The National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) is pleased to announce a new program called NORDP Consultants. Through the NORDP Consultants program, experienced NORDP members enter into multi-year agreements with client organizations to facilitate strategic planning aimed at growing research, deliver research development services, and conduct capacity building activities.
The NORDP Consultants program builds on the success of the NORDP Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD), which provides an array of services to client organizations interested in valuable benchmarking tools, best practices, and guidance to enhance research development program activities and further the research enterprise at their institutions. Typically, PEERD is a short-term engagement lasting a few weeks that culminates in a report including a set of recommendations that the client organization can implement on their own timeline as resources allow. In contrast, NORDP Consultants enter long-term engagements and not only make recommendations but also help implement them with an emphasis on capacity building.
Led by Kimberly Eck, MPH, PhD, Immediate Past President of NORDP and Associate Vice President of Emory University, the NORDP Consultant Program will begin with a pilot in early 2022. Through the generous support of Eric and Wendy Schmidt via recommendation of the Schmidt Futures program, NORDP Consultants will provide a total of 2,400 hours of support to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) over the course of the two-year pilot project.
About the pilot project, NORDP President, Jill Jividen, said, “The funding from Eric and Wendy Schmidt provides a unique and exciting opportunity for NORDP to advance its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in research and demonstrate the value of Research Development, as we partner with HBCUs to strengthen research activities and increase the diversity of scholarly and scientific communities nationally.”
Over the next several months, NORDP will call for applications from NORDP members seeking to become a NORDP Consultant; release a request for proposals from potential evaluators; and invite HBCUs to apply to participate in the pilot.
The project will be thoroughly evaluated and two modes of engagement (primarily in-person vs. primarily virtual) will be compared. The results of this pilot project will inform the NORDP Consultant program. NORDP hopes to expand the NORDP Consultant program in the future.