Update on NORDP 2022 Conference

Dear NORDP Community,

As you all have been planning and drafting abstracts, our conference co-chairs and leadership have been working busily behind the scenes to assess the feasibility of holding an in-person conference next spring and consulting with event planners on the best path forward.

After considering many variables, we have made the difficult decision to convert our planned event in Bellevue, WA, to a fully virtual conference; it will take place Monday-Thursday, April 25-28, 2022.

We know this decision will be met with mixed emotions–results of a recent survey showed a distinct split between members calling for an online event and those eager to get back to in-person conferences. We know that neither option is ideal for everyone, and the Executive Conference Committee will make recommendations to the Board for providing future options that accommodate our broad community.

Let me reiterate that our decision to move to a virtual conference this year was based on many factors, including the continued risk of COVID and safety of our members; the related financial struggles of some of our institutions (which have reduced professional development budgets for staff); institutional policies that continue to limit travel; the comfort level of members for convening in large groups; and the increased costs of venues paired with a likely decreased number of attendees (i.e., cost-effectiveness for members and the organization). 

Given the timing (this is the earliest we could make this announcement), our conference co-chairs have decided to extend the conference abstract deadline until Friday, November 26, 11:59 pm PST. We hope this provides an opportunity for members who wish to present at the conference, but who could not attend an in-person event.

I want to thank our 2022 conference co-chairs, Katie Shoaf and Becca Latimer, for their leadership, perseverance and flexibility under these uncertain circumstances, as well as our event planners at FirstPoint Management Resources for their hard work. We enjoyed a vibrant and engaging virtual conference in 2021, and we learned valuable lessons that will yield an even more successful 2022 event.

You may contact rdconf@nordp.org with questions.

With much gratitude during this Thanksgiving season,

Jill Jividen, NORDP President, 2021-22

To view the full competition and submit your abstract, click here: View competition

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP 2020 Conference Travel Award Applications Open

NORDP is now accepting applications for Conference Attendance Awards for the 12th Annual Research Development Conference in San Antonio, TX, for those in need of financial support beyond what their institutions or organizations will provide. Applicants may request a registration waiver and/or up to 3 nights hotel accommodation.

Conference Attendance Awards are not available to current and prior NORDP Board of Directors members, Affiliate Members or consultants. Anyone who has received travel support from NORDP in the last three years (2017-2019) is not eligible in 2020. PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE UNTIL YOU ARE NOTIFIED OF THE STATUS OF YOUR ATTENDANCE AWARD. We will contact applications with decisions before the early-bird registration window closes.

These awards support NORDP’s mission to enhance the diversity of our membership and member institutions. Members who are new to NORDP, attending their first NORDP conference, identify as part of a group that they believe to be underrepresented in NORDP, or represent Minority-Serving Institutions are strongly encouraged to apply.NORDP 2020 email signature v2

Conference Attendance Grants do not fully cover the costs of attending the annual conference. Efforts must be made by applicants to secure some funding either through their institutions or personally, to cover a significant portion of conference attendance costs.

Grant recipients are expected to volunteer at the conference in May and serve on a NORDP committee or subcommittee following the 2020 Conference.

Apply HERE by February 24, 2020. If you are a first-time user of NORDP’s InfoReady Review site, please create your account by clicking “register” in the upper right corner (the site is not linked to NORDP member logins).


We hope to see you at the conference, which will be held May 17-20, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession


Great Lakes Regional Meeting Introduces RD to NORDP Newcomers

The University of Michigan (U-M)  hosted the 2019 NORDP Great Lakes Regional Meeting on October 21 at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor. The full-day conference received 180 attendees representing more than 30 institutions and organizations across the region.

Chaired by Jill Jividen and Beth LaPensee, the conference featured sessions on topics such as sustaining interdisciplinary initiatives, measuring research impact, coordinating complex proposals and managing internal funding programs. A NORDP-NACRO Alliance, led by Don Takehara from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, resulted in three joint sessions around corporate relations, and Scott Hutcheson from the Agile Strategy Lab at Purdue University offered a three-hour Strategic Doing introductory workshop.


The event provided knowledge-sharing and networking that NORDP members always appreciate, and a welcoming first-time experience for prospective NORDP members.

“As a NORDP member for the past three years, I can really feel our networks deepening and expanding as a result of regional meetings like this,” said Allison McElroy, associate director for foundation relations at U-M and a volunteer at the event. “The smaller scale makes it easy to re-connect with NORDP members from other institutions, and I met a lot of first-time NORDP attendees as well—many of whom were already making plans to follow up with regional colleagues about specific meeting content, as well as sharing hopes to attend the annual conference in May.”

