2017 Conference Cameo: Elisabeth Andrews

#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.

Who: Elisabeth Andrews, Writer and Editor
Where: Solo Consultant
Number of years in research development: 3
Length of NORDP membership: New member
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2017 will be my first.
How do you unwind? Hiking – hope to do some in Colorado!

I’m a recovering journalist who stumbled into research development and fell in love. In the three years since, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Singapore for a Gates Foundation project, meet with a nine-nation team in Cardiff for a European Commission proposal, and work in Ghana on an effort funded by the United Nations Foundation. Back home in Bloomington, Indiana, I am fortunate to collaborate regularly with Indiana University’s research development team, such as serving as the lead writer for the university’s MacArthur 100&Change proposal. Jamie Kirkley in IU’s Proposal Development Services tipped me off to NORDP, and I’m excited to attend my first conference this year.

ElisabethAndrewsHeadshotMy journey started out with a History BA, after which I worked for several years as a personal trainer and yoga instructor before completing an MPH degree. This combination of experience in humanities, science, and small business environments allowed me to embark on an eclectic freelance career that ranged from writing arts and culture articles for Indianapolis Monthly magazine to starting a new publication for the Institute for Business Analytics. Because a typical day might swing from writing cheeky daily deals for a coupon site to crafting stewardship reports for major funders, I honed an ability to tailor each message to its specific platform and audience.

The difficult part of the freelance writing lifestyle, which I maintained for a decade, was neither the frenzy nor the hustle. Instead, it was the heartbreak of connecting only tangentially with extraordinary people and projects before immediately moving on to the next story. So when a string of faculty members began asking for my help communicating their ideas to non-specialists, I was overjoyed to experience something a freelancer rarely encounters: collegiality.

It has been an enormous privilege to spend the past few years working directly with researchers to overcome barriers to publication and financial support. I’ve been able to apply not only my experience in marketing and public relations but also the storytelling skills required to unite multidisciplinary efforts and forecast impact.

My hope in joining NORDP is to expand that circle of colleagues while learning from leaders in the field. I am particularly looking forward to the sessions on “Fostering Transdisciplinary Research” and the brilliantly titled “Herding Cats and Teaching Them to Fish.”

I’m grateful for the opportunity to introduce myself through this profile, and I hope you’ll introduce yourself to me at the conference.

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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