June 2020 Summary Board Memo

Dear NORDP members,

The Board of Directors held their June Board meeting this week. I want to thank all the committees and volunteers for their dedication to furthering the field of research development and NORDP. Below are a few highlights:

  • Our first ever Virtual Idea Showcase – featuring posters and lightning talks – is Thursday, July 30, 2020 from 3-5pm EDT. Keep an eye out for registration information in the coming weeks.
  • The Professional Development Committee continues to work on coordinating a schedule of conference presentations in a virtual format.
  • A group of NORDP members are working to bring you a series of RD community conversations where we can discuss racism, inclusion, and equity in our society, our institutions, and our organization, and the roadblocks we have on these difficult conversations. Keep an eye out for more information on these sessions in the coming weeks.
  • The Board of Directors ratified the 2020 election results and welcomes four new Board members to join the Board in July: Eva Allen, Anne Maglia, Anne Pascucci, and Michael Preuss.

A NORDP Board term is for four years, beginning July 1st and ending June 30th. As we welcome the new Board members, I want to thank the Board members who will be rotating off the Board: Thank you to Kathy Cataneo and Kari Whittenberger-Keith for serving the last four years on the NORDP Board, and to Dave Stone for serving for the last eight years on the NORDP Board. You can see a sampling of their contributions here on slides 21-23. Kathy, Kari, and Dave: we appreciate your dedication and all your work that makes NORDP the organization it is today.

I also want to thank you all for the opportunity to serve as your President this past year. It has been an honor and I thank you for your support. I have enjoyed getting to know many of you through committees and other volunteer work and it has been a privilege to work beside you as we advance the global capacity for and impact of research by strengthening the practice and profession of research development.

Cheers,

Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President
president@nordp.org

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 2020 Board of Directors Election Results

Dear NORDP members,

Voting in the 2020 NORDP Board elections ended on June 11. This election saw a participation rate of 34%, which is lower than last year but greater than 2018. Thank you to our members for participating in the election process.

We want to thank the Nominating Committee for all their time spent soliciting and evaluating applications and nominations, and for coordinating the election process.

The NORDP Board of Directors ratified the results of the election this week and we are pleased to announce our four new Board members who will serve a four year term beginning July 1, 2020:

  • Eva Allen, Assistant Director, Environmental Resilience Institute, Indiana University
  • Anne Maglia, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Anne Pascucci, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs, Christopher Newport University (designated Primarily Undergraduate University seat)
  • Michael Preuss, Executive Director, Office of Evaluation and Research, West Texas A&M University (designated Minority Serving Institution seat: a Hispanic Serving Institution)

Please join us in congratulating the new Board members! Eva, Anne M., Anne P., and Michael, we look forward to your enthusiasm and leadership as we advance the global capacity for and impact of research by strengthening the practice and profession of research development.

Sincerely,

Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President

Kimberly Eck
NORDP Vice President/President Elect

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 Mentoring Program Has a New Reflection Resource!

NORDP icon reflection bubble blueThe NORDP Mentoring Committee continually updates and refines the resources available to support the membership in their mentoring endeavors. One of the exciting new resources available to NORDP members is the Mentoring Reflection Packet.
An essential element in any mentoring relationship is reflection. This allows both the mentee and the mentor to look back at their time together and see what they’ve learned and how this has informed their personal and professional development moving forward. The reflection packet designed by the NORDP Mentoring Committee was specifically created with NORDP mentoring pairs in mind, but it can be utilized for any mentoring relationship.

The reflection packet features a reflection conversation document with guiding discussion questions to encourage thoughtful dialogue between mentee and mentor. It also includes a self-reflection template for each member of the dyad. The combination of the self-reflection and the relationship reflection conversation support the closure or redefining of the relationship. These documents facilitate a productive and formative look-back at the mentoring relationship from all perspectives within the mentor-mentee pair, and aid in determining what path they take forward. Many members continue their relationships beyond the formal “one-year” of the program.

You can view the Reflection Packet here, and find the full repertoire of mentoring resources in the NORDP Mentoring Toolkit. To see how reflection is a part of the mentoring journey as envisioned by NORDP, check out our newly developed Mentoring Roadmap.

