PEERD Workshop Reflection: University of Minnesota

Staff at the University of Minnesota (UMN) developed a staff networking group called the Research Advancement and Development Professionals Network (RADPN) because there is no centralized RD office. RADPN was designed to share expertise and network among staff doing research development work coming from different backgrounds, many of whom had not heard the term, Research Development. RADPN planned a conference for October of 2019, with the goal of introducing staff to research development as a field, including the resources provided by NORDP.

The Workshop

The NORDP PEERD Expert gave a keynote presentation on strategic research development, highlighting the differences between research administration and research development and the differences between transactional RD activities and strategic RD activities. Following the keynote, the NORDP PEERD Expert conducted a workshop that took a deeper dive into the heart of RD, including the roles and responsibilities of RD professionals and various institutional models of RD. Then, the NORDP PEERD Expert guided attendees through several interactive RD scenarios on research grand challenges/team science, internal funding, corporate outreach, and external funding.

The Impact

The event helped UMN RD professionals put their work in the context of research development as a professional field, helping them realize that they were already engaging in research development. It also introduced them to RD resources at the university and national level that could help them improve their strategy and effectiveness. The event also empowered staff who were already engaged in RD work, improving their ability to understand how research development relates to other research support functions.

The Opportunity

Take advantage of the experience and knowledge of PEERD Experts who can sculpt a presentation and/or workshop to meet the needs of your team, office, department, college, university, etc. NORDP PEERD Experts are willing to provide outside expertise on a variety of research development topics. To learn more about the services provided by PEERD, visit or email

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