National Mentoring Month

2019 is here – and to kick the year off, January is #NationalMentoringMonth, and January 31 is Thank Your Mentor Day.

Take a moment. When you read the word mentor, what comes to mind? A person who is invested in you, your growth and professional development? A trusted confidante? A role model, leader, or person who inspires? Mentors can be our champions, our teachers, and our sounding boards.

Now, when you read the word mentee, what comes to mind? Someone eager to learn? To grow? A commitment? A way to #PayItForward?

As Research Development professionals, we are surrounded by opportunities to mentor and be mentored. As an organization, NORDP is invested in the value of mentoring as a reciprocal relationship, where both parties learn, grow and benefit. The NORDP Mentoring Committee works year-round to implement an annual mentoring program, matching mentors, mentees and peer mentors. Then throughout the year, the committee offers webinars, tools, and support. Applications for the program open in spring, and matches are made prior to the Conference. Membership in the Mentoring Committee is always open, and is a great place to volunteer with NORDP. We role model peer mentoring within the committee, and are committed to providing resources to all of NORDP membership.

One final question to reflect on: Are you ready? Become a mentor. Become a mentee. Step into the role of a peer mentor. You are needed. Necessary. And have so much to offer.

We encourage you to take a few minutes to thank the mentors in your life. And, while you are at it, thank your mentees, too. And those people you consider peer mentors. Because, #NORPDMentoringMatters

Contributed by the NORDP Mentoring Committee

NORDP Board Member Cameo: Jeri Hansen

Who: Jeri Hansen, Director of Research Development
Where: Utah State University
Number of years in Research Development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 8 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

 I would say I started down the research development path when I was hired as a sponsored programs administrator at Utah State University in 2004. Hansen 2019.JPGFour years into that position, in 2008, I was asked by the VPR to explore establishing a proposal writing institute for faculty. That same year, the VPR decided to create an Office of Proposal Development. I applied for the manager position and was hired. As the years passed, the office’s portfolio of work grew to encompass much more than proposal development. So, the name was changed to Research Development and I became director. Nowadays, my focus is on implementing and improving resources for faculty – tools, trainings, internal funding, people – to help them increase their competitiveness in the external funding realm.

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

Shortly after I moved into the research development world, I was looking for a professional organization to help me get my legs underneath me. I found NORDP very early in its life – I joined in 2011 – one year after its official establishment. I have been a member of the Membership Committee (2012-14) and the Nominating Committee (2014-17), where I served as the Nominating Committee chair in 2016-17. I have also been a volunteer at the annual conference. In 2017, I decided to run for a seat on the Board of Directors, and was elected to serve in that capacity from 2017-2021. I now serve as the Board liaison to the Nominating Committee, and most recently was elected as Treasurer (2018-2020). I helped present a general session and pre-conference workshop during the 2018 annual conference, and have attended 6 of the 8 conferences since I joined the organization (I still have all my badges!).

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

 I’m not sure where to even begin with this question! The number of colleagues I now have all over the country because of my involvement in NORDP is amazing. But that is the key – becoming involved. I’m not a terribly outgoing person (hello, introvert), so I must have been possessed when I decided to run for the Board. But as challenging as being a board member can be, it has also been the most rewarding in terms of the relationships and connections I have been able to build. My advice to any member is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I know – you hear that all the time, but with NORDP, you really will find a reward if you do.

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

I’m not sure I would call it inspiration, but I was looking for a way to have more of an impact on the organization and its future. Plus, I looked at the makeup of the Board and really wanted to get to know those individuals better. I feel so involved (big deal for an introvert) and a part of the organization now, and that is a really neat experience.

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

I have a soft spot for PEERD (Program for External Evaluation of Research Development). I was once a reviewer and now I’m co-coordinator with Kay Tindle at Texas Tech University. I think PEERD epitomizes NORDP as a whole – a very talented group of professionals more than willing to share knowledge and best practices for the betterment of everyone. You can’t beat that! If you haven’t checked out the PEERD program, you should –

What is your proudest accomplishment as NORDP board member?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it “my” accomplishment because I think as a board member, we build upon what others who have gone before us have done. That is especially true for those of us in officer roles. Having said that, as Treasurer, I recently worked with our administrative management company to move a lot of the day-to-day accounting and bookkeeping duties to them so I could be freed up to focus on more strategic thinking, such as looking at investing a portion of the organization’s revenue with the goal of being able to operate on investment dividends at some point in the future.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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.

