Conference Cameo: Susan Gomes

#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: Susan Gomes, Director of Research Development and Strategy
Where: Harvard University
Number of years in research development: 20
Length of NORDP membership: 8 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 8
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? I lived in Costa Rica for six months as a graduate student doing field research.

I’ve been in the research development field for nearly 20 years and had the good fortuneGomes_Portraits087(WEB) to work in both public and private research universities and at the department, central, and school level. Starting out at the department level working with faculty in a large research center was wonderful training for my later work in a central office—it made me very aware of the challenges department colleagues face and the value of their contributions. In the central office position, I supported proposal development efforts across the University for large scale grants and individual investigator grants, and developed programming and resources for new faculty. During my time in that position we were successful in increasing our annual research volume from $60M annually to $100M with no additional resources. We also received an EPSCoR grant to build our state’s research infrastructure. In 2010, I was offered an opportunity to build a new research development office at Harvard University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. With the help of wonderful colleagues and an incredibly talented team, we built a new office. We have since expanded our team to serve our engineering school as well.

The colleagues I have met through NORDP and the programming at the conferences have been an essential part of my professional development. I attribute my success, in part, to the wonderful group of NORDP colleagues I have cultivated over the years. I have attended all of the NORDP annual conferences with the exception of the very first annual meeting in 2008. When I interviewed for my current position, I mentioned that I was a NORDP member and that I would be able to leverage my relationships and the expertise of a strong national network of colleagues across the country.

I encourage any new NORDP attendees to take full advantage of all of the opportunities for networking at the conference and to build new relationships with colleagues as well as new knowledge of your profession. For me, the best part of the organization has been the relationships I have built and the opportunity to learn from my colleagues.  I have also enjoyed the opportunity to share best practices and ideas with colleagues in informal settings at the conference, over coffee or dinner. I look forward to this year’s conference and to connecting with colleagues, both new and old.


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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