The NORDP Consultant Program is dedicated to increasing the diversity of our national research ecosystem by providing research development services to minority-serving and emerging research institutions at no cost to the institution.
With the support of Eric and Wendy Schmidt via recommendation of the Schmidt Futures program, NORDP launched the NORDP Consultant Pilot Program in summer of 2021 to grow research capacity and competitiveness within HBCUs by increasing institutional capacity for research development. Camille Coley, Marta Collier-Youngblood, Jacob Levin, Mike Marcinkowski, LeKita Scott Dawkins, Michael Spires, Peggy Sundermeyer, Barbara Walker, and John Quyen Wickham comprise the group of NORDP Consultants working in the pilot program.
In December 2022, the NSF Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate awarded NORDP, Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), and Spelman College resources to support the ideation and proposal development process for the Enabling Partnerships to Increase Innovation Capacity (EPIIC) program. Alongside these partners, NORDP Consultants will provide proposal development support and feedback on proposals being prepared in response to the solicitation.
At the same time, the NORDP Consultant Program added six new members to its ranks:
Michelle Collins: As the Director of Grant Process Operations for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Michelle oversees the proposal submission and review processes for the Center’s grant programs and provides pre-award support to the applicant community. She has nearly 15 years of experience in research development, grant administration, and program management, including positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the Research Administrator for the Department of Surgery and the Managing Director for the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center. Michelle is also certified as a Research Administrator (CRA) and Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA) by the Research Administrators Certification Council.
Holly Hapke: Holly is a geographer and broadly trained interdisciplinary social scientist with over 25 years of experience in academic research, teaching, program and curriculum development, grants and research development, and higher education administration. She served as a tenured faculty member and Associate Dean at East Carolina University, and as Program Director at the NSF, where she co-managed multiple programs and worked on diversity initiatives. Currently, she is the inaugural Director of Research Development at the University of California Irvine, where she has supported the development and submission of over $100 million in grant proposals. She co-leads the NSF-funded California Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Social Science Advancement (CAHSSA) and is a founding member of INSciTS and NSF’s Growing Convergence Research College of Reviewers.
Dorota Huizinga: Dorota has over 14 years of experience in research administration and currently serves as the Associate Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). She is also a Principal Investigator on an NIH research capacity building grant (SPAD) awarded to CSUSB to help streamline the university’s sponsored programs infrastructure, support the Office of Research Development (ORD), and increase the diversity of faculty and students engaged in research. In her administrative positions, Dorota secured over $4.5M in capacity-building grants to support faculty and student success and various DEI initiatives. She has also established a new ORD and hired its first faculty director at multiple campuses and developed successful programs and supports to increase the number of faculty engaged in grant-seeking and the volume of sponsored programs.
Sobha Jaishankar: Sobha has over 14 years of experience in research administration and currently oversees the functions of the Research Development division within UF Research. She established guidelines and SOPs for the different programs under the broad research development umbrella, including internal seed funding, limited submissions, faculty honorifics, large proposal development, faculty coaching, and the evaluation of centers and institutes. Sobha is also responsible for managing the Florida Space Institute’s Space Research Initiative at the University of Florida and the UF portion of the Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Grants Program. From FY 2014-FY 21, Research Development, under Sobha’s leadership, has assisted UF faculty in obtaining $142M in federal funding and provided assistance for another $529M in budget requests on unfunded proposals.
Donald Takehara: Don is the Director for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering, where he supports faculty in establishing funded research and partnerships with government agencies, foundations, and corporations. He is also responsible for Faculty Development and is a certified coach assisting faculty in career and leadership development. Previously, Don was the Director of the Center for Research & Innovation and Associate Professor at Taylor University for 9 years, where he had responsibility for research development, sponsored programs, tech transfer, business incubation, and corporate sponsored research. He has a background in chemical reaction engineering and catalysis and has led the evaluation and development of process and product technology in silicone technology, biotechnology, and electronics. Don has a PhD and MS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.
Jana Watson-Capps: Jana is an independent consultant who helps companies, universities, and non-profits with research development, strategic planning, and coalition building within the interdisciplinary life sciences. She has experience and strengths in research development, process development, interdisciplinary science and education, academic-industry partnerships, strategic planning, large-team management, multi-stakeholder project leadership, communicating science, grant writing, grants coaching, fundraising, and building research communities. Jana has been working full-time as an independent consultant for the past four years, and previously spent over seven years at the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute as Associate Director, Chief of Staff, and Head of Strategy. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Georgetown University and her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.
“I am excited to welcome our new NORDP Consultants and thrilled to be able to expand the NORDP Consultant Program with support from NSF,” said Dr. Kimberly Eck, NORDP Consultant Program Director, former NORDP President, and Associate Vice President at Emory University, “NORDP’s collaborations with the NSF TIP Directorate, ARIS, Spelman College, and Know Innovation on the EPIIC program is a new, experimental approach that has the potential to catalyze a paradigm shift in how institutions obtain federal funding.”