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

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