NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: How to write a successful NIH Career Development Award (K award)

How to write a successful NIH Career Development Award (K award)

Presenters:           Mark Roltsch, University of Western Florida

Thanks to session our session note-taker, Burr Zimmerman, Urban Venture Group!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • There are many different kinds of K awards
    • Some schools support K-awards, some don’t:  K awards require the faculty member have 75% protected time for research
    • Medical Schools – they tend to like K-awards. They are viewed as stepping stone to R01s, and five years of training  should get them there.
    • K progression: Start with T32s or institutional K awards, then ‘real K’s’, then R01
      • The R03 award may only be open to folks who have K awards in that institute
      • The R21 is for exploratory, cutting edge; not necessarily good for junior faculty
    • Types of K awards
      • K01 – basic research
      • K08 – clinical research
      • K23 – patient-oriented research
      • K25 – quantitative research
      • K01  – diversity award / minority serving institution
      • K99/R00 – post doc who is transitioning
        • Walk into job interview with 3 years of funding
        • Don’t have to be US citizen, so lots of applicants
  • Selecting a target institute – faculty should:
    • Match topical area with your mentor’s funding source
    • Email program officer, get feedback (not just topical, but also which mechanism – K01, K23, etc.)
    • Carefully read the PA/RFA to identify participating institutes and their specific topics
    • Engage with NIH staff at the conferences your mentor attends
  • Read the PA/RFA
    • Check dollar amount (for MDs, $100k for 75% of time is a paycut – usually the university or school supplements the salary)
    • The review section is what to emphasize in your application
  • What does it take to get funded?
    • Essential: well-funded primary mentor (if he or she hasn’t mentored before, form a mentoring team)
      • Need to emphasize mentoring experience, NIH funding
      • Mentor needs to be co-located. Across the hall ideal. Across town isn’t great. Across the state doesn’t work.
    • The presenter is from University of West Florida; his own institution wouldn’t ever apply for a K-award – can’t get it.
      • But! Some diversity K awards are possible for smaller institutions.
    • Keys to K award success
      • Time to write a compliant, compelling application
      • Good research idea
      • Quality candidate
      • Qualified mentor
      • Well developed training program
    • Biggest K funders are NHLBI, NIMH, NIDDK
      • NIA funding 40% of K-awards
      • NIGMS funds 85% of K08 awards!

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you? 
K awards can have extremely high funding rates (e.g. NIGMS K08s 86% funded), and average over 30% for entire K spectrum. But the criteria mean only a very small cadre of schools have high success rates

Also, R21s may not be a good mechanism for generating data for your first R01 – they are too competitive and are pooled with experienced researchers. R21’s are highly, highly competitive, and if you’re junior faculty, it might not be a great place to compete, as you don’t get early investigator bonus points.

What resources did you discover at this presentation?
The main resource emphasized was NIH Reporter. Might not be a ‘discovery’, but the presenter emphasized how rich and useful the data are.

Also, FOIA requests are a way to get access to successful applications. Build a library by requesting funded applications. NIH does a better job than some other Federal agencies of providing useful information.

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member, and what was the presenters’ response?

Different institutes review K awards differently. Funding rates can be very different across K mechanisms. K99 toughest (23%); K23 is 57%, K08 can be nearly 90%.

What else from this session should NORDP members know?  
If you can crack the code (meet all the requirements), K-awards are a great resource. If you can find a nearby, well-funded mentor, then you have a chance!

 

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NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: Better Together – Joining Forces to Maximize Success

Better Together: Joining Forces to Maximize Success

Presenters:
Brent Burns
Peggy Sundermeyer
Kerry Morris
Eileen Murphy

Thanks to our session note-taker!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • What National Association of Corporate Relations Organization (NACRO) is and how Research Development staff participation with NACRO can benefit the entire institution.
  • What Corporate Relations can add to Research Development
    1. Work together in a holistic model.
    2. Share resources, co-locate, share administrative support
    3. Companies are spending more money in research & development
    4. Federal funding is decreasing
    5. If we work together, this will move the institution forward
  • How to develop strategies and portfolios for faculty
  • How to bring CR staff to the table at institutions of various sizes
  • Effective ways to share faculty research interests.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?
Resource sharing is not the norm.  Although we criticize departments and the faculty who operate in silos, administrative offices within the same institution are territorial and operate in silos too.

What resources did you discover at this presentation?
NACROnacrocon.org
The Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers brings together U.S. and international academic corporate relations professionals who are dedicated to providing professional development opportunities and sharing best practices that enable members to develop and advance comprehensive, mutually beneficial relationships with industry and establish common language and metrics for peer comparison. Founded in 2007, NACRO has grown to more than 500 individual members.