Questions or ideas? Pass them along to the Mentoring Committee at mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Contributed by the Mentoring Committee

New Mentoring Relationship Roadmap Resource Available

roadmap with titles

The Mentoring Committee MESHH Team has developed a Mentoring Relationship Roadmap as a guide to planning out your mentoring experience throughout the year.

The Roadmap simplifies engagement across the phases of the mentoring relationship, identifies resources to use and suggests timing for the introduction of the tools and the important reflection period as the mentoring year ends and the relationship shifts into a peer-mentoring phase. The Roadmap, OnBoarding Packet and other resources developed by the NORDP Mentoring Committee can be adapted to support a variety of mentoring scenarios.

The Mentoring Relationship Roadmap can be found here and will be posted on the NORDP Mentoring Committee website. Previously, the mentoring year coincided with the timing of the Annual Conference. Going forward, the mentoring program will align with the NORDP program year, July 1 – June 30. The Roadmap has been included in the introductory emails sent to mentor-mentee pairs.

Please contact the Mentoring Committee at MentorProgram@NORDP.org with any questions, suggestions or ideas.

Contributed by the Mentoring Committee

Get involved in NORDP!

Committee Roundtable Scheduled June 25

NORDP has scheduled a Committee Roundtable on Thurs., Jun. 25, at 3:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (2:00 CDT, 1:00 MDT, and noon PDT), to explain the many committee activities underway and how members can get involved. Register for the roundtable here (NORDP members only).

“NORDP depends heavily on volunteers, and it takes a lot of dedicated research development professionals to support our growing profession.  We hope NORDP members, especially our new members, will join us at this roundtable to find opportunities to contribute to that effort,” says Karen Fletcher, NORDP president.

In the process of committee work, Fletcher notes, members create rich relationships with RD professionals across the country. She describes this new two-step committee engagement process as: (1) attend the committee roundtable to explore opportunities, and (2) attend your chosen committee’s July meeting. “Regardless of where you are in your RD career, your expertise is needed,” Fletcher adds. “Veteran or beginner, title or no title, the diversity of our membership is what has enabled NORDP to grow so rapidly.”

Brief descriptions of the committees are included below, along with the date of each committee meeting. Each committee has created a poster to summarize their activities, available here.

NORDP’s committees are listed below, along with meeting times during July. Members can sign up to join in on these July meetings by registering here.

Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CIE) – Works to operationalize inclusive excellence within NORDP.  While there is no meeting set for July, you can contact Gretchen Kiser at gretchen.kiser@ucsf.edu or Etta Ward at emward@iupui.edu for more information.

Member Services Committee (MSC) – Recruits and retains members, assesses member needs, and provides member benefits and services.  Committee meeting on Jul. 6, 1:00 p.m. EDT (noon CDT, 11:00 MDT, and 10:00 PDT).

Mentoring Committee – Offers meaningful mentoring expertise, support and resources – Committee meeting on Jul. 23, 2:00 p.m. EDT (1:00 CDT, noon MDT, and 11:00 PDT).

Nominating Committee – Facilitates board nominations and the election process.  While there is no meeting set for July, you can contact Kim Patten at kjpatten@arizona.edu for more information.

Professional Development Committee (PD) – Coordinates the development and delivery of training and resources for members. Committee meeting on ­­­July 16, 3:00 p.m. EDT (2:00 CDT, 1:00 MDT, and noon PDT).

Strategic Alliances Committee (SAC) – Builds mutually beneficial relationships with related organizations.  While there is no meeting set for July, you can contact Karen Eck at keck@odu.edu  for more information.

Additional information on NORDP committees can be found at the NORDP website.

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 Postdoc Cameo: Jeremiah Paulus

Members come to NORDP via many paths. This cameo is part of a series featuring members who came to NORDP following postdoc experiences.

Who: Jeremiah Paulus, Grants & Contracts Specialist
Where: The University of Texas at Austin
Number of Years in RD: 5 years
Length of NORDP Membership: 6 years

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

As I was finishing my postdoc in 2014, I was trying to decide what to do next. I had always enjoyed discussing other people’s research and how to improve it during lab meetings and conferences, but wasn’t sure how those skills could translate into a career. Paulus PhotoFortunately, my postdoc organization, the Medical College of Wisconsin, had a fantastic career seminar series for graduate students and postdocs. From there, I learned about research administration and development, and by talking to a number of people I already knew, I learned about NORDP. After learning even more about the field at my first NORDP meeting, I was confident about the type of job I could apply for and later that year started my career in research development.

