NORDP New Year: an update from NORDP Secretary Michael Spires


It’s a new year, and there’s so much that’s new and exciting going on with NORDP. I want to focus on a couple of those things in this post:

  • The 2016 NORDP Annual Meeting
  • 2016 Nominating Committee and upcoming NORDP elections

2016 NORDP Annual Meeting

In just four short months, we’ll be gathering at the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando for the 2016 annual meeting. Registration is now open, and the Program Committee is hard at work putting together an awesome lineup of presentations, panels, roundtables, and posters. We received a total of 84 submissions for presentations, and we hope to have notifications out shortly to the presenters who have been given the green light. As we get closer to the meeting, we’ll start sharing some nuggets of information about speakers and presentations to whet your appetite, along with information about networking opportunities and other activities at the meeting. I hope to see you there!

2016 Nominating Committee and Upcoming NORDP Elections

The new year also means that it’s time to start thinking about electing new members to the Board of Directors. To that end, the 2016 Nominating Committee recently had its first meeting, at which we went over materials from last year’s election and started making some changes for this year. Keep an eye out for an email from us in the next couple of weeks inviting nominations and applications for this year’s ballot.

The Nominating Committee is established by the NORDP Bylaws. Its members serve for one year (and can serve more than one term, if they want to). Each fall, the outgoing chair invites NORDP members to volunteer to serve on the committee. After selecting six members from the membership at large, two members from the Board of Directors are added, and the new committee then selects a chair for the year. This year we’re proud to report that we have at least one member from every NORDP region:

  • Region I: Peg AtKisson, Grant Writers’ Seminars & Workshops
  • Region II: Karen Eck (Board member), Old Dominion University
  • Region III: Beth Hodges, Florida State University
  • Region IV: Kathryn Partlow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Region V: Michael Spires (Board member), University of Colorado Boulder; Jerilyn Hansen (committee chair), Utah State University
  • Region VI: Sandra Garcia, University of Houston, Downtown
  • Region VII: Susan Carter, University of California, Merced

The committee is charged by the Bylaws, and other NORDP policies, with reviewing and updating elections information, soliciting nominations and applications for election to the Board, verifying the willingness to serve for individuals nominated by another NORDP member, presenting a slate of candidates for the Board, and working with the candidates to generate information about their backgrounds and qualifications for service that will be included in the information sent out with the election ballots. A member of the committee (the chair, if she or he is in attendance) moderates the candidate forum breakfast at the annual meeting. After the election is complete, the committee reviews the feedback received from those who participated, and may recommend changes in policies and procedures to the Board for the next cycle if these are warranted.

All NORDP members in good standing as of April 8, 2016 will be eligible to vote in the 2016 elections, so if your membership is set to expire before that date, make sure to renew soon! We have to send voter names and email addresses to our election services provider at least 20 business days before voting opens, so they can generate the emails containing each eligible member’s personalized link to the secure voting website. Our cutoff date is slightly before that deadline, to make sure we have the chance to process all outstanding renewals before we generate the list to send to the service provider. Voting will be open from May 16 until June 8.

Michael Spires, M.A., M.S., CRA
University of Colorado Boulder

2016 Conference Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2016 NORDP Conference in Orlando is now open! Register today to lock in Early Bird pricing and to secure your spot in one of our limited-enrollment pre-conference workshops.

Early Bird registration for NORDP members is $470. Non-members pay $620, which includes a complimentary one-year membership in NORDP.

We also are offering pre-conference workshops on Monday morning, May 23, for $160, and a Special Interactive Session on Creative Uncertainty, hosted by TED speaker Julie Burstein, on Monday afternoon for just $50. Enrollment is extremely limited for both the workshops and the Special Interactive Session, so be sure to secure your spot when registering for the conference.

Click here to register!

Prices go up March 1, 2016.

You may also view the full Schedule-At-A-Glance (subject to change).

New NORDP Webinar: Evaluating Your Research Development Office

Evaluating Your Research Development Office
Presented by Sarah Marina, Tufts University

Date:                      Thursday, February 11, 2016
Time:                     1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST  /  12 noon – 1:00 pm CST Registration:        You must be a member to register. Join NORDP today to access this resource!