Conference Attendance Grants Due Feb. 12

NORDP invites applications for attendance grants for the 2019 Annual NORDP Research Development Conference in Providence, Rhode Island (April 28 – May 1) from members in need of financial support beyond what their institutions or organizations can provide. Conference Attendance Grants will cover the Conference registration fee and may provide hotel accommodations for 1, 2 or 3 nights. Related other expenses, such as travel, are expected to be contributed by the grantee’s institution and/or the grantee.

Aligned with NORDP’s goals to increase diversity and promote inclusive excellence throughout the organization, we encourage applications from our members who are from under-represented minority populations or who are employed by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). All Regular Members in good financial standing who haven’t received Conference Attendance Grants in the last 3 years are eligible to apply.  Exception: These grants are not available to current and prior NORDP Board Members, Affiliate Members, or Consultants.

Grantees are expected to volunteer at the 2019 Annual Conference and to serve on a NORDP committee, subcommittee, or working group in the year following the Conference.

The application deadline is Tuesday, February 12 at Noon, Eastern Standard Time.  PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE UNTIL YOU ARE NOTIFIED OF THE STATUS OF YOUR APPLICATION (by March 1)!

Apply for a Conference Attendance Grant here: 2019 Conference Attendance Grant Application

Contact Kay Tindle with questions (

NORDP Board Member Cameo: David Stone

Who: David Stone, Ph. D., Chief Research Officer
Where: Oakland University
Number of years in Research Development: 12
Length of NORDP membership: 8 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

In 2005, when I was working in Europe but planning to come to Northern Illinois University as director of sponsored projects, I did an environmental scan in Europe and the US to better understand the needs of faculty with respect to Stone photo 1.jpgexternal funding. On the basis of that scan, I saw that faculty at mid-tier institutions like NIU needed assistance with what I call positioning (strengthening their standing in the literature, as researchers, and as grant writers) in order to compete with their colleagues who were selected out of grad school by larger research universities. On that basis, I created a hybrid job that I called research development specialist, a single role that handled the standard pre-award requirements, but who also worked very closely with faculty to strengthen their positioning prior to (and then throughout) their efforts are seeking funding. I am now the chief research officer at Oakland University, where I have made research development integral to our office.

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

I had been discussing my new model of RD with Holly before the gathering that led to the founding of NORDP. I presented at the first meeting and have, I think at all subsequent meetings, and was asked to serve on the board in 2012. I have been on the board ever since, including a stint as president in 2014-15. I have served on numerous committees in that time, and in 2015, I founded NORD with the goal of establishing research development not just as a profession, but also as a field of research, providing an opportunity for scholars both within and outside NORDP to create new knowledge based on the work we do in RD and the role it plays in higher education, in science, in economic development, in technology advancement, in knowledge mobilization, and elsewhere.

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

In my years in NORDP, and especially through the board, I have made a number of very strong connections that I have come to rely on in my work. Having served as president, I find that I can call any university in the country when I have a question or need some feedback, and my requests are always welcomed.

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

Back in 2010, when we were first talking about whether research development was a coherent thing, something that could be recognized as a profession, it was less clear whether people working in models like mine at NIU would be understood to be doing research development. At that point in time, most people connected to the movement were working in very large universities on very large projects. So, when I was asked to be on the board, and again when I was asked to run for president, I made it clear that core to my mission would be to ensure that the kinds of RD that are carried out at smaller schools and that often involve research admin work as well as RD would be valued, recognized, and represented in NORDP. So during the bylaws revisions in 2013-14, I ensured that there would always be seats on the board for representatives from PUIs, mid-level schools, and minority serving institutions. I am very heartened by the fact that the vast majority of the growth in NORDP membership since 2012 has been in these kinds of institutions.

