Annual Conference Attendance Scholarships Available

NORDP Members with financial need may apply for a scholarship to support their attendance at the Annual Conference. In keeping with NORDP’s goals to increase overall membership and encourage diversity, we are giving priority to applications from new members and first-time Conference attendees and are designating two additional scholarships this year for underrepresented ethnic and racial minority applicants. To apply, please complete the Scholarship Application before the February 13 deadline.


We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

2017 Conference Cameo: Shauncey Hill

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Conference registration:


Who: Shauncey Hill
Where: Mississippi State University
Number of years in research development: 12
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
Most interesting place visited: New Delhi, India

I started working in research administration in the late 90’s as the “copy girl” in the Sponsored Programs Administration office with the official title of Sponsored Programs hill
Assistant. I was the one who made copies of proposal submissions. My days were filled with last minute whiting out, inserting pages, “bribing” the FedEx guy, and racing to the
airport to drop off the package on the due date. I loved every minute of it.

As opportunities presented themselves, I began dabbling in research development, not realizing that it had a name. Eventually, I was promoted to an SPA administrator and then transitioned to departmental administration at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Engineering Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation. This was during an energizing time when MSU’s research direction geared more towards multidisciplinary research and collaboration. My responsibility was submitting all of the proposals for five centers under the ERC umbrella – yes, challenging but exhilarating. Thereafter, I worked for a university-level center under the Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED). In addition to my primary duties at the center (primarily post-award), I spent a portion of my time assisting faculty members and/or departments across campus who didn’t have support (pre-award) as tasked by ORED. This opportunity allowed me to participate in university-level activities, which opened my eyes to the challenges faced in research administration on a broader scale.

After 10 years, the most incredible opportunity materialized when the director of the MSU International Institute asked me to join their team. Established as a part of a presidential commitment to increase global awareness on our campus, the International Institute’s mission is to expand the experience of faculty, staff, and students through global research and outreach programs. I transferred to the Institute as Director of International Research Development in July 2015 and it is truly a pleasure serving in this capacity. The offices of Immigration Services, English Language Institute (formerly ESL), and Study Abroad were merged into this Institute. Then the Recruitment and the Engagement units were created shortly thereafter. Lastly, the International Research Development (IRD) was formed.

Last year, Dr. Rick Nader, Associate Vice President for International Programs informed me about NORDP and encouraged me to attend the conference. This was my first time attending and I really enjoyed the sessions, but regrettably, I focused more on proposal submissions. I didn’t take advantage of the amazing resources and networking opportunities that NORDP has to offer. Therefore, my recommendation to other attendees is to be intentional and fully engaged! I look forward to making meaningful connections at this year’s annual conference!


We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at

NORDP Annual Conference Attendance Scholarships Includes Support for Diversity


NORDP is pleased to announce that we will offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships again this year for those with financial need who wish to attend our Annual Research Development Conference in Denver, Colorado, May 8 – 10.   In keeping with NORDP’s goals to increase overall membership and to encourage diversity, we are for the first time designating two scholarships for underrepresented racial and ethnic minority applicants, as well as giving priority to applications from new members and first-time Conference attendees.  It is expected that each applicant will approach his/her institution or organization to request co-funding to attend the Annual Conference.

Please watch for the availability of the Conference Attendance Scholarship Application on the NORDP website soon.  The deadline for applications will be February 13.

2017 Conference Plans and Other Activities

A message from your NORDP President:

It is especially important during this time of uncertainty that we all remain focused and committed to our professional efforts to effectively support and advance the research enterprise at our own institutions and broadly.  We are working to maintain and build NORDP as the go-to resource and community for your research development needs.  Right now we’re working on several goals, including planning the conference and nurturing our strategic alliances.

Always high on the list of activities for the organization is our conference planning.  We are in full-swing of planning an effective conference in Denver around the theme, “Creating Research Excellence through Strategic Research Development”.  For those that don’t know, our NORDP 2017 Conference Co-Chairs are Michael Spires (University of Colorado Boulder), Kellie Dyslin (Northern Illinois University), and Karen Eck (Old Dominion University).  We are definitely taking into account feedback that attendees gave on last year’s conference but if you have some input you’d like to give, please reach out to Michael Spires at

In addition to the EPPD committee changes that I mentioned in September, our new Strategic Alliances committee (a refresh of the previous External Engagement committee) is working to further engage critical partners outside of NORDP and expand our sphere of influence and bring new and valuable resources to our membership.  For example, since corporate relationships are often a part of our research development efforts, Strategic Alliances has reached out to NACRO (Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers), inviting them to network with us at the Denver conference, where we also plan to have content that will be valuable to both NORDP and NACRO members.

Hopefully you’ve all seen the call for abstract that went out last Monday.  If not, check it out at  Abstracts are due on December 19th.  As RD professionals, I know you all have an encyclopedia of strategies, ideas, practices, and tools that could benefit your colleagues and contribute broadly to research excellence.  I challenge you to reach out to collaborators near and far to develop conference presentation ideas.  We’re looking forward to seeing some great ideas for talks and posters!

Peggy Sundermeyer is the 2016 Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award Winner

Peggy Sundermeyer, Trinity University,  is seen here wearing a red blazer along with current and past members of the Board of Directors. Photo taken during the annual leadership meeting (August 2015) in Boulder, CO.

