NORDP Consultant Webpage


About the NORDP Consultants Program

The NORDP Consultants 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. NORDP launched the NORDP Consultant Program with a pilot projects in summer of 2021 to grow research capacity and competitiveness by increasing institutional capacity for research development.


Current Consultants

     Camille Coley, JD, CRA (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Camille Coley is an expert in growing research enterprises and has over 20 years of experience in research administration and development. Currently, she is the Associate Vice Provost for Sponsored Programs and External Partnerships at the University of San Francisco. She has doubled the research expenditures at her past employers, the American Museum of Natural History (in New York City, NY) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU). As the Associate Vice President for Research at FAU, she launched the research development office and earned a Presidential Award for revamping office operations. At the American Museum of Natural History, she secured large grants and built collaborations with scientists and educators. Camille is also a Certified Research Administrator and a Certified Mediator and brings a holistic approach to research administration, as well as experience with multidisciplinary project teams and diversity frameworks.


    Marta Collier-Youngblood, MA (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Mata Collier-Youngblood is a Grants and Business Development as well as Co-Founder of Youngblood and Associates. She specializes in supporting Minority Serving Institutions, with clients such as Benedict College, Southern University, Philander Smith College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Florida Memorial University, and University of the Virgin Islands. Marta's role involves proposal development, research, strategic planning, project evaluation, and external communications. She has written and administered grants worth $62.4 million, conducted research and trained in data analysis, managed external communications, and provided proposal review for organizations like the National Science Foundation.


     Michelle Collins, MPA, CRA, CPRA (NORDP Consultant since 2023): As the Director of Grant Process Operations for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Michelle oversees 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. She has held 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, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2023): 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, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2023): 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, hired its first faculty director for 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, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2023): 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 (UF) and the UF portion of the Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Grants Program. From FY 2014 through FY 2021, 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.


    Jacob Levin, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Jacob Levin is the Founder of LGG Research Strategy & Funding Services. Prior to this, he as Director of Research Development at MIT, where he managed internal funding programs and lead large research proposals and was Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California, Irvine, where he helped secure over $1 billion in research funding. Levin is an AAAS Fellow and has published articles on research development and given presentations on research office structure and operations. He has two decades of experience in all aspects of research development, from opportunity identification to award execution, and has led multiple internal office metric and data analysis surveys. He has also spearheaded successful research collaborations worldwide.


    Mike Marcinkowski (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Mike currently serves as a Research Development Associate at Washington University St. Louis University. He entered the grant/research development field after a career in the print journalism industry. With nearly 14 years of experience, he has honed his skills as a proposal developer. He started by assisting K-12 schools and social service agencies in securing funding from the Department of Education and HHS, and then expanded his knowledge in university research. Mike has around 700 proposals' worth of consulting experience, including knowledge of funders such as NIH, NSF, and NASA, and the needs of faculty, administrators, and staff. He began consulting independently in 2021 and has received high satisfaction ratings from clients.


    LeKita Scott Dawkins, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2022): LeKita Scott Dawkins is a virtual funding and resource development consultant who also manages grants for Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington counties in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to this, she was Director of Foundation Relations and an adjunct instructor at Syracuse University. A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Dr. LeKita Scott Dawkins is a founding member of Sisters of the Academy (SOTA) Institute, which aims to create an educational network of Black women in higher education in order to foster success in the areas of teaching, scholarly inquiry, and collaborative scholarship. She is co-editor of “Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African Americans,” which is a timely guide and source of information for men and women of color considering the journey towards a terminal degree. She possesses a passion for exploring the recruitment, retention, and advancement of ethnic minorities, particularly those in the field of fund-raising/development and those in graduate programs. She received her BS in Elementary Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, her MEd in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, and her PhD in Educational Leadership from Florida State University.


    Michael Spires, MA, MS, CRA (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Michael Spires is an experienced research development professional with a background in academia and publishing. He has worked in the field for 14 years and has served in leadership positions within NORDP. Currently, he is a Research Development Officer at Oakland University in Michigan. He has established research development programs at four institutions, including emerging research institutions, an R1 university, and a non-profit research organization. Mr. Spires has a strong background in data analysis and has given 50 workshops and presentations on various topics. He led the creation of a 200-page databook to support Oakland University's research mission and conducts assessments of research potential for faculty candidates. For these assessments, he provides a written report to search committees and administrators after analyzing CVs, funding histories, and sponsor trends.


    Peggy Sundermeyer, MBA, EdD (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Peggy Sundermeyer is currently a Partner at ORG Transitions. Previously, Peggy was the Director of Sponsored Research at Trinity University, where she increased institutional capacity by developing grant proposals and partnerships. She helped faculty and administrative units grow their grant-getting skills and increase external support. Peggy worked closely with early-career faculty and academic leaders to secure funding for institutional programs and increase the university’s community engagement and national visibility. Before joining Trinity, Peggy established the first research development office at the University of Minnesota. She has over 10 years of federal contracting experience and has served as a consultant and adviser on federal grants and contracts. Peggy began her career as Assistant Dean at Texas Christian University and has taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Texas at Arlington.


