NORDP’s Strategic Alliances Committee Resets Goals, Invites Member Participation

NORDP’s Strategic Alliances Committee (SAC) focuses on building reciprocal working relationships with external entities.  SAC volunteers coordinate dozens of liaison partnerships, a strong set of conference sponsors, and NORDP’s growing reputation as the “go-to” place for all things resource development. The committee invites you to join this effort!

The committee’s leadership team is working on a comprehensive action plan for the upcoming year, and NORDP members are invited to attend the next quarterly meeting to learn more on Thurs., Mar. 17, at 2:00 p.m. eastern time at this Zoom link: For more information, contact

Virtual pilot short course for early career RD professionals

November 8, 2021 – December 17, 2021 • Seats are limited!


What is research development (RD)? How is it done? Even professionals who have worked extensively with funded research and researchers throughout their careers may feel like they only understand their specific jobs and responsibilities. Because RD roles in organizations and institutions vary (and units are often siloed), it can be hard to get a full picture of RD as a field and how it fits into the research enterprise. RD101 will help you understand the field, expand your existing skill set, and explore new ways to support research at your institution.

NORDP is once again offering a pilot virtual short course, RD 101, which introduces the field of RD. This 12.5-hour course (not including readings and other coursework) presents a framework for understanding who RD professionals are, the skills that make them effective in their roles, the hows and whys of what they do, and the resources they rely on.

There are no prerequisites for RD 101; it is intended for new RD professionals (those with fewer than two years of experience in RD) or those considering becoming RD professionals. The instructors are experienced RD professionals from a range of institutions (e.g., centralized and decentralized, R1s, PUIs) and have designed the course around the skills and information they wish they’d had when they first entered the profession.

Course topics include:

  • What is RD? Who is the RD Professional?
  • Components and Elements of the RD Process—Institutional and Professional Cultures and How They Affect the Work of RD
  • RFPs and Proposals: Requirements and Constraints
  • Helping Researchers Produce Effective Proposals

In addition to the weekly meetings, you will have additional activities to contextualize yourself and your position within the RD profession. The course will help you to develop a personal career development plan.

General sessions: Mondays 1:00pm – 2:30pm ET (November 8, 15, 29, December 6 & 13)

Breakout sessions (choose one per week):

  • Thursdays 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET (November 18, December 2, 9, & 16)
  • Fridays 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET (November 12*, 19, December 3, 10, & 17)

* Two break out rooms will be hosted on Friday, November 12 to accommodate the Veteran’s Day Holiday

This pilot will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please confirm that you will be able to attend ALL course meetings and one breakout session prior to registering. There will not be a waitlist. There is no charge for this pilot workshop, but registrants must be NORDP members. Future RD 101 offerings will have a registration fee. Future offerings will be announced in early 2022.

Registration is limited to 25 participants. Registration closes Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

For questions or more information, please contact or

Registration link HERE.


Paige Belisle, Harvard University – While pursuing a MFA in Writing at the University of New Hampshire, Paige Belisle discovered her career path by serving as a graduate student intern in UNH’s Research Development Office. Through NORDP, she met the members of Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Research Development Office and joined their team in 2016. She serves faculty members by identifying funding opportunities and providing proposal development support. Her current specialty is in providing Research Development outreach to new faculty members in the arts and humanities, as well as assembling monthly funding opportunities newsletters.

Katie Shoaf, Appalachian State University – Katie Shoaf is the Associate Director for Grants Resources and Services at Appalachian State University. She holds an M.A. and M.L.S. from Appalachian State. She has been a NORDP member since 2017 and serves on the Mentoring Committee and the Professional Development Committee. In the Office of Research at Appalachian, she administers limited submission competitions, internal competitions, and the internal peer review process. She is also charged with developing the international research process and opportunities for the Office of Research.

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.

International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) Report: The Hiroshima Statement

The Hiroshima Statement on Essential Practice of Research Management and Administration was developed as part of the INORMS 2021 Congress, which was originally planned to be held in Hiroshima, Japan. On May 24, 2021, the INORMS Council convened a virtual meeting. During the meeting, Dr. Koetsu Yamazaki, Chair of RMAN-J, the Research Manager and Administrator Network in Japan and host of the international Congress, completed the Hiroshima Statement by signing the document.

