NORDP 2019 Conference Notes: Using Technology for the Limited Submission Process


  • Daniel Moseke, University of Arizona

Thanks to our session scribe, Lisa Youngentob, University of Tennessee Health Science Center!

This roundtable discussion was well attended with participants representing a wide range of RD offices…large, small, biomedical, social sciences, the arts, public, private, industry, central, departmental, well financed and not. Despite the varied types of home institutions, everyone had the same goal, seeking out best practices on how to manage the limited submission process. One attendee described it well, “Despite the differences in size, scope and available resources (personnel and budget), there is a baseline level of infrastructure needed by every institution to run the limited submission process…finding the opportunities, announcing them to campus, managing the competition and review process, and awarding.”

The NORDP Limited Submission Circle was the first topic discussed. There was a lot of enthusiasm for getting members more engaged in this Circle (most were not even aware it existed), with many agreeing they would be more likely to post to a group of peers working in this arena every day, as opposed to putting a very specific LS questions out to the NORDP general listserv. The hope was, it could also serve as a great place for uploading and sharing resources (processes, links to institutional funding opportunity announcement pages, reviewer assessment question, etc.).

Attendees then shared how they identified relevant limited submission opportunities. These included, daily searches of, signing up for email notification of agency funding announcements (both federal and foundation), perusing funding opportunity webpages of other universities, (and even signing up for their funding opportunity newsletters), and using subscription-based funding opportunity databases (i.e. Pivot, Spin, Funding Institutional). Some institutions have developed their own funding opportunity database, using their in-house IT teams.

Methods of announcing limited submissions took different forms, such as, Mail Chimp, sharing via subscription-based databases, and internal listservs. But, email (with attached pdf), sent to specific investigators or to faculty as a whole, seemed to be the most commonly used technique…although most were interested in finding a “better, less time-consuming way.”

There was some discussion of administering the limited submission process itself…how to best keep track of it all…collection, review, and management. Ideas offered included subscriptions to services such as InfoReady Review, WizeHive, Trello, and Asana (some platforms offering free versions), and good, old Google Sheets/Excel spreadsheets. Calendars are also being used, both in Outlook and hard-copy, desk calendars.

Not surprisingly, finding willing reviewers is an ongoing issue raised by almost everyone. Some institutions use carrots, some use sticks. Reviewer pools are being generated from past awardees, assignment by deans/chairman, ad-hoc committees, promotion requirement, and volunteers. Thank you notes, luncheons, and acknowledgement by upper administration, were some of the reviewer enticements that were described by the group.

The takeaway from this roundtable was the realization that there are a lot of us out there who deal with the limited submission process on a daily basis. This group has a lot of questions, but, more importantly, they have a lot of answers and great ideas, which they are willing to share with one another…it’s the NORDP way!


NORDP 2019 Conference Notes: Funder Spotlight: US Department of Defense

Slides: Funder Spotlight: US Department of Defense


  • Valerie Browning, DARPA, Director of Defense Sciences Office

Thanks to our session scribe, Summer Young, Missouri University of Science and Technology!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • DARPA’s uniqueness among DOD funding agencies and other agencies in general should not be an obstacle to working with DARPA (goal of session was to demystify and educate).DoD-Logo
  • How and why DARPA created: February 1959 just after Sputnik launch – sense of urgency that US had fallen behind – to make sure US was never surprised by the technological innovation of an adversary again.
  • DARPA charter is to invest in pivotal breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security.
  • DARPA mission priority spaces include defending the homeland (cyber deterrence, countering hypersonics, bio threat detection and mitigation, defense against weapons of mass destruction), deterring & defending against high-end adversaries (adaptive lethality for air, land, and sea; long-range effects, control of the spectrum, robust space), and effectively executing stabilization efforts (warrior performance, countering grayzone warfare, 3D city-scale operations, behavior modeling and influence).
  • DSO has developed a framework for prioritizing funding strategy (turning future challenges into opportunities) among four trends: globalization and proliferation of technology (need for greater agility, speed in innovation), increasing pace of conflict (need to act and react at speeds faster than human brain can work), increasing use of measured escalation (gray zone) tactics (need tools for quickly addressing these kind of threats), and ensuring best technologies for detecting and preventing weapons of mass destruction.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?

One of DARPA DSO’s current outward-facing thrusts (for engaging with public R&D) relates to complex social systems and includes diverse funding opportunities for social sciences researchers.

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member, and what was the presenter(s) response?

One of our NORDP colleagues asked about challenges her smaller research university has in meeting DARPA security requirements. The presenter acknowledged that this was an issue DARPA is aware of and has discussed at university engagement roundtables.

What else from this session should NORDP members know?

Ways to engage with DARPA:

  • BAAs (can be alerted through Constant Contact)
  • Proposers Day for larger programs (DSO does 6-7 per year)
  • DARPA Young Faculty Award
  • Disruptioneering & other rapid acquisition efforts
    • pioneered by DSO in last few years
    • new way of doing R&D acquisition
    • topics released ~monthly throughout year
      • quick turnaround to award
      • abridged proposal
      • streamlined cost proposal
      • 18 month, two phase efforts

Slides from NORDP 2019 Posted

Slides from many of the NORDP 2019 presentations are now available on the NORDP website HERE. Just click through to each Concurrent Breakout Session and look for “Download presentation” buttons.nordp sesh.jpg

More presentations will be forthcoming. If you presented at NORDP 2019 but did not submit your slides, expect to be contacted soon. Please provide your slides if possible as they are a great resource for our membership!

