NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Cathy Borgesen

#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: Cathy Borgesen, Assistant Director of Research Development
Where: MIT
Number of years in research development: 1
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2018 will be my first one!
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Ephesus, Turkey

Working in Research Development was not something I had planned to do and I have only been working in this capacity for one year. Prior to becoming involved in RD, I spent time as a graduate student, an adjunct college instructor, a prep school English teacher in Istanbul, a Research Administrator at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a Fiscal Officer at MIT.

0I took my current position last May after two years as a Fiscal Officer (FO) in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), one of MIT’s largest research labs. While I was at RLE, I worked on two successful Manufacturing USA proposals: AIM Photonics and AFFOA. Working to coordinate between multiple stakeholders across MIT, other academic institutions, and governmental agencies was extremely exciting and challenging. I realized that I wanted to do more work on large, complex proposals, especially those that were cross-disciplinary in nature and would further the larger institutional research mission.

I joined the Office of Research Development in May 2017 and became a NORDP member that same month. Since joining NORDP, I have attended regional meetings at Wellesley College and Harvard University which were both extremely helpful. At the first meeting I felt comfortable as a newcomer and met several individuals from New England colleges and universities with whom I still communicate about possible collaborations. At least one collaboration between my institution and another local college arose from these regional meetings. I went to my first meeting knowing no one in the RD field and I left knowing many people from different types of colleges and universities. I felt that I could easily reach out to all of the people I met if I had any questions or just wanted to find out how they were doing something at their institution.

I’m looking forward to attending the sessions at the 2018 annual meeting, but I’m most excited to meet people from other parts of the country who are involved in RD. It seems that RD can vary dramatically by institution–between different types of institutions (State/Private), different sized institutions (under 1,000 students to up to 40k+), and different “ages” of RD offices (MIT’s Office of Research Development is only two years old). I want to get a better understanding of what RD professionals at a wide range of organizations do, how they do it, and how they prioritize their work within their organizations and the current funding climate.

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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 Cameo: Maria D. Garcia

#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: Maria D. Garcia, MS, MBA, Sr. Manager of Research Operations
Where: University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Addiction Research
Number of years in research development: 4
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? The giant Redwoods of California, the most magical of places.

I assumed my current role in RD as a serendipitous development stemming from need and availability. I’ve been involved in research management, compliance, and financial oversight for over a decade. Arriving to this position with a wide breath of knowledge and experience allowed me the opportunity to develop depth in addiction research RD projects. Coming from a scientific background in pharmacology provided me with a natural inclination to delve deeper into these proposals and follow the science in a much more intimate manner than I had in previous roles. My current role includes the support and development of multi translational teams. This provides me with an exciting opportunity to work with a very diverse group of individuals ranging from bench scientists and physicians to technology companies and industry representatives. The diversity of the proposals composed by these individuals is as varied as the group, and presents constant new growth opportunities for our Center. Under the tutelage of my RD mentor, Dr. Marcy Jordan, I have begun building on personal and departmental strengths to provide our faculty with superior RD support.Garcia_Maria

I first learned about NORDP from my co-worker and mentor who recommended I join. I signed up in 2017 and attended my first conference in Colorado that same year. My favorite thing about the NORDP conference is the absolute wealth of knowledge provided during the sessions (including the pre-conference workshops). This conference presents an opportunity to access quality learning as well as networking opportunities that can lead to fruitful professional relationships. To this end, I recommend that new attendees plan to meet with their regional groups, as well as join dinner groups during the conference period.

As addiction research reaches new levels in funding opportunities, my goal is to learn new strategies to expedite the processing of proposals while increasing the quality of the final product. I would like to augment my current skills set in areas including multi-project proposals, NSF funding mechanisms (I manage predominantly NIH funds at the moment), and multi-site clinical trial proposals.

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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 #NORDP2018updates.

