Two Webinars Wednesday, 1/27/21

NORDP is hosting two webinars on Wednesday, January 27th. Details and registrations links are below:

NORDP Board Forum: Everything you wanted to know about serving as a NORDP board member; Date: 1/27/2021; Time: 1:00pm EST

Have you considered running for the NORDP Board of Directors? Considering a run in the future? Join us to hear directly from NORDP’s current Board of Directors on what it means to serve, strategic priorities for NORDP over the next few years, and specific roles needed for the board to ensure continuity of operations. This session is designed as a Zoom Meeting and as such, participants should come prepared to ask questions directly to members of the board. The event is hosted by the NORDP Governance Committee and Nominating Committee. At the conclusion, the Nominating Committee will share the next steps and timeline for the 2021 nomination process and election process. The event will be recorded and posted to the NORDP site.

Presented by: Members of the current NORDP Board of Directors

Register for the webinar:

Career Stories: Fireside Chats; Date: 1/27/2021; Time: 3:30pm EST

This conversation series will highlight the professional trajectories of NORDP members and was developed in response to member requests following the NORDP LEAD kick-off last fall. The series will showcase the multiple ways NORDP members ended up in research development and the many paths available for professional advancement. The first session will feature Karen “Fletch” Fletcher, Director of Grant Resources & Services at Appalachian State University and Immediate Past President of NORDP. Fletch will share her journey in research development and the ways in which her involvement in NORDP supported her professional development. Career Stories: Fireside Chats are designed to be 30-minute listen and learn sessions, with time for follow-up questions. The sessions will also be archived and made available for later viewing.

Presented by: Karen “Fletch” Fletcher, Director of Grant Resources & Services at Appalachian State University and Immediate Past President of NORDP

Register for the webinar

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

Mentoring Matters – And so do you!

Submitted by Jan Abramson, NORDP Fellow

One constant after the crazy months we’ve experienced throughout 2020: January is National Mentoring Month. “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden to your own view.” This quote is attributed to Oprah Winfrey. My own philosophy of mentoring is to “pay it forward, to engage in open and honest relationships that support and inspire colleagues to see and become their best selves.”

Take a moment to reflect on the mentors who have supported you, the mentees who have inspired you, and the importance of mentoring in our work as Research Development professionals. Anytime is an appropriate time to reach out, reconnect, and express appreciation to those you have touched your life. If you’d like a reminder, #ThankYourMentorDay is January 29, 2021. This social media expression of gratitude is generally the last Friday in January if you want to mark your calendars well in advance.

The NORDP Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP Members. The Mentoring Committee strives to equip Research Development professionals for success by offering meaningful mentoring experiences, expertise, support and resources. Over the past year, the committee has developed new programs and resources to cultivate community and support mentors and mentees.

Applications for the 2021 mentoring program will open in the spring. In addition to the mentor/mentee dyads that compose the mentoring program, there are currently six Peer Mentoring Groups (PMGs) available for those interested in developing peer mentoring relationships. They are based on the six Pillars of Research Development: Career/Professional Development, Communication, Enhancement of Collaboration, Leadership/Management, Proposal Development and Support and Strategic Planning and Advancement. PMGs are composed of NORDP members at many professional development levels who have similar interests and share resources, provide feedback, and act as accountability partners in building skills. To join a Peer Mentoring Group please email

Become a mentor. Become a mentee. Join a PMG. (or, do all three). The Mentoring Committee will help you along the way. And, in addition to the benefits of participating in mentoring, engaging in NORDP programs and activities is a great way to leverage your NORDP membership.

Learn More about Expert Finder Systems

Thanks to NORDP member Jeff Agnoli for telling us about the free 2021 International Forum on Expert Finder Systems (EFS) series schedule to run Feb. 11 – Mar. 18! The six-day series, scheduled over six weeks, offers a wealth of information that can strengthen research development initiatives, especially those related to team building. Several RD professionals, including Jeff, are among the list of presenters.

EFS are “directories, profiling sites, or social networking sites that employ knowledge management tools to gather, manage, and publish searchable information,” the event’s website explains. Proper utilization of these systems can support collaborations, bring innovations to market, and foster regional economic development, among other benefits.

