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Nathan Blouin, MBA, CRA

Portrait of Nathan Blouin


Nathan has over 10 years’ experience in Research Development and pre-award Sponsored Research Administration. As Director of UNC’s Office of Research Development, he constantly looks for new ways to support the research mission of the university. Prior to joining UNC in 2016, Nathan led a large and complex proposal support effort at New York University (NYU) within the Office of Sponsored Research. Over the years, Nathan has supported dozens of successful large scale proposal efforts, across a number of federal, state, and private grant-making agencies. He holds an MBA in Finance, Marketing, and Strategy from NYU, and a BA in Chemical Biology and Philosophy from Boston University.

Kelley Cardone, MSW, MAT

Portrait of Kelley Cardone

Research Development Coordinator

Kelley’s responsibilities include agency outreach and engagement, development of affinity groups for the OVCR research priority areas, identification of funding opportunities, and proposal development support. She has over 10 years of experience in program and grants management at UNC prior to joining the Office of Research Development in 2021. She holds a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Rachelle Davenport, BS, BA

Portrait of Rachelle Davenport

Limited Submissions Coordinator

Rachelle oversees the universityʼs federal and foundation limited submission opportunities for faculty and postdocs. She joined UNC in 2019 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Caroline Dilworth, PhD, MSPH

Portrait of Caroline Dilworth

Research Development Manager

Caroline Dilworth works with UNC teams applying to large and complex grant opportunities by providing administrative and proposal development support. Previously, she was the Lead Projects Manager for the UNC Cardiovascular Epidemiology Program where she oversaw pre-award and post-award activities for Program’s portfolio of research grants, contracts, and training programs. She also served as a Program Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for over 8 years before returning to academia. Caroline holds a PhD in Epidemiology from UNC and joint MSPH degree in Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health from Emory University. She received her BS in Statistics from the University of South Carolina.

Kurt Thurber, MA, MBA

Portrait of Kurt Thurber

Strategic Research Associate

Kurt Thurber has over 15 years of experience in the research/business development space as a writer, editor, proposal manager, and capture manager. He has experience winning proposals from private and public funding sources across the spectrum of foundations, federal, state, and local entities. As a Strategic Research Associate, Kurt will help identify contract opportunities and pipelines for sustainable funding. He will assist in identifying collaborative efforts pan-university, the university system, and with external partners in academia and the private sector. He has an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, a M.A. in International Relations from Villanova University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington.

Nate Warren, PhD

Portrait of Nate Warren

Research Development Manager

Nate Warren works with UNC teams applying to large and complex grant opportunities by providing administrative and proposal development support. He joined the Office of Research Development in 2022. Before joining UNC, Nate worked as a consultant supporting small businesses applying for SBIR/STTR funding. Nate holds a doctorate in Nutrition Sciences from University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed postdoctoral research at Duke University. He received a BS in Foods & Nutrition from Appalachian State University.

ORD Alumni

B. Gail Whitfield, BA (retired)

Executive Assistant to the Director
Portrait of B. Gail

Ms. Whitfield retired from UNC in 2020 after 24 years of exemplary service to the University. She supported ORD, OPA and the OVCR with a broad range of administrative, financial, internal grant coordination, and personnel management functions. Gail was a founding staff member of ORD, where she played an integral role in structuring office policies, procedures, and standards of operations.

Contact Our Office

Office of Research Development
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
308 Bynum Hall, CB# 4012
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4012

Phone: (919) 962-7503