Conference Cameo: Stefania Grotti

#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. 
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Who: Stefania Elisabeth Grotti, Head Manager of the Research Office
Where: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Number of years in research development: 18
Length of NORDP membership: 3 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? As a European, I am fascinated by the local cultures of the different Continents I’ve visited. The most fascinating countries I’ve seen are Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as Australia.

I have over 25 years of experience in the field of Research Leadership and Management, including 18 in academia, specifically at the Politecnico di Milano, where I am Head stefaniaManager of the Research Office. Over the years, I have developed strong leadership skills which have enabled me to build a solid record of success in guiding my team to meet its objectives. I have contributed significantly towards maintaining the Politecnico’s outstanding record of success in research fundraising (particularly from EU calls). Under my leadership, the Politecnico has become the most successful research university in Italy. Currently, I am Chair of the Vision 2020 Network Advisory Board and Secretary of NCURA Region VIII.

I’m a passionate and energetic professional involved in the field of academic research. I have extensive experience in funding and financial management,  and the ability to negotiate and mediate at any level and stage since 1995. Thanks to national and international experience on complex projects, I have developed a robust knowledge of the Organisational HR Field suitable for transnational and diverse Research Contexts (academic and industry).

I first heard about NORDP through my participation in several international networks. I am very interested in Research Development activities; I enrolled in NORDP three years ago and in 2018 I attended the D.C. conference for the first time. I was pleased to find that all the Research Development Managers I met felt very engaged in their activities. It is certainly a stimulating environment for me

Yes, in Italy the Research Development activities are not very developed. The Politecnico di Milano is the first Italian university to have implemented them. I am proud to have been able to apply the strategies and the best practices of Research Development learned during the conference at my university.

I have met many new colleagues with whom I have maintained contact. This also allowed me to be invited as speaker at the 2019 conference in Providence.

To prepare to face the challenges we confront in academic research funding,  I advise attendees to actively participate in the sessions and try to bring home the greatest amount of knowledge, above all from different perspectives, even at an international level. The day-to-day work of the Research Developer Manager can be enhanced tremendously through the exchange of ideas.

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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.

Conference Cameo: Don Takehara

#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. More information at https://www.nordp.org/conferences.

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Who: Don Takehara, Associate Director for Research
Where: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Engineering
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 5 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2
How do you unwind? Being with good people!

It is mindboggling that 30+ years ago I received my PhD in Chemical Engineering at takehara-donald-180322.jpgNorthwestern. Where did the time go? These years included 16+ years doing R&D at Dow Chemical, 9 years as a professor at Taylor University, and 5 years in the College of Engineering Office of Research at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

At UIUC I work with faculty to help them move forward with their research. This includes faculty development as well as facilitating large, multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary, team science, convergent research efforts leading to centers and institutes.

Building of relationships, collaborating, and networking – this area has been the biggest key to successful research during my entire career. The whole research enterprise would be unsuccessful without this. Not only is relationship-building key for obtaining funding, but it is also key for bringing together the right people, expertise, facilities, support systems, culture, etc.

NORDP is a gem for building key relationships for those doing Research Development. There are many people who have great experience with all aspects of Research Development from many different viewpoints, expertise, experiences, etc. In addition to great sessions where one can learn about various aspects of RD, the NORDP Annual Conference is wonderful for meeting individuals to learn from and collaborate with in the future.

Corporations/industry are becoming increasingly important in the research programs at federal agencies, foundations, etc. As a result, NORDP has an alliance with NACRO – the equivalent of NORDP in the Corporate Relations field. The NORDP Great Lakes Regional Conference will be in Ann Arbor, MI, on Oct. 21, 2019. The interface between research development and corporate relations is being looked at as a part of this conference. This will be a good time to bring research development and corporate relations people together to examine what this interface looks like and how to optimize the efforts. Be on the lookout for more information.

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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.

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.

 

Conference Cameo: Jenna Slobozian

#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.

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Who: Jenna Slobozian, Manager Grant Development
Where: Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Number of years in research development: 7
Length of NORDP membership: 1 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2019 will be my first!
How do you unwind? Spend time with family.

