NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: Cathy Borgesen

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Cathy Borgesen, Assistant Director of Research Development
Where: MIT
Number of years in research development: 1
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2018 will be my first one!
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Ephesus, Turkey

Working in Research Development was not something I had planned to do and I have only been working in this capacity for one year. Prior to becoming involved in RD, I spent time as a graduate student, an adjunct college instructor, a prep school English teacher in Istanbul, a Research Administrator at Boston Children’s Hospital, and a Fiscal Officer at MIT.

0I took my current position last May after two years as a Fiscal Officer (FO) in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), one of MIT’s largest research labs. While I was at RLE, I worked on two successful Manufacturing USA proposals: AIM Photonics and AFFOA. Working to coordinate between multiple stakeholders across MIT, other academic institutions, and governmental agencies was extremely exciting and challenging. I realized that I wanted to do more work on large, complex proposals, especially those that were cross-disciplinary in nature and would further the larger institutional research mission.

I joined the Office of Research Development in May 2017 and became a NORDP member that same month. Since joining NORDP, I have attended regional meetings at Wellesley College and Harvard University which were both extremely helpful. At the first meeting I felt comfortable as a newcomer and met several individuals from New England colleges and universities with whom I still communicate about possible collaborations. At least one collaboration between my institution and another local college arose from these regional meetings. I went to my first meeting knowing no one in the RD field and I left knowing many people from different types of colleges and universities. I felt that I could easily reach out to all of the people I met if I had any questions or just wanted to find out how they were doing something at their institution.

I’m looking forward to attending the sessions at the 2018 annual meeting, but I’m most excited to meet people from other parts of the country who are involved in RD. It seems that RD can vary dramatically by institution–between different types of institutions (State/Private), different sized institutions (under 1,000 students to up to 40k+), and different “ages” of RD offices (MIT’s Office of Research Development is only two years old). I want to get a better understanding of what RD professionals at a wide range of organizations do, how they do it, and how they prioritize their work within their organizations and the current funding climate.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. 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 #NORDP2018 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 2018 Conference Cameo: Monica F. Vidal

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Monica F. Vidal, Ph.D., Research Development Specialist
Where: Stanford University
Number of years in research development: 7
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Antelope Canyon in Arizona

When I was a kid I wanted to be a scientist. I earned my PhD from the University of Graz, Austria in Biophysics and then came to the United States for my postdoc at University of California Irvine. During that time, I realized I enjoyed the process of looking for funding opportunities and writing research grants. Around the same time, I moved back to Spain and started a new position at the University of Barcelona. At that time, I didn’t know I was doing research development, but my main tasks were looking for new funding opportunities and helping to build large research proposals to submit to the European Commission. Those research projects had 3 to 10 partners – sometimes even more! – from different countries. It was hard but definitely a lot of fun!

MonicaIn 2014, my family and I came back to the USA. I started working at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University in 2015. I work with junior faculty and postdocs, finding new opportunities and helping with proposal development. In addition, I focus on strategic proposals which can lead to larger interdisciplinary projects.

I was introduced to NORDP in 2016 through Dr. Michael Helms, Director of the Stanford Research Development Office. I joined the organization and last year I attended my first conference. Although I am able to apply a lot of what I learned at the European Commission to my current job, I am still learning new processes and policies related to sponsors. I have used many of the resources on the NORDP website as well as the listserv. I find it very useful! I look forward to attending this year’s conference, meeting old colleagues from last year, networking with other research development professionals, and learning new strategies and practices.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 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 2018 Conference Cameo: Emily Brashear

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Emily Brashear, Faculty Research Development Specialist
Where: Washington State University
Number of years in research development: 2
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2018 will be my first one!
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Aruba, it truly is a desert island!

I jumped into the Research Development (RD) world without even knowing what exactly it was. What I did know was that RD is better than reviewing police reports, which is what I was doing in my previous career. (And although that work is filled with funny stories and action, it comes with bad shifts and can be lonely!) So, I jumped into RD with both feet.

Brashear

My primary job at Washington State University is to find faculty funding. I think this is one of the most exciting parts of RD. I train faculty on how to navigate through the funding database and encourage them to explore new avenues where their research can fit. Another one of my tasks is to manage the university’s limited submission competitions. I feel our limited submission opportunity system is pretty strong, but I would love to hear what others are doing. I also recently took on a small internal program at WSU with the goal of learning pre-award functions. This is the beginning of a new career for me—it’s exciting!

My coworkers have attended a few NORDP Conferences and thought it would be a great way for me to learn more. The conference in May will be my first NORDP conference. I have only heard good things—there seems to be a lot of networking, building relationships, and learning. I’m eager to attend and see for myself!

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 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 2018 Conference Cameo: Matthew T. Rondina

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Matthew T. Rondina, MD, MS
Where: University of Utah
Number of years in research development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
How do you unwind? In my off time, I unwind by traveling and I enjoy a variety of sports, such as climbing and biking. Last year I was fortunate enough to travel to Scotland and mountain bike the Scottish Highlands. I have a true love for the outdoors and adventures.

I started my research career in medical school. Early on, I recognized the need for research development professionals. At that time, kind and patient people helped me learn the ropes of preparing IRB proposals, recruiting participants, writing grant applications, and collecting data. Those experiences and others embedded within me the desire to build collaborative, productive relationships with research development professionals.Matt Rondina

Fast forward a few years, and now my day looks a bit different. In addition to seeing patients in the University of Utah Thrombosis Clinic, I serve as Precision Medicine Foundation Director for the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science and am the Associate Director of the Molecular Medicine Program. I am also fortunate to have an NIH-funded translational research lab and work with many talented people, such as Antoinette “Toni” Blair. I could not possibly do my research without a team of dedicated and knowledgeable people willing to work collaboratively.

While I have always relied heavily on the guidance of research development professionals, I don’t think I completely connected these dots until I attended the NORDP conference in 2017. In my various positions, including my role as a research mentor, I always advocate for research development. I feel it is important that we empower research professionals to feel comfortable proposing, developing, and implementing ideas for research. As one concrete example from my own research program, we historically tended to recruit participants through standard approaches, such as newspaper advertisements. When my project coordinator, Toni, suggested that we consider an alternative strategy for recruitment and amend our IRB’s resources to add Research Match (www.researchmatch.org), I was initially skeptical. However, I trusted her instincts and Toni very quickly brought this important recruiting tool onboard for our studies. This resulted in us meeting and, in some cases, exceeding our recruitment milestones. I am immensely grateful that Toni took the initiative to leverage this important resource for our program, as she has done innumerable times since.

I am a strong advocate for research development at my institution. I believe we should fully support efforts to build and develop a robust community of research professionals that help each other and the greater scientific community. While uncomfortable at times, we need to recognize the increasingly dynamic environment of research and be nimble enough to adapt with change. I have identified my project coordinator, Toni Blair, as a rising star in the community of researcher professionals. We are proud to support her attendance at her first NORDP conference in 2018. I look forward to participating in what will undoubtedly be an outstanding meeting.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  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 #NORDP2018 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.