Upcoming Webinars for #NORDP2019

Mark your calendars! In the coming weeks, we will present three webinars to help members prepare for the annual Research Development Conference, April 29-May 1, in Providence, RI.

Preparing Conference Presentations, Powerpoints, and Posters
Tuesday, April 2, 1 pm EST
Register here
For many of us, conference presentations cause worry and stress. Yet, presenting in public does not have to be scary and can be very rewarding…and even fun! The purpose of this webinar is to present best practices for preparing presentations, slides and posters, to facilitate useful and effective presentations and interactions, whatever the medium. Our presenters have extensive experience in public speaking, speechwriting and effective communication. Take advantage of this webinar to help make your presentations more effective, whether at the 2019 NORDP conference or in other venues.
Presenters: Jenna McGuire, MBA, The Ohio State University; Kari Whittenberger-Keith, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ambassador Program Orientation
Friday, April 5, 1 pm EST
Register here
In this 30-minute webinar, volunteers for the 2019 NORDP Ambassador Program will learn essential information about their role and responsibilities for this year’s conference. Topics will include: an introduction to the Ambassador program, an overview of NORDP’s structure, committees, and resources, a discussion on specific activities Ambassadors will complete, and a review of resources relevant to new members and first-time conference attendees. Time will be available at the end to address questions or concerns about the program.
Presenters: Sarah Messbauer, PhD, University of California, Davis; Samar Sengupta, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern; Kay Tindle, PhD, Texas Tech University

Getting Ready for #NORDP2019
Monday, April 8, 1 pm EST
Register here
Join us for the webinar version of “What to Know before You Go”!  Veteran NORDP conference-goers (and planners) will walk you through the logistics of the event, an overview of the conference program, and how to maximize your experience. We’ll describe all the ways you can engage with colleagues during the conference, and how to keep the excitement going afterward. And for those who want to explore Providence, a member of our local planning team will be on hand to discuss all the things to do in the area. Whether this is your first conference or your fifth, this is your chance to ask any questions you have about what to expect at #NORDP2019!
Presenters: Karen Fletcher, MBA, Appalachian State University; Jill Jividen, PhD, University of Michigan; Edel Minogue, PhD, Brown University


For more information about #NORDP2019, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences.

Interested in sharing a room in Providence? More info here (requires member login).

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

Conference Cameo: Sarah Messbauer

#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: Sarah Messbauer, Coordinator, Grantsmanship Programs
Where: University of California, Davis
Number of years in research development: 1
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Citadelle Laferrière, near Okap, Haiti

I’m quite new to NORDP and the RD world, having started my first position with the fine folks at UC Davis less than a year ago (in fact, it’s the one-year anniversary of my doctoralMessbauerHeadshot defense as I write this – woo hoo!). But like many people in our field, I’d been doing research development work for some time before my first “official” RD role.

My undergraduate background was in STEM (biochemistry and neuroscience), but my doctoral degree is in ethnomusicology (anthropology and music). That interdisciplinarity helped push me toward doctoral research on grant institutions, and I ended up serving as an unofficial grants consultant for folks at my university. My educational path was a bit unusual, to put it mildly, and I often found that people just… didn’t quite know what to do with me. That is, until I met the Director of our RD unit, Sheryl Soucy-Lubell. She knew exactly what to do: she hired me!

In my current role, I wear many hats:  I run proposal development services for small and medium grants, develop campus-wide grantsmanship trainings, provide professional development support for decentralized RD staff, and contribute to special projects in consultation with our Strategic Initiatives team. I enjoy the challenge of balancing so many different projects and the opportunity to work directly with faculty, staff, and senior campus leadership to advance the mission of our institution.

Fundamentally, what I enjoy most about RD is that it caters to the role I love to play, which is that of the primary support person. I don’t have to manage research projects myself, but I play a vital role in making sure they happen by providing whatever a PI needs to do the work. Essentially, I get to be everyone’s “second banana,” their strong right hand. It’s a job that depends on quality teamwork, and I love being part of that process.

