NORDP 2019 Call for Proposals Opens in Mid-October

The 2019 NORDP Annual Research Development Conference will take place on April 29-May 1, 2019, at the Omni in Providence, Rhode Island. Mark your calendar! Much, much more to come about our 11th annual conference in the coming weeks and months.


Call for Proposals Opens in Mid-October

NORDP Community, start thinking about your proposals for the 2019 NORDP Conference. The Call for Proposals will open in mid-October; proposals will be due by November 25, 2018, 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time. 

We have some exciting format changes coming in 2019:

  • In addition to one-hour Oral Sessions and the Ideas Showcase, we will have two-hour Oral Sessions, which will allow presenters to discuss a topic in greater detail and interact with the audience more.
  • We are also soliciting ideas for proposer-led discussion roundtables with open and robust topic-specific conversation among participants.
  • Finally, another new format will be Lightning Talks. These five-minute presentations will be an opportunity for individuals to share new and creative ideas for fostering research development.

No need to limit yourself to only one submission. Stay tuned for more information about the RFP in the coming days!

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.

National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW), Sept. 17-21

The first ever National Postdoc Appreciation day was held on September 24th 2009, and in 2010, NPAW was nationally recognized when the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.RES. 1545. The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), in collaboration with its affiliated Postdoc Associations and Offices at institutes across the country recognize the passion, the perseverance, the hard work and toil, and the commitment to their craft that postdocs across the country demonstrate every single day. These organizations host networking events, breakfast and ice-cream socials, motivational speakers, receptions, and game nights, to name a few.

Postdoctoral scholars are highly trained and possess transferrable skills such as project management, effective time management, leadership, communication skills, the ability to speak different “languages,” and many more, and therefore, make particularly talented research development professionals. NORDP hopes to continue our relationship with the NPA to increase awareness of Research Development as one of the non-traditional paths for postdoctoral scholars as well as act as a supportive resource for postdoctoral scholars headed for the traditional academic route.

NORDP is proud to recognize the contributions made by the NPA in improving the postdoctoral experience and providing opportunities for professional growth, creating policies for the betterment of postdoctoral scholars and help them create a balance between personal and professional lives. NORDP also recognizes its several members, who came into the research development through the postdoc route, several of whose stories have been highlighted on our blog recently. Thank you for your contributions and Happy NPAW 2018!

posted on behalf of the Strategic Alliances Committee by Samar Sengupta


Request for Proposals: 2019 NORDP Conference Workshops

Dear NORDP Members,

Expert facilitator teams with compelling and relevant content are invited to apply to deliver Conference Workshops during the NORDP 2019 Annual Research Development Conference in Providence, RI. Conference Workshops will satisfy the following goals:

  • Provide intensive, interactive learning activities and professional development opportunities in selected areas of research development
  • Successfully deliver clearly identified learning objectives and provide tangible outcomes for targeted audiences.

Four-hour conference workshops are designed for in-depth, interactive exploration of topics that cannot be adequately covered in a shorter session. Workshop length is intended to provide participants with a more holistic and engaging learning environment. The additional length is also intended to provide participants with tangible outcomes or products that may be implemented in their home institutions. Detailed information regarding the purpose of one-, two-, and four-hour sessions will be shared by the NORDP conference organizers at a later date.

Workshop proposals will be considered on any topic relevant to the broad NORDP membership. Based on last year’s conference evaluations, we have identified several topic areas of interest:

  • Faculty development programs and activities; proposals addressing new and junior faculty development are particularly encouraged
  • Building and enhancing the diversity of the research development professional workforce
  • Research development team mentoring and development
  • Incorporating private sector tools and techniques into the proposal development office
  • Practical strategies for teambuilding and translating team science findings into practice
  • Starting and building the research development office
  • Professional development for the RD professional, including an introductory or foundations workshop for new RD professionals across perspectives (institutional, division, and department-level RD professionals)
  • Science, research, and technical communications, including strategies to communicate findings beyond the academy, communications from experts to non-experts, and train-the-trainer approaches for RD professionals to provide sessions to constituents at their home institutions
  • Tools for the RD professional

The above list is not exhaustive—the Conference Workshop Committee welcomes proposals in any area that achieves the goals for these sessions. Proposals are also encouraged that reflect the breadth of the NORDP membership, including research development roles and positions, levels of knowledge and experience, academic disciplines, and institution types. Workshops involving new, emerging, or exploratory topics are also encouraged. Proposals are welcomed from previous conference workshop facilitators.