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

I continue to be very excited about the prospects for NORD. Last year we partnered with InfoReady to offer small grant awards to investigators interested in conducting research on (or about) research development. InfoReady has committed $30,000 for three years of pilot funding for these awards in order to kick start RD as a field of study. Unlike research administration, which uses a static body of knowledge to support the work of its professionals, RD professionals always work strategically and contextually, and so need a living, breathing, always developing literature that they can draw from like professionals do in other strategic fields like management or healthcare. Helping launch RD as a field is a complex undertaking, but it plays to my strengths as an interdisciplinary philosopher of science, and so I very much enjoy it and am excited for the day when RD is studied by disciplines outside of us who are examining our contributions to larger issues in higher education, science policy, science funding, faculty development, networked industrial policy, and other issues that are shaping our future.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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’s Got a Brand New Swag

NORDP apparel, including t-shirts, hoodies and hats, are now available for purchase online! Click through to see our line of men’s and women’s styles in a range of colors – some examples below.

Our first-ever NORDP store will be available for a limited time only—you must place your order before March 15. Get your gear and strut your NORDP pride in Providence!

Please note: when you place your order and submit payment information, your credit card will not be charged until after March 15 when all orders will be processed and shipped. Merchandise should arrive within 2-4 weeks after the sale closes.

The 11th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019 at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. Take advantage of our special discounted conference rate, book your room now with this NORDP-specific hotel reservation link.

2019 Conference: Registration Opens Next Week

NORDP 2019 with photo of buildings in Providence

Registration for NORDP 2019 will open TUESDAY, January 15!

This year’s Research Development Conference will offer several new options for three full days of programming. A welcome reception will take place as members arrive Sunday evening, then all sessions kick off the morning of Monday, April 29, with concurrent 2-hour and 4-hour workshops. Please note:  space is limited for 4-hour sessions, and they will require advance registration.

Both 4- and 2-hour workshops provide opportunities for more in-depth development of a topic than a traditional 1-hour conference session can allow.

Four-hour workshops provide an opportunity for intensive engagement with activities and applications, interacting with both the topic and with one another. Attendance is capped to maximize participant engagement, so registration is required.

Two-hour workshops allow an in-depth exploration of the topic with applications and discussion to facilitate learning.

In addition, attendees will enjoy standard 1-hour sessions, 1-hour roundtable discussions, lightning talks, the Ideas Showcase and plenary speakers.

The conference programming schedule will be available soon!



New Year – New You?

January 1st is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and make a change in your life. Unfortunately, we humans lack the resolve to stick with our New Year’s resolutions and are caught buying a jumbo-sized box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day and conveniently forgetting about our gym membership. What are your New Year’s resolutions for your RD office and how can NORDP help you be successful? Do you desire to set new strategic directions? Upgrade to RD Office 2.0? Help your institution achieve its goals for 2020?

NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) can help your institution follow through with its New Year’s resolutions, implementing and effecting impactful change in 2019. Whether your office has clear goals identified or needs assistance in identifying a long-term strategy, NORDP’s PEERD consulting program can serve as your guide.

For a no-obligation cost estimate, contact More information can be found at

HUDDLE: A New Year’s Resolution You’ll Love to Keep!

Dear NORDP Colleagues,

We ALWAYS hear that the best thing about attending a NORDP conference (even beyond all the great information and education) is the JOY of connecting with new colleagues and renewing the friendships we’ve made during our years in Research Development.

But why wait an entire year? Take this New Year’s Resolution with us: Let’s get together throughout the year by letting one another know when we are attending a business-related conference, so we can HUDDLE! Let’s not rely on serendipity or fickle fate!

It’s simple. When you decide you are attending a conference, send an email to the NORDP listserv and invite other members who may be attending for their organization to HUDDLE with you sometime at the conference. It adds another dimension to your conference and it’s just FUN to get together this way!

Our best wishes for a productive and wonderful 2019!

Warm regards, your Strategic Alliance Committee Co-Chairs

Rachel Dresbeck
Gretchen Kiser
Peggy Sundermeyer

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.