Academic Medicine Member Cameo: Jessica Moon

Who: Jessica Moon, Ph.D.
Where: University of Arizona
Number of Years in RD: 3
Length of NORDP Membership: 3

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Moon - NORDP Photo 2019.jpg

Early in graduate school, I realized that, instead of remaining at the bench, I wanted to combine my scientific background with my expertise in writing consultation. By happenstance, I attended a presentation by the grant proposal manager at my institution and knew it was the right fit. She introduced me to NORDP, and I began networking to determine how its members started in RD, their backgrounds, and skillsets, etc. to carve out a career development plan for myself. I was a scientific/technical editor of biomedical manuscripts for an editing company for a few years and then eventually started a small freelance business providing writing consultations on scientific proposals and manuscripts for research faculty. After obtaining my PhD, I moved to Arizona to be with my husband and obtained my current position as a Research Development Associate at the University of Arizona. As the biomedical science expert in our unit, I primarily support proposal development for the five health science colleges at UA—the College of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Public Health.

What makes working at an academic medicine institution unique?

Academic medicine institutions seems to have a lot of siloed units, which makes it difficult to determine the effective lines of communication. Sometimes the lines are really obscure, such as a group of faculty that go running every day from 12–1 pm. Thus, institutional knowledge is construed as “insider information.” Moreover, the distinction between the medical center and the affiliated institution is sometimes blurry, which makes it difficult for faculty to determine where to find the right support in developing their research programs.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

I attended many of the NORDP NE regional meetings before finally attending my first NORDP National meeting in Denver, CO.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

When I moved to AZ, I wanted to stay involved in NORDP, so I looked up local members on the directory. I reached out to the Director of UA Research Development Services, Kim Patten, and learned that the unit was hiring for my current position. “The job posting closes tomorrow”—it was the quickest CV and cover letter I’ve ever written.

I recently became involved with the Affiliated Medical Centers (AMC) affinity group and have been impressed and enthused by the caliber of discussion and willingness of its participants to share knowledge.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

As mentioned above, the NORDP community was very welcoming and supportive of my career goals. The numerous discussions with fellow members allowed me to carve out a successful career path to RD. I am excited to be involved in the AMC group and attend the NORDP National 2020.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from academic medicine contexts?

NORDP is the primary venue to learn and share best practices about RD. It’s helpful to hear how different RD units tackle the same goals in unique ways depending on the needs/structure of their institution.

What recommendations do you have for members – particularly RDPs working in an academic medicine setting — to get more involved with NORDP?

The NORDP Regional meetings are a good place to start if you are in an area that has regular meetings outside of NORDP National, because they’re smaller and, thus, easier to network and find opportunities for becoming involved. At the national level, the Peer Mentoring Group and the affinity groups are helpful for building relationships and starting to think strategically about advancing career goals and best practices to support faculty.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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.

Past President Update: Karen Eck Keynotes RADPN

NORDP Immediate Past President Karen Eck, Ph. D., provided keynote remarks for The Research Advancement and Development Professionals Network (RADPN) fall mini-conference at the University of Minnesota on October 14, 2019.

Karen also led an interactive workshop entitled, Research Development in Action, which looked at the definitions of research development (RD) and research administration (RA) and their overlap in enhancing sponsored research. The workshop presented different institutional models and RD office structures that are centralized, decentralized, and a hybrid with traditional RA models. Through interactive large and small group discussions, attendees experienced research development “in action” through a series of research enterprise simulations meant to highlight RD skills and activities in different contexts.Eck-2018-portrait-NORDP 2018_3955.jpg

Ellen Freeman, Associate Director in the Office of Research Policy in the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Minnesota, shared these thoughts on Karen’s participation:

“We were delighted to host Karen for our fall conference. As a university, we’ve historically focused on research administration as opposed to research development, and participants were excited to have the opportunity for training in RD. One associate dean for research commented that Karen’s keynote really helped him to grasp the difference between RA and RD and how they work together. I heard many appreciative comments throughout the day, and have already received several emails asking when we’ll do it again.”

In her position as Assistant Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, Karen leads five RD staff with oversight of intramural funding programs, limited submissions, faculty workshops, and proposal support functions for faculty and administrators across Old Dominion’s six colleges. She also interfaces with internal and external entities in support of Research Development (RD) and policy, research strategic planning and partnerships, and regional and other initiatives on behalf of the Office of Research.