At the University of Texas at Austin, I am a Grants & Contracts Specialist in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. I perform all the administrative duties involved in grant submission, including submitting internal paperwork, uploading documents into submission portals and acting as a liaison with our central sponsored projects office. In addition, I also find and evaluate funding opportunities, edit documents for grammar and responsiveness to the opportunity, draft budgets and other documents and make model figures.

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

I attended my first annual NORDP conference in 2014, while I was still trying to decide whether research administration was the correct career path for me. While there, I had many opportunities to network with people in the field, as well as have more formal meetings with attendees that had similar backgrounds to my own. This experience helped me to decide to go into research administration, including using the job boards to find my first position. Since then, I have attended the annual NORDP conference 3 more times (in 2015, 2016 and 2018). I also gave a poster presentation in 2018, and sometimes engage in the listserv.

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

I primarily built up relationships at my first meeting when I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I called on those connections I made to learn more about their particular job duties as well as the culture at their institutions. This helped me more fully understand the diversity of RD careers, as well as help define my job searches. I have also made connections with a group of science writers, who have been able to provide more specific advice to the types of job duties I have.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

Every conference I’ve attended has produced a wealth of notes that I have taken back to my colleagues. With the information I have gained through NORDP, I have helped improve the grant submissions I work on, as well as more fully understand the different sponsors. This has helped me excel at my job and helped as I studied and received my Certified Research Administrator (CRA) Certificate.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from post doctoral positions?

I think NORDP can help instruct postdocs on the various bureaucratic and administrative aspects of research development that they may not have had much experience with. In addition, NORDP can be beneficial to helping postdocs translate their research, communication and planning skills to research development position they may have never known about or previously considered.

What recommendations do you have for prior postdoc members to get more involved with NORDP?

I would recommend staying involved with the community. That could mean contributing to the listserv discussions, and attending the meetings.

What tips do you have for trainee members of NORDP or other postdocs looking to find a career in RD?

I would highly recommend becoming a member to have access to the listserv and job boards. Those proved invaluable as I was transitioning to a career in research development. I also recommend attending the meetings, or even reviewing the slides and notes from previous meetings. I’ve learned so much and continue to do so.

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 Postdoc Cameo: Diana Sama

Members come to NORDP via many paths. This cameo is part of a series featuring members who came to NORDP following postdoc experiences.

Who: Diana Sama, Proposal Development Officer
Where: University of Kentucky
Number of Years in RD: 4 ½ years
Length of NORDP Membership: 3 years

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?

I became interested in science communication during my training in biomedical neuroscience. Throughout my training, I helped my mentors and collaborators write proposals with increasing involvement as time progressed. I also received my own individual fellowship and really enjoyed the application process. While in my postdoc, I served as a ghostwriter my university’s health care marketing team and worked on recruiting materials, stock power point slides, and articles for their quarterly _DSC7929DianaMathisSamapublication. This gave me experience writing for a lay audience and interacting with clients. When it came time for the next career step, I decided to try my hand at RD and found a position outside academia with small educational nonprofit. I quickly developed skills in team building, networking, and grant writing outside my field of expertise. I also became well versed in scoping out potential sponsors. While I loved working with that group, I missed science and ended up returning to the university setting. I’ve been in the University of Kentucky Proposal Development Office for about three years now, and I feel like I’ve found my niche. Our most popular service is proposal review, where we read content for clarity, flow, organization, adherence to guidelines, and perform a gap analysis. Our other services include consultations for proposal guidance and advice, collaborator searches, funding opportunity disseminations, personalized funding searches, and grant-related workshop training for the campus community. We work on individual investigator proposal, as well as complex/multicomponent proposals.

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

I have been a member of NORDP for 2 ½ years. I have attended the national conference, as well as the SE regional meeting. I found the presentations in both settings very informative for my current position. Topics included best-practices to innovative initiatives to networking with others in the field. I plan to become more involved over time as I learn more about NORDP and all of the committees. I have participated in surveys and conversations with a few committees, providing input where able.