The forum’s goals include: explore best practices, share user cases, and create a community of practice. The unique format enables a deep dive into the topic without “Zoom overload” by offering the six separate sessions and incorporating several interactive opportunities, such as “Coffee Talk.” NORDP members can register here.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

Pacific Region Conference Roundup: Research Development During the Pandemic: Research Developers are Resilient

Submitted by NORDP Pacific Co-Representative, Eric Wayne Dickey, Western Oregon University

NORDP’s Pacific Region represents the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, and NORDP’s global reach to members in British Columbia, Eastern Russia, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries east of China. Following the successful in-person, 2019 regional meeting at UC Davis, the Pacific region’s co-representatives (Barbara Sasso and Eric Wayne Dickey) wanted to continue to provide members opportunities to grow their networks and expand their knowledge base. But doing so during a pandemic seemed a monumental task.

First things first, we recruited an all-star, all-volunteer conference planning committee: Susan Emerson, Leah Gorman, Michael Helms, and Katie Lindl all stepped forward to answer the call. After some soul-searching, we decided to confront the pandemic head on by asking ourselves, “how can we continue to do the work we do?” At the time of this early planning stage, ominous clouds of ashes loomed over much of the west coast, adding to anxiety of the pandemic. Research Developers have to be resilient in times of stress, so we decided that responding to the pandemic would be the theme of our conference.

Sunrise through clouds of ash, 9/28/2020 photo by Eric Wayne Dickey

Once the theme was picked and a timeline was established, we put out the call for abstracts, and we were off and running!

The three-day virtual conference included morning and afternoon sessions. A featured session started each morning of the conference and included Russell Wyland from NEH, Mike Lauer from NIH, and a panel of Government Relations personnel.

Another highlight was the Conversation Roadblocks workshop led by the NORDP Committee on Inclusive Excellence. The three-day regional meeting also featured a variety of NORDP member-initiated presentations and lightning talks that explored how Research Development professionals manage their work remotely and during times of crises. The sessions provided helpful tips and demonstrated the resiliency of RD professionals.

Word cloud generated using words from the abstracts

The final Happy Hour session explored some ideas for future Pacific Region conferences, such as providing sessions on building relationships via networking and mentoring, facilitating multi-institutional collaborations, and growing the RD profession by encouraging graduate students to participate in NORDP. Overall, the Pacific Regional meeting was favorably received by attendees, and it provided a road map for future events.

If you are interested in planning future events for the Pacific Region, feel free to reach out to Barbara or Eric.

The session materials are available on the NORDP site:

Last but not least, the conference planning committee wants to acknowledge the important support provided by Laura Nakoneczny and Arielle Stout of First Point Resource Management. Their expertise in planning such events was invaluable. We could not have done it without them.

NORDP-NE Regional Winter (Virtual) Road Trip to Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Submitted by NORDP NE Communications Coordinator, Bethany Drews Javidi, University of Connecticut

The NORDP-NE region invited their colleagues from the Atlantic region to join them on a virtual road trip to Dartmouth on December 8 to discuss how research development professionals can support research in the humanities. The road trip to Dartmouth was the third virtual road trip for the region and gave NORDP colleagues the chance to escape their home universities and connect with colleagues over a lively discussion of the important work and contribution of humanities scholars.

Charlotte Bacon, Director of GrantGPS at Dartmouth, provided the energy and vision to coordinate a fantastic meeting. Charlotte gave the attendees an informative presentation on the strategies RD professionals can take to promote the success and wellbeing of humanities scholars.

In addition, a slate of humanities scholars shared their perspectives with the region during a panel discussion. We were fortunate to hear from Laura Edmondson, Professor of Theater, Israel Reyes, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and Cori Tucker-Price, Post-Doctoral Fellow in in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration in the U.S. Context. The panel reflected the range of disciplines active in the humanities and the needs of faculty at varying stages in their careers.

“The event was an energizing one that provided not only great ideas & insights to bring back to my office, but also the chance to virtually engage in conversation with colleagues across the regions,” said Daniel Campbell from the Atlantic Region.

A highlight of the meeting was anthropology professor Sienna Craig’s reading of her poems, “Mars Venus Moon” and “Supermarket.” Her reading gave us all a chance to reflect on life and loss in the pandemic. Thank you, Sienna!

Seventy-five RD professionals from New England attended the meeting. NORDP-NE is grateful to Eric Si, Communications and Events Specialist (our wizard behind the curtain), and Anne Maglia, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration and Integrity, at UMass Lowell, who generously contributed their institutional resources and expertise in virtual conferencing to make our three road trips a reality. Many thanks also to Kimberly Eck, NORDP President, who made a special appearance and gave introductory remarks.

