NORDP 2016 Annual Research Development Conference

Featured Speakers

L. Michelle Bennett

L. Michelle Bennett

Dr. Bennett joined the National Cancer Institute in July 2015 to establish the Center for Research Strategy, which provides analysis, advice, and assistance identifying scientific fields that represent important areas of emerging opportunity, public health challenges, or research gaps that deserve or would benefit from increased emphasis. Dr. Bennett has extensive practical experience in promoting collaboration and team-based approaches by bringing together research scientists with diverse backgrounds and expertise to solve complex scientific problems. She previously served as the deputy scientific director of the Division of Intramural Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, where she had responsibility for strategic planning, and she was a deputy director at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, with more than 250 intramural scientists and clinicians working in basic, translational and clinical research.

Julie Burstein

Julie Burstein

Ms. Burstein will join us in Orlando this May as both a keynote speaker and leader of a special interactive pre-conference session – a first in NORDP Conference history. Ms. Burstein is a Peabody Award-winning radio producer, TED speaker, and best-selling author who has spent her working life in conversation with highly creative people – interviewing, probing, guiding, and creating live events and public radio programs about them and their work. Her keynote address, titled “Creative Friction,” will focus on the friction between different elements that sparks creativity and enables innovation to emerge. For her special interaction session, titled “Creative Uncertainty,” Ms. Burstein will lead us in playing with uncertainty and expanding our capacity for not knowing what comes next.
Photo credit: Pavlina Richterova Perry

Carl Herndl

Carl Herndl

Dr. Herndl holds joint appointments in the Department of English and the new Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. Most recently, he served as Associate Dean for the new Patel College, in which he crafted promotion and tenure protocols for the new interdisciplinary College. Dr. Herndl’s keynote address will draw upon his more than 20 years of experience in fostering interdisciplinarity among researchers and university faculty. He will argue that interdisciplinary teams are absolutely essential for the advancement of knowledge, talk about the intellectual and institutional challenges to promoting interdisciplinarity, and offer concrete suggestions for encouraging this kind of work.

Additional Speakers

Jan Abramson, M.S.

Jan is the Assistant Director of the Vice President's Clinical and Translational (VPCAT) Research Scholars Program, University of Utah. In this role, she works collaboratively with other Research Development Professionals to support junior faculty / clinician researchers at the University of Utah. The VPCAT Program has grown from nine participants in 2013, to 42 current VPCATS. Twenty-four faculty have completed the VPCAT Program ~ but, once a VPCAT, always a VPCAT! The two-year, competitive application program provides structured mentorship, a minimum of 30% release time for research and scholarship, formal and informal learning opportunities, facilitation of resources and opportunities and grant preparation support. All program participants have applied for and been successfully funded.

Marley Bauce, M.Phil, M.S.

Marley is the Manager of Research Initiatives within the central Office of the Executive Vice President for Research at Columbia University. His chief responsibilities include administering a large internal seed funding competition, running foundation-sponsored limited submission internal selections, authoring external communications on interdisciplinary research collaborations, and event planning for government and foundation sponsor visits to campus. Marley holds an MPhil in Philosophy from NYU, and a MS in Communications from Pace University.

Susan Carter, B.A., J.D.

Susan is the Director of Research Development Services (RDS) in the Office of Research and Economic Development at the University of California Merced, a position she has held since 2008. She supervises a staff of five persons providing strategic support to expand the capacity of faculty to pursue major multi- and interdisciplinary team-based research initiatives and to promote growth in campus extramural research funding. Previously, Ms. Carter served as a Program Officer for two statewide research funding agencies, the California HIV/AIDS Research Program and the California Program on Access to Care, both housed in the University of California Office of the President. She is a founding board member and served as the founding Secretary for NORDP. She holds a BA and a JD degree, both from the University of California, Davis.

Jason Charland, M.S.W.

Jason is the Director of the Grant Development Office at the University of Maine (UMaine). He is responsible for leading and facilitating the development, preparation and submission of research grants identified as high priority by the Vice President for Research. The department’s current 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. Jason is a 2007 graduate of UMaine’s MSW program and has over ten years of grantsmanship experience in public heath, non-profit and university research settings. He served as the Grants Management Coordinator for the UMaine College of Education and Human Development from 2012–14 and has been a staff member of the VPR’s office since 2014.

John S. Crockett, Ph.D.

John is the Senior Director of Research Advancement at San Diego State University. He has served over the past 10 years as Principle Investigator, adviser, and reviewer to federal agencies such as SBA, DOD, DOE, DOL, NASA, GAO, NSF, Commerce and others helping to shape and implement national policy for innovation-based economic growth and diverse science teams. While supporting the growth of SDSU's research portfolio, he also engages in active research, most recently investigating strategies for improving the participation of women and under-represented minorities in STEM faculty careers, innovation-based businesses, and the Geosciences.