Top left, Dr. Yamazaki signs the Hiroshima Statement during the virtual INORMS 2021 Congress.

The statement (see link here) highlights a set of five principles and responsibilities common to the collective memberships of INORMS member associations. Research Managers around the world face similar challenges and aspire to a common goal: to improve our local, national, and global research landscapes. INORMS Council hopes to promote interactions, sharing of best practices and joint activities between member societies to benefit the professional development of individual members worldwide.

Karen Eck, Assistant Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University and Co-chair of the Strategic Alliances Committee, is currently representing NORDP on the INORMS Council. Kim Patten, Assistant Vice President, Research Development at the University of Arizona, is representing NORDP on the INORMS Working Group.

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Antje Harnisch

Who: Antje Harnisch, Assistant Vice Provost for Research

Where: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Number of Years in RD:  RA and RD 20+

Length of NORDP Membership: 5 years

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

I entered the field through Research Administration 20-plus years ago. I spent the first 15 years at a land-grant R1 university, and I’ve been at a small technical university for the past seven years. There I have helped set up a research development office (RSI), participated in recruitment efforts, mentored the hires, and facilitated attempts at defining roles and responsibilities between OSP and RSI. Our team helps faculty with their proposals, provides training, and runs internal grant opportunities and limited submissions. 

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I have participated at the regional level for a number of years and have been involved at the national level for the past four years. I have presented at a regional conference, and we have hosted one at WPI, which was a great experience. It was truly a pleasure to work with Northeast NORDP leadership to put the conference together and arrange logistics to make the event a success. I’ve also participated in leadership roundtables and found them consistently informative and inspiring exchanges of information, experiences, best practices, and last but not least, a sense of community. I always went away with new ideas and feeling a sense of belonging. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP ?

I’ve appreciated the role that NORDP has played in representing and shaping this profession. I have been consistently impressed with the colleagues that make up the group and the programming the organization provides. NORDP colleagues have proven to be a wonderful resource for me professionally and kindred spirits on a personal level too.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I appreciate sitting on the NORDP board as an opportunity to learn and grow through working with and learning from colleagues who I respect and with whom I share passions, goals, and values. I’m excited about contributing to the implementation of the current strategic plan and engage in future strategizing to move NORDP and the profession into the future.

Compiled by Sharon Pound, Communications Working Group

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Melinda Laroco Boehm

Who: Melinda Laroco Boehm, Director, Office of Research Development

Where: University of California, Merced

Number of Years in RD: 6.5

Length of NORDP Membership: 6.5

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

I came into RD just after completing my Ph.D. in Medical Sociology (2014). Given we were a military family, we had orders for an international move just a few months after I completed my degree, so I purposefully delayed entering the job market. Looking back, I am grateful to have been afforded the time to really look for what I wanted to do and contribute, which was somewhere in the vicinity of an intersection of research, a deadline-driven environment, community engagement, and strategic initiatives. After those international orders were changed to California, I saw just the opportunity for what I wanted to pursue: Research Development. At UC Merced, we are a centralized unit, supporting all schools and organized research units in strategic grantseeking, proposal development support to faculty researchers, and initiatives to grow our research enterprise.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

You could say my career in RD aligns exactly with my time in NORDP. The NORDP 2015 Conference in Bethesda was (technically) my first day on the job. After driving for three days on a cross-country move, I interviewed at UC Merced the day after we arrived in California. Susan Carter was conference co-chair at the time and thought it was perfect timing for me to fly back cross country to the conference. It was there I met most of my new colleagues.

Since then I’ve remained active on the Professional Development Committee. I’ve attended every conference since 2015 and participated in the annual conferences in numerous capacities: Conference Planning Committee, mentee activities, workshop facilitations, panel discussions, roundtable discussions, and participation in Implicit Bias Training (2019). Over the past year I’ve remained PD Committee Co-Chair, engaged in Conversation Roadblock Sessions, presented at our Pacific Region Meeting, contributed to the CCC Task Force, and am currently in the LEAD Peer Mentoring Group. I also fully support (and encourage) my staff to contribute and participate in any capacity for the organization.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

I’ve built myriad relationships as a result of NORDP. Former colleagues have become my conference workshop co-presenters and dear friends. I’ve created my own version of a Board of Advisors made up of my peers/peer mentors, and their counsel, strategic advice, and sarcasm have helped me redirect my focus many times and solve challenges in positive and meaningful ways.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I’m excited to better understand the infrastructure and governance aspect of the Board. If you know me, you’d know I am detail-oriented with a fondness (understatement) for organization, so I am looking forward to that aspect.