Like so many, my career in RD has been a bit of a winding road.  I started out working for a health charity, primarily in the area of health promotion. But one small part of the role was supporting research administration, and I immediately found it to be my favorite Jenna Slobozianpart of the job. I moved to another health charity where I was half time focused on research administration, and I got to spend a lot of time with faculty from a number of different universities.  I was lucky enough to be approached by one of those universities with a position in the central research administration team. I moved up quickly and was soon the senior member of the team supporting grant applications at the university. I was recruited in 2016 to the faculty of medicine to build a team of grant development professionals.  What started out as a team of 1 (me!) in 2016 will be soon be a team of 5, so we have seen rapid success and expansion. Throughout this time I have strived to expand my education and have been involved in the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA), where I completed a certificate in research administration, I am involved in professional development, I lead a special interest group, I regularly present webinars, and I sit on the conference planning committee.  I have also been taking advantage of membership with Society of Research Administrators (SRA) and attended training last summer on proposal development.  My membership in NORDP is a natural extension of both my professional development, but also my personal interest in this work.  I am looking forward to attending my first NORDP conference this year and the excellent conference program that has been put together.

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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.

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.

Conference Cameo: Toyin Babarinde

#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.

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Who: Toyin Babarinde, PhD, Associate Director of Research Planning and Development
Where: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, particularly the ceiling

While I did not realize it at the time, in retrospect, I started in Research Development Staff portraitwhile working on my PhD at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Over the last 14 years, I have worked with a diverse group of talented investigators across various cancer types, including brain, breast, and head and neck cancer. During this period, I have contributed to the development of various research initiatives through research design and implementation, which led to the successful development of peer-reviewed manuscripts and federal and nonfederal funded grants.

In 2015, I transitioned into a “formalized” Research Development role at MD Anderson and have since advanced into my current position as Associate Director of Research Planning and Development. To date, my proudest achievement has been the co-development of the Cancer Research Administration and Management Certificate Program through the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a curriculum designed to train and develop outstanding Research Development Professionals. Throughout my career, I have served as a mentor and educator to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate trainees, as well as research administrators.

I was introduced to NORDP by Dr. Brooke Gowl during an SRA Conference in 2016. I immediately joined and attended my first NORDP conference in 2017.  What I loved most about my experience at NORDP were the people I connected with and the opportunity it provided to build meaningful relationships. The connection I made with Dr. Joanna Downer during NORDP directly impacted my role in the development of research programs within my department as a result of her excellent input.

Additionally, the content provided during the workshops has been most helpful in my own career path.  During the session on RD Strategies to Engage and Promote Faculty Flourishing, I took away several points including: 1) develop the ability to engage faculty by building relationships; 2) understand that specific groups of faculty have different needs and as such, it’s important to customize my approach for each group; and 3) it is important to identify and re-engage disconnected researchers. With a core responsibility of working with key stakeholders to expand the research portfolio of my department, I have taken what I learned during the 2017 NORDP conference to improve my engagement with program members, discuss funding opportunities with engaged and disconnected researchers, and provided guidance and support for proposal development.

This year, I look forward to reconnecting with colleagues, expanding my network, learning more about research development, and identifying how best to contribute to the growth of NORDP.  For those attending this year, remember that building relationships is more than introducing yourself to new people. Following up with them after the conference is over is when the true networking begins.

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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.

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.

Conference Cameo: Martin Kirk

#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. 
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Who: Dr. Martin Kirk, Operations Director (Research & Researchers)
Where: King’s College London
Number of years in research development: More than 20
Length of NORDP membership: 4 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A chemist

From an early age I was very interested in science. I always planned to study for a science degree and most likely work in research in industry. However, after spending 10 Kirk Photo 2019years in research, I realized that I enjoyed research administration and research development much more than doing actual research. I absolutely relish working with investigators and hearing about their research and helping them reach their goals.

I began my RD career at the University of Calgary where I realized that researchers could greatly benefit from help from an RD team. We started by supporting a specific research infrastructure program that had a novel grant proposal format that challenged researchers and was extremely impact-focused. The RD team/process led to great success and gained national attention because of the disproportionate success rates, etc. I had a fruitful 10 years in research admin and RD at the UofC.

In 2007, I was headhunted to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to lead their research administration and RD unit. Again, a strengthening of the RD unit led to more success. Another 10 years slipped by in a wink.

The headhunters came calling again in 2018, this time looking to fill a position at King’s College London leading the central research admin: awards management, contracts, technology transfer, core facilities, clinical trials, post-grad scholarships, compliance and of course RD.

While at UBC I heard about NORDP and attended my first conference. It was a revelation having a conference dedicated to RD and a program entirely focused around success in RD. I learned many techniques and systems. I was amazed at how much sharing of ideas happened at the conference. I met many fellow RD professionals and found the networking opportunity to be invaluable.

I am very much looking forward to catching up with my colleagues and learning new ideas. RD is a rapidly evolving profession and NORDP, a very exciting forum.

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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.

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

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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. 

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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.

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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.