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

At my first NORDP conference I attended a networking dinner with other RD professionals who transitioned from postdocs, and the group has sporadically stayed in touch, thanks to the organizer of that dinner (Samar Sengupta) who rallies the group together every so often for NORDP-related input and conversation. The interaction with colleagues from similar training backgrounds has helped me feel welcomed and like I have a place and identity in the organization.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

I still have a lot of progress to make in this area, BUT I think just having a group to identify with—both NORDP as an organization, and former postdocs as RD professionals—has helped me validate my career choice. I think postdocs often struggle with the decision to leave their subject behind, but seeing many others in the same situation has eased my mental journey to this career.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from post doctoral positions?

What I find interesting and unique about RD and RD professionals is that it is such a mixed group, in terms of training and career backgrounds. Coming from a disciplinary background, we always considered our professional societies to be the authority on everything we needed for our career, and I think NORDP comfortably fills that role for RD professionals. Finding such an organization felt very natural and helped ease the transition from my discipline to the RD profession. I know I can rely on NORDP for invaluable resources, conferences centered on professional learning, policy updates, innovative research, networking, career mentoring and advice, and job postings. The list serve is full of resources and advice, and I highly recommend signing up, just to see what questions other RDs pose and to see the vast historical, regulatory, and professional knowledge that the collective membership offers. I think NORDP helps all RD professionals feel like we belong and contribute to something bigger than our organization.

What recommendations do you have for prior postdoc members to get more involved with NORDP?

The best way to start getting involved is by attending the national and regional conferences. I highly recommend the networking dinners at the national conference. Find a topic or host that interest you and sign-up early because the dinners fill up fast. Also attend the committee meetings to see what they are all about and consider joining a committee or working with a committee.

What tips do you have for trainee members of NORDP or other postdocs looking to find a career in RD?

There are many paths to becoming an RD professional. If the career interests you, try to take advantage of your local network to get some relevant experiences while in your postdoc, even if it is outside the RD field. Work on building skills such as breaking down complex information for a lay audience, writing proposals and papers, or working with clients. Also, don’t overlook volunteer work to help build your skillset. If you enjoy the experience, start looking at job ads to get an idea of who is hiring and where, and what kind of work is available. Also look at national resources for RD information and careers, and keep in mind that the professional society in your discipline may have some information to offer, so ask around at your national conferences. Finally, keep in mind there are many settings in which you can work as an RD professional. Some people find the perfect fit with their first position, but sometimes it takes one or two job changes to get that ideal fit. So, don’t give up and feel free to reach out to those of us in NORDP who have already navigated the career transition.

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 2020 Candidate Forum Follow Up Questions

The following questions were asked by the membership during the NORDP Board Candidates’ Forum. Please find below, in alphabetical order, their responses. The responses are unedited. The candidate briefs, links to their CVs, and a link to the recorded forum are available here: https://www.nordp.org/2020-board-candidate-profiles.

1. Our org has grown exponentially in the last few years – and yet that growth has not reflected an equally exponential growth in the diversity of our RD professionals. What will each of you do in your first 100 days on the board to advance the inclusive excellence of NORDP and RD enterprise?

Allen

Although the more visible categories of diversity – gender and race – clearly remain a challenge for NORDP, the organization actually has quite a bit of less visible diversity.  Our organization encompasses members who arrived at RD by way of research administration, industry, writing and editing professions, project management, university administration and the professoriate, among many other paths; we have members representing R1 institutions, HBCUs, MSIs, PUIs, and medical schools; and we have members with large centralized RD teams, offices of one, decentralized networks, or no formal RD responsibilities at all.  Along these axes, NORDP has grown increasingly responsive to planfully supporting the different strengths and needs of our members through conference tracks, webinars, various mentoring venues, and regional groups.  I look forward to learning from my NORDP colleagues about where the organization could be better serving the existing diversity of our membership, and opportunities to encourage additional diversity within the organization.

Maglia

In the first 100 days, I would reach out to the Inclusive Excellence Committee to understand their priorities, activities, and strategic plan for the next year. Specifically, I would be interested in learning about activities focused on externa and internal stakeholders. For external activities, I would be looking for events such as listening sessions, partnerships with MSIs, and recruitment of minorities through organizations such as SACNES, SHPE, NACME, NHPE, OSTEM, AISES, and others. I would also be interested in activities focused internally on NORDP members and leadership, including activities to assure that the organization is welcoming and promoting diversity. Such activities may include reviewing and rewriting policies though an inclusion lens, assuring that cultural competency is weaved throughout all meetings and sponsored events, ensuring that diverse voices are represented and celebrated in all meetings and activities, training all organizational leadership in cultural competency, and developing resources to help members promote and support diversity and inclusion in their workplace. I would support and promote the activities the committee has developed, and would offer to work with them on additional opportunities in these areas.