CASE – www.case.org/
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

Profile databases used by CR and RD offices:
SalesForce
Raisers Edge (used by development offices)
Financial Edge

Interesting questions:

Q. How do we guide faculty as to who will get the IP credit when faculty and corporations collaborate?

A:  Break the barriers between the Technology Transfer/IP office and the faculty.

The IP office does the negotiations for the faculty.  Faculty should not be negotiating the IP because they tend to give away more than they should.  The IP offices are trained attorneys, and can speak on behalf of the faculty member’s research.

Q: There are many entities within our institution that reach out to corporations, and we are all unaware these contacts are being made. It appears (rightly so) that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing within the same institution. What do your institutions do to communicate across your institutions of the activity being conducted with corporations?

A:  Michigan Tech Corporate Relations creates an engagement summary and provides this to faculty or leadership who plan to contact corporations.

A: Corporate Relations and Research Development offices need to follow a holistic model – co-locate, share resources and administrative support(especially in decentralized institutions.) There is a slide within the presenters slide deck with details on what the holistic model entails.

 

New Member Cameo: Chasmine Stoddart

Chasmine Stoddart, Johns Hopkins University

Welcome to NORDP: Chasmine Stoddardt!

Where: Johns Hopkins University

Number of years in research development: 2

Joined NORDP in June 2017

What is your RD work?
I am the Manager of the Research Development Team, a new initiative within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  It’s very much a start-up environment as we build and launch the services to the University.  Our goal is to encourage collaborative research across disciplines, schools and institutions. Once those relationships are formed, we aim to be the one-stop shop to facilitate the proposal preparation process.  

What is your professional background?
In 2008 I started out in Physics & Astronomy at JHU, learning the basics of research administration.  My first real hands-on experience was reconciling a portfolio of accounts for one of the grants administrators.  I have also worked in a variety of settings at JHU over the years in departments in the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Arts & Sciences as well as the central ORA.  In 2015, I joined the Research Development Services team at Georgetown, but ended up returning to Hopkins in 2016.

What attracted you to NORDP?
Sue Porterfield and Julie Messersmith, colleagues at JHU, introduced me to NORDP and encouraged me to join.  The opportunity to connect and form relationships with research development professionals across the country was definitely a draw.

How will your NORDP membership enhance your own career?
I have already joined the listserv and am very impressed by the responsiveness and community-type feel of the organization.  The topics that are discussed provide insight to how our peers operate at their institutions and opens the doors to true collaboration.  I look forward to the relationships that will form through my NORDP membership and to meeting everyone at next year’s conference in Washington D.C.

Written by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: Leadership Without Authority

This post is the first in a series that capture the take-home points from a variety of sessions presented at the NORDP Annual Meeting in Broomfield, Colorado. 

Leadership Without Authority

Presenters:

Shay D. Stautz, Associate Vice President for National Policy, Arizona State University
Brian C. Ten Eyck, Assistant Dean for Research Development, University of Arizona College of Engineering

Notes written by Susan Lodato.

Key points from the session:

  • No scientific definition of “leadership without authority”
  • “If you lead well, you will not need your rank.” (Developing Leaders: A British Army Guide, p. 74)
  • You need people to WANT to work with you to achieve your goal.
  • Leadership without authority is about engagement, credibility, and cooperation.
  • All relationships should be win-wins.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?

There is a secret to leadership without authority: intentionality.

What resources did you discover at this presentation?
Samuel B. Bacharach. The Agenda Mover: When Your Good Idea is Not Enough. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016.

Charles Duhigg. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity. New York: Random House, 2016.

David Goleman. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. New York: Bantam Dell, 2006.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett. Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success. New York: HarperCollins, 2014.

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Developing Leaders: A British Army Guide. 2014

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member, and what was the response?

Comment: We must remember that there is a cultural aspect to leadership. Presenter: Absolutely. You need to understand the audience with whom you are about to engage.

Question: You discussed the importance of choosing your team carefully. What if you cannot pick team members? Presenter: Even if the leader is unable to pick his or her team, the leader must establish the norms of the group and determine the rules for interaction and trust-building.

What else from this session should NORDP members know?

Leadership Without Authority is leadership that you exert on your own without the traditional hierarchical support systems of your institution. It is leadership in an area outside of your job description, strengths, background, etc.

Leadership needs to be applied to getting something done. It’s about doing things. Why should people work with you?