Each workshop will be four hours in length and must have at least two facilitators. Each session will have 30 to 35 participants. Facilitators will be expected to develop intensive, interactive workshop experiences with appropriate hand-outs and resources that participants can integrate into their professional activities at their home institutions.

To propose a conference workshop at NORDP 2019 in Providence, application materials must be submitted via InfoReady no later than Monday, October 29, 2018 by 5:00 PM local time. The InfoReady platform will be available beginning Thursday, September 20, 2018 for proposal submissions.

The application will require the following information:

  1. Workshop Information
    • Proposed learning objectives, workshop competencies, and tangible outcomes (handouts, tools, resources, etc.)
    • Format, lesson plan, and curriculum overview, e.g., interactive delivery
    • Learning environment and connection to inclusive excellence, i.e., description of how the facilitators will develop a positive learning environment and support NORDP’s inclusive excellence goals
    • Targeted audience(s), i.e., research development roles and positions, levels of knowledge and experience, academic disciplines, institution types
  2. Facilitator Expertise and Qualifications
    • Related to the workshop topic
    • Expertise and qualifications related to delivering interactive workshop sessions

The criteria used in the selection process mirror these categories, and also take into consideration the goal of addressing a variety of topics and targeted audiences. Facilitators will be notified by early January 2019 of the Committee’s decisions.

Selected facilitator teams will be expected to provide updates to a subset of the Conference Workshop Committee regarding the development of their presentations, including learning objectives, lesson plans, and tangible outcomes. Webinars and resources on effective presentation techniques will be offered to all selected teams. Further, members of the Conference Workshop Committee will provide direct support to each team to provide feedback and assistance to ensure the highest quality for each workshop. Facilitator teams will be paid an honorarium for their preparation and presentation.

NORDP reserves the right to cancel Conference Workshops due to lack of enrollment. The decision whether to cancel will be made when the early-bird Conference registration discount ends. Selected facilitators will be expected to begin development of their materials in advance of this decision.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity in greater detail, please contact Eva Allen at Applicants interested in receiving feedback on a draft of their conference workshop proposal should email their draft to Eva by Monday, October 15, 2018.

We look forward to reviewing your proposals for what we are confident will be exciting and highly useful professional development experiences.

The NORDP Conference Workshops Committee:

Eva Allen, Co-Chair, Indiana University
Sarah Bronson, Co-Chair, Penn State College of Medicine
Jan Abramson, University of Utah
Faye Farmer, Arizona State University
Ron Fleischmann, Hope College
Alicia Gahimer, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Sue Grimes, Purdue University
Marie Grubbs, NC State
Ann Marie Hess, Arizona State University
Missy Jenkins, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Monica Kessel, Utah State University
Jamie Kirkley, Indiana University
Stephanie A. Korcheck, Texas State University
Benjamin Mull, University of Houston
Donnalyn Roxey, KnowInnovation
Angela Shotts, University of Alabama
Paul Tuttle, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Kari Whittenberger-Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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.

Developing Effective NORDP Workshop Applications

Are you interested in designing and presenting a workshop for the next NORDP conference in Rhode Island? Conference workshops are a unique opportunity for our community to explore a specialized topic in depth.

For 2019, we are hoping to increase the diversity of our workshop topics and facilitators. This webinar is designed to engage anyone interested in designing a workshop and ensure that applicants know how to prepare a winning application.

Past workshop presenters, Kathy Cataneo and Alan Paul, will share their stories, and we will review the current solicitation, which will be released September 17th.

