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.

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!

Sincerely,

Karen

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

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 nomcom@nordp.org 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 “electionrunner.com” to help ensure you receive your ballot.

Contact the Nominating Committee (nomcom@nordp.org) if you have questions regarding the candidates or the NORDP Board election process.