Jessi Bishop-Royse, senior research methodologist in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul University, found the sessions valuable: “This past week was the first time I have attended any meeting of NORDP. I was blown away by how useful it was.”

Martina Jerant, administrative coordinator for U-M’s Center for RNA Biomedicine and a certified workshop leader in Strategic Doing, also enjoyed her first NORDP experience: “The topics were so rich—I only wish I had more time to see them all! I really enjoyed speaking to colleagues within and outside of my institution. This was the perfect setting to share information, learn best practices and make connections. The speakers were informative and incredibly generous with their time and resources, and offered to stay connected with any future questions we might have.”

The 2019 Great Lakes Regional Meeting was sponsored by the U-M Office of Research, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) and InfoReady Corporation, an Ann Arbor software company. Available slide presentations will be stored on The Ohio State University’s Knowledge Bank.



2019 Candidates for NORDP’s Board of Directors

Four NORDP members are seeking election to the organization’s Board of Directors in ballot2019. The candidates pursuing a seat on the Board are:

  • Joanna Downer, Duke University
  • Faye Farmer, Arizona State University
  • Katie Howard, Appalachian State University
  • Jenna McGuire, Ohio State University

Learn about their interest in serving NORDP in a leadership capacity and their qualifications for Board service by reviewing the candidate profiles.

NORDP’s annual Board of Directors election will open on Monday, April 29, and close on Friday, May 31. Members who are in good standing will receive the ballot information via email from Election Runner. Please whitelist emails sent from “electionrunner.com” to help ensure you receive your ballot.

Contact the Nominating Committee (nomcom@nordp.org) if you have questions regarding the candidates or the NORDP Board election process.

NORDP 2019: What to Know Before You Go

Greetings NORDP 2019 Attendees:

Are you ready for #NORDP2019? We’re  looking forward to welcoming you to the Omni Providence, where we have a sold-out crowd for our 11th Annual Conference! This is our first full-three-day event, so get ready for more speakers, more sponsors, more hours of valuable content, and more fun.

Here are a few important details that should help you prepare for your arrival in Providence, RI.

Getting There:
T.F. Green Airport (PVD) is 10 miles from the Omni Providence Hotel. Logan Airport (BOS) is 50 miles from the hotel.

Ground transportation

  • Taxi: From PVD to the Omni Providence, the cost is approximately $35.
  • Lyft: Taking a Lyft from PVD will cost $12-17, on average.
  • Bus from BOS: Peter Pan Bus Company from Logan Airport to Kennedy Plaza, Providence, will cost $24.
  • Train: Amtrak offers daily service between Providence Station and Boston South Station ($22-45); Providence Station is a 10-minute walk to the Omni.

The Omni Providence has valet parking onsite. Overnight valet is $32 with unlimited in/out privileges. There are additional fees for late pick-up after 3 p.m. on the day of departure.

Valet Parking Rates:

  • Up to 90 minutes: $9
  • 90 mins to 2.5 hours: $12
  • 2.5 hours to 10 hours: $16

Self-parking is available at the Rhode Island Convention Center next door; rates may vary.

Conference Program
As in past years, in our effort to maintain greener standards, we will not be providing a printed program. If you prefer a paper version, the full conference program is now available on our website. Download it here, or refer to the detailed program schedule on our handy mobile app.

NORDP Conference Mobile App!
Partnering with Attendify, we have created a conference app for your convenience at NORDP 2019. To access, go to your app store, and search for and download the ATTENDIFY app. Then search for “NORDP 2019” and click on “Join.” You will need to create a profile. You will then be connected to your fellow conference attendees, receive push notifications about happenings and updates during the conference, locate sessions and rooms, find information on sponsors and speakers, and create your personal schedule! Download the app today on your smartphone or tablet, and see how informative and easy to use it is.

Complementary WiFi is available throughout the Omni Providence meeting rooms. To access:

  • Connect to Omni Meeting
  • Launch your Internet browser and go to a webpage; you will be automatically directed to login to Omni Meeting Room
  • Enter access code: NORDP2019!
  • Select “Access Internet”

Conference Attire
Attire for the conference is business casual, and casual after hours. Remember workout clothes/shoes if you’ll take part in morning exercise. The forecast is for seasonal temperatures; Northeast springs are cool during the day and night (62/45 F), with rain  possible.