    Donald (Don) Takehara, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2023): 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 nine 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.


    Barbara Walker, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Barbara Walker is the Director of Research Development for Social Sciences, Humanities, Fine Arts, and Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is responsible for professional development and mentoring activities for faculty members and overseeing large interdisciplinary research programs. She is the Lead PI on an NSF ADVANCE award and co-author of the book "Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences." She has a background in mixed-methods, interdisciplinary research, and expertise in social science research methods and analysis. She has received funding from several federal agencies and private foundations. She serves as a grant reviewer for federal agencies and previously served as a Council Member and Vice President for Finance at the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Educators.


    Jana Watson-Capps, PhD (NORDP Consultant since 2023): 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, science communication, grant writing, grant 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.


    John Quyen Wickham, MA, CAPM, CP APMP (NORDP Consultant since 2022): Quyen Wickham is an experienced research development professional with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has managed over $150 million in full proposals and received over $35 million in awards in his first 15 months at Arizona State University. He has expertise in proposal writing, project evaluation, project management, and proposal management. He has a background in molecular and cell biology and has worked in education research centers and central research development offices at two nationally ranked high research universities. He is knowledgeable in the USAID and Shipley Associates proposal development process and is a regular presenter at university-wide research development professional development trainings. He has a passion for interdisciplinary and complex scientific problems and is skilled in team facilitation and research professional development.


Program Leadership & Management


Kimberly Eck, MPH, PhD (2021 to present): Kimberly launched the NORDP Consultant Program in 2021 and continues to serve as the Program Director. She is the Associate Vice President for Research at Emory University. At Emory, she leads the Office of Research Development and the Training Grant Support Office. She has been working in research development since 2009. Previous to joining Emory, she served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, the Associate Vice President at Geisinger Health System, Manager of Collaborative Proposal Development at the Research Foundation for the State University of New York, and as a consultant at a small private firm. Kimberly is also a former President of the Board of Directors of NORDP.


Erica Pitre (2021 to present): Erica serves as the Program Manager of the NORDP Consultant Program. She is a Senior Project Support Specialist at Emory University where she supports strategic initiatives, mega proposals, seed funding, and other research development initiatives. Previously, Erica worked in the University of Louisiana’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) office and has extensive proposal development experience, formerly specializing in the construction and energy industries.


Current Consultant Engagements


With the support of Eric and Wendy Schmidt via recommendation of the Schmidt Futures program, NORDP Consultants will provide a combined 2,400 hours of consulting to the four HBCU partners (Florida Memorial University, Morehouse School of Medicine, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and Spelman College) participating in this pilot program. This two-year pilot program will run from January 2022 – December 2023.


With support from the NSF Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate and together with partners, NORDP Consultants will provide proposal development support for all applicants invited to submit full proposals from NSF’s new Enabling Partnerships to Increase Innovation Capacity (EPIIC) program. This program will run during spring of 2023.


Frequently Asked Questions


How do I become a NORDP Consultant?

An RFA for new consultants is typically announced annually, dependent on support for the program. NORDP members are invited to apply following the guidelines in the RFA, which generally includes several short responses to specific questions, as well submission of CVs.


What are the review criteria for becoming a NORDP Consultant?

The review criteria are published in the annual RFA and may be tailored to upcoming engagements.


Are NORDP Consultants paid for their time?

Yes. The program seeks sources of external support (e.g. grants and philanthropy) to pay consultants for their time and reimburse them for travel, when needed.

How can my institution benefit from NORDP Consultants services? Which institutions are eligible?

Generally, our services are available to select groups of emerging research institutions and minority-serving institutions. The requirements of our external funders guide the eligibility requirements. When we launch a new cohort, we will post an RFA calling for applications from potential partners who are interested in NORDP Consultant services.


What are the NORDP Consultants available to do?

Generally, our NORDP Consultants are available to conduct a wide variety of research development and related services. For example, services might include developing a research growth strategy, developing research policies, providing proposal development training, as well as faculty coaching and induvial proposal development support. The requirements of our external funders may also guide what services are available.




Interested in serving as a consultant, receiving services from this program, or providing philanthropic support? Please direct inquiries about the NORDP Consultant Program to Dr. Kimberly Eck at [email protected].




New NSF Support Awarded As Six Additional Members Join the NORDP Consultant Program


NORDP Consultant Pilot Program – Participants Selected


NORDP Consultant Pilot Program; Calling for Applications


Announcing the NORDP Consultant Program