NORDP is an excellent reflection of the interdisciplinarity and teamwork that define our field, and I was so excited by the community-driven mission of the group that I immediately started volunteering. I attended last year’s D.C. conference just over a month after I was hired, and ended up having great discussions with the Member Services Committee about support for new NORDP members. This year, I’m co-facilitating a four-hour workshop, co-managing the Ambassador Program, co-running my regional meeting (go Pacific!), co-developing a “Networking Marathon” activity, co-writing a proposal for expanded resources on the NORDP website, and co-hosting a networking dinner for new members.

As you can tell, it’s no co-incidence (terrible pun intended) that NORDP members so frequently cite relationship-building as the number one benefit of membership. And as I’ve learned first-hand, there’s no better way to build those relationships by jumping right into the deep end of the pool and getting involved. So whether you’re brand-new or a seasoned vet, I encourage you to consider volunteering with us this year. Jump on in! The water is fine.


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.

Do You Like M&Ms? Meet the Mentoring Committee at #NORDP2019

Actual M&Ms will feature prominently at the multiple venues where you can engage with the enthusiastic Mentoring Committee!

Members of NORDP Mentoring have been working over the past few months to ensure that anyone with an interest in pursuing mentoring, being mentored, exploring peer mentoring, or in other facets of collaborating with others around professional development, will find a conference replete with diverse opportunities to delve into those topics.

Even before #NORDP2019 officially begins, the Mentoring Committee will host a Mentor/Mentee (M&Ms, get it?) Meet-up on Sunday, April 28, from 4:30-5:30 PM in the South County room, so newly matched Mentor/Mentee pairs can meet in person to get their mentoring relationship off to a solid start.  Past Mentor/Mentee pairs are also invited.

There will be chocolate, fun, and a game with prizes!

Throughout the conference, please join us at any of the following Mentoring Committee events, sessions and areas where we will have information, M&Ms, and Mentoring Committee members available:

Monday, April 29

Workshop:  An Overview of Onboarding Materials and Webinars Offered to Support Mentees and Mentors, 10:00 AM – Noon
An overview for all, from the mentoring curious to the veteran, of the complete set of tools available to assist NORDP members in mentoring, regardless of participation in the NORDP Mentoring Program

Workshop: Adapting the National Research Mentoring Network’s “Maintaining Effective Communication” Module to the RD Professional, 1:15 – 3:15 PM
Participants will use an NRMN training module tailored to RD to build upon their communication skills across diverse dimensions including various backgrounds, disciplines, generations, ethnicities, and power structures using evidence-based strategies. Case studies, group exercises, self-assessment, and rich reflective dialogue will reinforce concepts.

Tuesday, April 30

Mentoring Lightning Storm, 8:30 – 9:30 AM (Concurrent Session 1):  Ten 5-minute lightning talks on discrete topics in mentoring, ranging from “Transitioning from mentee to mentor” to “The mentor/mentee match algorithm/process revealed”

Idea Showcase mentoring program poster, 4:30 – 6:30 PM:  Get a quick overview of the NORDP mentoring program while noshing and making new friends!

Wednesday, May 1

Mentoring Roundtable, 9:30 – 10:30 AM (Concurrent Session 5):  An interactive forum that will give participants an intimate setting and a chance to guide the conversation about three mentoring topics in depth: Peer Mentoring, Transitioning from Mentee to Mentor, and The Value of Diversity and Inclusion in Mentoring

Informal Mentoring opportunities throughout the conference:

  • Mentoring Networking Dinners – On Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30, at 6:30 PM, hosts will introduce you to great restaurants for fine food with a side of mentoring conversation.
  • Research on the Rocks – informally hosted nightly (Sunday, April 28 – Wednesday, May 1) by Mentoring Committee co-chair David Widmer in the Omni bar, ROTR will give anyone who wants a chance to unwind, socialize AND/OR talk even more about the benefits of mentoring.  Stop by after the networking dinners or, on Wednesday, after the Conference concludes, for some libation (cash bar) and information.
  • Career Center Mentoring Table – throughout the Conference, the Mentoring Program will have information available at a table in the new NORDP Career Center. Drop in, learn something about mentoring, and you might even be able to win a prize!
  • Talk to Us – Look for blue (or “marine,” if you need a mnemonic) Mentoring Committee ribbons during the Conference if you have a question or just want to make a conference buddy; we’re a friendly group!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at NORDP 2019! #MentoringMatters (M&Ms)

Conference Cameo: Paula Carney

Early Bird registration and the NORDP online store close THIS FRIDAY, March 15!

#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: Paula Carney, PhD, Associate Director, Research Development
Where: University of Chicago
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 1.5 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Nigeria. I helped develop a university research over 5 years.

Like most RDs, my route to the profession was circuitous.  My eclectic academic preparation (nutrition/food science, statistics, educational research) led me to research interests at the boundaries of disciplines, and I found myself connecting people from PaulaCarney_headshotdifferent disciplines, organizations and communities to engage in research and address public health needs. I realized that I was far more effective facilitating research than working in a lab as a faculty member and joined a start-up that provided online learning to health systems. That experience was invaluable as I learned to identify opportunities, innovate products and services, and develop collaborative relationships.

The start-up was acquired, and I joined the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. As Director of Education and Training, our unit identified faculty and staff needs, sought resources, and created programs to advance the research enterprise. I worked with Institute colleagues (including Holly Falk-Krzesinski) and others across campus on RD initiatives and was involved in early mentor training initiatives. I also worked with the NU Center for Global Health to advance research development initiatives internationally. A colleague and I conducted focus groups and created a series of videos, posted on YouTube, to trigger discussion of research misconduct issues in sub-Saharan Africa. I also supported universities in Africa and Central America as they created strategies, programs and administrative infrastructure for faculty research initiatives.

I then joined the Provost’s Office at a small state university with the goal of enhancing graduate academic and research programs through policy and program development. I continued involvement with international programs and research, including research compliance and the IRB.  I sustained essential programs and services during the multi-year Illinois budget impasse when student enrollment plummeted and many faculty and staff left the institution.

Since 2017, I have been with the University of Chicago as a member of the Research Development Support Team.  I enjoy working with faculty and staff and using my previous experiences to support research development initiatives.

I joined NORDP in 2017 and attended the 2018 meeting in D.C.  I became involved with several groups (RDs who share best practices for limited submission research opportunities and the collaborative funding list committee); I was also welcomed by the Mentoring Committee, am a member of the MESHH subcommittee, mentor an RD through the mentoring program, and chair the National Research Mentoring Network subcommittee.  The amazing members of this subcommittee are adapting mentor training materials for use with RDs and we are establishing relationships with research mentor training groups to include RDs.

I look forward to presenting our 2-hour workshop on mentor training (shameless plug!), to connecting with RDs and expanding my RD network, and to learning all that I can from others in Providence, RI.


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 or to register, 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.

NORDP Store Closes Friday!

The NORDP online store will close this FRIDAY – the deadline will not be extended. Place your orders by March 15, so items can be shipped to you in time for #NORDP2019 in Providence, RI!

NOTE: Credit cards will not be charged until after we close the sale on March 15. Your NORDP gear will be shipped directly to you.

VESTgray hoodnordp-apparel-thumbnailjacket-e1552081916843.jpgtee.jpgwomen tee

NORDP Board of Directors: 2019 Call for Nominations and Applications

NORDP members are encouraged to submit nominations and applications for Board of Directors positions in advance of the 2019 election cycle. Nominations for Board positions are due March 15, and applications for Board positions are due April 1.

Three Board of Director positions are open for election in 2019. Two seats are open to all eligible NORDP members; one seat is designated for an eligible NORDP member affiliated with a minority-serving institution and/or a regional institution. New Board members are elected for four-year terms.