It’s time for you to get excited about sharing your expertise and experience with the NORDP community! Register to attend this webinar on September 20, 2018; 10am PT/11am MT/12pm CT/1pm ET.

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.

The Transition from Postdoc to Research Development: Gaelle F. Kolb

The following is part of a limited blog series from the Strategic Alliances Committee highlighting NORDP members who have transitioned from postdoctoral positions to careers in research development.

Gaelle F. Kolb, Proposal Development Manager, Office of Research Development, Division of Research, University of Maryland

Describe your work in research development (RD): I am currently a proposal development manager in the Office of Research Development within the Division of Research at the University of Maryland. I am responsible for managing multidisciplinary teams of scientists and leading them to submit highly prestigious, multi-million dollars grants to various sponsors. The teams vary with the open calls and so do the represented disciplines.

Describe your postdoc work: My scientific background is in infectious diseases. During my first postdoc, I investigated the role of a host protein in waking up Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 from latency in infected neurons. The work was seminal in demonstrating that, in fact, a host protein was indispensable for that event to start, and another postdoc demonstrated that it recruited a whole complex of proteins to re-activate the viral transcription. In a shorter second postdoc, I identified a Heat Shock protein as binding to Ebola Virus genome, and in a later publication on which I am a collaborative author, the team demonstrated that this protein was indispensable to viral replication, making it a potential drug target.

Describe your transition from your postdoc/research background to RD: I was very involved in professional and career development during my postdoc, helping other postdocs (and myself) find the career of their dream. I became the grants and training development specialist in one of the NIH institutes, which totally opened up my love for proposal development and helping others better write how much their science would impact our society.

Describe the benefits your postdoc work provided to your skill set related to RD: I was a restless postdoc, always getting involved in “other/administrative” internships. I became a great listener and talker as well.

What words of wisdom do you have for postdocs who might consider an RD career? As a postdoc, you have cultivated the passion for science. Now, keep the breadth and forget about the depth.

What has been your best experience, so far, with your work in RD? Moving to my current position has been the best experience in research development. Before that, I felt that I was only allowed to dabble, expressing other people’s way of doing. Now, I become part of the team every time I support a new proposal development. I am learning about their subject matter so I can provide critical feedback to their proposed research. I continue to read everything about science (I am member of the AAAS, reader of Science magazine, reader of Nature and The Scientist, in addition to NSF and NIH news).

Why do you think RD is a good career choice? Well, I like the fact that I don’t have to drill too deep into one subject anymore; instead, I can dream big with a team, and differently as I move on to the next team. I like the fast pace and flexible hours. I don’t mind taking on a few hours of work at night or on weekends provided that I can work flexibly otherwise.

What other insights might be relevant to postdocs considering an RD career? Be patient and nurture your professional network. Be professional and always give the best of yourself, which is why I feel I was offered my current position!

Save the Date(s)!

conference-2019The 2019 NORDP Annual Research Development Conference will take place on April 29-May 1, 2019, at the Omni in Providence, Rhode Island. Mark your calendar! Much, much more to come about our 11th annual conference in the coming weeks and months.

Conference Workshop Webinar

NORDP Community, have you imagined yourself as a workshop presenter at the 2019 NORDP? If so, it’s time to start thinking about your workshop proposal. Mark your calendar for 1 PM EST, Thursday, September 20, 2018, for a NORDP webinar timed to coincide with the release of this year’s call for workshop proposals. The webinar is designed to prepare anyone interested in designing a workshop and ensure that applicants know how to prepare a winning application. Stay tuned for more information about the RFP and webinar in the coming days!

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.

Help the National Science Foundation think outside the box; enter the NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition!

Message below from the National Science Foundation:

Dear Colleague,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces the launch of the NSF 2026 Idea Machine, a prize competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM education. Participants can earn cash prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by NSF. It’s an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF’s mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries that drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and advance knowledge to sustain the country’s global leadership in science and engineering.

Entries will be accepted through October 26, 2018. For more information, including entry instructions, eligibility, rules, and judging criteria, please visit the NSF 2026 Idea Machine website.