Institutions seeking keynote presenters on topics, such as research development in action and the future federal research funding landscape can reach out to peerd@nordp.org.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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.

Academic Medicine Member Cameo: Elaine Lee

Who: Elaine Lee Ph. D, Proposal Development Grant Strategist
Where: Boston University School of Medicine
Number of Years in RD: 2.5
Length of NORDP Membership: 2

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Elaine Lee headshot-bw-1024x1024.png

After I finished my Ph.D. and postdoc in Biomedical Engineering, I began looking for traditional academic research professor jobs. During the course of my search, I realized I did not enjoy the repetitiveness of research and I needed more frequent and concrete deadlines. In undergrad, I had matriculated as an English major and worked at a scientific publications department at a hospital, so I started looking for jobs that married the two fields, like scientific editing, and ran across some consulting work and positions for grant writing. I have always enjoyed the idea generation aspect of research, and I am glad to have found a way to help people tell their own stories related to their research ideas.

I started at the Boston University School of Medicine in 2017 and currently serve as the Grant Strategist, assisting faculty with proposal development. I help new faculty, particularly ones for who English is not a first language. I assist them in shaping and crafting their scientific narratives as well as filling in logic gaps in their proposals.

What makes working at an academic medicine institution unique?

We work with clinicians who have to bring in funds from seeing patients in addition to their research responsibilities. As a result, we compete for their time to dedicate to research. They want to do things in a particular way according to a particular formula because that is the way they have been trained and have always done things, but research doesn’t follow a linear path. Many of them also have not formally been trained in how to formulate hypotheses. They have ideas about what they want to do, but they struggle with trying to scientifically justify and explain why it is necessary to research the problem and how they will perform a study or experimental design.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

I joined NORDP prior to the 2018 conference and shortly thereafter learned about and joined the Academic Medicine Committee led by Heather McIntosh. I also joined the Phase II NROAD initiative led by Samar Sengupta this past year.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

I have engaged with many colleagues throughout the Midwest and West Coast as a result of my involvement with NORDP. Joanna Downer has been a lifeline for me and she has shared her perspective on how to deal with challenges that I have faced, especially those unique to medical schools. I have also forged strong bonds with Heather McIntosh and Krista Kezbers through the Academic Medicine Committee’s efforts.

How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?

NORDP has given me a great deal of confidence as I have learned that many of us are having similar experiences as we forge a path through this new field. It has provided me a way to get instant feedback from RD professionals going through the same struggles. It has also been nice to be able to crowdsource materials like the NROAD guide created by Samar. I hope to be able to use that as groundwork to expand our operation here at Boston University.

How do you see that NORDP functions as a resource for RD professionals coming from academic medicine contexts?

We work with a population that is very checklist minded. NORDP can provide guidance on how to help faculty without doing all of the work for them. It can also help you to determine when to let them face things without you and move beyond hand holding. NORDP can also help you strategize how to involve your higher ups to get their buy in when you are pitching your plans to your home institution.

What recommendations do you have for members – particularly RDPs working in an academic medicine setting — to get more involved with NORDP?

I would say to find something that aligns with your duties and jump in! My committee involvement has truly helped me learn my role in academic medicine and allowed me to now share my experience to help others. The interactions with like-minded people who  know what you are going through has been extremely helpful. I encourage you to check out the Academic Medicine Special Interest group to see if it might work for you!

The Academic Medicine Special Interest Group was created in 2018 with the goal of providing resources and professional development opportunities for research development professionals (RDPs) working with clinician-researchers/educators in an academic medicine or affiliated medical center setting. Often times, RDPs working with clinical faculty face unique challenges including working with researchers who have less formal research training and less protected time to conduct research. With this in mind, our group meets monthly via Zoom to discuss the challenges and successes we face working in this research environment. If you are interested in joining our group, please contact Heather McIntosh at heather-mcintosh@ouhsc.edu. You can also join our Circle, Academic Medicine/Affiliated Medical Center.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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.

A Message from NORDP’s President

Dear NORDP members,

As October has arrived I want you to know that your Board has been hard at work for you. The Board of Directors met in-person for two days in September where we took your priorities and feedback from surveys and interviews and drafted a Strategic Plan. It was exhausting, but a lot of fun, too! Now, the Board is working to iron out a few details of the Strategic Plan and is putting together a budget process to work with it.NORDP StratPlan

What is next?