Tony Onofrietti, M.S., C.R.S.S.

Tony has served as Director, Research Education at The University of Utah since 2004. He is a Past Chair, Rocky Mountain Region VII, of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). Tony received a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree from The University of Texas at Austin where he studied marketing and economics, and earned a Master of Science (M.S.) degree from the College of Health at the University of Utah. Tony has over 30 years experience administering public service programs in government and higher education settings, and has been a consultant and public speaker for professional associations and continuing medical education programs utilizing interactive audience response systems (ARS). In 2005, Tony launched the "Research Administration Training Series" (RATS / ) for the University of Utah research community which includes a comprehensive curriculum of preaward, post-award, clinical research, principal investigator and responsible conduct of research training classes. Tony has also served as Teaching Assistant for the required graduate level “Research Ethics” academic course taught each semester. Tony is the inventor of the RosterTech™ software program ( ), an integrated learning and data management software solution designed to support online education and training outreach. Tony continues to incorporate innovative and interactive technologies to enhance the educational experience in classrooms, conferences and for distance learning platforms.

Joanna B. Downer, M.S., Ph.D.

Joanna joined the Chancellor’s and School of Medicine’s Dean’s Offices at Duke Medicine in January 2006. Since 2009, she has led Research Development at the School of Medicine. She previously worked in science writing and media relations, first at Duke and then at Johns Hopkins Medicine. At Duke, she covered basic and clinical cancer research, and at Hopkins she covered the biomedical sciences, genetic medicine, and cell engineering. She also has extensive experience in scientific editing. Joanna holds an MA and PhD in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis. While in graduate school, she was a Mass Media Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, placed at Time Magazine in Washington, DC. Joanna also earned a BS with Honors in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Paul Frankel, M.B.A., Ph.D.

Paul is a Grants & Contracts Officer at the University of Utah, College of Pharmacy, He earned a Ph.D. from Tulane University and spent 10+ years studying neuropharmacology, focusing on neuromodulaters involved in drug abuse. While in academia, he co-authored 18 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, served as a manuscript reviewer and grant reviewer for scientific journals and a National Study Section, respectively. After leaving academia, he earned an MBA (University of Utah), and then worked in publishing where he authored multiple chapters and review questions for the online resource He then served as the Developmental Director for a regional charity serving children and adults with special needs. Paul rejoined the University of Utah in 2014, and has enjoyed the opportunity to use his experiences to help others obtain research funding. When not at work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family.

Kazuho Fujine, Ph.D.

Kazuho has served the National Institutes of Natural Science (NINS) since January 2015, and became a Director of International Cooperation Office in August 2015. She is responsible for communication and problem solving among five research centers of NINS to accelerate international research activities. She also leads strategic initiative of the Task Force on International Collaboration in the Research University Network of JAPAN (RUNJ). She obtained a Ph.D. in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography from Tokyo University in 2004. Since then, she acquired experiences of science communication, science planning & management, and Industry/academia/government cooperation in several research institutions.

Amy Gantt, M.S.

Amy has worked in the field of research development since 2004, and has directed the Tufts University Office of Proposal Development (now Office of Research Development) since 2010. Ms. Gantt has a Master's degree with a focus in sociolinguistics from North Carolina State University, and prior to working in research development, she taught English classes at the university and community college level. Within her current position as Director of the Office of Research Development, Ms. Gantt has managed the office through substantial institutional change and has developed strategies for a global research development focus on providing the Tufts research community with the tools they need to position themselves competitively for extramural funding.

Susan Gomes, M.A.

Susan is the Director of Research Development and Strategy, Harvard University. She oversees efforts to foster relationships with external sponsors, develop strategies to enhance the FAS research portfolio, increase sponsored revenue, and facilitate the pursuit of external funding. Her major responsibilities include developing grants-related programs and resources, facilitating the development of research proposals, and supporting proposal development and submission efforts for major projects.

Brooke Gowl, Ph.D.

Brooke is a Research Administrator 2 (Pre-Award) at the University of Houston. She has over 10 years of experience in research development. Her experience began as a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati and continued to grow during her time as a postdoctoral trainee at the University of Michigan. While a postdoc she wrote two successful grants, one for herself and one for the Society for Neuroscience. These grants launched her onto the path of being a professional research developer. After her postdoc, Dr. Gowl worked as the Research Grants Developer for the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Then in December 2011, she began working at the University of Houston where she was in the Division of Research for just over four years before transitioning to the Graduate College of Social Work, where she currently serves as the research developer/administrator for pre-award.

