BOONE, N.C. — Faculty and staff at Appalachian State University have access to myriad resources that support their research, creative and scholarly endeavors. Among these is Karen Fletcher, director of grants resources and services (GRS) in Appalachian’s Office of Research (OR).
Fletcher, who has been in research development since 2010 and joined Appalachian’s OR in 2015, leads a team that supports faculty and staff researchers by offering grant proposal writing workshops, awarding internal funds for faculty and staff to conduct research and programming, editing grant proposals and connecting faculty with mentors.
She has been appointed Board of Directors president for the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) — the leading organization in research development and research development professionals.
“It is not only a great privilege to have the president of this organization serving at our university, but it also brings visibility to Appalachian in the world of research development,” said Dr. Ece Karatan, vice provost for research at Appalachian.
“Appalachian joins other leading universities and research institutions in driving the research development field. I am proud to be a part of that,” Fletcher said of her appointment.
A leader on campus and beyond
Fletcher’s contributions on campus are invaluable too, Karatan said.
Examples of research programs and initiatives supported by Fletcher:
- She was the driving force behind the university’s inaugural Research and Creative Activity at Appalachian (RECAPP) event, held in fall 2019 and organized in collaboration with Appalachian’s Office of Student Research and University Libraries.
- She has worked collaboratively with colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Western Carolina University to organize a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant workshop for Appalachian faculty.
- With Dr. Gary McCullough, BCHS’ associate dean of research and graduate education, and Charna Howson, director of sponsored programs in OR, she created the PREParation for Appalachian Research Experiences (PREPARE) program — a mentoring program for early career faculty that focuses on grant writing. The program was born out of a National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) grant awarded to Fletcher in 2017.
Now in its third year at Appalachian, PREPARE serves 15 faculty in three colleges — the College of Fine and Applied Arts (FAA), the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) — and Fletcher said her goal is to facilitate a PREPARE program in each of Appalachian’s colleges.
Taking a lead
Fletcher assumed her new NORDP role in July 2019 and will serve as president through June 2020. She served as vice president/president-elect during the most recent board year (2018–19).
During her presidential tenure, Fletcher has been facilitating a strategic planning process to help strengthen the organization that includes meaningful interactions with current, outgoing and incoming board members, among others.
“Research development professionals help researchers become more successful communicators, grant writers and advocates for their research,” Fletcher said. “They help researchers bring new ideas to life.”
Appalachian’s GRS strives to support the mission of Appalachian to advance knowledge via research and scholarship. GRS seeks to increase the capability and competitiveness of Appalachian faculty and staff member to receive internal and external funding for research and creative endeavors, as well as program development.
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About the Office of Research
Appalachian State University’s Office of Research provides support for the research, creative, and scholarly endeavors of Appalachian faculty, staff and students. The office consists of five units: Grants Resources and Services, Sponsored Programs, Research Design and Analysis, and Research Protections. The Office of Research also collaborates with the university’s Special Funds Accounting on the fiscal management of awarded projects. Learn more at https://research.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.