NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Kirk Knestis

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. 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: Kirk Knestis, PhD
Where: Hezel Associates
Number of years in research development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2017 will be my first one!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Marine biologist

As an evaluator and manager of education studies, I have been working with research development professionals for years on external evaluations of grant-funded research projects. While I sometimes partner with institutions to serve in a subaward research role for PIs who specialize in programming (so need someone to do the “research” part of a project), my team is generally charged with designing a study that examines the timeliness, quality, and results of activities funded by the award.KnestisHeadshot2014.jpg

If things are working as they should, we external evaluators spend substantial time planning with the PI, co-PIs, partners, procurement staff, and RD managers. We collaborate to explicate program theories-of-change (i.e., logic models), clarify the design of proposed activities, adopt or develop standards of quality for implementation, define data-collection strategies and analyses to assess the goals and objectives of the funded work, and prepare budgets and documentation required for proposal submission. I like to think I have a good understanding of how those pre-proposal processes work, based on more than a decade of experience collaborating on dozens of proposals each year.

Once one of those proposals goes in, our direct work with RD staff and PIs typically goes on a hiatus until we hear one way or another about a decision on the award. If the project isn’t funded, that may be the end of discussion until the next grant opportunity, or the beginning of plans to resubmit. What I am only beginning to understand, however, is what goes on “behind the curtain” for our higher education clients when their grants ARE awarded, during post-award management and, most interesting to me, during the transition from pre- to post-award functions.

I’ve come to believe that there are things that an external evaluation partner can do in the time between proposal submission and starting the evaluation to help RD managers increase the likelihood of good results – with the evaluation certainly, but also for the funded project more generally. Similarly, I think that there are some key pieces of information about the “care and feeding of the external evaluator” that can benefit research development office staff and ultimately help evaluator-client relationships be more effective and efficient.

My involvement in NORDP – and my participation in my first annual conference – is driven by my interest in better understanding this intersection of needs. My operational theory is that the symbiotic relationships among research developers, PIs, and external evaluators can be improved by each better understanding the roles, contributions, and priorities of the others. I am excited about the opportunity not only to present on this topic with an established RD professional, but also to hear from others to test and elaborate that theory.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP Webinars: Developing More Engaging Meetings and Workshops

NORDP Webinars:  Developing More Engaging Meetings and Workshops

Part One:  March 7 12:30-1:30 ET
Part Two: March 16 1:00-2:00 ET

Meetings and workshops are a necessary part of a research development professional’s life. It’s important to bring people together, learn from each other, and/or have contact and stay oriented toward the same objectives. But too often we can slip into the traditional (we’ll say it, even boring). People lose interest and focus. That’s when meetings become a waste of everyone’s time and workshops lose the opportunity to fully engage and convey our messages.

This doesn’t have to be the case. There’s no reason for a meeting to be boring and there are so many ways to spice up your workshops. You can make all the events you lead more interesting, productive, and effective by using different kinds of interactive exercises: from simple ice-breakers and energizers to team-building and problem-solving exercises.

Whether it’s a formal presentation, an informal meeting with a smaller team or even a meeting with just one individual, using activities and exercises to set the right tone for the meetings you lead can make them more interesting, engaging, and, ultimately, more productive.

Andy Burnett, a recovering academic, and Donnalyn Roxey, a research development professional, both from Knowinnovation (KI), are deeply passionate about team science and working with research development professionals around the world. Knowinnovation is a global team of creatives that specializes in facilitating and accelerating academic, scientific, interdisciplinary innovation. They focus most of their attention on the academic environment, putting their unique method – based on the science of deliberate creativity – in palatable terms for scientists and academics.  Combined they have lead hundreds of workshops, for federal sponsors such as NSF, NIH, and NASA as well as academic institutions large and small around the world.

NORDP’s Professional Development Committee invites members to attend this two-part webinar series, Developing More Engaging Meetings and Workshops. These webinars will be full of strategies and tips for planning your event, the physical and psychological environment, engaging your audience, and much more. Registration is required for all webinars.

Part One: People and Place 
March 7 12:30 to 1:30 pm Eastern Time 

Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Whether you are going it alone, or presenting with others, it is important to think about your presentation from the audience’s perspective. Who are they, what are their preferences, what do they hope to get from you? How might you strategically select the participants, or more likely, how might you make the best with whom you must have in the room? In addition to discussion audience, we will spend time discussing the setting of your presentation. What kind of space do you have to work with and how might you best arrange it to maximize interactions?  What are small things you can do to make the space more enjoyable? This webinar will focus on the audience and ambiance you set for your presentation.