However, I’m most excited about meeting more NORDP members, hearing their thoughts and ideas, and helping to serve as a catalyst in elevating their innovative ideas to create effective (and sustainable) change. As a collective, NORDP members are some of the most innovative and strategic thinkers I’ve ever known, and I want to help ensure we are meeting the needs and interests of our members in a helpful, culturally-competent, and mission-driven way.

Compiled by Sharon Pound, Communications Working Group

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Lisa Lopez

Who:   Lisa Lopez, Senior Research Development Officer

Where:   College of Health and Human Development, California State University, Fullerton

Number of Years in RD:  7

Length of NORDP Membership:   6

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

I entered RD after completing my postdoc. I was looking for an alternative career away from the typical research scientist trajectory, but I knew I still loved working in academia. The problem was that I didn’t have anyone in my network who could help me navigate a transition outside of the laboratory. When looking for jobs, I found various RD opportunities, but I had no clue if I would even be qualified for such a position. After a quick Google search, I found the NORDP website with information on the responsibilities of a “research development professional.” I read all I could find about this “new” profession and found that it was indeed something I was qualified for and could find rewarding. Most importantly, I found a community of folks who, while working at their own institutions, had a shared passion for RD and supported each other along the journey.  I started to apply for RD jobs and was fortunate to land at a local Cal State, where I’ve been ever since.

In my current role, I perform RD duties at the college level as a member of the Dean’s senior leadership team.  I work closely with my colleagues in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects to put on grant-related trainings for faculty, and I work as part of the Pre-Award team for my college to help faculty submit proposals.  In my college, I focus on faculty development.  I provide guidance to help faculty position themselves for success in their research and as they seek external funding, and I develop and manage several college programs to support faculty research.  I am also involved in a college task force aimed at increasing the hiring and retention of diverse faculty. 

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I joined NORDP in 2015.  I started to attend the annual meetings and presented a poster in Colorado in 2017.  In 2020, I increased my engagement with NORDP and joined the Nomination Committee.  This was such a worthwhile experience, and I encourage anyone looking to get started in volunteer work with the organization to consider joining NomCom.  Committee work gave me insight into the organizational structure of NORDP and also exposed me to the skills and experiences of the Board candidates.  It was through my work on NomCom that I was able to see myself as a future member of the NORDP Board. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

NORDP members are such a supportive and engaging group.  When I was new to RD, I really appreciated going to the annual conference and meeting and learning from members who had been in the field a lot longer than me.  I’ve also been fortunate to meet some really awesome members as part of the Nomination Committee.  This year, I’m taking part in the Mentorship Program as both a mentor and a mentee.  So far, I’ve really enjoyed the experience, and I’m incredibly thankful to have already met so many new folks as a participant in this summer’s Celebrating Mentoring Days.   

What are you most excited about as a board member?

NORDP is growing and changing, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be part of the leadership that will help shape what our organization looks like in the coming years as we prepare to develop our next strategic plan.  I’m also eager to meet more members and learn how others enhance their professional development and how institutions support the profession.  I’m interested in exploring the different models of RD at institutions and how NORDP can best meet the needs of our members in varied RD roles and from diverse backgrounds.  NORDP is now over 1,000 members strong, and it’s an exciting time to be involved in this organization.  I can’t wait to see what we all can accomplish in the years ahead!

Compiled by Sharon Pound, Communications Working Group

Inaugural Innovation Award Goes to NORDP Mentoring Committee

NORDP recently presented its Inaugural 2021 NORDP Innovation Award to the NORDP Mentoring Committee at the organization’s 2021 annual conference.

Faye Farmer, member of the NORDP Board of Directors, notes that this award was created to recognize individuals, groups, or organizations that leverage unique approaches to kickstart innovation in research development. She describes the NORDP Mentoring Committee as, “setting the highest bar for true innovation in our organization.” For this reason, the committee was selected for this initial award among an extremely competitive pool of candidates.