Pascucci

As I mentioned in my opening comments, I am an action-oriented person and so am always ready to go!  I am known for the connections that I make on LinkedIn and have long been reaching out to Indigenous populations for purposes of inclusivity. Being a board member is a tremendous opportunity for me to formalize that outreach through NORDP.  The Native Learning Center (NLC) is one group that I am connected to on LinkedIn that I would reach out to in order to gage interest and seek suggestions for individual institutions that might have an interest in participating with NORDP.

Another area of diversity that I would like to focus on is that of Community Colleges.  As our country re-aliens some priorities, I believe that community colleges are ripe to enter the RD world in a more formal way. I LinkedIn with Martha Kanter when she was the Under Secretary for Education during the Obama presidency and reporting to Arne Duncan.  Now ExeMartha has a accountcutive Director, College Promise & Senior Fellow, New York University Martha Kanter would be my first choice in connections to tap on behalf NORDP and our efforts to be inclusive and innovative.

The composition of NORDP’s membership must to reflect our world. We can only succeed if we are diverse and inclusive and appreciate what everyone has to offer.  These two groups would be my primary focus.

Preuss

I agree that NORDP needs to be an inclusive and diverse organization and that it lacks strong representation of people of color. I would start as I intend to go on by working with all potential stakeholders to clearly identify what can be known about various types of diversity in the research development community, what can serve as appropriate measures of NORDP’s diversity, and to formulate outreach plans to achieve, and if possible, exceed the diversity goals set.

That the percentage of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, etc. has not changed as the organization has grown is a matter of significant concern. I would, though, point out that the situation is not as simple as the question makes it sound. First, we can’t say definitively the NORDP membership is not representative because we don’t have demographics for all research development professionals. All that is known is the racial and ethnic identities reported by the NORDP membership, a sample rather than the population from which it is drawn. Second, to the best of our knowledge research development professionals are an usual group, more the exception than the rule. That over 80% are female and over 85% hold advanced degrees is sufficient evidence of this exceptionality. Therefore, national averages for racial diversity and even race and ethnicity figures for higher education will not be appropriate standards for RD. Those are the normal patterns which should not be seen as applicable to a specialized and exceptional subset. Third, people of color are underrepresented among faculty and administrative staff in higher education, the very population from which RD professionals are drawn. We can and should support change in this area but that is a different concern, recruitment and training. Finally, we cannot assume a standard staffing pattern for MSIs. While HBCUs employ high percentages of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, etc., the same cannot be said of HSIs, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AAPISI). The data I am familiar with suggests that four of every five employees at HSIs are non-Hispanics and the figure is closer to nine out of ten when the focus is narrowed to HSIs that are four year institutions. Staffing at TCUs and AAPISIs are much closer to this pattern than that characteristic of HBCUs.

We also need to recognize the limited penetration of NORDP in the MSI community. And, it is at that point where we may find an appropriate standard for diversity in NORDP and a means of setting realizable goals and assessing progress. The counts of HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, and AAPISIs are known as is the distribution of institutions across the various Carnegie classifications. I would suggest that a goal for NORDP would be to have equal representation from all spheres of higher education and that tracking this, percentage of HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs, AAPISIs, R1s, R2s, etc. with NORDP members, would be a beneficial way of approaching this concern. At present, NORDP is strongly skewed in the direction of R1s and R2s and away from MSIs. It is this trend I would suggest we correct as we are a professional organization seeking the fullest representation across the higher education spectrum. The types of institutions represented rather than the traits of individuals chosen on various campuses to fill RD roles is, in my opinion, a clearer, more appropriate, more accurate, and actionable focus. The racial and ethnic diversity of employees at MSIs lies entirely with the institution but recruiting members from a broader range of institutions is something NORDP can target and achieve.

2. As new members of a leadership group, you have lots of energy and new ideas. You may be met with people who are resistant to change and lots of historical knowledge to back up their resistance. How do you plan to navigate this dynamic?

