2017 Conference Cameo: Michael Spires

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Michael Spires, Principal Proposal Analyst
Where: University of Colorado Boulder
Number of years in research development: 11
Length of NORDP membership: 6
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 6
How do you unwind? Reading, movies, cooking, Civilization V

I’ve been working in research development since the fall of 2006, when David Stone, a NORDP past president, hired me at Northern Illinois University. Since then, I’ve worked at the Smithsonian Institution and, for the last three years, at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I’m one of only a few individuals doing research development. (I like to think of myself and my small cadre of colleagues as the wedge that’s leading the way to a lot more.)

My job is a blended one: I have both research development and researchdsc_0783 administration functions. That’s been the case with most of my jobs in this field, except at the Smithsonian, where I was exclusively focused on research and proposal development.

Although I’ve only been a NORDP member myself for six years, I can honestly say I’ve been in the know about NORDP since its inception, since Dave Stone was one of the people who got the organization off the ground, and he routinely sang its praises to me and my colleagues in his office. I formally joined the organization in around 2011, and I’ve been serving as a member of NORDP’s Board of Directors since 2014. This year, I’m the NORDP vice president/president elect, and also the conference chair.

The annual conference is a great opportunity—whether you’re brand-new to NORDP and research development, or whether you’re an old pro. This is where you come to meet your people—the folks who know what it is you do without lengthy explanations, and who can share war stories and best practices with you, help you make connections, and even get involved with NORDP and its day-to-day operations.

To get the most of out a NORDP meeting, plan ahead! Look at the session lineup, and find the two or three talks each session that you want to attend. (Then try to find friends or colleagues who can attend the sessions you can’t go to, and share notes.) Go to the receptions and the Idea Showcase—it’s a great opportunity to mix and mingle, and meet new people. Sit next to someone new, or invite someone not from your office to your table, during breakfast or lunch. Sign up to attend (or host!) a networking dinner: another great way to meet new colleagues and learn new things, while also getting the chance to explore outside the conference hotel.

 

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. 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 #NORDP2017 updates.

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

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2017 Conference Cameo: Naomi Nishi

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Naomi W. Nishi, Associate Director, Office of Research Development & Education
Where: University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Conference
Number of years in research development: 4
Length of NORDP membership: 4
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
How do you unwind? Running or playing with my kids

My background in Research Development is somewhat unique. I received a B.S. from Michigan Technological University in Scientific and Technical Communication and began my career as a Technical Writer. I wrote proposals for small/local government groups for a software development and consulting firm. However, I left early on to pursue an M.A. in International and Intercultural Communication at the University Denver.

nishi-photoAfter completing my M.A., I took a job at Academic Impressions and ultimately focused on designing programs in adult education within higher education. I customized and facilitated programs for colleges and universities across the country and internationally while there.

I came to the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus four years ago and am responsible for designing and offering a suite of educational programs on research development topics to faculty on both the Denver and medical campuses. We offer workshops, seminars, instructional videos, a blog, e-books, and other resources to our faculty.

I feel unique at NORDP because my job is truly focused on educating our faculty to allow them to be more competitive when seeking external funding. Our office is not directly involved in grants administration or grant-writing, aside from my agreeing to review and offer feedback on grants as faculty ask. The NORDP conferences always allow me a good opportunity to identify other resources/topics that I can consider integrating or adapting in my programming. Plus, being active in NORDP puts me in a unique position to share effective models of research development with research leadership at my institution and have a seat at the table in that decision-making.

I’m currently a Ph.D. candidate in Education at CU Denver, and enjoy running, writing, and spending time with my partner, our two little boys, and our dog, Molly Brown.

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. 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 #NORDP2017 updates.

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

NORDP Pre-Conference Workshop Highlight: Peering into the Future

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Peering into the Future: How Research Development Professionals can Proactively Advance Faculty Grantsmanship Skills a Through Better Understanding of the Peer Review Process

Have you served on a review panel? Have your faculty? Do you know that the #1 recommended activity (according to the presenters) for improving grant-getting effectiveness is serving on a review panel?

Put yourself in a position to describe the review process in detail to your faculty, so that they can write to the review.

Also, learn how to design and execute a Mock Review that you can deliver to your own campus.

What faculty have said about the Mock Review at the campuses of the presenters:

“This was a major highlight”

“I don’t think I can emphasize enough how helpful and relevant this was, EVERY new investigator should have an opportunity to do this, it was transformational in terms of actually moving me closer to being the independent investigator I want to be.”

“This was definitely the highlight of the workshop.”