Jim Izat, Ed.D.

Jim has worked in research development in the Division of Research at Texas A&M University for six years focusing on junior faculty development and the development and management of internal seed grant and fellowship programs. His work focuses on delivering fifteen to twenty seminars and workshops a year primarily to junior faculty on topics ranging from the basics of proposal writing and NSF proposal development to detailed information about internal grant and fellowship programs. Jim also works with individual faculty and small groups in the development of proposals for specific solicitations, as well as facilitating an annual NSF CAREER proposal writing group for approximately thirty-five junior faculty in the spring and summer semesters. His educational background includes a B.S in Geology and a Masters and Doctorate in Education.

Julia Lane, M.A.

Julia is the Associate Director of Research Strategy and Operations at Arete, UChicago’s Research Accelerator. She is a seasoned professional with experience in innovative, fast-paced, and often risky environments -- from a startup and venture capitalist firm in Chicago to an NGO in rural China. In her role at Arete, Ms. Lane oversees operations for a team of ten research development professionals and helps faculty develop strategies for complex research, funding, and collaboration projects. Ms. Lane also enjoys working with funding data and metrics to improve strategic decision making.

Sarah Marina, B.A.

Sarah is the Assistant Director at the Office of Research Development at Tufts University. Working on all three Tufts University campuses, she manages and edits individual and multi-investigator scientific and infrastructure-building proposals, and has background and experience in designing evaluations of research services.

Traci L. Merrill, C.R.A.

As Director for the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of San Diego, Traci is responsible for the direction and oversight of all pre-award grant and contract administration and post-award non-financial administration. She provides leadership by incorporating national best practices into institutional policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal guidelines and agency-specific terms and conditions. Merrill conducts a variety of campus wide training programs she has developed on a variety of research topics to University faculty, administrators, and students. Merrill has been responsible for the successful implementation of the Cayuse Research Suite, an electronic research administration system which allows system-to-system submission to She led the transition in Sponsored Programs to become a pre-award office with an increased emphasis on proposal development across all campus units, even those that have traditionally not sought external funding. In addition to these responsibilities, she serves on a number of university committees including the University Research Council, Institutional Review Board and Compliance Oversight Committee. Merrill has served as a member of the NCURA Education and Professional Development Committee, and has led sessions at the NCURA Pre-Award Research Administration Conference, NORDP Annual Research Development Conference, SRA International Annual Meeting, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and Decision Sciences Institute. Merrill has over 12 years of experience in grants and contracts administration, organizational management and post-award compliance, and holds a master’s degree and a certificate in research administration.

Nancy Moore, Ph.D.

Nancy is an Editor/Grant Writing Resource Specialist at Arizona State University College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Her career began at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) Publications Office in New Jersey, where she was the assistant editor. She then worked in New York City in financial and commercial printing and journal editing, before returning to the ASCSA as editor of monographs. Since moving to Arizona she has been a grant writer for a K-12 educational consulting firm and, since 2002, editor for ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation. She edits faculty proposals and manuscripts, gives writing presentations, works on special projects, collaborates with groups across ASU, and—with a colleague—facilitates faculty writing groups. She received her BA from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics and her MA and PhD from Princeton University in Greek & Roman Art & Archaeology.

Louise C. Nuttle, Ph.D.

Louise joined the Office of Research & Engagement at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in July 2015 as director of the Faculty Development Team. Prior to her move to Knoxville, Louise worked in sponsored programs administration at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and subsequently at East Tennessee State University, where she was the associate director of the ETSU Research Foundation and later the assistant vice president for research and director of sponsored programs. Louise earned a BA in biology from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA, and a PhD in physiology and biophysics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where she was on faculty in the department of physiology and biophysics before becoming a full-time research administrator.

Jasmin Patel, M.B.A.

Jasmin is the former Director for Research Program Development and Executive Director for Arete, a Research Accelerator at the University of Chicago. She currently leads operations for the Research Computing Center where she brings data driven approaches to research strategy and applies them to emerging computationally complex projects. She previously ran clinical trials in oncology at the University of Chicago and Ziopharm Oncology. Through a diverse set of experiences, Ms. Patel enjoys bringing creative approaches to offer value and meaningful solutions to the challenges faced by organizations.

Marjorie Piechowski, Ph.D.