Allen

This has been a fairly common dynamic in my current position — we’re creating new ways of fostering collaboration within my institution, and there can be a lot of systemic and cultural resistance to overcome.  Sometimes, learning the history of what hasn’t worked before changes my thinking about whether some goal is achievable at all, but sometimes the context has changed enough that learning the history helps me to refine my thinking about new approaches to achieving the goal.  I think this will be equally true with NORDP: the organization has grown rapidly in recent years, and is no longer a young start-up.  Things that may not have been possible in the past may now be possible, while things that have worked well in the past may no longer suit the organization as well, and fresh eyes will be able to bring new perspectives on carrying out the organization’s mission and goals.

Maglia

Change can be stressful, especially to those who have worked hard to develop the current practices and policies. As a new board member, it is critical that I recognize the challenges that change creates for those who are comfortable with the current way of doing.  There are several behaviors and approaches I would take to get buy-in for new activities and ways of doing. First, I would celebrate the successes and accomplishments of the current approaches and try to make links between current/previous successes and the new way of doing things. Second, I would try to be open and honest about the expectations, vision, and expected outcomes of the change. By outlining the reasons behind the change, I would try to develop buy-in for the approach.  Finally I would listen to concerns, discuss pros and cons of proposed changes, clearly articulate why the changes are needed, and outline a path for making the change happen in a stepwise fashion if needed. And I would be open to adjustments to the process and approach for implementing the change.

Pascucci

Navigating this dynamic is how I was raised. Institutional history is as valuable as the strategic plan for its future.  Respecting the knowledge and experience of those who might be resistant to change starts with understanding their perspective.  While I am very enthusiastic, I understand the need to rein in that enthusiasm when suggesting change.  I find that when proposing new initiatives, a well thought out plan of how, when, who and delineating the impacts.  Just like when working with faculty on proposals, I try to anticipate questions or issues that may raise a red flag and be prepared to discuss.  Patience is a virtue which I possess as is the realization that I will not win every time, but I can do my best.

Preuss

I have spent most of my professional life operating as an agent of change including five years helping Czech non-profits transition from a communist to a free-market setting. I have learned a number of key strategies that I regularly enact when working with PIs, teams, and organizations. First, I approach each situation as a learner. I emphasize understanding purposes and perspectives above advocating for my own. Second, I recognize that as a party entering a setting with existing relationships, alliances, historic patterns, and power structures, I have very little immediate authority. Any impact I hope to have as a new board member will be limited to one or two areas. I will work hard to choose mission critical concerns as the points I will emphasize. I will also look for areas that have the broadest impact so they naturally form platforms for conversations about other topics. Third, I emphasize relational and experiential authority. On the board, I seek to establish and strengthen relationships with my counterparts and use my experience/expertise to establish footholds and then build out from those.

I have worked extensively with at least three members of the current board and with one of my co-nominees so I won’t be starting from ground zero. There are also several board members who know me and who have worked successfully with me in the past. That will make the task of entering the board setting easier.

For influential parties within NORDP who are not members of the board, I will employ the same strategies. I will seek to understand, attempt to establish/maintain transparent and trusting relationships, and work toward critical and therefore shared purposes. To those I will add a sincere interest in understanding the setting and influences that led to the current commitments or patterns. In these settings, being a current board member will establish some positional authority but that would not be an emphasis in my relationship with these individuals. Like with the existing board, I believe I am in a fairly advantageous position. Having worked within NORDP investigating research development, I already have cordial relationships with many of the past presidents and board members. This will be helpful should concern about new directions arise.

3. Would you please elaborate (for Anne M) or discuss (for Anne P., Eva, Michael) a bit on how you would engage federal sponsor representatives in partnerships with NORDP for mutual benefit? That is, what is in it for them? What is the incentive for doing things together?

Allen

The model being used by NSF, DOE and DHS for the ongoing CIVIC funding competition is an interesting example of how RD can contribute to federal sponsors’ priorities.  In addition to the typical involvement by the program officers, this competition is also supported by an external team that works with stage 1awardees to build team capacity and develop strong stage 2 proposals.  This is a twist on the Ideas Lab model, in which the agency holds ideation and team formation events that are a prerequisite for submitting a full proposal.  Both these models are entirely compatible with RD practices, and offer an opportunity for NORDP to partner with program officers.  For example, NORDP could develop a program similar to PEERD but focused on working with program officers to run complex competitions.  In such a scenario, the incentives for “doing things together” are bi-directional: the funding program would receive stronger applications, and the RD professionals would gain new experience, expand their networks, and contribute to NORDP as well.