“Susan is another great resource. I really appreciate her effort to put the mock review together for us. And until this session with Susan, I don’t think I would have thought much about the review process (unless I was invited to be on the panel), however, after the mock review I really understand how important it is to know what goes on during the review process and how my proposal will be viewed.”

“Excellent speakers. Truly insightful comments. Experience shared truly touches the point. I really appreciate it.”

This workshop will focus on providing both scholarly and practical information as well as interactive tools that Research Development professionals can use to help faculty, particularly junior faculty, understand the critical importance of the peer review process in grant development success. The workshop will help build grantsmanship skills as well as the ability to teach those skills to faculty, and further participants’ understanding of the peer review process.

About the Facilitators:

Susan Carter, J.D. is the Director of Research Development Services for the University of California Merced, a position she has held since starting that office at UC Merced in 2008.

John Crockett, PhD. is the Senior Director for Research Advancement at the San Diego State University where he developed the Grants and Research Enterprise Writing (GREW) Fellowship program that provides support for junior faculty to grow a successful and sustainable academic career.

Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, Ph.D., is the Vice President for Strategic Alliances at Elsevier and a Senior Adjunct Instructor at Northwestern University, where she has been teaching grantsmanship courses for 10 years.

Click HERE for full information and to register.

Stay tuned for more workshop previews! In the meantime, you can see full descriptions of each workshop HERE.

Each workshop takes an interactive, hands-on approach, introducing new tools, techniques and training to incorporate these tools into your research development activities. Workshops will also provide opportunities for networking through small group discussion and interaction.

Workshop sizes are limited, so please register early. For questions or additional information, please contact Kari Whittenberger-Keith. We hope you to see you in the workshops!

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. 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 #NORDP2017 updates.

NORDP 2017 Pre-Conference Workshop Highlight: Improving Work-Life Balance in RD: Tools to Reduce Stress and Regain Purpose

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Improving Work-Life Balance in Research Development: Tools to Reduce Stress and Regain Purpose

Stressed all the time? Feel like pulling your hair out? Unsure whether your family, pets, garden, or house will still be there by the time you finish this grant? Feel like you have no control?

For Research Development Professionals, a routinely stressful, deadline driven job can easily turn into a never-ending grind and our work-life balance might not seem just poor but perhaps non-existent. If you’re there – or if you’re on the road there – and ready to do something about it, this interactive workshop is for you. In the first half, participants will complete an inventory of their responsibilities and stressors, and then begin to take back control by identifying resources available and developing an individual plan to reduce, reassign, or remove stressors and to rediscover joy. As part of that introspection and planning process, we’ll discuss a broad set of options to change both our stressors and our relationship to those stressors. In the second half, we’ll dive deeply into a key method to change our relationship with stressors – mindfulness. This clinically proven approach to reducing stress and pain is as close as our own breath, and practicing it in both formal and informal ways can help us regain control, reshape our relationship to our work and stressors, and be a critical tool in regaining our balance.

Presenters are Joanna Downer, PhD, Associate Dean of Research Development at Duke University School of Medicine, and Ni-Cheng Liang, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Medical Director for Pulmonary Services at the University of California San Diego’s Center for Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, and a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor with the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Joanna is starting her fourth year of a concerted effort to reduce stress and improve work-life balance as a Research Development professional, and Ni-Cheng is an experienced mindfulness instructor who has given workshops to audiences from medical students and physicians to administrators.

Click HERE for full information and to register.

Stay tuned for more workshop previews! In the meantime, you can see full descriptions of each workshop HERE.

Each workshop takes an interactive, hands-on approach, introducing new tools, techniques and training to incorporate these tools into your research development activities. Workshops will also provide opportunities for networking through small group discussion and interaction.

Workshop sizes are limited, so please register early. For questions or additional information, please contact Kari Whittenberger-Keith. We hope you to see you in the workshops!

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. 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 #NORDP2017 updates.

2017 Conference Cameo: Natasha Chopp

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Natasha Chopp
Where: Michigan Technological University
Number of years in research development: 5
Length of NORDP membership: 4
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
Most interesting place visited: Glasgow and Stirling in Scotland

In 2012, I started working at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the Vice President for Research (VPR) Department. Hired as an Office Assistant, I mostly did data entry for all the proposal/award activity and submitted proposals on behalf of the n-chopp-002-copyUniversity. Believe it or not I thoroughly enjoyed data entry and I learned a lot about the various types of research being conducted at Michigan Tech. After a few months, I was promoted to the Research Development & Marketing Manager. I quickly took on the responsibilities of managing the internal awards program, developing (and now managing) our internally built crowdfunding platform called Superior Ideas, coordinating limited submission opportunities, assisting students with their fellowship applications/proposals, maintaining the VPR website, and assisting with research development related activities for the faculty on campus.