Thanks go to our other contributors as well: Anne Maglia, Member, NORDP Board of Directors, who got the group up to speed on events at NORDP national; Jeralyn Haraldsen, Chair of the NORDP-NE Advisory Committee, who convened and chaired the meeting, Edel Minogue, Chair Elect of NORDP-NE and the other members of the NORDP-NE Advisory Committee who contributed their time and ideas to make the meeting a success.

NORDP 2020 Conference Notes: Scientists in Research Development: Turning Ideas into Compelling Proposals

Over the next several weeks, we will share notes from select NORDP 2020 virtual presentations. Check out the learning management system for details on all of the NORDP 2020 available presentations:

  1. Login with your NORDP member info.
  2. Select the session you are interested in viewing.
  3. Go to the Session Materials box and click on Materials which will take you to the presentation video and slides. 
  4. The session will also appear in your personal course list for future viewing.


  • Justin Flory – The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
  • Deborah Frank – Washington University School of Medicine
  • Samarpita Sengupta – University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Jessica Moon – Stanford University

Thanks to our session scribe, Daniel Campbell, Old Dominion University!

Key points from the session 

A RD scientist can leverage their own experiences by providing tailored education programs, personalized courses, and effective training for faculty investigators to communicate their research to the community at large.

Scientists in RD can help faculty develop a strong research question by deciding whether it is an important one to answer, if it feasible to answer, and to critically read the literature.

RD scientists can help raise potential reviewer criticisms, suggest alternative experiments, suggest controls, and evaluate data analysis plans.

In multidisciplinary proposals a RD scientist can serve as an extension of the PI that will allow them to focus their expertise. They also act as the common denominator to facilitate a multi-disciplinary team and help interconnect the science.

Scientists transitioning to RD face several challenges such as, imposter syndrome, understanding the institutional structure, and expanding the breadth of their editing beyond their core discipline.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?

The imposter syndrome is a challenge faced by many folks who come from the postdoc world and who are now tasked with providing guidance to faculty who used to be their superiors in the higher ed hierarchy.

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member?

Question – What motivates you and keeps you going in this field?

Answer – Seeing how many proposals are not funded and in many cases it is due to ineffective communication. Faculty have many great ideas & skills and we can help them with the communication element in our dual roles as scientists and skilled communicators.

NORDP Announces the Availability of Membership Scholarships

NORDP is pleased to announce the availability of twenty scholarships to support membership renewals in fiscal year 2021. 

In recognition of the impacts of COVID-19 on institutional funding for professional development, the awards will cover individual regular, trainee, and emeritus membership renewal costs for active, graced, and lapsed members as of June 1, 2020.  

The awards support NORDP’s richly diverse and robust national peer network of research development professionals, enabling members to continue benefiting from:

To apply, please complete your APPLICATION FORM by 5pm (submitter’s local time) on December 31st, 2020. 

We look forward to expanding the Membership Scholarship program in FY22.

Funding for this first round of scholarships was provided by Elsevier, s a proud and long-standing sponsor of NORDP. As a global leader in research information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and research executives advance science and research for the benefit of society. Our Research Intelligence solutions combine quality, structured, interoperable data, advanced analytics and an array of indicators and metrics that offer actionable insights to address critical challenges and expand research excellence. Learn more. Elsevier is committed to advancing equity, inclusion and diversity in the global research ecosystem to ensure that research benefits from a diverse research workforce to reach its full potential in achieving a sustainable and equitable future. Learn more.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

Mentor Training for Research Development Professionals – Registration Open for January 2021 Webinar Series

Are you a mentor? A mentee? Do you find yourself formally or informally mentoring staff or faculty? Are you ready to explore mentoring competencies that can be utilized across the work of research development (RD)? This interactive webinar series covers the 9-module Entering Mentoring curriculum, initially developed for mentoring researchers and tailored for RD professionals. A recent webinar series attendee commented: “EXCELLENT training! The ideas presented are very applicable both to mentoring both within the research development profession and elsewhere in the research enterprise – the things I have learned and practiced in this course are incredibly valuable to me as I provide mentoring to faculty, particularly early stage investigators and junior faculty, in the area of grantsmanship.”