Select conference notes will begin posting to the blog next week. Stay tuned.

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 Board Election Results

Dear Colleagues,

Voting in the 2019 NORDP Board elections ended on May 31. A record 48% of members participated in the election this year! That is almost double the participation rate from last year. The NORDP Board of Directors ratified the results of the election this week and I am pleased to announce our two new Board members who will serve a four year term beginning July 1, 2019:

  • Joanna Downer, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research Development, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Faye Farmer, M.S., CP.APMP, Executive Director, Research Development, Arizona State University 

Thank you to all the candidates for their participation in the election. We are fortunate to have a strong volunteer culture within NORDP and we thrive on the energy and enthusiasm of our members and volunteers.

Congratulations and welcome to Faye and Joanna!



Karen Eck, PhD
President |2018 – 2019
Board of Directors |2015 – 2019
NORDP – National Organization of Research Development Professionals 

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 Supports Academic Research Enterprise through Alliance with National Research Mentor Network

NORDP Mentoring Committee Members presented two workshops at the NORDP 2019 Annual Conference. Committee members, including NRMN-trained facilitators, adapted mentor training curriculum materials from the National Mentor Research Network (NRMN) and the University of Wisconsin Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) to create a mentor training program for research development professionals. A workshop was offered at the NORDP meeting to pilot part of the program. A second workshop led by NRMN Professional Development Core Members addressed outcomes of the NRMN Grant Writing Coaching Group. Both workshops were reviewed in the current NRMN newsletter.

Slides from both workshops will soon be available on the NORDP website. To learn more about NRMN visit; to learn more about CIMER visit

Posted on behalf of the NORDP Mentoring 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.

2019 NORD Initiative: NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development

NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative and InfoReady have launched the 2019 Cycle I competition for the NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. Our goal in sponsoring this effort is to begin to establish research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, whether or not they are also NORDP members. Cycle I proposals will be accepted until the application deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on June 30, 2019. Please view application details on the competition HERE. 

2017 Awardee FeatureDowner2

Who: Joanna Downer, Ph. D – Associate Dean for Research Development
Where: Duke University School of Medicine, Research Development Office
Proposal: Deep Dive into the Office of Research Development at the Duke School of Medicine to Improve RD Sustainability and Enable Continued and Faster Growth

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project?

The underlying project’s main goal is to see if we can re-engineer how we do things to improve our workload. At the Duke University School of Medicine, as at many other institutions, we have a large faculty who are highly motivated to apply for funding. While faculty members’ needs differ, the size of our staff limits how much assistance we can provide, and our current approach to adding staff to the office can result in a lengthy “apprenticeship-style” training period.

As the first step, last year we examined our processes and knowledge to see how we can redesign what we do to improve sustainability while maintaining satisfaction and effectiveness. We have examined the decision points and evaluation criteria used for taking on a project, whether we should approach certain activities differently, and can we adjust our decision making or default activities to improve sustainability while still keeping ourselves and others happy and to let us grow faster and more effectively.

While we are Research Development in a biomedical setting, we know that any RD office in any setting can have workload issues if demand exceeds capacity. So it’s my hope that our redesign efforts can be informative to NORDP members in any RD setting.

This redesign project was the foundation for our application to the first cycle of NORD, in which we proposed to have a researcher in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business guide translation of our redesign work into an academic project and manuscript suitable for the management literature. Our faculty partner, an expert in team science and organizational behavior, understands our office and the relevant management research and literature, and so is uniquely suited to help us. I see this academic project supported by NORDP as opening a door to robust research in Research Development settings by experts who really do study the kinds of things we do. Fortunately, the bulk of the team science analysis is funded through Duke’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), so the NORD funding is targeted to turning our collective findings into a paper.

What is the status of the project now?

Last year we completed our internal process capture and have prioritized knowledge to capture in new tools and resources for grant managers and faculty to use with minimal input from us. Some of these new resources are available now, and others will come online in the next month or two. In addition, our team science partners are currently completing their analyses of our office data – 10 full years of information on the grants we’ve supported, what services we provided to each, and what the outcomes were – to see whether specific services or attributes correlate with outcome. By mid-June, we’ll meet to discuss the results and design the next step – a CTSA-funded study of two different approaches for support of complex research grant development. All of this work together will be the basis of the paper that the NORD award is supporting.

Do you have any suggestions for NORDP members considering submitting to the 2019 competition?

As for any application, it’s important to keep the sponsor’s vision in mind – NORD envisions making RD a research setting – and making sure your proposal will help accomplish that vision. To enhance what you can accomplish with a potential NORD award, consider how you can leverage institutional resources, potentially including what you have to do or want to do as part of your daily work.

For example, our redesign effort is something we need to do to prevent burnout, and the institution supports it – so we don’t need any external funding to accomplish that. Thanks to my involvement in preparing the Team Science part of Duke’s CTSA renewal, our business school partner was already familiar with us, and the NORD funding will compensate him for his guidance in preparing a robust manuscript at the project’s conclusion. Thus the project makes the most of InfoReady’s financial commitment and really aligns with NORD’s vision.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell – Member Services Committee

NORDP Members Featured in Nature

Check out this Career Feature in Nature: The hunt for the lesser-known funding source. In addition to gaining valuable information about finding funding outside of the “standard” sources, you will most likely see some names you recognize, including NORDP’s current president, Karen Eck.

Congrats to all who participated in this article!

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.