Maglia

I would take advantage of the current budget situation at most universities and agencies limiting professional development and travel opportunities and focus on online/virtual workshops. I would identify two or three areas for which both federal agencies and NORDP have strong interest in promoting success (such as “how to effectively articulate the broader impacts of your research” or “effective approaches to managing and fostering diverse research  teams”) and propose content and approaches that matched the needs of the agency and NORDP. I would then reach out to people with whom I have existing relationships (especially at NSF and NIH) and propose to work with them to do the “heavy lifting” on developing content and logistics. Knowing that outreach is a critical activity for funding agencies, I would leverage and align our complementary priorities to promote improvements in proposal and research development.

Pascucci

I have had the great fortune to get to know some leaders in a couple of Federal Agencies.  Jean Feldman is the Head Policy Analyst for the National Science Foundation.  She very graciously came to Christopher Newport University this past December.  She presented to our faculty as well as some of the surrounding college and university research folks.  She was extremely generous with her time.  For me, the greatest outcome was Jean’s statement that she had forgotten how difficult it was for PUIs to find the time to write successful proposals.  Patricia Moore Shaffer, Deputy Director at the National Endowment for the Arts also came to CNU.  She presented a sort of TED Talk for the CNU Chapter of ACE Women in Higher Education.  She also presented at NORDP in Arlington a couple of years ago at my request.

The one thing that I can say about sponsors is that they want good proposals that match their funding strategies.  It is in their best interest to affiliate with NORDP.  My personal connections can not create the relationship that the question is addressing, however, I believe that a seat at the table with FDP and similar groups may provide that entre.  I strongly suggest that as an organization, NORDP seek that seat with FDP as well as a seat a COGR.  The goal of these organizations melds well with FDP.  We seek good relationships with government that benefits all involved.

Preuss

I have experience approaching federal program officers about project ideas, clarification of requirements, and just in time requests or project related concerns. While I am not an expert in how to engage a federal sponsor at the program or policy definition level, I expect Anne Maglia will be an invaluable resource in that respect. Mutual benefit is, however, a topic I can address.

NSF’s recent additions and changes related to Hispanic-Serving Institutions are a good example. Federal funders benefit from clear understanding of the context in which they are seeking to encourage activity and/or enact change. That is why they employ scientists as program officers and bring in scholars on rotation rather than just hiring portfolio managers with MBAs. In my example, actionable information was lacking in respect to HSIs and NSF requested that the higher education community propose means of generating this information. The result was a virtuous circle. Information generated has and continues to inform NSF’s offerings related to HSIs which are now more accurately focused on the needs of the institutions and their students.

NORDP and its members have the ability, given the breadth and the depth of experience in a wide variety of research, intervention, performance, and community service endeavors, to provide valuable insight and actionable information to federal agencies. We can convene groups of people and gather and help interpret information that can initiate conversations about future directions, modify priorities within existing programs, or simply fine tune the way some offerings are presented. This can create a funding environment that is even more closely tailored for and responsive to the current research efforts and educational needs than is now the case. The experts on review panels and advisory boards can also provide this type of information but NORDP has the capability of sampling specific subsets of institutions, project types, etc. These patterns then benefit the teams and institutions applying and potentially produce more effective projects which serve the interests of all stakeholders and so on. It may seem like a “pie in the sky” perspective but this is the way the Hispanic-Serving Institution label came into being, the means by which Title V was added to the CFDA 84.031 group, and how NSF is working to identify ways to aid HSIs. As Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, dedicated citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

A Special Message from NORDP’s President

Dear NORDP Members, 

In this moment in history, we find ourselves faced with unprecedented challenges: confronting both the global health and economic crisis stemming from COVID-19, and the most recent examples of the long-standing racial injustice in the United States arising from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and innumerable unknown others.

NORDP is a community that is dedicated to inclusive excellence, honest reflection, and genuine advocacy in support of our members. Our greatest strength has always been the relationships we build with one another, and this is why the NORDP Board wants to be loud and clear: NORDP supports those who stand up against racism and bias in today’s society. We support those who are grieving for the loss of family and friends, and the unjust loss of more Black American lives. We stand in solidarity with all our RD colleagues, ready to offer support.