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 Cameo: Melinda Laroco Boehm

#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: Melinda Laroco Boehm, Ph.D.| Senior Research Development Officer
Where: University of California, Merced
Number of years in research development: 3
Length of NORDP membership: 3
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3. This year will be my 4th NORDP Conference. My first day on the job was at the 2015 conference in Bethesda!
Favorite Book: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

My road to becoming a Research Development Officer was an unexpected surprise. I was trained at an R1 institution and completed my Ph.D. in 2014, while my family and I were stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. We were slotted to be there another few months, then move cross-country to my husband’s next duty station in California. I spent those months perusing job opportunities; all the while exuding a lot of effort trying to convince myself that I did want to fulfill my expected destiny down a tenure-track path.MLB Headshot 4.2018

One colleague asked me, “If you could make up your ideal position, what would it be?” My response was, “I want to continue to work in a deadline-driven, academic setting, with students, researchers, and community stakeholders, strategizing ways to solve research problems. Does this even exist?” Low and behold, I saw a call for a “Research Development Officer” position, with a contact of Susan Carter. After I interviewed and accepted the position, Susan flew me back cross-country, where my first official day on the job began at the 2015 NORDP Conference. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it since.

As an RDO at UC Merced, I work with teams of faculty on narrative development and strategy, solicitation interpretation, consultative assistance on finding new opportunities, and making connections with agency and foundation program officers. Our office also provides grantsmanship and faculty development trainings.

What I enjoy most about attending NORDP conferences is learning: learning from others, learning new strategies and ideas, and also relearning different approaches to classic RD techniques. I enjoy seeing colleagues who have become friends and meeting new colleagues. It’s also refreshing to be in a different setting with UC Merced colleagues. We often times discuss how we can take innovative ideas we’ve learned and customize those ideas to fit the needs of our campus.

For other attendees, I suggest reviewing the program ahead of time and tentatively mapping out your conference. I encourage you to attend dinners and take advantage of networking opportunities. Lastly, volunteer your time, even a little bit, and join a committee. The informal mentoring and conversations I’ve had with NORDP colleagues through committee work has been invaluable to my growth as an RD professional. There are a lot of ways to stay involved in NORDP, whether that be via webinar attendance or listserv participation, but I always see conference attendance as an investment in my professional growth and my university’s investment in strengthening my skillset.

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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 Cameo: Gwynne Grasberger

#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: Gwynne Grasberger, Director, Research Strategic Planning
Where: Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Number of years in research development: 2
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2018 will be my first one!

My tenure with Drexel started in 2015. I was new to the administrative side of higher education and research development, however I am no stranger to Business Development, Capture and Proposal Management, and the goal of winning awards. Formerly as a Public Sector Management Consultant for more than 15 years, our role was to gather intelligence and build relationships to identify potential leads and qualifications for funding opportunities; develop knowledge and skills in marketing, strategy, proposal development, finance, pricing, contracts, project management, and human resources; and respond to solicitations. I find the proposal development process particularly rewarding because of its compactness and focus – seeing one thing through from germination to fruition.Gwynne_Grasberger

As a new member of NORDP, this will be my first NORDP conference. In a workshop I attended in 2015 at another professional organization’s conference, staff from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Research Administration Services introduced me to NORDP. Still new in my role at the time, I did not join because I was building my background knowledge in all aspects of research administration. Since then, much has changed. Last year, I moved into my current role as Director, Research Strategic Planning with a focus on nurturing younger researchers and giving all researchers the support they need to present their ideas and work to maximum effect. Seeking professional development opportunities beyond research administration, NORDP rose back to the top when my Senior Vice Provost for Research shared the link to the conference.

I am most excited to participate in the pre-conference short course, Foundations of Research Development: An Introduction.

Definitely looking forward to learning from and connecting with peers to help build my network of support in research development.

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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 Cameo: Monica F. Vidal

#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: Monica F. Vidal, Ph.D., Research Development Specialist
Where: Stanford University
Number of years in research development: 7
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Antelope Canyon in Arizona

When I was a kid I wanted to be a scientist. I earned my PhD from the University of Graz, Austria in Biophysics and then came to the United States for my postdoc at University of California Irvine. During that time, I realized I enjoyed the process of looking for funding opportunities and writing research grants. Around the same time, I moved back to Spain and started a new position at the University of Barcelona. At that time, I didn’t know I was doing research development, but my main tasks were looking for new funding opportunities and helping to build large research proposals to submit to the European Commission. Those research projects had 3 to 10 partners – sometimes even more! – from different countries. It was hard but definitely a lot of fun!

