2016 Conference Cameo: Conrad Monson

In the weeks preceding the NORDP Annual Conference in Orlando, we’ll feature “Conference Cameos” on the blog. Conference Cameos are first-person perspectives submitted by registered Conference attendees. You can look forward to seeing these fellow RD professionals at the Conference!

Only two weeks remain to register for the Conference at the lowest available price! Registration fees increase on Tuesday, March 1. Secure your Early Bird discount by registering for the Conference today at http://www.nordp.org/conferences.


Who: Conrad B. Monson, PhD
Where: Brigham Young University
Number of years in research development: More than 25 years
Length of NORDP membership: 4 yearsMonson, Conrad university photo
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4

I started in RD by working for large aerospace companies Boeing and Northrop Grumman. I led research efforts in Physiology and Human Factors Engineering that were funded with internal seed money but then required outside funding to sustain them. I have found the research development process in private industry to be very similar to the process in academia, but with a greater emphasis on pre-proposal marketing, peer reviews and competition analysis. I have been involved in academic RD for the past 4 years. I help faculty find funding, I meet with potential funders, advocate for research projects to funders and help faculty write better proposals. I also help develop funding and proposal seminars and workshops for faculty.

I heard about NORDP when I started at BYU and was researching the professional organizations that could best help me get ideas on starting a research development office. NORDP seemed to be the organization best suited to academic research development. The four years I have been with NORDP has confirmed for me that NORDP is indeed the best professional organization for academic RD.

I have enjoyed the presentations, posters and roundtable discussions on topics that are timely to my RD efforts including networking, team science, metrics development, and activities for a small RD office. I also had a good experience participating in the NORDP mentoring program. After learning about speed networking at a previous NORDP conference, I implemented it at BYU. For the past 3 years, speed networking has been a campus-wide success that will continue into the future.

There are several new colleagues with whom I connect every year at the NORDP conference. One colleague and I started a collaborative project between our institutions. It didn’t result in a joint proposal, but in the future, we will look for other collaborative opportunities. The workshop topics are relevant to my efforts and those of my BYU colleagues at facilitating more team science projects. Even though specific topics have not yet been announced, I am looking forward to the conference presentations and anticipate they will be very informative.

My advice to first-time conference attendees is: Attend the workshops to get in depth information on RD topics and also talk with presenters after their presentations. I found the connections after talks to be particularly helpful in learning how to implement new ideas.


We hope to see you at the 2016 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 23-25 in Orlando, FL. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest 2016 Conference updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at rdconf@nordp.org.

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