Marjorie is an Emerita Director of Research Support, College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has 30 years of experience in faculty grant development and research administration, most recently as Director of Research Support at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Engineering and Applied Science, retiring in 2014. Previous institutions include Marquette University and DePaul University. During her career she was responsible for all aspects of proposal development, including coordinating and writing large-scale multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator research proposals, editing faculty grant proposals, developing and reviewing grant budgets, and presenting grant-related workshops. She now is an independent consultant in proposal development and has written over $25 million in successful grants. Widely recognized for her expertise in grant development, Dr. Piechowski has made over 90 presentations at regional, national and international meetings. She has served as past president and Distinguished Faculty in the Society of Research Administrators International (SRA) and received the SRA Excellence Award for contributions to the practice of research administration. Dr. Piechowski also serves on the NORDP Board of Directors. Her degrees include a B.A. and M.A. in English from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Michael Thompson, M.F.A.

Michael is an Associate in the University of New Hampshire’s Research Development Office. His responsibilities include managing the office's proposal development and editing service, coordinating faculty nominations for prestigious awards, and working with graduate students to increase their grant seeking skills. A graduate of UNH's MFA in Writing program, Michael brings his expertise in crafting narrative to the proposal development process. Michael manages a RD Internship for English graduate students aimed primarily at increasing the RD Office’s capacity to provide editorial assistance to grant seekers. The internship also builds students’ skill sets, generates interest in RD, and makes the interns competitive for RD and other positions post-graduation. Michael started in RD at UNH as grad student in 2010, and has worked full-time at UNH since graduating in 2013.

Linda P Thurston, Ph.D.

Linda is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Education and Lydia E. Skeen Endowed Chair in Education at Kansas State University. She is also an enthusiastic birder who had birded on 5 continents. Thurston has been awarded over $15 million in external funding and mentors faculty in proposal development. An active advocate for pathways in STEM, she served for two years as a program officer for the NSF where she received the director's award of excellence in 2011 for her work in evaluation related to broadening participation in STEM education. Thurston is a nationally recognized evaluator, with specialization in gender and disabilities. She was the founding director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation, which provides evaluation services.

Karen Walker, B.A.

Karen, a Management Research Analyst, Senior, at Arizona State University has over 15 years of research and development experience in the biotechnology sector and specializes in competitive intelligence, producing thorough, timely, and relevant competitive intelligence and landscape analyses on sponsors, programs, and organizations that support strategic decision-making at the highest levels of the university. She also manages the university-wide limited submissions program and panel review process at ASU, working closely with faculty and the research administrative staff across all four campuses.

Tokesha L. Warner, M.H.A.

Tokesha joined the University of Tennessee’s Office of Research & Engagement in November 2015 as the Director of the Research Development Team. In this role, she works closely with the associate vice chancellor of research development to support faculty in their pursuit of large and strategic external funding opportunities. She also collaborates with ORE’s Faculty Development Team, Core Facilities, Federal Relations, and Research Initiatives. She brings with her a nearly two decades of proposal and research support experience, serving 16 years at Vanderbilt University & Medical Center in the coordination and management of grants, training and research programs in the departments of General Pediatrics, the School of Nursing, the Institute for Global Health, and the Pediatrics' Division of Developmental Medicine. Following her time at Vanderbilt she served as the inaugural manager of the GrantSMART Office for Proposal Development at the University of Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physical anthropology from Earlham College and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Bellevue University. She is also a 2012 graduate of the Vanderbilt Program in Research Administration Development.

Jory Philip Weintraub, Ph.D.

Jory is the Science Communication Director with the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, and the Director of the Duke Broader Impacts Resource Center. Prior to this, he served for over 10 years as the director of education/outreach at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, was a biology instructor at UNC Chapel Hill and ran science outreach programs for underrepresented minority students throughout North Carolina. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI), and serves on the Board of Directors of Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC). He received his BS in Biochemistry from UC San Diego, and his PhD in Immunology from UNC Chapel Hill. He then received an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in STEM Education. His work focuses on minority outreach, science communication/education/outreach, and faculty development.

Fruma Yehiely, Ph.D.

Fruma is the Associate Vice President for Research at Northwestern University. She has over 20 years of research experience; national and international academic and industry collaborations, and over a decade of research development and administration experience. She led Northwestern’s Office of Research Development that develops, supports and implements the praxis of Team Science and spearheaded the first institutional interdisciplinary seed funding program. Nationally, she is a member of a CTSA based Team Science Affinity Workgroup that includes preeminent thought leaders and educators in the application Translational Team Science. Yehiely he co-directed a graduate course of Team Science, teaches Team Science in RCR programs, and co-leads a course in the Kellogg School of Management: Leadership and Management in Core Facilities, where she works with managers of Core facilities on team approach to address shared challenges. In her role as Associate VPR, she drives and oversees the strategic development of interdisciplinary institutional initiatives.