Conference Cameo: Susan Gomes

#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: Susan Gomes, Director of Research Development and Strategy
Where: Harvard University
Number of years in research development: 20
Length of NORDP membership: 8 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 8
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? I lived in Costa Rica for six months as a graduate student doing field research.

I’ve been in the research development field for nearly 20 years and had the good fortuneGomes_Portraits087(WEB) to work in both public and private research universities and at the department, central, and school level. Starting out at the department level working with faculty in a large research center was wonderful training for my later work in a central office—it made me very aware of the challenges department colleagues face and the value of their contributions. In the central office position, I supported proposal development efforts across the University for large scale grants and individual investigator grants, and developed programming and resources for new faculty. During my time in that position we were successful in increasing our annual research volume from $60M annually to $100M with no additional resources. We also received an EPSCoR grant to build our state’s research infrastructure. In 2010, I was offered an opportunity to build a new research development office at Harvard University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. With the help of wonderful colleagues and an incredibly talented team, we built a new office. We have since expanded our team to serve our engineering school as well.

The colleagues I have met through NORDP and the programming at the conferences have been an essential part of my professional development. I attribute my success, in part, to the wonderful group of NORDP colleagues I have cultivated over the years. I have attended all of the NORDP annual conferences with the exception of the very first annual meeting in 2008. When I interviewed for my current position, I mentioned that I was a NORDP member and that I would be able to leverage my relationships and the expertise of a strong national network of colleagues across the country.

I encourage any new NORDP attendees to take full advantage of all of the opportunities for networking at the conference and to build new relationships with colleagues as well as new knowledge of your profession. For me, the best part of the organization has been the relationships I have built and the opportunity to learn from my colleagues.  I have also enjoyed the opportunity to share best practices and ideas with colleagues in informal settings at the conference, over coffee or dinner. I look forward to this year’s conference and to connecting with colleagues, both new and old.

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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.

Conference Cameo: Michael Jacobson

#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: Michael Jacobson, Research Development Specialist
Where: Binghamton University
Number of years in research development: 2
Length of NORDP membership: 2 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Archaeologist

My transition to research development began before starting my current role as a research development specialist. For about 12 years, I worked as a contract archaeologist for a university-based cultural resource management firm. In the beginning, my position mostly involved fieldwork, research and travel across New York State and the Northeast. However, as I progressed in the field, my role included more grant writing and contract development. In a sense, I was already serving as a research development specialist. This made my transition to research development relatively simple.Jacobson - Conference Cameo 2019

Our Office of Strategic Research Initiatives at Binghamton University focuses on preparing proposals for large interdisciplinary teams. This involves more than just grant writing. We are often called on to be facilitators by helping with faculty training and team building. My background in anthropology is an asset in working with faculty across campus and in different disciplines. Acknowledging that different disciplines have their own practices and working with these various perspectives in their own terms helps with facilitating research teams for large proposals. My research background also made me appreciate the value of public engagement with research. I try to continue this interest by advising our faculty on developing plans for broader impacts and public engagement resulting from their research.

Last year was my first time at a NORDP conference and it was nice to see that there was a large community of people dealing with the same issues. The NORDP membership is more than willing to share their best practices and solutions to the issues we face in research development. I brought back a number of ideas from last year’s conference for discussion at our university. These include expanding partnerships with campus libraries for help with proposal development and developing retreats with interdisciplinary teams to improve collaboration and proposal development. One specific example inspired me to expand our NSF CAREER faculty training from one annual workshop to a workshop series that went into more detail on proposal writing and broader impacts.  The keynote addresses identifying funding agency priorities and trends within scientific research were also valuable.

My suggestion for attending the conference would be to be open, present, and engaged, but also be sure to get in line early for the events.

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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.