We are a community that exists to serve its members, and in that spirit I, and the rest of NORDP’s leadership, acknowledge that we must find ways to take more direct action in support of inclusive excellence. Though we have made remarkable strides in the short lifetime of our organization, the world shows us every day that there is so much more to be done. We are committed to being an agent of change in the Research Development field and beyond, through mindful integration of inclusive strategies including initiatives spanning leadership development, mentoring, and recruitment. 

In moving forward, I welcome your ideas and input on ways our Research Development community can unite for positive impact. We look forward to dialogue and action that is as strident as it is peaceful. In the coming weeks look for a virtual Community Discussion to provide a space for members of our community to reflect and process their thoughts and feelings about these recent national events. For now, know that I, and the rest of NORDP, stand with our members in the fight against racism and bias wherever and however it may appear. 

And for all our members: all races, colors, and ethnicities, please know that we cherish, value, respect, and support you. Thank you for being a part of our community. Our lives, personal and professional, are all the richer for it.

Sincerely,

Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President

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.

2020 NORDP Service Award Winners

The National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) is pleased to announce the 2020 winners of the Rising Star Award and the Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award.

Each year, the Rising Star Award recognizes up to three NORDP members who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to NORDP. Nominations for this award may be submitted by any NORDP member. The 2020 Rising Star Awardees are Daniel Campbell, Vanity Campbell and Sarah Messbauer:

  • Daniel Campbell (Old Dominion University)Dan_Campbell1 is a five-year NORDP member. In this time, Dan has developed into a reliable and devoted volunteer, writing many NORDP News blog posts. He joined the Member Services Committee (MSC) – Communications Sub-committee in 2016 and then became the MSC liaison to the Communications Working Group. He has conducted the research and interviews necessary to author numerous blog posts, including multiple member/conference cameos. Dan also serves on the Conference Marketing Committee and the Conference Program Committee and is a key member of the Communications Working Group.
  • Vanity Campbell (University of California, Agricultural and Natural Resources) Vanity_Campbellis active on the Committee on Inclusive Excellence Committee (CIE) and represents CIE on the Member Services Committee. In this role, she led the active recruitment of Minority Serving Institutions into NORDP, including a successful outreach campaign between NORDP members and existing contacts at prospective MSIs. Vanity is also the Region VII (Pacific) chair and led the region’s conference committee through its inaugural Pacific Regional Conference in October 2019, which was attended by more than 70 individuals.
  • Sarah Messbauer (University of California, Davis)messbauerheadshot-e1551978072774is making distinctive contributions to the Member Services Committee (MSC) and to NORDP. She is MSC’s co-representative for Region VII and has co-facilitated a professional development workshop, co-managed the Ambassador Program and New Member Orientation and Networking, and co-hosted a new member networking dinner. As an MSC co-chair, Sarah works to enhance members’ experiences. Sarah drafted Access Guidelines for Presenters, providing NORDP with practical steps to make conference sessions and presentations accessible to attendees with permanent or temporary disabilities and/or special needs.

The Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award is named in honor of the organization’s founding president. The award, voted on by the Board of Directors, is given annually to a NORDP member in recognition of outstanding service to the organization and to the research development profession. The 2020 recipient of the Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award is Kathy Cataneo:

  • Kathy Cataneo (University of New Hampshire) Kathy Cataneois a NORDP Board member and serves as liaison to the Member Services Committee (MSC), which she formerly chaired. She guided MSC with creativity, enthusiasm and capable management. Under Kathy’s leadership, NORDP has grown to around 1,000 members, and long-term members have enjoyed a renewed sense of engagement with the organization. Kathy’s contributions to NORDP include regional recruitment strategies, new member welcome receptions, member surveys, enhanced service awards and the creation of numerous policy/guideline documents. A true servant leader, Kathy has contributed to other NORDP committees and initiatives almost too numerous to count. Her colleagues perceive her as humble, reasoned, curious and kind. Kathy’s distinctive brand of deliberative, member-centric leadership honors NORDP’s history and traditions while enthusiastically embracing growth and change. Her influence within our organization will be felt for a long time.

Click here to view recorded remarks from Holly Falk-Krzesinski recognizing Kathy.

For information about past recipients of the NORDP Service Awards, click here.

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.