Conference Cameo: Michael Jacobson

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. Register at


Who: Michael Jacobson, Research Development Specialist
Where: Binghamton University
Number of years in research development: 2
Length of NORDP membership: 2 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Archaeologist

My transition to research development began before starting my current role as a research development specialist. For about 12 years, I worked as a contract archaeologist for a university-based cultural resource management firm. In the beginning, my position mostly involved fieldwork, research and travel across New York State and the Northeast. However, as I progressed in the field, my role included more grant writing and contract development. In a sense, I was already serving as a research development specialist. This made my transition to research development relatively simple.Jacobson - Conference Cameo 2019

Our Office of Strategic Research Initiatives at Binghamton University focuses on preparing proposals for large interdisciplinary teams. This involves more than just grant writing. We are often called on to be facilitators by helping with faculty training and team building. My background in anthropology is an asset in working with faculty across campus and in different disciplines. Acknowledging that different disciplines have their own practices and working with these various perspectives in their own terms helps with facilitating research teams for large proposals. My research background also made me appreciate the value of public engagement with research. I try to continue this interest by advising our faculty on developing plans for broader impacts and public engagement resulting from their research.

Last year was my first time at a NORDP conference and it was nice to see that there was a large community of people dealing with the same issues. The NORDP membership is more than willing to share their best practices and solutions to the issues we face in research development. I brought back a number of ideas from last year’s conference for discussion at our university. These include expanding partnerships with campus libraries for help with proposal development and developing retreats with interdisciplinary teams to improve collaboration and proposal development. One specific example inspired me to expand our NSF CAREER faculty training from one annual workshop to a workshop series that went into more detail on proposal writing and broader impacts.  The keynote addresses identifying funding agency priorities and trends within scientific research were also valuable.

My suggestion for attending the conference would be to be open, present, and engaged, but also be sure to get in line early for the events.


Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! 

We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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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