the Strategic Alliance Committee—it used to be called External Engagement—and involved in NORDP communications. We used to publish an actual printed newsletter that we would carry around to conferences and then eventually recycle. One of my favorite accomplishments was converting the newsletter to the NORDP News blog. Currently, I am co-chair of the Strategic Alliances Committee. I focus much of my time on sponsor relations for the conference (and a shout-out to them: we could not have our great conference without them!) as well as engaging in strategic partnerships with national and international organizations. Our partnership with the Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers has been great for NORDP and also has opened up new areas for me professionally. I highly recommend getting involved in committee work. It’s inherently rewarding and there are personal and career benefits too.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)? Some of my most important professional and personal relationships are because of my NORDP work. It’s so much fun to work with smart, talented professionals across the country—and even internationally. Not only is it fun, but it’s also useful to be able to say to your vice president, “Well, my national colleagues do it this way….” It gives you credibility to be well connected and it serves the research and RD missions to show you have best practices and exemplars.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?  Besides the work I mentioned above, the long-term sustainability of NORDP is most on my mind. Many of us, as RD professionals, are extremely enthusiastic about starting new things. We are always coming up with lots of new activities. We are ideators and planners—that’s why we’re great at proposal development. Right now, I am most excited about strategies for building sustainable systems that can be maintained over the long term with consistency, to kind of balance out the enthusiasm of the idea generation. We are still fairly new as an organization. How do we strategically build for the future, especially in light of pressures on research in the United States? I am also enthusiastic about our focus on inclusive excellence that Gretchen Kiser spearheaded when she was president and has continued to lead.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a NORDP board member?  Serving as president made me realize that the Board’s role is stewardship of the organization, and that’s something we all do together. Creating a board that is member-elected was a huge board accomplishment, and I remain excited about this because of the incredible talent it has brought to the organization. Our current board is passionate about serving NORDP members!

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.

NORDP Board of Directors: 2019 Call for Nominations and Applications

NORDP members are encouraged to submit nominations and applications for Board of Directors positions in advance of the 2019 election cycle. Nominations for Board positions are due March 15, and applications for Board positions are due April 1.

Three Board of Director positions are open for election in 2019. Two seats are open to all eligible NORDP members; one seat is designated for an eligible NORDP member affiliated with a minority-serving institution and/or a regional institution. New Board members are elected for four-year terms.

As a volunteer-led organization, NORDP’s momentum and mission are driven by its member leaders. Individuals elected to the Board of Directors have the primary responsibilities of ensuring the organization’s effective governance, fiscal responsibility, and strategic direction.

Board members also play a leading role in advancing the organization’s processes and priorities. These range from member services, mentoring, and strategic alliances to inclusive excellence and New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD). Individuals elected to serve on NORDP Board spend 10 to 12 hours per month fulfilling their duties.

According to current and past members of the Board, this service yields significant professional and personal gains. Examples include helping to organize and advance the research development community, strengthening professional networks, and building new friendships.

If you or someone you know is ready to contribute time and talent to the future of NORDP, consider submitting a Board application or nomination today. More information about these processes is available here.

Please contact Nathan Meier, Nominating Committee Chair ( or 205-934-0934), if you have questions regarding the Board of Directors nomination, application, or election processes.

NORDP Board Member Cameo: Jeri Hansen

Who: Jeri Hansen, Director of Research Development
Where: Utah State University
Number of years in Research Development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 8 years

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

 I would say I started down the research development path when I was hired as a sponsored programs administrator at Utah State University in 2004. Hansen 2019.JPGFour years into that position, in 2008, I was asked by the VPR to explore establishing a proposal writing institute for faculty. That same year, the VPR decided to create an Office of Proposal Development. I applied for the manager position and was hired. As the years passed, the office’s portfolio of work grew to encompass much more than proposal development. So, the name was changed to Research Development and I became director. Nowadays, my focus is on implementing and improving resources for faculty – tools, trainings, internal funding, people – to help them increase their competitiveness in the external funding realm.

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

Shortly after I moved into the research development world, I was looking for a professional organization to help me get my legs underneath me. I found NORDP very early in its life – I joined in 2011 – one year after its official establishment. I have been a member of the Membership Committee (2012-14) and the Nominating Committee (2014-17), where I served as the Nominating Committee chair in 2016-17. I have also been a volunteer at the annual conference. In 2017, I decided to run for a seat on the Board of Directors, and was elected to serve in that capacity from 2017-2021. I now serve as the Board liaison to the Nominating Committee, and most recently was elected as Treasurer (2018-2020). I helped present a general session and pre-conference workshop during the 2018 annual conference, and have attended 6 of the 8 conferences since I joined the organization (I still have all my badges!).

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

 I’m not sure where to even begin with this question! The number of colleagues I now have all over the country because of my involvement in NORDP is amazing. But that is the key – becoming involved. I’m not a terribly outgoing person (hello, introvert), so I must have been possessed when I decided to run for the Board. But as challenging as being a board member can be, it has also been the most rewarding in terms of the relationships and connections I have been able to build. My advice to any member is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I know – you hear that all the time, but with NORDP, you really will find a reward if you do.

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

I’m not sure I would call it inspiration, but I was looking for a way to have more of an impact on the organization and its future. Plus, I looked at the makeup of the Board and really wanted to get to know those individuals better. I feel so involved (big deal for an introvert) and a part of the organization now, and that is a really neat experience.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

I have a soft spot for PEERD (Program for External Evaluation of Research Development). I was once a reviewer and now I’m co-coordinator with Kay Tindle at Texas Tech University. I think PEERD epitomizes NORDP as a whole – a very talented group of professionals more than willing to share knowledge and best practices for the betterment of everyone. You can’t beat that! If you haven’t checked out the PEERD program, you should –

What is your proudest accomplishment as NORDP board member?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it “my” accomplishment because I think as a board member, we build upon what others who have gone before us have done. That is especially true for those of us in officer roles. Having said that, as Treasurer, I recently worked with our administrative management company to move a lot of the day-to-day accounting and bookkeeping duties to them so I could be freed up to focus on more strategic thinking, such as looking at investing a portion of the organization’s revenue with the goal of being able to operate on investment dividends at some point in the future.

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.