In 2016, I was promoted to the Director of Research Opportunities. Many of my job duties remained the same but I also took on new tasks. I’ve just recently become one of Michigan Tech’s representatives for the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). FDP is an association of federal agencies, academic research institutions with administrative, faculty and technical representation, and research policy organizations that work to streamline the administration of federally sponsored research. Another one of my new tasks is managing Michigan Tech’s Space Management tool.

I first learned about NORDP when I took on my role of Research Development & Marketing Manager. My colleagues in the Research Development Office were already members of NORDP and they strongly encouraged me to join and attend the conferences. My first NORDP conference was in Austin, Texas and I was excited to learn more about the organization and listen to other Research Development professionals. I’ve even presented at a few NORDP conferences and was a sponsor on behalf of Superior Ideas. I’m happy to say this year will be my fourth NORDP conference.

This year’s NORDP conference I am looking forward to visiting the Denver area and seeing those who I met at the last few conferences. I’m also excited to attend this year’s sessions and learn about new strategies and ideas.

My advice for first time attendees is to put yourself out there and meet new people. Take advantage of the networking opportunities and stay in contact with those you meet after the conference is over. Also, don’t be afraid to share your ideas and ask questions.

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. 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 #NORDP2017 updates.

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

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Faye Farmer

Name: Faye Farmer
Institution: Arizona State University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Both

1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I found myself telling people that it was a great opportunity to grow their network. It occurred to me that I could benefit in the same way.

 2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
I had an immediate connection with both my mentor and mentees.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
I now have a file that I keep on my desktop filled with topics I’m storing up for our discussions.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
It’s reassuring when you find the commonalities across institutions and helpful when you can think outside the box together to address something that is happening for both of you.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
I enthusiastically jumped into NORDP mentoring program. I was matched with someone I had met briefly at a conference and another person I did not know. Because of the different sizes and missions of the two institutions, we were able to explore where we had common and unique concerns for our professional growth. After meeting informally via videoconference every other month, I have come to look forward to the insight and encouragement I receive as both a mentor and mentee. It is a small investment of time, for a wealth of information. I will be signing up again!

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The NORDP Mentoring Program
The NORDP Mentoring Program offers a formalized pairing process to match a mentor and a mentee with similar professional interests and different levels of experience in order to frame a relationship that offers mutual guidance and support. Once pairs are matched, the mentoring process is an informal one based on the needs of each individual pair.

Posted on behalf of the Mentoring Committee

 

 

 

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Jan Abramson

Name: Jan Abramson
Institution: The University of Utah
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Both

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1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I love to learn – and have found mentoring and being a mentee a pathway to continual learning. Throughout my career, many people have formally and informally mentored me ~ and when I finally realized that I too could share a listening ear, an open mind, encouragement and support, I actively ‘became a mentor.’ The delight that I take (and receive) in helping others grow sustains me. Mentoring became a passion, and I have deliberatively sought out opportunities to serve as a mentor. AND of course, becoming a better mentor means finding people to mentor me along that path.

 2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
The intrinsic rewards. The feel goods. The moments of reflection that being a mentor and a mentee bring. That I can see that the effort I put into the relationship makes a difference. AND I can determine what the effort and time commitment is.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
When I was new to the field of research development, I learned pragmatic skills from my NORDP mentor. Later, I transitioned into a role with a campus-wide mentoring program. Sharing thoughts, ideas, concepts and challenges with someone doing similar work helped me grow in my confidence. Now that I am working in a central office, and involved in research infrastructure support, I am able to support research development on campus, and in the profession by mentoring up and coming professionals. Time with my mentors and mentees is a highlight of my day. I get to think outside the policies and procedures where I am currently spending so much time.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
The mentoring program has allowed me access to what I call ‘the best brains.’ Those involved in the mentoring program want to give back – or learn – and bring so much to the table. Being involved in the mentoring program has solidified my commitment to research development as an integral component of research.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
One thing I appreciate is when the mentee drives the relationship. That helps me help them; by targeting their needs, I get to share what I can, and remember where I have come from. Also, a standing monthly appointment gives me something to look forward to; I learned early on that whenever I reach out a hand to help someone, I benefit too!

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The NORDP Mentoring Program
The NORDP Mentoring Program offers a formalized pairing process to match a mentor and a mentee with similar professional interests and different levels of experience in order to frame a relationship that offers mutual guidance and support. Once pairs are matched, the mentoring process is an informal one based on the needs of each individual pair.

Posted on behalf of the Mentoring Committee