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!