Conference Spotlight: Two-Hour Sessions

For the first time, the annual NORDP conference will offer a full day of long-form content that includes 2-hour sessions, in addition to our regular 4-hour workshops. Two-hour sessions will allow a deeper dive into topics of interest and more interaction between facilitators and attendees. These courses will be held from 10 am to 5:30 pm on Monday, April 29; the full listing is posted online here.

To highlight a few options:

Writing and Editing for Impact
Presenters: Alan Paul, Giant Angstrom Partners; Joanna Downer, Duke University

The quality of presentation—i.e., whether our writing and graphics are effective—is a key factor in the impact of a proposal. Effective proposals meet the needs of both author and audience and tell a story that convinces reviewers to fund the project. This two-hour workshop will teach RD professionals how to recognize effective writing and presentation for grant applications, how to incorporate approaches to effective writing de novo, and how to deploy techniques for effective editing and guidance.

Understanding the Faculty Lifecycle
Presenters: Anne Windham, Brown University; Kimberly Mowry, Brown University Faculty; Judith Bender, Brown University Faculty; Erica Larschan, Brown University Faculty

Faculty are subject to many competing demands over the course of their careers—tenure review, family commitments, sabbatic leave and teaching obligations are just some of these. The RD professional must think strategically about how and when to communicate and offer support and opportunities, keeping in mind that research funding is one important element in an academic’s career.

This is a Test: Adapting NRMN’s Maintaining Effective Communication Module to the RD Profession
Presenters: Erica Severan-Webb, Xavier University of Louisiana; Paula Carney, University of Chicago; Kathryn Partlow, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Etta Ward, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

This team is working to adapt the National Research Mentoring Network curriculum to become specific to research development professionals. RD people can then access the NRMN curriculum for their campuses. The NRMN curriculum spans undergraduate through junior faculty across the biomedical sciences and beyond.

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Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! 

#NORDP2019 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.

Conference Cameo: Kate Petcosky-Kulkarni

#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: Kate Petcosky-Kulkarni, Director of Strategic Research Initiatives
Where: University of Oregon
Number of years in research development: 5
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? For our honeymoon, my spouse and I stayed at an old fort in Madya Pradesh, India, that was converted into a hotel. It was on a river, and we spent our days people-watching on beautiful ghats.

Like many of my peers, I essentially “fell into” research development. I initially pursued a traditional academic route and completed a Master’s in Food Studies from NYU with the intention of working for a few years before applying for a PhD program in anthropology or sociology. I worked for a small non-profit that supported refugee and immigrant farmers for a few years, and discovered that I wanted to ask questions about food studies through a more applied focus, rather than strictly academic. I enrolled in Boston University’s Masters in Public Health program and began working in the proposal development office at BU’s medical school; I  found that my career path and training prepared me well to support faculty with their grant submissions. I could manage multiple projects simultaneously and communicate effectively for a variety of audiences. I found that I enjoyed being able to help faculty across disciplines articulate their research ideas, rather than pursue one specific line of research myself. Kate-Petcosky-Kulkarni-Square

After two years, due to the support of a fantastic boss and mentor, I became Director of the Office of Proposal Development. Our team largely managed traditional pre-award functions, but I recognized the need to help our faculty learn how to navigate the research enterprise and be strategic in their approach to seeking external funding. I discovered NORDP in 2018 when I was researching best practices in early career faculty training. The conference was fantastic—much more personal and engaging than the research administration workshops I had attended in the past. I left the conference invigorated with new ideas for supporting our faculty. Indeed, had I not attended the NORDP conference, I would not have had the confidence to apply for my current position as Director of Strategic Research Initiatives at University of Oregon.

I joined UO this October to launch the Office of Research Development, which was in the middle of a major staffing transition. The office had been unstaffed for 4 months and I was brought on to build the team from the ground up. It’s an incredible opportunity and I look to NORDP for support and ideas on a regular basis. The listserv is beyond helpful and the NORDP community is smart, engaging, and supportive.