“We especially recognize the work they’ve accomplished this past year to revolutionize how our organization operationalizes mentoring,” Farmer says.

NORDP’s Mentoring Committee members have leveraged their individual skills and expertise in new and inventive ways, she adds. They established the first-ever metric-based mentor matching system, adapted mentoring materials to the unique field of research development, implemented themed peer mentoring groups, and created new programming to connect research development curious individuals not in the profession to established professionals as a pipeline for member recruitment and retention.

“This committee of innovators is advancing the research development field in ways that generate evidence of promise or demonstrable results, a requirement of this inaugural award,” Farmer says.

“NORDP is so fortunate to have such innovative members who are actively advancing research development,” Farmer says.

If you, your committee, or your institution is interested in preparing a nomination to this or other awards, check out for additional information. The timeline for NORDP Awards, from nomination through recognition, is as follows:

  • Call for nominations issued: Second Wednesday in September
  • Nomination period: September to November
  • Awards Q&A webinar: Final Wednesday in September
  • Nomination deadline: First Wednesday in November
  • Awardee recognition: During the annual Research Development Conference

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 Presents RD Champion Award to NSF’s Panchanathan

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan

The National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) recently presented the 2021 RD Champion Award to Sethuraman Panchanathan, Professor, Arizona State University (LOA), and Director, U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

At NORDP’s annual conference in May 2021, Panchanathan delivered a plenary session, “Strengthening the Symbiosis of Exploratory and Translational Research @ Speed & Scale,” sharing his insights on the future of research and the vital role for research development (RD).

During that online session, Dr. Kimberly Eck, President of NORDP an Associate Vice President for Research at Emory University, presented the award that recognized Dr. Panchanathan’s support of the RD profession.

Prior to joining NSF in 2020, Panchanathan led Arizona State University’s (ASU) advancement of research, innovation, entrepreneurship, corporate engagement and strategic partnerships, and international development to dramatically increase research expenditures.

 “The framework for seeding bold, large-scale innovative research with meaningful societal impact is part of the DNA of NSF,” Panchanathan says. “Research development is integral to both NSF’s success and how we foster success in the research community. It’s about building the capacity and tools to advance knowledge more efficiently, and about building platforms and ecosystems that spur innovation.”

Eck says this award recognizes Panchanathan’s tireless, 20-year-long effort to transform ASU from a teaching-focused institution to a world-class hub of innovation and research.

“Dr. Panchanathan’s investment in RD at ASU and encouragement for the ASU RD team to engage nationally has benefited NORDP and our members greatly. With him at the helm of the NSF, we are very confident in the future of science and engineering in the US,” Eck says.

The RD Champion Award is presented annually to an individual in recognition of their substantial efforts to advance the research enterprise and their advocacy of research development as a critical component of the research ecosystem. In 2020, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, former Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, was the inaugural recipient.

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.

NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in RD: Update from Stephanie McCombs

In a partnership with InfoReady, NORDP launched a New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) grant initiative, which began funding grants in 2018 to support the disciplinary field of Research Development. Eleven grants of up to $2500 each have been awarded to date. A new grant cycle will be announced in the Fall of 2021.   

Awardee Feature

Who: Stephanie McCombs

Where: Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS)

Proposal: Developing Best Practices for Evaluating the Outcomes, Success, Impact, and ROI of Internal Grant Programs

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project? Since institutional resources are often limited, leadership must be accountable for decisions to invest in internal grant programs and be able to show appropriate return on these types of investments. Associated with this is the evaluation of the outcomes, impact, and return on investment (ROI) of research funding expenditures. Measuring and evaluating the ROI and other objective and subjective outcomes of internal funding programs, especially those that can lead to determinations of success or impact, can be a key aspect to ensuring the institution’s internal grant funds are being used in the most beneficial manner. This research seeks to answer the questions:

  • How are the success, impact, and ROI of an internal grant mechanism truly defined?
  • What outcomes, metrics, and methodology should be used in order to accurately evaluate the above aspects of internal grant programs?

What is the status of the project now? This project was recently funded and is currently in the IRB submission stage.

Do you have any suggestions for NORDP members considering submitting to the 2021 competition? Start on your application early and reach out to potential team members as soon as possible to plan the submission. Everything always takes longer than expected.