The question of how to evaluate the success of a research development practitioner is being asked with increasing frequency, as this is a new and growing field. Commonly used quantitative metrics (such as “success” rates) fail to provide meaningful information about the true impact of our work, given its complexity and the realities of dropping funding rates. Many of us have the opportunity to chart the course of how we will be evaluated at our institutions, but the question remains: What measures of success should we use, and how should we evaluate them?

In this webinar, we will describe several evidence-based tools for use in internal evaluation and illustrate selected approaches with examples from actual evaluations of the Offices of Research Administration and Research Development at Tufts University. In particular, this session will highlight the utility of using satisfaction as the key metric in assessing the success of a research development office. We will offer practical tips for developing an evaluation of your own Research Development efforts, and detail the process of developing, designing, implementing, and assessing the results of a satisfaction survey.

Sarah Marina is an Assistant Director in the Tufts University Office of Research Development. She has eight years of professional experience in the research development field, centering on proposal development and strategy, and program design and implementation. Her current research focus is on the development methods for the evaluation of offices of research development and/or administration. She completed a certificate in Program Evaluation at Tufts University in 2012, where she is currently a masters candidate in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

2016 NORDP Conference Fees, Hotel and Travel Scholarship Info — Registration Opens Next Week!

Registration for the 2016 NORDP Conference in Orlando opens next week on January 13! We’re pleased to announce the 2016 NORDP Conference fee schedule, to assist you with budgeting for your trip to Orlando this May.

2016NORDPConf fees

Travel Scholarships Available for NORDP Members!
As in previous years, we are offering Conference travel scholarships to active NORDP members in good standing. NORDP Members may apply for a partial scholarship to support their attendance at the conference. Please click here to apply.

Hotel Accommodations:
The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, just one mile from Walt Disney World Resort. To take advantage of our special discounted conference rate, book your room now using our NORDP hotel reservations website (select “Attendee” from the dropdown menu).

Stay Informed!
Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest conference updates , including featured speaker confirmations, registration links and more.

We look forward to seeing you in sunny Orlando!

2016 NORDP Conference Featured Keynote Speaker: Julie Burstein, Creativity Guru, Bestselling Author and TED Speaker

Julie Burstein portrait
Photo Credit: Pavlina Richterova Perry

The 2016 NORDP Conference will feature two sessions led by the multitalented Julie Burstein, host of Spark Talks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and renowned creativity consultant. Ms. Burstein will join us in Orlando this May as both a keynote speaker and leader of a special interactive pre-conference session – a first in NORDP Conference history.

Ms. Burstein is a Peabody Award-winning radio producer, TED speaker, and best-selling author who has spent her working life in conversation with highly creative people – interviewing, probing, guiding, and creating live events and public radio programs about them and their work.  In her book Spark: How Creativity Works, Julie offers a tour through some of creativity’s essential byways: shining a beam onto its mysterious workings in a way that is illuminating and can help us find more of that dimension within ourselves, and put it to good use in our roles as RD professionals.

Keynote Address: “Creative Friction”
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 (morning Conference session)
Included in your NORDP Conference registration fee

Ms. Burstein’s keynote address will focus on the friction between different elements that sparks creativity and enables innovation to emerge.

Special Interactive Session:
Monday, May 23, 2016; 1:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern
Limited to 50 attendees – sign up when you register for the Conference!
Price: $50

In order to create anything new, we have to spend a lot of time experiencing something none of us can avoid (though many try): uncertainty.   In this workshop, Ms. Burstein will lead us in playing with uncertainty, expanding our capacity for not knowing what comes next, and developing the ability to live in the essential, sometimes maddening space that the poet John Keats calls “negative capability” – where we are “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason…”  Learn to dance with uncertainty – and expand your creativity – in this special interactive session!

Registration opens next week, and we’ll be posting fee information soon to assist you with budgeting for the Conference. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter to stay in the know as we confirm additional 2016 Conference speakers!