Stay Connected on Social Media
Do you Tweet? Follow NORDP on Twitter @NORDP_official, and connect with other conference attendees by Tweeting with the hashtag #NORDP2019. A prize will be awarded on Wednesday at the conference for the attendee who Tweets the most using the hashtag! You can also sign up to be a Social Media Volunteer at the conference.

Conference Career Center
Employers and recruiters will be onsite to speak to you about career opportunities. For more information, to view posted jobs or to request an interview, please see the NORDP website.

Get your NORDP-branded gear in Providence, including t-shirts, hoodies, and nordp-apparel-thumbnailcoffee mugs. Visit us Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, noon-6 pm. We accept Venmo payments (@NORDP-Treasurer) or personal checks to NORDP; no cash payments please. The pop-up store will have limited stock onsite, but additional colors/sizes/styles can be ordered online until May 10.

2:30-4:30 pm  Committee Meetings
4:30-5:30 pm  Concurrent Events:

  • New Member & First-Time Attendee Orientation
  • Mentoring Meet-up
  • PUI Affinity Group Kick-Off

5:30-7 pm  Welcome Reception
Please join us in the Ballroom at 5:30 on Sunday evening to meet and greet other NORDP 2019 attendees!

Morning Walk/Run/Swim/Bike/Stress Reduction
As in past years, you can meet up with fellow conference-goers for morning exercise or meditation. Groups will meet in the hotel lobby at 6 am, unless otherwise posted. Don’t forget your workout clothes and shoes. A limited number of bikes will be available near the hotel, and we encourage you to bring your own yoga mat for the stress-reduction class.

A Conference Favorite: The Idea Showcase and Reception, Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
We highly encourage you to attend this afternoon event: The Idea Showcase is a poster session designed for individuals or small teams to present their own approaches to problems and solutions in research development, to showcase best practices, or to introduce innovative ideas. Get a glass of wine, visit with presenters, meet-and-greet candidates for the Board of Directors, chat with current Board members and explore options to get involved with NORDP’s many standing committees.

Optional Networking Dinners
Join other conference attendees for dinner at some great local establishments on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Some dinners will also feature an informal discussion around a research development topic of interest. Each dinner guest pays his or her own way and groups are limited in size. Registration is required. Please visit the following links to sign up:
Monday, April 29
Tuesday, April 30

NORDP Sponsors
Please make time to stop by our sponsor exhibits in the Ballroom to chat with them and find out what’s new in their businesses to enhance your RD activities.  There will be fantastic sponsor giveaways.  Our sponsors make the conference happen!

Evaluation: Make the annual Research Development conferences better every year!
NORDP conference planners need your feedback! Each day during the conference, you will receive an e-mail asking you about that day’s activities.  To continue to provide you with the most valuable conference experience possible, the surveys will have questions about session content and format, as well as the venue and its services.  We’ll want to know if the sessions are relevant to you, and what your suggestions are for future meetings. If you complete your daily survey, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win cool stuff.

Do you have time to sightsee? Need restaurant recommendations?
Check out the website and the awesome Interactive Map created by our local planning team, or get the details for shopping, restaurants and attractions right in the conference app!

Thank you for registering, and we look forward to seeing you there!

The NORDP 2019 Planning Team

Sunday We’ll Be Together

While #NORDP2019 officially kicks off Monday, April 29, there are many opportunities on Sunday, April 28, to connect with old friends, meet some new ones, orient yourself to the organization and the conference, and volunteer. For those of you coming in on Sunday, please consider taking advantage of the following:

2:30-4:30 pm: Committee Meetings
All members are welcome (and encouraged!) to join NORDP Committees. NORDP is a volunteer-run organization, and we are always looking for members to get involved. You can explore Committee options here. For those who can’t make it, you also will be able to learn more about Committees and speak with members during the Ideas Showcase on Tuesday afternoon.

4:30-5:30 pm:  Activities to Engage with Old and New Members

  • New Member/ First-time Attendee Orientation & Networking: The Member Services Committee welcomes new members and first-time attendees to connect with veteran conference-goers. Meet your Ambassador, and learn how to make the most of conference opportunities. Hear from NORDP President Karen Eck and President-Elect Karen Fletcher, and participate in networking activities to meet new friends.
  • Mentoring Meet-up: Newly matched Mentor/Mentee pairs will meet for the first time face-to-face and get their mentoring relationship off to a solid start. Past Mentee/Mentor pairs also are invited to attend.
  • PUI Kick-off: Congratulations to the newest NORDP Affinity Group–for Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs)! If you’re interested in engaging with this group of NORDP professionals to share perspectives and best practices and contribute to the group’s planning and goals, join them on Sunday.
  • Sponsor Opportunities: Our conference sponsors will be set up and ready to answer your questions about the tools and services they can provide to enhance your RD activities.

