Save the Date!

NORDP Conference Registration Opens Feb. 4

As you make plans for a happy and prosperous New Year, don’t forget the 12th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference, set for May 17-20, 2020, in San Antonio, TX.

The program is being finalized, and presenters will soon be contacted.  The entire program will be available, along with registration information, on Feb. 4, 2020.

Hope to see you there, and Happy Holidays!

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12th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference

NORDP Liaison Report: Society for Neuroscience

Annual Meeting Report: Special News Related to NIH Early Stage Investigators

Inês Tomás Pereira, Research Development and Support Specialist at Brown University’s Carney Institute for Brain Science, serves as a NORDP liaison to the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she has been a member for 15 years.  She recently attended the SfN Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, and offers the following summary.

The SfN annual meeting typically gathers almost 30,000 people for a five-day conference covering all aspects of neuroscience, with hundreds of concurrent lectures, symposia, minisymposia, nanosymposia, posters sessions, and professional development workshops. This year’s conference was special because the Director of Pereira’s institute, Diane Lipscombe, was also the President of SfN.

The session most relevant for NORDP members was entitled “Optimize Your Grant Application: News You Can Use From the NIH.” This session was targeted at Early Stage Investigators (ESI) and included information that was useful broadly to all grant applicants and research development professionals. The first presentation included advice from a representative from the NIH Center for Scientific Review, explaining the review process at NIH generally.

A senior member of NIMH provided statistics for NIMH funding for FY19 ($1.87B for FY19) and stated that the institute expects a relative increase in appropriations for next year. The R61/R33 program was highlighted as a mechanism that is being used to fund novel interventions. In regard to funding priorities for the NIMH, suicide prevention continues to be a topic of interest. In addition, RD professionals can find upcoming concept clearances from NIMH Council meetings for RFAs, Pas, and RFPs here. Specifically for ESI, the institute highlighted their NIMH BRAINS initiative, which is similar to the NIH DP2 and DP5 awards.

NINDS staff presented next. This is the largest of the neuroscience-related NIH institutes, with a budget of $2.27B in FY19 (~60% R01, ~10% BRAIN Initiative). The institute has reported a decrease in funding of basic research, and their analysis indicates that there is a comparable decrease in applications in that area. They would like to see those numbers increase and strongly stated that NINDS research does not need to be disease related. The main special initiatives at the Institute continue to be the BRAIN Initiative, efforts in Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias research (partnering with NIA), and the new HEAL Initiative (with NIDA) to enhance pain management and improve treatments for opioid misuse and addiction. The strongest message to ESI was that the institute has a payline boost for ESI only for R01 mechanisms, not R21, R03 or U01 (or multi-PI proposals with a non-ESI PI). NINDS encourages early career researchers to apply through R01 mechanisms, highlighting that alignment with large initiatives may further help their funding chances.

The session continued with a presentation from the NIA. Their main focus in the neurosciences space is predictably in Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias. The NIA general payline is 20%-23% depending on funding mechanism, but it is 28%-31% for AD/ADRD topics. These have temporarily been reduced due to the continuing resolution that the NIH is operating under. The NIA then highlighted three new R03 small research grant calls in AD/ADRD: PAS-19-391, PAS-19-392, and PAS-19-393. Their strong message to ESI was to utilize all resources available. The NIH generally encourages researchers to contact institute personnel to ask questions about funding mechanisms and the fit of their research to the different Institutes.

The session closed with a presentation from a NIDA senior staff member. NIDA currently has a $1.4B budget, of which ~$264M is dedicated to AIDS research and ~$250M to opioid-related research. New institute interests focus on the effect of cannabis on the most vulnerable populations: prenatal, adolescents, and older adults. NIDA highlighted that different NIH institutes may fund different aspects of cannabis studies, so it is crucial to check with each agency to ensure that the proposal fits their mandates. Their opioid funding efforts are aggregated under the HEAL Initiative. Finally, NIDA highlighted the ABCD Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development program and emphasized that this is an open science effort, so data is available for further studies.

If anyone has any questions regarding SfN, the recent annual meeting, or if you are also a member of SfN and would like to connect Ines, send an email to ines_tomas_pereira@brown.edu.

 

Cycle 2 of NORD/InfoReady RD Grants Launches, Dec. 2 Deadline

The InfoReady Corporation and NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative has announced the 2019 Cycle 2 NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, December 2, 2019.

This initiative is designed to create knowledge and advance research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. Awards are expected to average $2,500 for projects lasting for one year, and three awards are expected.

The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, regardless of whether they are NORDP members. A list of topics, including nine priority research areas of interest to NORD, is presented in the online guidelines.

For research development (RD) to enhance the skills of its professionals, broaden recognition and understanding of its activities, and deepen its impact on the scientific enterprise, research is needed to define and standardize terms that identify skills and practices, as well as metrics to measure both activities and their outcomes. To develop a robust understanding of RD and its impacts, the initiative is interested in a wide range of projects, including empirical studies (e.g., surveys, interview studies, case studies, reviews), as well as theoretical, conceptual, and even purely descriptive or definitional studies.