As a volunteer-led organization, NORDP’s momentum and mission are driven by its member leaders. Individuals elected to the Board of Directors have the primary responsibilities of ensuring the organization’s effective governance, fiscal responsibility, and strategic direction.

Board members also play a leading role in advancing the organization’s processes and priorities. These range from member services, mentoring, and strategic alliances to inclusive excellence and New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD). Individuals elected to serve on NORDP Board spend 10 to 12 hours per month fulfilling their duties.

According to current and past members of the Board, this service yields significant professional and personal gains. Examples include helping to organize and advance the research development community, strengthening professional networks, and building new friendships.

If you or someone you know is ready to contribute time and talent to the future of NORDP, consider submitting a Board application or nomination today. More information about these processes is available here.

Please contact Nathan Meier, Nominating Committee Chair (nmeier@uab.edu or 205-934-0934), if you have questions regarding the Board of Directors nomination, application, or election processes.

Conference Cameo: Jennifer Schaefer

#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. Register at https://www.nordp.org/conferences.


Who: Jennifer Schaefer, Research Concierge Administrator
Where: Penn State College of Medicine
Number of years in research development: 5
Length of NORDP membership: 4 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
How do you unwind? Spend time with my dog & horse

My journey to a career in Research Development could best be described as unconventional. After earning my Master’s degree in Geography, I spent the better part Jennifer Schaefer_DSC8703of 18 years in private consulting,  working my way up the career ladder with a Pennsylvania-based firm that specializes in community planning and funding strategies. As a senior associate, I supported a wide variety of projects for clients in both the public and private sectors, doing everything from writing grant proposals and drafting support letters to facilitating focus groups and briefing elected officials. A significant focus of the firm’s work was the development and implementation of public funding strategies – a government relations function that required direct engagement with local communities, strong relationships with state and federal legislative delegations, and a working knowledge of the federal appropriations and state budget processes. As a project manager, I was frequently responsible for managing client communications, developing congressional briefing documents, and project white papers. I enjoyed the challenges of my work, but after 18 years in consulting, I was looking for a  career opportunity that would allow me to grow in new directions.

In Summer 2013, I came across a job posting for a Research Concierge Administrator at the Penn State College of Medicine. The position was established to strengthen the research support infrastructure for investigators at the College of Medicine and would work closely with the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Penn State CTSI). Because the Research Concierge Service (RCS) was a newly created unit in the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, I would have an opportunity to build the unit from the ground-up, working in partnership with the Director of Research Development. The position has afforded me the opportunity to leverage the skills I amassed in private consulting and presented me with new learning opportunities. At its core, the Research Concierge Administrator serves as a physical and virtual coordinating hub for research support services at the College of Medicine. As a service of Research Development, I work closely with a variety of key stakeholders to connect investigators to potential research collaborators, to help build research teams, to strengthen grantsmanship skills, to maintain web-based resources through the Research Concierge Service website, to promote the field of interdisciplinary research by organizing seminars and talks, and to serve as a project manager for strategic initiatives. At first glance, it might seem that my previous work experience is incongruous to my current role. But I have found that, in many ways, the skills I amassed in private consulting were invaluable preparation for my current role.

I attended my first NORDP conference in Spring 2015 and have continued attending NORDP conferences since that time. NORDP conferences are a great place to network with peers from a diversity of institutions. This broad exposure to professional colleagues is a value-added of NORDP conferences. If you are attending the conference with other team members from your institution, I recommend you review the conference schedule as a team to determine which sessions each of you will attend. To achieve the greatest return on investment, “divide and conquer” by spreading team members across the conference schedule. If you are attending the NORDP conference as your organization’s sole representative, review the conference schedule with your team members to identify key questions you will keep in your back pocket for presenters. Whether flying solo or attending the conference with co-workers, remember to step out of your comfort zone — introduce yourself to someone new. We all find comfort in the familiar, but it is often when we step outside of our comfort zone that growth happens.


Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! 

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 or to register, 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.