NORDP 2015 Conference Cameo: Lucy Deckard

Who: Lucy Deckard, President
Where: Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 
5 
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
It was my good luck that NORDP was being established just I decided to leave my position in Research Development at Texas A&M University to start a consulting business. Independent consultants depend on networking and word of mouth to connect with potential clients. Our currency is information, and one of the most valuable things we can provide a client is a broader perspective that reaches beyond their particular institution. What approaches have other institutions employed to address specific research development challenges? What works and what doesn’t? What are the larger trends in research funding and research development?

NORDP has been instrumental in helping me address all of those aspects. Attending NORDP conferences has provided invaluable opportunities to connect with potential clients across the country and meet clients with whom I’d previously only talked on the phone. The information I’ve learned at the conference has helped me to build a much broader understanding of the research development landscape across the country than I could ever have done on my own. Interestingly, when I attended my first NORDP conference in 2010, I was the only consultant there. At last year’s conference, I met a number of other independent consultants. It was wonderful to be able to share advice with them and commiserate about challenges.

In past conferences, I’ve participated in NORDP conferences in various ways, including serving as part of the planning committee, presenting, and volunteering to be a scribe. For this year’s conference, I’m particularly looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. To get the most out of the conference, I recommend that you make a point to talk to people you don’t know. Sit only at tables where you don’t know the other people and ask them about their research development roles at their institutions.

We hope to see you at the 2015 NORDP Research Development Conference, April 29 to May 1 in Bethesda, MD. For more information about the conference program or to register, click here

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NORDP 2015 Conference Cameos: Jessica Venable

Who: Jessica Venable, Coordinator, Research Development Services
Where: Virginia Commonwealth University
Number of years in research development: 16 (Was it called “research development” back then?)
Length of NORDP membership: 4
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
My first foray into research development, well before I had even heard the term, was when I was a graduate student intern at NASA Langley Research Center. The Associate Director of the Education Division handed me a giant book of grants the center had made in the past fiscal year. He said my project was to survey faculty, postdocs, and graduate students about their experiences working on these sponsored programs. My first question: “What’s a sponsored program?”

Fifteen years later, I am in the position of responding to that question for researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Since the answers are so critical faculty professional development and VCU’s success, I have to come up interesting, creative, and compelling ways to impart the fundamentals of grantsmanship. And if I am to help keep the faculty competitive, I have to stay sharp, well-informed, and ahead of the trends. I certainly can’t do that by myself from Richmond, VA!

 I serve as the Coordinator for Research Development Services in VCU’s central office of research and am charged with assisting faculty in all disciplines targeting all funders. I readily admit the limits of my expertise, so I was thrilled to learn that there was an organization of research development professionals to pool and share resources. Thanks to the RD conferences, an entire community of experts has inspired VCU’s yearlong, campus-wide grantwriting bootcamps: the CAREER Academy and the Grantwriting Institute.

 For me, the NORDP 2015 conference will be all about the hallway conversations. My office is refining some of its programs, so I’ll look to my fantastic NORDP member colleagues for their best strategies, best advice, and good humor. Like Bob McDonald said, the annual meeting is where it’s at!

It’s not too late to attend the 2015 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held April 29 to May 1 in Bethesda, MD. More information about the conference program and registration info available here.

NORDP 2015 Conference Cameos: Pradip Pramanik

Who: Pradip Pramanik, Director, Proposal Development Unit
Where: North Carolina State University
Number of years in research development: 27
Length of NORDP membership: 6
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 5
With more than 27 years of  combined experience in project management, grants management, planning, administration, assessment, and research development, I am really encouraged by NORDP’s role in enhancing the visibility of research development professionals on a national scale. Since its inception, the organization has played an extraordinary role in establishing a network of research development professionals and enhancing the capacity of its members. It serves as a communication and networking platform to share best practices and build awareness about effective strategies, policy decisions, opportunities, and issues related to research development.

For me, NORDP has played a significant role in steering my professional growth and development in research development facilitation across departmental and institutional boundaries. Over the years, I have realized that success of a faculty team depends not only in the content of a team’s discussions but also in the manner in which the team members interact and communicate with one another.

That said, at the upcoming conference, I am specifically interested in team science strategies and am looking forward to the sessions on “The Collaboration Continuum: An RD Perspective on Building Teams” and “The Science of Team Science: The Evidence and A Path Forward.” The NORDP conference is well-attended, and I would recommend my colleagues to reach out to fellow research development professionals at this conference to share accomplishments and lessons learned, participate in Q&A sessions, and to engage in discussions that enhance peer interaction. I will be participating in the 2015 conference as an attendee and am looking forward to engaging in discussions and informative sessions. 

Make plans to attend the 2015 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held April 29 to May 1 in Bethesda, MD. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit here.