The Board will be voting on approving the Strategic Plan this month! Once the Strategic Plan is finalized, we will organize a meeting with all leadership and committee co-chairs to explain the new budgeting process that will allow us to operationalize the Strategic Plan objectives. Then we will share the plan with the entire membership, setting it in motion.

We are so excited to kick this off! Stay tuned and be on the lookout for more information soon.

Thank you for your membership! Please check out and answer our latest poll – as we are in the midst of conference abstract season – to let us know what you think: “What topics are you most interested in seeing as conference presentations?” You can access it here.

Cheers,
Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President

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.

Pacific Region VII Conference this Month! Still time to Register

Don’t miss the 2019 NORDP Pacific Regional Meeting in Davis, CA from October 24 to October 25, 2019. Register today.

We are “Leveraging Strengths in the West: Diversity, Excellence, and Partnership” during this 1st regional conference to extend your network, establish new partnerships, and learn best practices, processes, and more from research development colleagues from across the Western region.

This two-day conference event offers a regional setting and location to learn about:

  • 2019 NORDP national annual conference RD presentations and trends;
  • Key perspectives for long-term sustainability of RD operations;
  • Insights into current practices and strategies for complex proposal development;
  • Opportunities to enhance regional engagement and research collaborations; and
  • Career guidance and knowledge-sharing for professional development.

You do not need to be a NORDP member to attend. The meeting welcomes participants from all of Region VII, encompassing Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Eastern Russia, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries east of China.

The conference registration includes program materials, breakfast, lunch, and refreshment breaks on both days. An optional, no-host dinner sign-up will be offered on Day 1. The cost to attend both days is $111.

The agenda and more information regarding the event can be found at the following link, https://research.ucdavis.edu/nordp-region-meeting/

See you this month!

Region VII Meeting
Planning Subcommittee

NORDP 2019 Conference Notes: They’re doing WHAT!?! Intelligence Gathering in Higher Ed

Slides: They’re doing WHAT!?! Intelligence Gathering in Higher Ed

Presenters:

  • Karen Walker, Arizona State University
  • Jamie Welch, Arizona State University
  • Linda Galloway, Elsevier

Thanks to our session scribe!

Five key points from the session:

  • ASU’s RD office includes a full-time person in charge of “competitive intelligence.“
  • ASU defines competitive intelligence as the “ethical collection and analysis of information to anticipate competitive activity, see past market disruptions and dispassionately interpret events.”
  • ASU RD staff works with Elsevier’s Scival to identify areas of strength, then continues to study these strengths and prepares documents to help faculty maximize these strengths and build collaborations.
  • SciVal allows researchers and administrators to visualize research performance, benchmark relative to peer institutions, develop strategic partnerships, identify and analyze new, emerging research trends, and create uniquely tailored reports.
  • ASU’s RD tagline is “Knowledge Enterprise Development.”

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?

ASU’s investment in publications that provide details on priority areas for the university.

What resources did you discover at this presentation?

What else from this session should NORDP members know?

Successful institutions take time and invest to support faculty and build capacity.

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Kim Littlefield

Kim Littlefield is one of two new appointed NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Kim for her service to NORDP!

Who: Kim Littlefield, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement
Where: University of North Carolina Greensboro
Number of Years in RD: 23, formally aware of activities as research development, 9
Length of NORDP Membership: 7 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Littlefield 2019

I entered the field as a cardiovascular physiologist researcher. From the start of my career, my intellectual pursuits led me to develop experiential breadth not so much discipline – specific depth which is exactly the opposite skill set that one needs to become a competitive, successful academic, biomedical scientist. Letting go of what the scientific community defines as a “successful scientist” freed me to develop my research development talents. My research development work is best characterized as research advocacy at all levels: individual, unit, enterprise, local, regional and national. As my career has developed, I’ve experienced a necessary shift in the amount of effort I commit towards research advocacy in the unit, enterprise and community levels but still one of the best things about my job is being able to talk with a researcher/scholar directly about their research.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

I’ve presented a pre-conference workshop and have been engaged with the NORD committee for the last couple of years.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

New colleagues and connections to institutions where I previously had no point of contact, certainly, but one of the nicest developments has come through strengthening professional and personal relationships with colleagues who overlap in other professional associations such as APLU, especially the Council on Research and COGR.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I’m excited to apply my research advocacy talents in service of this incredible organization and its constituency.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

A press release announcing both new board members can be found here: 2019 NORDP Board appointment release

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.