The online application using the InfoReady platform provides additional details. Watch for more information about an upcoming webinar. For more information, contact David Stone at dstone@oakland.edu.

Reminder: Webinar on Abstracts Today! Not Too Late to Sign Up!!

The NORDP 2020 Conference Programming Committee is presenting a webinar on writing  successful abstracts for this year’s conference.  Learn how to craft a competitive abstract appropriate to the numerous presentation formats available.  We will do a deep dive into the current Call for Abstracts, which was released in August, as well as share tips for developing a strong abstract and conference presentation. Register here to attend today’s webinar  at 1:00 p.m. central time.

 

Developing a Strong Abstract for the 2020 NORDP Conference

Are you interested in presenting at the 2020 NORDP Conference in San Antonio, Texas? Whether for one- or two-hour sessions, Lightning Talks, the Idea Showcase, or Roundtables, your successful conference abstract submission is your opportunity to present at the conference and share your message with NORDP colleagues.

The NORDP 2020 Conference Programming Committee is presenting a webinar on writing successful abstracts for this year’s conference. You can register here for the webinar that will take place Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 1:00 p.m. central time.

Learn how to craft a competitive abstract appropriate to the numerous presentation formats available. This webinar is designed to engage all NORDP members, including those new to the field and to the organization, and will help ensure you can prepare a successful abstract.

We will do a deep dive into the current Call for Abstracts, which was released in August, as well as share tips for developing a strong abstract and conference presentation.

Time to get excited about sharing your experience and expertise with the NORDP community! Abstracts are due October 21.

The webinar will be hosted by Kari Whittenberger-Keith, PhD; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.NORDP 2018 KWK Kari founded the Research Development Services unit of Office of Research at UW-M. She is a member of the NORDP Board and was conference co-chair in 2018 and 2019. She has worked both as a faculty member at several institutions and in research development at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Oregon. A PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, she has taught public speaking, effective communication practices and training and development in both academic and professional settings for over 35 (yikes!) years.

NORDP’s Peer Mentoring Groups: Building Support Networks

In May 2019, NORDP launched the Peer Mentoring Group (PMG) pilot program. So far, 89 members have engaged with the program, and the invitation remains for others to join.

To recap, the PMG program is structured around the six pillars of research development; the liaisons for each group are included:

  1. Career & Professional Development – Christina Howard
  2. Enhancing Collaboration & Team Science – Paula Carney
  3. Communication – Scott Balderson, Svetlana Pitts, Rachel Goff-Albritton
  4. Leadership & Management – Katie Howard
  5. Proposal Development – David Widmer
  6. Strategic Planning & Advancement – Samarpita Sengupta

Members were invited to select one or more of the PMGs in which they would like to participate, and NORDP’s Mentoring Committee initiated the first meeting of the six PMGs.

The effort was driven by Christina Howard and David Widmer, who are co-chairs of NORDP’s Mentoring Committee and are joined by Jan Abramson, Kathy Partlow, and Faye Farmer to form the committee’s leadership team.   The Mentoring Committee is made up of about two dozen other NORDP members to help facilitate the Mentoring program, which paired up 112 mentors/mentees this year.

David explains that the initial goal of the Peer Mentoring Group pilot was to help members build a network of support among members. “We are never really fully developed by a single mentor.  If you think about your broader network, it’s clear that you are being mentored by multiple people.”

“PMGs are an example of this committee in action,” Jan Abramson says. “One idea leads to another to another to another … and from a discussion about member needs, the importance of building a network of mentors, and making sure anyone who requests a member has one, the Mentoring Committee decided to launch the pilot.”

David, himself, is participating in three PMGs – the proposal development, enhancing collaboration & team science, and leadership & management groups.  He says this is yet one more time he’s been impressed by the willingness of NORDP members to share best practices. He invites other NORDP members to join in with the PMGs that interest them.

“These groups are coalescing, building closer relationships, and beginning to collaborate,” he says, explaining that one group, the Proposal Development PMG, has scheduled a monthly Zoom call and set up a Google folder to share resources.

“Everybody speaks and interacts on the calls.  As the hour comes to an end, it feels like we want to keep talking more,” he says, noting several members have continued conversations via emails in-between calls.

“Participating in PMG has been a great learning process,” Katie Howard, Mentoring Committee member and a part of the Leadership and Management PMG, says. “Our group has really gelled and enjoys coming together for lively conversation about our selected topic of the day – it’s a refreshing way to share best practices and learn from colleagues.” This group shares facilitation responsibility and rotates discussion leaders each month for the calls.

NORDP members who would like to join one of the PMGs should send an email to the Mentoring Committee at mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Submitted by Sharon Pound

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.