Using evidence-based strategies, participants will build upon competencies crucial to the success of the mentoring relationship and expand mentor training across the research enterprise. Participants who complete the entire curriculum will receive a certificate of completion. The curriculum results from an association between the NORDP Mentoring committee and the University of Wisconsin Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) in collaboration with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), organizations involved in developing and validating the original curriculum. RD professionals at all levels of mentoring will explore how mentoring (shown to improve career outcomes, impact employee engagement and retention, and lead to more inclusive work environments) can benefit mentors and mentees in RD.

This webinar series will be presented and facilitated by the NORDP Mentoring Committee. There are three certified CIMER Trained Facilitators, and four Trained Facilitators on the Mentoring Committee.

Webinar Schedule: Interactive Webinar Sessions will be held on 5 Tuesdays (Jan 26 – Feb 23, 2021; 2-4 pm EST) and follow up open sessions on Thursdays (Jan 28 – Feb 25; 2-3 pm EST).

Register TODAY for the webinar series (30 participant limit):

If this series doesn’t fit in your schedule, share your scheduling preferences to help us plan for future Mentor Training by completing a survey of your preferences.

Questions? Contact us at

PEERD Workshop Reflection: University of Minnesota

Staff at the University of Minnesota (UMN) developed a staff networking group called the Research Advancement and Development Professionals Network (RADPN) because there is no centralized RD office. RADPN was designed to share expertise and network among staff doing research development work coming from different backgrounds, many of whom had not heard the term, Research Development. RADPN planned a conference for October of 2019, with the goal of introducing staff to research development as a field, including the resources provided by NORDP.

The Workshop

The NORDP PEERD Expert gave a keynote presentation on strategic research development, highlighting the differences between research administration and research development and the differences between transactional RD activities and strategic RD activities. Following the keynote, the NORDP PEERD Expert conducted a workshop that took a deeper dive into the heart of RD, including the roles and responsibilities of RD professionals and various institutional models of RD. Then, the NORDP PEERD Expert guided attendees through several interactive RD scenarios on research grand challenges/team science, internal funding, corporate outreach, and external funding.

The Impact

The event helped UMN RD professionals put their work in the context of research development as a professional field, helping them realize that they were already engaging in research development. It also introduced them to RD resources at the university and national level that could help them improve their strategy and effectiveness. The event also empowered staff who were already engaged in RD work, improving their ability to understand how research development relates to other research support functions.

The Opportunity

Take advantage of the experience and knowledge of PEERD Experts who can sculpt a presentation and/or workshop to meet the needs of your team, office, department, college, university, etc. NORDP PEERD Experts are willing to provide outside expertise on a variety of research development topics. To learn more about the services provided by PEERD, visit or email

NORDP 2020 Conference Notes: Spy Networks and Scholarship – Work with your Library to Gather Intel and Win at Research Development

Over the next several weeks, we will share notes from select NORDP 2020 virtual presentations. Check out the learning management system for details on all of the NORDP 2020 available presentations:

  1. Login with your NORDP member info.
  2. Select the session you are interested in viewing.
  3. Go to the Session Materials box and click on Materials which will take you to the presentation video and slides. 
  4. The session will also appear in your personal course list for future viewing.


  • Jeff Agnoli, The Ohio State University
  • Rebecca Bryant, OCLC Research
  • Nina Exner, Virginia Commonwealth University

Thanks to our session scribe, Daniel Campbell, Old Dominion University!

Key points from the session 

Libraries are not ends in themselves, they are shifting from collection centric model to engagement-oriented model supporting teaching, learning and research workflows

Libraries are becoming partners in the research enterprise. They enhance researcher productivity, facilitate analysis of research, and make research visible to the scholarly community and beyond.

Librarians are very skilled at finding the literature; awareness of trending topics within fields, crossing disciplines for potential impact on other areas, alerting services to keep up with new literature, and citation management.

The Ohio State University has developed a University Libraries Research Commons which serves as a neutral physical/virtual space; offers consultations, education & training, referrals, and space to showcase.

Libraries are often viewed as neutral players and can be very helpful with communication across a team of researchers.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?

Librarians can use bibliometrics to help PI’s strategically build the impact of their publications over time.

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member?

What type of librarian would help with competitive intelligence?

Response: Their title varies depending on the institution, but examples include Research Impact Librarian, Bibliometrics/impact, Business subject specialist, Scholarly communications, or Metrics Librarian.

What else from this session should NORDP members know?

The presenters used a virtual whiteboard during the Q&A portion and it was a great example of live interaction and sharing of ideas on RD partnerships.