MonicaIn 2014, my family and I came back to the USA. I started working at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University in 2015. I work with junior faculty and postdocs, finding new opportunities and helping with proposal development. In addition, I focus on strategic proposals which can lead to larger interdisciplinary projects.

I was introduced to NORDP in 2016 through Dr. Michael Helms, Director of the Stanford Research Development Office. I joined the organization and last year I attended my first conference. Although I am able to apply a lot of what I learned at the European Commission to my current job, I am still learning new processes and policies related to sponsors. I have used many of the resources on the NORDP website as well as the listserv. I find it very useful! I look forward to attending this year’s conference, meeting old colleagues from last year, networking with other research development professionals, and learning new strategies and practices.

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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 Cameo: Ellen Freeman

#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: Ellen Freeman, Assistant Director of Research & Policy
Where: College of Education & Human Development, University of Minnesota
Number of years in research development: 8
Length of NORDP membership: 6
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
How do you unwind? Books, wine, and a finely-tuned sense of humor

While in grad school, I worked in my university’s sponsored projects office doing odd jobs. My old roommate’s uncle was the director there, and he thought I’d be good at the work. I loved the environment and the connection with research, and I quickly found myself with a semi-useful master’s degree in journalism, good communication skills, and a good working knowledge of university research grants.  That turned out to be the perfect recipe for a career in research development, and I’ve been straddling the divide between pre-award work and RD for 13 years now.FreemanE-2017

I am the assistant director for research for one college in a large, decentralized research university. Our college comprises everything from kinesiology to social work to developmental psychology, so there’s no one-size-fits-all RD program that we can implement that will meet everyone’s needs. Some faculty have a strong background in external funding, while others have never written a grant proposal.  With such a broad range of investigators, many things just don’t scale. I find and tailor strategies that work for specific units and groups, and implement them with our collegiate grant coordinators. I’m also working on establishing a university-wide professional network of staff interested in research development.

I first got involved with NORDP when Peggy Sundermeyer recommended that I and a few other U of MN grant staff attend. I actually first met my colleague Anna Brailovsky at the 2012 NORDP conference! I love getting new ideas at the conferences and figuring out how I can bring them home and make them useful for my investigators. I always return energized and reassured that there are others out there dealing with the same problems that I am.

My recommendation for NORDP attendees is to remember that no one has it all figured out and that RD is infinitely customizable to their own unique situation. You don’t need to be putting on a fully-structured workshop series that receives rave reviews from faculty in order to be an RD professional. You just need to be committed to finding something that works for you and your institution and willing to give it a try.

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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 Plenary: Update from NIH with Dr. Michael Lauer

Update from NIH: Perspectives on Extramural Scientists and Science

Michael Lauer, M.D., is the Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he serves as the principal scientific leader and advisor to the Director of the NIH on all matters relating to the substance, quality, and effectiveness of the NIH extramural research program and administration. Dr. Lauer will review recent extramural research developments and priorities, including the resilience of the biomedical research workforce and the performance of the biomedical research enterprise. mike-lauer.jpg

Dr. Lauer received education and training at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Albany Medical College, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and the NHLBI’s Framingham Heart Study. He spent 14 years at Cleveland Clinic as Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics. During his tenure at the Clinic, he led a federally funded internationally renowned clinical epidemiology program that applied big data from large-scale electronic health platforms to questions regarding the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease. From 2007 to 2015 he served as a Division Director at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), where promoted efforts to leverage big data infrastructure to enable high-efficiency population and clinical research and efforts to adopt a research funding culture that reflected data-driven policy. He has received numerous awards including the NIH Equal Employment Opportunity Award of the Year and the Arthur S. Flemming Award for Exceptional Federal Service in recognition of his efforts to grow a culture of learning and accountability.

Dr. Michael Lauer will be the late morning plenary speaker for the 10th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference on May 9. 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. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2018 updates.