Developing a Strong Abstract for the 2020 NORDP Conference

Are you interested in presenting at the 2020 NORDP Conference in San Antonio, Texas? Whether for one- or two-hour sessions, Lightning Talks, the Idea Showcase, or Roundtables, your successful conference abstract submission is your opportunity to present at the conference and share your message with NORDP colleagues.

The NORDP 2020 Conference Programming Committee is presenting a webinar on writing successful abstracts for this year’s conference. You can register here for the webinar that will take place Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 1:00 p.m. central time.

Learn how to craft a competitive abstract appropriate to the numerous presentation formats available. This webinar is designed to engage all NORDP members, including those new to the field and to the organization, and will help ensure you can prepare a successful abstract.

We will do a deep dive into the current Call for Abstracts, which was released in August, as well as share tips for developing a strong abstract and conference presentation.

Time to get excited about sharing your experience and expertise with the NORDP community! Abstracts are due October 21.

The webinar will be hosted by Kari Whittenberger-Keith, PhD; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.NORDP 2018 KWK Kari founded the Research Development Services unit of Office of Research at UW-M. She is a member of the NORDP Board and was conference co-chair in 2018 and 2019. She has worked both as a faculty member at several institutions and in research development at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Oregon. A PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, she has taught public speaking, effective communication practices and training and development in both academic and professional settings for over 35 (yikes!) years.

NORDP’s Peer Mentoring Groups: Building Support Networks

In May 2019, NORDP launched the Peer Mentoring Group (PMG) pilot program. So far, 89 members have engaged with the program, and the invitation remains for others to join.

To recap, the PMG program is structured around the six pillars of research development; the liaisons for each group are included:

  1. Career & Professional Development – Christina Howard
  2. Enhancing Collaboration & Team Science – Paula Carney
  3. Communication – Scott Balderson, Svetlana Pitts, Rachel Goff-Albritton
  4. Leadership & Management – Katie Howard
  5. Proposal Development – David Widmer
  6. Strategic Planning & Advancement – Samarpita Sengupta

Members were invited to select one or more of the PMGs in which they would like to participate, and NORDP’s Mentoring Committee initiated the first meeting of the six PMGs.

The effort was driven by Christina Howard and David Widmer, who are co-chairs of NORDP’s Mentoring Committee and are joined by Jan Abramson, Kathy Partlow, and Faye Farmer to form the committee’s leadership team.   The Mentoring Committee is made up of about two dozen other NORDP members to help facilitate the Mentoring program, which paired up 112 mentors/mentees this year.

David explains that the initial goal of the Peer Mentoring Group pilot was to help members build a network of support among members. “We are never really fully developed by a single mentor.  If you think about your broader network, it’s clear that you are being mentored by multiple people.”

“PMGs are an example of this committee in action,” Jan Abramson says. “One idea leads to another to another to another … and from a discussion about member needs, the importance of building a network of mentors, and making sure anyone who requests a member has one, the Mentoring Committee decided to launch the pilot.”

David, himself, is participating in three PMGs – the proposal development, enhancing collaboration & team science, and leadership & management groups.  He says this is yet one more time he’s been impressed by the willingness of NORDP members to share best practices. He invites other NORDP members to join in with the PMGs that interest them.

“These groups are coalescing, building closer relationships, and beginning to collaborate,” he says, explaining that one group, the Proposal Development PMG, has scheduled a monthly Zoom call and set up a Google folder to share resources.

“Everybody speaks and interacts on the calls.  As the hour comes to an end, it feels like we want to keep talking more,” he says, noting several members have continued conversations via emails in-between calls.

“Participating in PMG has been a great learning process,” Katie Howard, Mentoring Committee member and a part of the Leadership and Management PMG, says. “Our group has really gelled and enjoys coming together for lively conversation about our selected topic of the day – it’s a refreshing way to share best practices and learn from colleagues.” This group shares facilitation responsibility and rotates discussion leaders each month for the calls.

NORDP members who would like to join one of the PMGs should send an email to the Mentoring Committee at mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Submitted by Sharon Pound

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.