5:30-7 pm: Welcome Reception
Our unofficial kick-off! Before heading out for dinner, grab a drink and mingle with your fellow conference-goers. There are multiple built-in networking opportunities throughout the conference–and these are wonderful chances to expand your base of knowledge and contacts. Remember your business cards!

7 pm: Dinner Options
Several dinner engagements will be taking place, including Committee Dinners, New Member Dinners and Sponsor Receptions & Dinners. If you’re looking for additional options, visit our  conference website or use our interactive map for recommendations from locals.

8-11 pm: Research on the Rocks
This is the inaugural of a new evening option–an informal opportunity to mix and mingle after conference hours in the hotel bar.

There is still a plethora of opportunities to donate your time at the conference! Lead a walk/run/bike, host a networking dinner, commit to #NORDP2019 #tweet #promos,  or help run the registration desk. View all options on the website here.


We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

Funding Agency Sessions at NORDP 2019

There will be a number of sessions at #NORDP2019 hosted by representatives of federal funding agencies. This is a great opportunity to learn more about future agency priorities or trends, and ask specific questions about funding opportunities and strategies for responding to FOAs. If you wish to schedule a one-on-one meeting with these representatives, you can sign up HERE.

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Suzanne Iacono, Head of the Office of Integrative Activities, National Science FoundationNSF_4-Color_bitmap_Logo


Meghan Houghton


Meghan Houghton, Senior Advisor for Strategic Engagements, Directorate for Computer and Information Science & Engineering (CISE), National Science Foundation


Dr. Iacono will present Strategies for Successful Broader Impacts (Monday, 3:15-5:15 pm) with Brown University’s Amy Carroll, and discuss NSF’s Strategic Initiatives and Integrated Activities (Tuesday, 3:30-4:30 pm) with Dr. Houghton.


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Mark Mirando, National Program Leader of Animal Nutrition, Growth & Reproduction, USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture


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Robin Barr, Director, Division of Extramural Activities, NIH National Institute on Aging


Drs. Mirando and Barr will be featured in a Funder Spotlight on Tuesday, 8:30-9:30 a.m., in Waterplace I.


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Lisa Friedersdorf, Director, National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

Dr. Friedersdorf will be featured in a Funder Spotlight on Quantum Information Science on Tuesday, 9:45-10:45 a.m., in Waterplace I.


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Valerie Browning, Director, Defense Science Office, DARPA



Dr. Browning will present at a Funder Spotlight on Tuesday, 2:15-3:15 p.m., with Brown University’s Jill Pipher.


#NORDP2019 start Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

Conference Spotlight: Mindfulness Sessions for Self-Care

Ever feel overwhelmed, anxious or burned out? Ever feel like you spend so much time taking care of others that you can’t focus on yourself? Does your daily stress lead to unhealthy habits?

At #NORDP2019 in Providence, you can choose from a range of activities for a healthy start to your mornings. Every day of the conference at 6 am, as we have in past years , we are offering opportunities for an invigorating walk, run or bike with fellow conference-goers. And a new option this year is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction sessions, for relaxation and focus. (Each of these activities is seeking volunteers to help facilitate: sign up here to lead a walk/bike route, or here to help with Mindfulness.)

Further, we are thrilled to offer a presentation from renowned expert Judson Brewer, MD, PhD. Dr. Brewer is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the Brown University School of Medicine. c26509b2fb6f78fd26045fdfce39d293ab458400_254x191He also is a research affiliate at MIT.

See Dr. Brewer during Concurrent Session I:

How to Hack Our Craving Minds for Better Health

Tuesday, 8:30-9:30 am
Providence Rooms II & III
How do habits form, and why are they so hard to break? In 2014, Time magazine declared a “mindful revolution” due to its growing popularity and research suggesting that mindfulness may help to treat a number of health-related problems from anxiety to addiction. However, little is known about how (and how well) it works. In this talk, Dr. Brewer, a world-renowned expert in behavior change, will map how our minds form habits, and how we can use mindfulness training to hack this same learning process to break out of unhealthy habits ranging from emotional eating to anxiety. He will highlight the scientific research underlying behavior change using examples from clinical studies of app-based mindfulness training for smoking (Craving to Quit), eating (Eat Right Now) and anxiety (Unwinding Anxiety), as well as brain imaging studies from his lab. He will also show how we can tap into our reward-based learning systems to build our natural capacities of awareness, kindness, and curiosity.