I am very much looking forward to this year’s conference and the opportunity to connect in person with many of my peers who have provided insight and guidance to me by e-mail or by phone. My new role involves operations that I did not previously coordinate at BU, such as managing internal awards and facilitating limited submissions. I am eager to learn how my peers approach this work and how they evaluate these activities. As my office moves in a new direction, I need to demonstrate efficacy in our approach, so I will be having many conversations about metrics and evaluation.

I am thrilled to be a part of the NORDP community, and I cannot wait to attend the 2019 conference!

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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.

Conference Program Now Posted!

The NORDP 2019 conference program is now available HERE.

Monday, April 29, will kick off with our keynote speaker, Brown University President Christina Paxson, and continue as our long-format day, with 2-hour and 4-hour sessions running from 10 am until 5:30 pm. Seven Concurrent Breakout Sessions will be spread over Tuesday and Wednesday, consisting of 1-hour presentations, roundtables, and lightning rounds.  Our ever-popular Ideas Showcase will take place Tuesday evening, with dozens of informative posters, a meet-and-greet with Board candidates and tons of networking opportunities. Check out the offerings and start planning the attendance strategy that meets your interests and needs.

For logistical purposes, please note that Committee Meetings will take place Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm. At 4:30 pm, attendees can participate in a Mentoring Meet-up, New Member & First-Time Attendees Orientation, or PUI Affinity Group meeting, followed by the Welcome Reception, 5:30-7 pm.

If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so HERE. Take advantage of the Early Bird rates ($640 for members) until March 15.

We’ll be sharing more details about speakers, workshops, and things to do in Providence over the next two months. Stay tuned!

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Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! 

Participate in the NORDP Career Center. All hiring manager/recruiters should complete the 2019 Employer Career Center Application by March 8.

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.

Conference Tool: Venmo

venmo-logo-and-textAs we move headlong into a cashless society, apps like Venmo stand in for paper money. Venmo is a smartphone app that enables you to send money to anyone else with a Venmo account, and it works regardless of smartphone device (i.e., no Apple v. Android confusion). The app uses encryption to securely connect to your bank, so you can draw money right from your checking account, like a debit card, or accept money from someone to deposit in your account. There’s no need to have cash on hand, and no waiting time, like with personal checks.

How will this work for you at the conference? One of the most fun and worthwhile activities we coordinate are nightly Networking Dinners. While 8-10 dinner pals might make for lively conversation, it’s often a headache for servers to split checks accurately (and some restaurants may refuse to split them at all). In this case, a single payer could be reimbursed instantly with Venmo.

We also are planning to use Venmo for members to buy NORDP products onsite–our online store will offer limited stock (and some special items) at the conference, and Venmo will be one way to make a purchase.

How do you get it? Download the app on your phone. Create an account (add a photo to make it easier for friends to identify you).  Connect the account to your bank (the app will walk you through). Use “Search People” to find your friends. It’s fairly self-explanatory from there (select “Pay or Request” and enter how much), but Mashable has a great Venmo beginner’s guide with screenshots here.

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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.

Conference Co-Chair Cameos: Kari Whittenberger-Keith & Jan Abramson

Who: Kari Whittenberger-Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; 2019 NORDP Conference Co-Chair, NORDP Board Member 2016 – 2020

Who: Jan Abramson, University of Utah; 2019 NORDP Conference Co-Chair, Board Member 2017 – 2021

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Conference Co-Chairs in Rhode Island: Do you know where this is?

Number of years in research development & length of NORDP membership:

Kari:  Depending on how you count it, I have been doing RD for 17-20 or so years.  When I came back to RD in January 2012 after several years as a faculty member, I joined NORDP at the suggestion of Peg Atkisson, who was doing a workshop on my campus two weeks after I started.  I took her advice and have been a member, and attended every conference, since 2012.  (Thanks, Peg!)

