By Gretchen Kiser
Last month, Oct.17-21, NORDP members presented a poster at the SRA International conference in Las Vegas. Terri Solberg, Lorraine Mulfinger, Ann McGuigan, and I authored the poster, covering the highlights from our recent analysis of the NORDP 2015 annual salary survey (members-only detailed information can be found here). The poster also presented some basics of research development (RD) and the RD professional, as well as NORDP as an organization. Lorraine and I were both in attendance, and we can tell you that the poster received much interest. Many of the SRA attendees that visited the poster were RD professionals and just didn’t know it; they appreciated knowing there was an organization of like peers and were interested in learning more. Everyone who visited the poster was very interested in the salary information and found the potential of a salary calculator tool very helpful. We had 80 take-away poster handouts and every one of them was distributed!
Notably, there was also a poster and associated presentation from Jennifer Sambrook et al. that described a meta-analysis of research administrator (RA) survey data across time (including data from a 1968 SRA survey). They described several interesting trends within the ranks of research administrators: RAs have gone from being primarily male in 1968 to predominantly female in 2015, the average age of an RA is increasing, the number of RAs with a Master’s degree in on the upward trend, and salaries in the last five years have not changed much and sit around 40% with a median salary between $50K and $75K (with another 25% between $75K and $100K). Interestingly, the NORDP salary survey showed that the majority of RD professionals’ salaries are similarly distributed, even though the highest degree earned is significantly higher – 37% of RAs are Bachelor degree holders vs. 9% of RD professionals; 46% of RAs are Masters degree holders vs. ~52% of RD professionals; and 9% of RAs are Doctoral degree holders vs. 37% of RD professionals. Hmm…
NORDP has been an all-volunteer organization since its official inception in 2010–and even before, when we were a self-organized, grass-roots gaggle. Since that time, we have relied on a cadre of people like you–busy professionals at every level who have substantial day jobs–to help us keep the lights on and develop rich and rewarding programming and resources for research development professionals. And we mostly like it that way: we rely on the energy, vision, and enthusiasm that only an all-volunteer organization can produce.
But this enthusiasm comes with a caveat: If you are a research development professional, you are probably really good at coming up with ideas. Ideas about how to help our members, ideas about how we can reward them, ideas about programming, ideas about our website, ideas about conference committees, ideas about specific topics at the conference, ideas about the menu at the conference–in short, research development professionals score high on their ability to generate ideas.
It is for this reason that we need an executive director: someone whose job it is to keep us focused and on track, who respects ideas but won’t allow their sheer number get in the way of accomplishing them.
For these reasons, I am so pleased to announce that we are looking for our first paid Executive Director. If you know or are someone who think this might be the right position for you, please check out the position description and the application instructions here.
Bye for now,
Rachel Dresbeck, PhD
An update from Jennifer Lyon, UT Austin
Many of us working in research development are responsible for envisioning, coordinating or supporting interdisciplinary teams, either within our own organization or spanning multiple organizations and sectors. This also means that we are acutely aware of the challenges inherent to fostering genuine interdisciplinarity. Our first confirmed 2016 NORDP Conference keynote speaker, Carl Herndl, Ph.D from the University of South Florida, will join us in Orlando this May to present “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Interdisciplinarity.” He will share suggestions and cautionary tales in promoting interdisciplinarity. His keynote address will draw upon more than 20 years of experience in fostering interdisciplinarity among researchers and university faculty. He will argue that interdisciplinary teams are absolutely essential for the advancement of knowledge, talk about the intellectual and institutional challenges to promoting interdisciplinarity, and offer concrete suggestions for encouraging this kind of work. Herndl holds joint appointments in the Department of English and the new Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. Most recently, he served as Associate Dean for the new Patel College, in which he crafted promotion and tenure protocols for the new interdisciplinary college.
Follow @NORDP_officialon Twitter to stay in the know as we confirm additional 2016 Conference speakers!
A message from Member Services Co-Chair Terri Soelberg
There are many interesting things going in the Member Services Committee. We are charged with welcoming new members, helping to identify areas of programming/services that are of interest to the membership, and helping to recruit new members.
Currently, we are working on developing a set of recruiting tools and strategies that will help current members share information with others about this great organization. To that end, we would like to hear from members what you feel is most valuable about your NORDP membership. I hope you will take a couple of minutes to leave comments below. Shy about public posts? Feel free to reach out to me directly, email@example.com
If you have other thoughts about what you would like to see in the way of programming or member benefits, I would love to hear about it. Lastly, if would you like the opportunity to become more involved with the great work our committees do, let me know. All of our committees are open to increasing their volunteers.