NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Farzaneh Masoud

#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:

Who: Farzaneh Masoud, PhD, Strategic Research Proposal Development Administrator
Where: National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Number of years in research development: 7
Length of NORDP membership: 6
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 5
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A scientist

When I was a kid, I thought scientists knew everything that there is to know in the world. With this in mind, I earned my PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) in Cell and Molecular Biology, focusing on the mechanism of cancer metastasis. However, as I was preparing for my defense, I realized that I didn’t know about anything except my own research. It was a very claustrophobic and terrifying feeling to watch my childhood perception crashing down. I wanted to know more about other disciplines, and learn how to provide opportunities for scientists who have deep passion for basic research.Masoud_Farzaneh

I was introduced to NORDP through Dr. Jennifer Eardley, who worked with NORDP founding member Holly Falk-Krzesinski. Once I connected with NORDP, I was in heaven, and quickly realized that I had joined the right organization.

Through NORDP, I was able to obtain training in RD, and I began to develop the Office of Strategic Research and Proposal Development at UIUC’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications. As the Strategic Research Proposal Development Administrator, my focus is on coordinating interdisciplinary research proposals, and building capacity for strategic proposals which can lead to larger interdisciplinary projects. The hardest part of my job, believe it or not, is to encourage faculty to be proactive in seeking funding.

As I gain more experience each year, and as the funding agencies’ priorities and policies change each year, I seek different information, skills and techniques. Attending NORDP conferences and staying connected with this community has provided me with the resources and support I need to navigate these ever-changing landscapes. I have established several collaborations from attending last year’s NORDP Conference, and together we are in the process of developing proposals for NSF.

I have been a member of NORDP for 6 years and I have attended 5 conferences. In my view the RD profession is slowly, but surely gaining acceptance among academia, government, and industry. I believe this is entirely due to the role that NORDP plays in brining awareness to this profession.


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 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.

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