  1. You need to ask them.
  2. You need to have a mission – a broader one for your unit or institution.
  3. You need to have credibility. Elements of credibility:
    1. Sound judgment
    2. Presence
    3. Integrity
    4. Competence
    5. Emotional intelligence

The Virtuous LWA Cycle

  1. Establish credibility
  2. Build and nurture alliances on a systematic basis through continuous, systematic professional activities (meeting/working with people outside of your unit)
  3. Establish the public good that you want to accomplish (this public good often comes from these relationships)
  4. Build your team
  5. Deliver!

Leading Teams

  1. Establish psychological safety for teams
  2. All team members speak and contribute

 

2017 NORDP Rising Star Awardees

NORDP Day 2 0591_Rising Star Awardees_3
Madhavi (Maddy) Chokshi, Michael Thompson, Mary J. Fechner

The annual NORDP Rising Star Award recognizes up to three members who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to NORDP. The 2017 Rising Star awardees are Madhavi (Maddy) Chokshi, Michael Thompson, and Mary Fechner.

Madhavi (Maddy) Chokshi, University of Central Florida
A NORDP member since 2014, Maddy attended her first annual conference in 2016. She helped make the 2016 conference a rousing success, serving on the conference planning committee and leading the local activities sub-committee. If you attended a networking dinner or went on a morning walk or run, you can thank Maddy.  She also has served on the Strategic Alliances Committee and is actively engaged in NORDP Region III.

Michael Thompson, University of New Hampshire
Michael has generously shared his humor, knowledge, and expertise with regional and national colleagues since becoming an RD professional in 2013. He has been instrumental in improving NORDP communications. He serves on NORDP’s communications working group, sharing his wisdom with the marketing committees for the 2016 and 2017 conferences. He started the @NORDP_official Twitter account and has been tweeting on NORDP’s behalf ever since.

Mary J. Fechner, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Active in both NORDP and NORDP NE, Mary combines her anthropology Ph.D. training with RD experience to bring a nuanced understanding to her service on NORDP’s annual conference evaluation committee. She is also a co-investigator on a collaborative project with University of Massachusetts, University of Tennessee, and Hanover Research peers to study development of the RD field through analysis of RD job postings and focus group input.

 

Researching Research Development

A project responding to David Stone’s call for “empirical research into what [research developers] do” was approved by the NORDP Board in the fall of 2016. Its long-range goal is to provide information that will “improve our performance as professionals and…connect what we do to constituent groups and institutions to whom we bring value.” The investigation will address “type, scope, [and] scale” questions and seek to identify knowledge, skills, and aptitudes essential in research development. This project will be undertaken to help formalize research development in its structures, functions, and definitions–and this in turn will in turn address one of the major goals of the research effort, which is, as Stone notes, to “provide a standardized basis from which to create benchmarks, develop quality improvement guidance (and programming), devise assessment mechanisms, and establish best or promising practices within the profession.”

To accomplish these purposes, two gaps in the research development corpus will be addressed: the characterization of activity in the field and the delineation of knowledge, skills, and aptitudes believed to be necessary for entry into and advancement within research development. This material will be developed through analysis of job descriptions and survey and focus group investigation. Interpretation of the results will be informed by work already completed by the NORDP Special Programs Working Group in 2013 and by the existing descriptions of research development.

A team of four research development professionals who are all NORDP members will complete the study in 2017 and 2018. Reports of findings will be made at NORDP and other conferences as well as through publication.

Arriving at an evidence-based understanding of the purposes, practices, and key characteristics of research development has broad application relevant to current and future practitioners, institutional structures, organization of knowledge, and acceptance and advancement of the field. As Stone noted regarding practitioners, “Such work could…help us better understand what kinds of individuals, with what kinds of training, skills, and abilities, are best suited for various roles within research development, as well as what their professional trajectories are like. Findings in these areas might improve our capacity to recruit, retain, and provide succession planning and longer-term career paths for individuals in research development.” The research team and NORDP Board are pleased to announce that these goals will be pursued beginning this year.

All NORDP members will be invited to participate in this project, so stay tuned for more information.

Early Bird Conference Registration ends March 15

All good things must come to an end, and that includes the early registration rate for the NORDP annual conference in Denver this May. Early registration ends on Wednesday, March 15, so don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for a great meeting and save some money! The member rate is currently $460, but that increases to $530 after March 15. For non-members, the rates rise from $650 to $720. There’s still room in some of the pre-conference workshops: don’t delay in signing up! View the program hereRegister today!