New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Jill Jividen

Jill Jividen is one of three new elected NORDP Board Members in 2018. We thank Jill for her service to NORDP!

Who: Jill Jividen, Assistant Director for Research Development
Where: Medical School Office of Research, University of Michigan
Number of years in research development: 4.5
Length of NORDP membership: 4.5

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

I finished my PhD in literature just before the recession hit in 2008 and the academic job market dried up. After teaching as an adjunct for two years, I took a position as a research administrator in the U-M Medical School, where my background in editing and writing appealed to leadership and researchers. I spent a year learning the basics of NIH grants, then moved to the School of Information, where I worked on NSF and foundations proposals.Jividen - Headshot_2014_7_CROPPED.jpg

I landed my first RD position without really knowing what the field was. I sought out a couple of mentors who did RD work; they connected me to NORDP, and, locally, we started to build a grassroots RD community to share resources and best practices. One of those mentors recruited me to her position as she retired. In my current role as Assistant Director for Research Development, I coordinate a junior faculty mentorship program (the R01 Boot Camp); connect faculty to funding opportunities and resources; present grant writing workshops; provide editing; and manage limited submissions.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

My mentors introduced me to NORDP. I went to my first conference two months after starting that first RD position. It was an eye-opening experience, and I was inspired by the creative problem-solving that our peers undertake to support faculty. I have attended every conference since 2014. I began volunteering at the conference registration desk and as a session scribe at the conferences. I gradually increased participation, joining the Member Services Committee and now the board. I feel grateful to have the confidence of my peers—that they know I’ll work collaboratively to ensure that we have a high-quality organization that provides resources and benefits to all members, at every stage of their RD careers.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

While I’ve enjoyed and benefited from the relationships I’ve built with my amazing colleagues across the nation, NORDP has actually helped me build relationships on my own campus. We have a large research enterprise, spread across the city of Ann Arbor, as well as in Dearborn and Flint. NORDP has inspired us to connect with the hundreds of people who support research, in various capacities—to generate and share ideas, and to inspire interest and investment in RD activities. We are currently planning our 3rd annual “mini NORDP”—a half-day conference where we can present best practices and successful models, and really showcase the innovative programs and resources that are being developed and used in our diverse Schools and Colleges. NORDP also has helped build relationships with other in-state institutions and provides us a point of contact to share knowledge and resources with our local colleagues.

What inspired you to run for a position on the NORDP board?

I am passionate about RD and NORDP; I joke that I’m the campus “evangelist” for RD—touting the value of this field and organization to anyone who will give me a platform. I’ve had successes in rallying people around a common cause on my campus, and I want to bring that enthusiasm and momentum to the national level. I think that good things come from connecting people around knowledge and ideas. Serving as a board member will allow me to do more to improve member resources and benefits, thereby improving the value of the organization and keeping members engaged.

What initiative are you most excited about in your new role as a board member?

One of my projects will be to overhaul the member resources page to best serve both new and more advanced members. I’d like to collaborate on an onboarding tool kit that will offer incoming members a strong starting point for engaging with NORDP. I want to offer members practical resources that will guide them at their own institutions, in their own work and careers. I also hope to contribute to current initiatives like NORD, to encourage research on research, and dissemination of these results, all in an effort to continue to grow the RD field nationally.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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