What did you find the most challenging? I have never really done much with the IRB prior to this project and I was unfamiliar with many of the required processes.  Getting all documents completed was definitely a challenge!

What did you find the most surprising? I was definitely surprised by the length of time it took to do the preparatory steps. I had seen much of this from the administrative side, but it was enlightening to experience from the researcher side. This experience has given me a new appreciation for all of the work that goes into the pre & post award side of projects as well as all of the details and people you have to consult with to get a proposal ready.

What would you say is your main takeaway from this experience? I have gained a newfound appreciation for the work that our researchers do in writing, submitting, and managing awards.  The experience has given me a holistic view allowing me to see things from a different perspective.  I understand that not everything is under the PI’s control.  They are often dependent on other individuals or institutions.  I believe this awareness will make me better at my job and help me improve the management our internal grant processes here at EVMS.

What are your plans for sharing or disseminating what you learn in this project? I hope to be able to have enough good information to put together a manuscript for publication.  I plan to present to the EVMS community as a first step and I will likely present at the next NORDP conference in 2022. 

Has this experience changed how you approach your RD work? It has absolutely changed my approach.  As I mentioned above, I now see the grant process from the other side as a PI myself.  It has invoked a humanistic understanding side of me, and I am now coming to my RD work from a different vantage point.  The experience has also overlapped with the Doctor of Health Science program I am finishing up currently.  I have gained insight into the human side, become more understanding of PIs who may need more time due to personal lives, teaching & committee responsibilities, or maybe being stretched too thin overall.

What are/will be the outcomes of your research? The main driver of this project was to improve our processes here, but after reaching out to other NORDP members I learned that many people did not have measures in place.  Ultimately, I hope to help my RD colleagues be effective stewards of their resources with my project. I saw a need to develop a lexicon that the RD community can refer to with a standardized set of definitions.  For example, when I was putting together a roundtable for the 2021 NORDP conference the term “seed grant” was one that has different meanings at different institutions.  Is a better term “internal grant”?  I hope to be able to provide insight on defining terms and evaluating outcomes through this project and eventually look to evaluation best practices in the next stage.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell

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.

NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in RD: Update from Michael Pruess

In a partnership with InfoReady Review, NORDP launched a New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) grant Initiative which began funding grants in 2018 that support the disciplinary field of Research Development. Eleven grants of up to $2500 each have been awarded to date. A new grant cycle will be announced in the Fall of 2021.

Awardee Feature

Who: Michael Preuss, EdD

Where: Exquiri Consulting, LLC

Proposal: A focus group investigation of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes desired in Research Development (RD) directors and proposal specialists.

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project? This is the third step in a sequence of studies. The first considered more than 400 RD job announcements to understand how RD was defined and described. The second was a survey of active NORDP members to understand demographics, institution types and distribution, as well as roles and responsibilities of RD professionals. This final study involves focus group discussions of what distinguishes RD directors from proposal development specialists and what they have in common. This dichotomy was investigated, as there were statistically significant differences in the survey data (second step in the sequence) between the roles and responsibilities reported by these groups.

What is the status of the project now? The data gathering is complete. Focus groups were conducted at the Northeast Region meeting in 2019, at the Great Lakes Region meeting in 2020, and with a group of Research Development and Research Administration professionals in the University of New Mexico system. Two interviews were also conducted with notable RD professionals on the West Coast, and work is underway on an article to report the findings. It would the third in a series. The first two are (1) Describing Research Development: A First Step in Research, Management Review, volume 23, issue 1, published in in 2018, and (2) Research Development and Its Workforce: An Evidence-Based Compendium for Higher Education and Other Environments in the International Journal on Studies in Education ,volume 2, issue 1, published in 2020.

What suggestions do you have for NORDP members considering the 2021 competition? If you have not conducted an independent research project before, look for a mentor or a colleague with experience who will work with you. Seek to answer a specific and well-defined question that is based on, at a minimum, a good volume of experiential or anecdotal evidence. Be sure you know the standard for substantial or significant evidence for the research method you are proposing. Ask an RD professional you respect to comment on a draft of your proposal and prepare far enough in advance for them to be able to do so to the best of their ability. Anticipate that there will be challenges and competing priorities by keeping your project tightly focused and planning an appropriate but less-than-aggressive timeline.   

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.