Jan:  I have been working in Research Development—once I learned what RD was—for almost 10 years. I joined NORDP in 2011 and have attended 5 conferences. I knew early on I wanted to be involved in planning the Conference—I love organizing and implementing big events.

What should conference attendees look forward to this year?

An amazing group of NORDP colleagues have put together an exciting and educational program. The conference starts with a welcome reception on Sunday night—and be ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning! We are piloting a “Long-Form Day” where every session will either be 2 or 4 hours. This will give attendees an opportunity to take a deeper dive into content and learning. Tuesday and Wednesday will have traditional 1-hour sessions, Lightning Talks and Round Table sessions. The Idea Showcase will also have time to meet the candidates running for open board positions, meet the members of the current Board and learn about the committees and other opportunities to get involved with NORDP. This year, be ready for more opportunities to network, engage with sponsors, learn, and enjoy the company of our colleagues.

The NORDP Members who are serving as Local Hosts are putting together a slate of morning activities, great dining options, and some experiences—like a trip to the Planetarium—that will give people an opportunity to explore Providence. For those new to NORDP, or at their first conference, the Member Services Committee has also developed a slate of activities to make you feel welcome.

Providence is an amazing city—it is walkable, with great restaurants (don’t miss the lobster rolls!) and shopping, great history and other activities, just a terrific destination.

What motivated the change in the duration of the conference?

For the past several years, members have consistently requested a three-full-day conference in the evaluation feedback. The opportunity presented itself to address member requests when we reserved Providence as the site of the 2019 conference. It is a little daunting to make such a big change; adding 20+ hours of educational content, getting the message out, and with the increase in length came increased costs, which had to be passed along to attendees. All of the many committees and NORDP members that are working on the conference are committed to making sure conference attendees have a stellar experience.

How does the NORDP conference come together?  Who are the players?

 Over and over, you’ll hear that NORDP is a volunteer organization. Nowhere is that more evident than during Conference planning. There are 12 committees, working to develop the Best. Conference. Ever. Committees can be small—with 3-5 members, or very large, with 20-25 members. On lots of committee conference calls (the major way we get things done), you will hear laughter, commitment and genuine concern for the needs of NORDP members.

How did you personally get involved?  What made you decide to become a conference chair?

 Kari:  I was a member of the Professional Development Committee when it still included Mentoring and the Pre-conference Workshop working group, which I was active in.  When the chair of that group left NORDP in 2014, I was asked to step into that position, which brought me into the conference planning in a big way, since that group was part of both the Planning and Program Committees.  I have learned a tremendous amount working on the conference for the last several years—about event planning, budgets and logistics, strategy for effective programming—but what I have enjoyed most is learning from my fellow volunteers and drawing on their creativity as we try to develop a terrific experience for all of our members.

Jan: Working on the Conference Committee is a great way to get to know NORDP members from across the country. The needs of the conference are a great match for my skill set. I received a conference attendance award for the first conference I attended, and was asked to give back by volunteering at the conference. Which I did—and found it was a great way to feel a part of the organization. Every year, I do at least one volunteer turn at the registration desk. And have a lot of fun seeing colleagues and meeting new people.

I love being involved in a behind-the-scenes role, to put on major events. Over the course of my career, I have been involved in a planning role on professional conferences nationally and internationally, with the 2002 Winter Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies, and as a company manager for a professional children’s dance theater. I enjoy paying attention to the details, organizing and reorganizing the puzzle pieces, and then, watching attendees and participants experience the results of the work.

What are you most excited about having this year’s event in Providence?

Jan: I lived in Rhode Island during high school, so this is a little bit of a homecoming for me. Like every year, I am excited to catch up with colleagues, meet new people, and expand my personal and professional network. I’m excited to share my old stomping grounds during Networking Dinners, and hear from members about the revised conference format.

Kari:  I am excited to see the expanded format and learning experiences come to life and to see how our members embrace these new opportunities to further develop professionally and build new connections among our colleagues throughout the country and the world.

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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.