Who: Jennifer Glass, Research Development Officer
Where: Office of Research Development and Administration, Eastern Michigan University
Number of Years in RD: 7
Length of NORDP Membership: 6
When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?
I actually came to RD from a research professor position. I studied cognitive function in various health and aging conditions at the University of Michigan and had lots of experience writing grants. I saw a job description and was looking for a change at the time. I had never heard of the field before, but it sounded like a good fit for my experience.
I am the only person solely doing RD work in my office. I work with the entire campus and the bulk of my time is proposal and faculty development. Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is primarily a PUI and our faculty tend to have high teaching loads. My primary role is to facilitate and help in any way I can when faculty are seeking funding.
What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?
When I started at EMU my boss knew about NORDP and encouraged me join, even making it a part of my hiring package. I thought it sounded like a good idea since I was new to the field. I attended my first conference in 2015 and went to a roundtable about mentoring with the discussion focused on how to bring back the mentoring program (at that time, the old way of manually matching mentor-mentee pairs had become too onerous). I have been involved with the Mentoring Committee ever since and it has been great to see the growth in mentoring initiatives over the years. I have also been involved with the Committee on Inclusive Excellence for the past two years.
I currently serve as the chair of the PUI Affinity Group, but with my seat on the board, I am stepping down as we put together a succession plan for the group. I am excited about a landscape survey we have just launched to get an idea of what RD looks like at PUI’s across NORDP. At many of the smaller institutions RD folks have similar roles, but they often have other roles in sponsored projects, pre-award or grants administration. The PUI group is interested in the concept of “building a culture of research” and what it means at PUI’s. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact Kara Luckey.
What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?
I could go on for days about the relationships I have built via NORDP. There is so much talent in our group. We would all be in our silos without the organization. For example, the PUI Affinity Group idea arose from a listserv posting. It has developed into a vigorous group working at PUI’s who are passionate about RD in those settings.
I always get so much from the conference and I bring home new ideas and strategies every time. The conferences also give me insights about the RD enterprise itself. One of these ideas is how to reach out to colleagues on campus about communication of research to the general public which is an important aspect of our work.
One of the best things about NORDP is how helpful everyone is. If you ever have a question you can pose it to the Listserv and you will have many answers in a few minutes. I appreciate the culture of NORDP. We could easily view each other as competitors, but there seems to be an understanding that the better the research the better for the field as a whole.
What are you most excited about as a board member?
I am excited about seeing how the board works and being a part of the leadership at a point where we have had so much growth. We are changing how we manage ourselves due to the growth. NORDP is a very different organization than it was even just two years ago.
I am also looking forward to getting to know the many accomplished people on the board. I continue to be passionate about PUI’s and I am glad to be a part of seeing how NORDP can help these types of institutions in the future.
Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee