Considering the NORDP Elevator Pitch

“We support the people who make research happen.”

This was the elevator pitch used recently when I joined Michael Spires, NORDP board president, at the National Postodoctoral Association (NPA). As NORDP’s Strategic Alliances Committee liaison with the NPA, I helped staff the NORDP booth that welcomed 73 people who picked up brochures and information.

One of the first things Michael and I had to do was to perfect our elevator pitch on what RD as a career path looks like and how NORDP fits in the equation. This was warranted because people had difficulties differentiating us, a professional development organization, from a company that provides professional services like grant writing or grants management (a legitimate confusion, given that there were other companies and organizations there that offered these services). We were, however, able to get over this problem by comparing ourselves to the NPA, which is an analogous organization.

In the past year, NORDP has developed a new professional relationship with the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). To develop this blossoming friendship, the two organizations decided to conference swap. NORDP was invited to attend the NPA annual meeting, with two complementary registrations and exhibit table. In return, Kristen Scott, NPA board member, attended the 10th annual NORDP conference. NORDP’s goal was to advocate for RD as a non-traditional career path, to build awareness of NORDP and its resources, and to increase NORDP membership. The Strategic Alliances Committee developed a four-page brochure that described RD basics and transitions into RD careers from postdoc positions.

The NORDP Board, Communications Working Group, and Strategic Alliances Committee are working on an official elevator pitch and other communications tools. They would love to harness the wisdom of the crowd and invite you to share your thoughts.

What is the elevator pitch you use to explain your job to your faculty, to your research administration, to your friends and to your grandma? If you have ideas that we can use to stitch together to come up with a common voice, send them to us by email at

Submitted by Samarpita Sengupta.


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