NORDP’s Service Award was established in 2011 and named for our organization’s founding President, Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, Ph.D., who was the first recipient.  The award, voted on by the Board of Directors, is given annually to a NORDP Member in recognition of outstanding service to the organization and to the Research Development profession.  The honor is recognized with a commemorative plaque and waived registration fee for a future NORDP Research Development Conference.

Peggy Sundermeyer is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors (2010-2016) and has served as NORDP’s Treasurer (2011-2016). Her careful stewardship and management of our organization’s funds is one of the reasons NORDP was able to hire its first Executive Director in 2016. She routinely makes innovative suggestions to manage our finances more effectively and efficiently. Her colleagues acknowledge her helpfulness, kindness, and eagerness to “step up” when something needs doing and an unrivaled source of information about NORDP’s history, traditions, policies, and procedures. Above all, she is a superb connector and an extraordinary advocate for the best practices of research development. There are scores of new NORDP members who have joined our organization and are actively volunteering based on her inspiring leadership. In addition to serving as a member of the Executive Committee, Peggy has served on the following committees: Revenue & Finance, Executive Conference, Conference Planning, and Scholarships & Awards.

Previously Peggy previously served the University of Minnesota in the Office of the Vice President for Research (1999-2014) as the Executive Director of Research Advancement (2006-2014) and as Coordinator of Professional Development (1996-2006) . She is regarded as the type of colleague everyone wishes for. She is highly skilled in a variety of areas, committed to the development of collaboration and consensus, and dedicated to equity in all endeavors.


NORDP’s Rising Stars

Introducing the 2016 Rising Star Awardees

In 2016 the Board of Directors established the Rising Star Award to recognize up to three members that have made outstanding contributions to our organization and members. We are honored to share with you the 2016 Rising Star Award recipients.

2016-rising_star-gardnerJennifer Lyon Gardner, University of Texas at Austin

Jennifer Lyon Gardner is a true rising star of research development, dedicated to our emerging profession both at her own institution and to NORDP. Her work on NORDP’s annual conference has inspired us all: she is thoughtful, proactive, pragmatic, and strategic. She truly represents the future of NORDP.

2016-rising_star-mcdermott-murphyCaitlin McDermott-Murphy, Harvard University

Through her important and impactful RD work Caitlin McDermott-Murphy has become an integral part of her team at Harvard University, a valued member of our regional group, NORDP Northeast, and a strong proponent of and ambassador for NORDP National.

2016-rising_star-whittenberger-keithKari Whittenberger-Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Kari Whittenberger-Keith has been a capable and reliable volunteer that strongly believes in the mission and vision of NORDP and has proved repeatedly her willingness to serve the membership in new and innovative ways. Her commitment to our members is laudable and demonstrated by the excellence of effective practices in research development programming.

Eligibility for this award includes at least three years of experience in the profession, two years of NORDP membership, and significant volunteer contributions to NORDP. Recipients receive a custom-engraved plaque and waived registration fee for a future conference. Nominations must be submitted to the Conference Scholarships & Service Awards Committee by the last day of February each year or by email to All nomination materials remain in consideration for a period of up to three years from the date of submission and supplemental materials may be submitted each year. (Current and past members of the Board of Directors are ineligible for this award.)

2016 Conference Cameo: Jason Charland

#NORDP2016 starts Monday, May 23 in Orlando! Download the full conference program book to start planning your conference experience. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) next week for live conference updates.

Who: Jason Charland, Director of Grant Development
Where: University of Maine
Number of years in research development: 5
Length of NORDP membership: Joined in February 2016
Number of NORP conferences attended: 1

My first experience with research development was through a field placement as a graduate student in a university research center where I helped to implement research and Charland_Photooutreach projects.  I have worked on a variety of grant-funded and grant writing projects in the public health, K-12 education, and university research sectors.  Having held several program staff positions on federally funded grants has provided me with a unique perspective as a research development professional.  I gained hands-on experience executing workplan deliverables, managing grant budgets, cultivating relationships with program officers, and implementing follow-on funding strategies. These collective experiences have translated well to working with faculty on research proposal development.

In 2012, I joined the University of Maine (UMaine) as the Grants Management Coordinator for the College of Education and Human Development, where I supported faculty with pre- and post-award functions.  In the summer of 2014, I was recruited by the Vice President for Research to join her office and start the Grant Development Office at UMaine to enhance faculty grant seeking and research development efforts.  Our areas of focus are: proposal resubmissions, junior faculty grantsmanship support, project management of interdisciplinary center grant proposals, and facilitation of collaborations with the sister campuses within the University of Maine System.

I first heard about NORDP from my colleagues at UNH, and have been attending NORDP NE regional meetings since 2014. I was the first representative from Maine to become involved with the regional group and recently joined NORDP as an official member. Last year was the first NORDP national conference that I attended and I enjoyed the networking opportunities and the variety of presentations and panels that were available to attendees. After attending a NORDP presentation on evaluation, we have begun to administer customer satisfaction surveys to monitor our services and help communicate the impact of our office.

The NORDP NE group has provided great networking and professional development opportunities and the regional meetings also provide an opportunity to visit different campuses.  Members that I have reached out to directly have been extremely helpful and I am grateful to have this network to call upon.  I am looking forward to co-presenting at this year’s conference with a NORDP NE colleague.

Two new research development staff members joined my office recently and I am glad that we have the opportunity to attend this year’s conference together as a team.  I look forward to continuing to learn about the strategies that other universities have employed in establishing research development offices. My recommendations are that attendees take full advantage of the networking opportunities that the conference provides and actively engage with speakers during the Q&A periods of the various panels and presentations.