#NORDP2019 start Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

Conference Cameo: Archie Pitsilides

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. 

Who: Archie Pitsilides, Director, Grants & Outreach
Where: Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business
Number of years in research development: 11
Length of NORDP membership: 2 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Istanbul, Turkey: People, Culture, Food!

I came to work in the research development field as a third profession. Prior to commencing my career in academia, I held a variety of management positions in the archie headshot (2)hospitality industry, followed by directing customs brokerage services for U.S. importers.  In the early part of the millennium, I returned to the university as a non-traditional student to earn an MBA and an M.A. in Spanish, in part because my spouse accepted a tenure-track position at Texas Tech University. As I was contemplating the next chapter in my professional career, a position was serendipitously announced – as a research associate for a Department of Education-funded program that was working to internationalize curriculum to serve faculty, students, and the U.S. trade community.  This position merged my newly acquired academic skill set with my business experience in international trade. From there, I was hooked. I was fortunate to have a great faculty mentor who took the time to introduce me to and help me navigate both the research and funding environments, while the college supported my professional development through attendance at various grant writing and research workshops. As the Rawls College enhanced its focus on the importance of obtaining grant funding, I was promoted to my current position of Director of Grants and Outreach.

As a grants director, I work to develop and secure funding opportunities for both faculty and students in the areas of business education, research and program development. I provide life-cycle services that include curating opportunities that align with the unique interests of business faculty, proposal editorship, budget development, and pre- and post-award management. In the past few years, the college has made a commitment to supporting interdisciplinary research in an effort to incentivize faculty and enhance the collaborative research environment across the university. This emphasis on collaboration has enabled me to work with a diverse group of investigators and teams from our colleges of education, engineering, media and communications, and visual and performing arts. As with all funding efforts, some proposal teams met with great successes while others had some tough defeats.  Alas, such is the life in the dynamic world of RD.

Inasmuch as last year was the first time I attended the conference, I can honestly say I was genuinely impressed with both the variety and caliber of the conference session offerings. While I often self-selected into the break-outs that paralleled my interests, I did consciously make it a point to discover insights on at least one new area of research. More specifically, I chose to attend a session which focused on early stage investigators in biomedical sciences. This session allowed me to gain a different perspective on mentoring and training early career faculty and provided me with some ideas how to engage program officers to their benefit. To that, end, my insider tip is to make room in your personal agenda to take advantage of the Ideas Showcase which is scheduled on Tuesday, April 30, from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm. If you ever wondered how other institutions pilot programs, achieve results, translate research, or enhance collaboration, do not miss this opportunity to discover a plethora of strategies, processes and people. You will come away with new tools or at least a new way of looking at an old challenge. Finally, enjoy the camaraderie of your peers and make new friends!


For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

Ask Me: Bright Yellow Buttons and Smiling Faces Welcome You to #NORDP2019

If you are a first-time NORDP conference attendee and lost in the sea of smiling-but-busy-faces, feel free to stop a NORDP Ambassador wearing a bright yellow button that says “Ask Me.” You can ask them about NORDP and how to get the most out of your conference experience, make a connection and a friend!ask_me_buttons

The NORDP Member Services Committee (MSC) launched the Ambassador program last year in an effort to ease first-time conference attendees into the conference experience, provide networking opportunities for first-timers and seasoned attendees alike, and increase engagement with the organization. The program is back, bigger and better, for #NORDP2019.

This year, each first-time attendee is matched with one NORDP Ambassador who is their source of all answers about the conference and the organization. First-time conference attendees and Ambassadors will attend an Orientation and Networking session before the conference begins on Sunday, April 28, 4:30pm-5:30 pm, in the Providence Ballroom.

MSC will have a table by the reception desk, staffed by Ambassadors during breaks to further answer questions. Each Ambassador will be wearing a bright yellow “Ask Me” badge and will be happy to talk/answer questions/network anytime during the conference. Each first-time conference attendee also will have a chance to sign up for a networking dinner hosted by several ambassadors. There will be other opportunities throughout the conference for first-timers to have networking dinners with other NORDP members.

Looking forward to a great conference experience and meeting you all in Providence!

You may contact Samarpita Sengupta (samar.sg@gmail.com) or Sarah Messbauer (smessbauer@ucdavis.edu) with questions about the Ambassador Program.


For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.