At the 2022 NORDP Annual Conference, a group of NORDP members were recognized with the 2022 NORDP Innovation Award for their contributions to the research development profession. Before 2022 comes to a close, we celebrate their work that resulted in a valuable resource for research development organizations and individuals: the NORDP Resource for Organizing and ADapting a Training Program toward Developing an RD career (NROAD to RD).
NROAD to RD was designed to help RD professionals and offices develop internship and training programs to expand the RD community. It brought together representation from each NORDP committee and used crowd-sourcing to identify materials;
Easy to access at https://nordp.mclms.net/en/package/6128/course/6797/view, the program provides a framework and growing library of resources. RD offices can access modules and add additional components to create a program relevant to their individual office and institution. While originally developed as an internship/training tool, NROAD to RD serves as an innovative tool that can be adapted for training or onboarding new RD members, or even for professional development. It has already been accessed and used by more than 150 members.
The effort was chaired by Samarpita (Samar) Sengupta, Assistant Professor and Director of Research at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies. She fondly recalls the teamwork that made NROAD to RD possible.
“This effort arose from my work as a Strategic Alliance Committee liaison to the National Postdoc Association, which identified a need for training related to research development for postdoctoral scholars. Working with Peggy Sundermeyer, the chair of SAC, we realized that a centralized approach wouldn’t work. So, we pulled together different perspectives, tapping expertise from NORDP’s various committees.”
The NROAD to RD team leveraged existing resources and created new tools to create an innovative resource will help grow the RD field and community. Their dedication of countless volunteer hours for brainstorming, creating, persevering, and was recognized with the 2022 NORDP Innovation Award.
Phase 1 piloted in 2018, followed by Phase 2 work focused on implementation and dissemination. In early 2021, the Phase 2 team conducted a survey of users to determine return on investment and identify areas for improvement.
“As opposed to dropping into the storm without a parachute, now postdocs and others can learn about the RD profession and potentially join our growing field,” Sengupta says. “Previously, there was no way for RD offices to provide such information, no training or internship structure to utilize. We filled a gap that people didn’t even realize they had. Many NORDP members are also using this resource for onboarding new employees.”
In addition to Sengupta, NROAD to RD’s Phase I working group included Peggy Sundermeyer, Trinity University; Joanna Downer, Duke University; Page Sorensen, previously at the University of California San Francisco; Sharon Pound, University of Tennessee; Rebecca Latimer, University of Virginia; Nicole Frank, University of Utah; Beth Moser, previously at Maricopa County Community Colleges District; and Sarah Messbauer, University of California, Davis.
The NROAD to RD team now lives under the NORDP Professional Development committee. Phase II WG members include Joanna Downer, Rebecca Latimer, and Samarpita Sengupta from Phase I, with several new members: Danielle Matsushima, Columbia University; Elaine Lee, Boston University; Maile Henson, Duke University; and Alexis Nagel, Medical University of South Carolina. Peggy Sundermeyer; Jacob Levin, Levin Global Group; and Jeff Agnoli, the Ohio State University, provided consulting support as and when needed.
A “living resource,” NROAD to RD is being continually modified to update materials and add items requested by users. The team is now a working group of the NORDP Professional Development Committee.
Once again, NORDP thanks these tireless RD professionals who made NROAD to RD possible. Visit the Professional Development Committee website to learn more and access this and other online RD resources.