Part Two: Agendas and Planning
March 16, 2018 1:00 to 2:00 Eastern Time

Register hereAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

What might be new ways to build an interactive agenda to maximize innovation and idea exchange? How might you entice participants to attend, and come back? What is a tried and true method for soliciting useful feedback in any group? What might be some tips and techniques for executing your agenda? This webinar will focus on building an agenda for your meeting or workshop and facilitation tips and watch-outs for implementing your agenda.

These webinars will be presented by Andy Burnett, a recovering academic, and Donnalyn Roxey, a research development professional, both from Knowinnovation (KI).  Both are deeply passionate about team science and working with research development professionals around the world. Knowinnovation is a global team of creatives that specializes in facilitating and accelerating academic, scientific, interdisciplinary innovation. They focus most of their attention on the academic environment, putting their unique method – based on the science of deliberate creativity – in palatable terms for scientists and academics.  Combined they have lead hundreds of workshops, for federal sponsors such as NSF, NIH, and NASA as well as academic institutions large and small around the world.

For questions or additional information, contact Kari Whittenberger-Keith (kariwk@uwm.edu). We hope to “see” you at the webinar!

Posted on behalf of the NORDP Professional Development Committee

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five

Name: Linda Vigdor
Institution: Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Mentee

1)       What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
When I started in my new position, at an institution in start-up mode, I realized I was in an environment where no one understood what my role was, how it fit into a larger grants picture, or even the value of my services. I sought a NORDP mentor to help me navigate this murky terrain. An additional motivation was that I wanted help in figuring out how to define and be effective in my role, within the grants office and the institution.

2)       What surprised you about being a mentor and/or mentee?
Having never really had a mentor in previous careers, I was pleasantly surprised by how being able to discuss real issues with someone with actual “skin-in-the-game” was so much more beneficial than mulling over issues with a friend. I think I was also surprised by how useful it is to be able to talk over issues with someone working in a similar environment with relatively similar challenges.

3)       How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
My mentor helped me identify and implement productive strategies for working through some difficult challenges as well as to strategize for new programming that I wanted to implement. She also helped me see the big-picture and put things into perspective – for example, in helping me learn to step back and to take a longer, more de-personalized view in trying to implement a cultural change.

4)       What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
NORDP’s mentoring program helped me see research development as more nuanced than I had thought, in that it encompasses not just activities but also organizational culture. My mentor helped see that there are strategies for navigating challenges and effecting change.

5)       Are there any additional thoughts would you like to share about the NORDP mentoring program?
The NORDP mentoring program is a valuable resource, especially when there is a good fit between mentor and mentee.

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.

We encourage Research Development Professionals who have been in the Research Development field for a few years to consider volunteering to be a mentor; and we encourage members who are new (or relatively new) to the field to sign up as a mentee. But feel free to sign up for whatever you feel you need. You can even sign up to be a mentee AND a mentor!

Open Enrollment to the Mentoring Program can be accessed through the following link. The survey will be available through March 16, 2018.

Interested in learning more? Check out the website.

If you have any questions, please send an email to mentorprogram@nordp.org.

NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Jim Izat

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. 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: Dr. Jim Izat, Senior Research Development Officer
Where: Texas A&M University
Number of years in research development: 8
Length of NORDP membership: 5
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 5
How do you unwind? I design and build bespoke furniture and home goods.

I began work at Texas A&M University in 2010 following serving on the faculty at West Texas A&M University. My work is currently focused on tenure track faculty proposal development for federal funding agencies. In addition to consulting with NSF research faculty, I co-lead the university’s Junior Faculty Proposal Writing Academy program and direct two internal faculty research support grant programs. I also create and deliver approximately two dozen research development seminars and workshops annually on various aspects of internal and external research proposal development.profile

I joined NORDP about five years ago after doing an internet search for a professional organization through which I could accelerate my growth as a research development professional. It was, and remains, an essential resource to me as I continually look for new strategies I can apply in assisting faculty at Texas A&M University to be more successful in securing research funding.

By far, the most important benefit I gain through attending NORDP conventions is meeting experienced, talented research development colleagues. There is no doubt that they are among my most important resources for my professional growth. I have learned from them new strategies of research development delivery and ways I can improve what I already do in my day to day work. Of special value to me are opportunities to learn how to assist Humanities and Arts faculty for whom research funding support is often very difficult to find and secure.

I’m really looking forward to this year’s conference to again get the chance to interact with research development professionals who do what I do. Of special interest to me this year is having the chance to meet with and talk to colleagues with whom I am co-presenting on the topic of the challenges faced by universities in supporting Humanities and Arts research faculty efforts.

My most important recommendation for this year’s NORDP conference attendees is to get out there and meet as many colleagues as they can! Every year I am always amazed at the wealth of knowledge my fellow attendees possess and how generous they are in sharing their knowledge and experience with me both at the conference and afterward.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP 2018 Conference Program Now Available

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. 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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The NORDP 2018 program is now available HERE. Check out the sessions and start planning your conference. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so HERE. Take advantage of the Early Bird rates until March 16th.

We’ll be sharing more details about the Pre-Conference Workshops over the next couple of weeks on the blog. Stay tuned!

Conference Marketing Committee

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

 

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five

Name: Kathy Partlow
Institution: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Both

1)      What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I was excited about the NORDP mentoring program opportunity and signed up right after becoming a NORDP member. Being new to RD, I was looking for guidance and support, especially since I was an office of one. I benefited greatly from this program and after 5 years of being a mentee naturally wanted to pay it forward by being a mentor.

2)      What surprised you about being a mentor and/or mentee?
Whether your mentor has 1 or 20 more year(s) of experience, you both benefit equally from the relationship. As a mentor this year, I realized that I didn’t need to wait until I had 5 years of experience to volunteer. With any level of experience, we all can contribute to a fellow colleague’s professional development. Also, I think you’d be surprised that it’s not a big time commitment (~1 hr/month).

3)      How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
I credit the success I’ve had in my daily work to having a mentor through this program. I’ve always based the agenda for our meetings on current or upcoming topics, where I sought feedback or advice. My mentor and mentees are my team, and the quality of my work is raised to a higher level that I couldn’t achieve on my own.

4)      What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
Although I’ve learned a lot about RD at other institutions through the E-list and conference, I’ve received a more in-depth view through monthly meetings with colleagues (my mentor and mentees) outside my institution. I have a broadened perspective that helps me work outside of my silo.

5)      Are there any additional thoughts would you like to share about the NORDP mentoring program?
I feel strongly that participating in this program and developing a good relationship with my mentor has contributed to my professional development and success.  Regardless of where we are in our career, we all have something to gain by being a mentor and a mentee.

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.

We encourage Research Development Professionals who have been in the Research Development field for a few years to consider volunteering to be a mentor; and we encourage members who are new (or relatively new) to the field to sign up as a mentee. But feel free to sign up for whatever you feel you need. You can even sign up to be a mentee AND a mentor!

Open Enrollment to the Mentoring Program can be accessed through the following link. The survey will be available through March 16, 2018.

Interested in learning more? Check out the website.

If you have any questions, please send an email to mentorprogram@nordp.org.

 

NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Matthew T. Rondina

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. 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: Matthew T. Rondina, MD, MS
Where: University of Utah
Number of years in research development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
How do you unwind? In my off time, I unwind by traveling and I enjoy a variety of sports, such as climbing and biking. Last year I was fortunate enough to travel to Scotland and mountain bike the Scottish Highlands. I have a true love for the outdoors and adventures.

I started my research career in medical school. Early on, I recognized the need for research development professionals. At that time, kind and patient people helped me learn the ropes of preparing IRB proposals, recruiting participants, writing grant applications, and collecting data. Those experiences and others embedded within me the desire to build collaborative, productive relationships with research development professionals.Matt Rondina

Fast forward a few years, and now my day looks a bit different. In addition to seeing patients in the University of Utah Thrombosis Clinic, I serve as Precision Medicine Foundation Director for the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science and am the Associate Director of the Molecular Medicine Program. I am also fortunate to have an NIH-funded translational research lab and work with many talented people, such as Antoinette “Toni” Blair. I could not possibly do my research without a team of dedicated and knowledgeable people willing to work collaboratively.

While I have always relied heavily on the guidance of research development professionals, I don’t think I completely connected these dots until I attended the NORDP conference in 2017. In my various positions, including my role as a research mentor, I always advocate for research development. I feel it is important that we empower research professionals to feel comfortable proposing, developing, and implementing ideas for research. As one concrete example from my own research program, we historically tended to recruit participants through standard approaches, such as newspaper advertisements. When my project coordinator, Toni, suggested that we consider an alternative strategy for recruitment and amend our IRB’s resources to add Research Match (www.researchmatch.org), I was initially skeptical. However, I trusted her instincts and Toni very quickly brought this important recruiting tool onboard for our studies. This resulted in us meeting and, in some cases, exceeding our recruitment milestones. I am immensely grateful that Toni took the initiative to leverage this important resource for our program, as she has done innumerable times since.

I am a strong advocate for research development at my institution. I believe we should fully support efforts to build and develop a robust community of research professionals that help each other and the greater scientific community. While uncomfortable at times, we need to recognize the increasingly dynamic environment of research and be nimble enough to adapt with change. I have identified my project coordinator, Toni Blair, as a rising star in the community of researcher professionals. We are proud to support her attendance at her first NORDP conference in 2018. I look forward to participating in what will undoubtedly be an outstanding meeting.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.