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:

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.


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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