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.

Member Services Committee offers on-demand support, flexible networking for virtual conference-goers at NORDP 2021

Submitted by Sarah Messbauer, Member Services Committee

It’s no secret that virtual conferences present a unique set of opportunities and challenges. This year, for example, NORDP is reducing the stress we’ve all felt when choosing between concurrent sessions by offering more pre-recorded content and extended pre-and post-conference sessions. At the same time, the global connection of our virtual formats does have the potential to make us feel disconnected from peers and colleagues—unless we take active steps to forge those connections ourselves. 

It is for these reasons that the volunteers of NORDP’s Member Services Committee are “booting up” a suite of information, resources, and services to ensure all NORDP 2021 attendees can maximize their conference experience.   

Orientation for New Members/New Attendees – A guide to all things NORDP 2021

If you are new to NORDP, new to conferencing, or just want some insights on how best to navigate this year’s program, be sure to register for this conference overview event scheduled for Thursday, 29 April 2021 from 12:00-1:00pm EDT. The discussion will begin with a brief overview of NORDP’s goals and how it is structured to best serve you before segueing into advice from the conference organizers on how to navigate the conference platform and program, insights on networking opportunities, and tips on avoiding conference burnout. 

There will be plenty of time left for Q&A, so come with questions!

“Ask Me!” – NORDP’s annual conference ambassadors program goes virtual 

Conference Ambassadors are this year’s corp of volunteers ready to answer any questions you may have at any time: about the conference, our organization, or our profession. They are active NORDP members who have attended at least one prior conference (potential Ambassadors – sign up here!). You can spot them by their virtual “Ambassador” name tags… and a few may even sport the phrase “Ask Me!” in front of their names throughout conference! 

Let’s all go to the Lobby… and have ourselves a Chat!

Looking for a break from sitting in on sessions? Interested in connecting with your Research Development peers? If a mid-conference connection is in the cards, come by the conference platform’s virtual lobby and enter the Lobby Chat! This feature will be open for informal networking several hours each day, with MSC volunteers on-hand to answer questions and generate conversation. 

The Lobby Chat will be open on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference, from 10:00-11:00am; 1:30-2:30pm; and 5:00-6:00pm each day. 

The happiest place(s) on earth: MSC Happy Hours!

The Member Services Committee is hosting two concurrent happy hours at this year’s conference, both of which will take place on Wednesday, 5 May 2021 from 7:00-8:00pm (EDT).

In our first room, we’ll be chatting about the most useful activities, services, or resources you’ve come across as an RD professional—at your organization or elsewhere. If you’re curious to know what people are doing or seeing (and are willing to share, yourself), this is the place for the curious and creative. 

In our second room, we’re inviting all parents and caretakers to come and talk about Research Development: caretaking at home (and work?!). This will be a family-friendly happy hour, so kids, spouses, parents, and others are welcome to stop by, hang out, and join the conversation.

Networking Dinners – or breakfasts, or lunches, or….

Do you prefer a smaller, more intimate setting for getting to know your peers and colleagues? If so, Thursday, May 6th’s “Networking Dinners”—a longstanding NORDP conference tradition—are just the thing. These fun and informal zoom “dinners” are 1-hour sessions that provide a small group setting to meet and engage with other conference attendees around a topic selected by your host. Topics from past years have included: 

  • “Advancing Diversity in the RD Profession,” 
  • “Limited Submissions: Working With Leadership,” 
  • “Government Relations for Arts and Humanities” 
  • “RD Office Workflow Management”
  • “Graphic Design Tools of the Trade” 
  • “First-Time Conference Attendees” 
  • “Supporting Mid-Career Researchers”
  • “Transitioning to Supervising”

This year, hosts select the time of the meeting and provide their own Zoom link; this will provide those joining in from diverse time zones with more options to engage with your peers…. whether you’d like to share a meal, a cup of tea, or just some good conversation! Dinner? Sure! But “Networking Brunch” sounds pretty great too.

If you’d like to host a ‘dinner,’ please sign up here by Wednesday, 28 April 2021.  

If you’d like to attend a ‘dinner,’ please stay tuned! We’ll share the invitation to RSVP once host sign-ups are complete. 

Wow! With so many resources, activities, and support available, we hope to knock those virtual conferencing challenges right off your radar. If you are new to NORDP or have questions about the conference, attend the pre-conference Orientation or reach out to a NORDP Ambassador. They are your friendly faces and first friends of NORDP 2021, and along with other conference resources such as the daily Lobby Chats, concurrent Happy Hours, and final day “Networking Dinners,” are provided by the Member Services Committee to ensure all our Research Development colleagues have access to the information and services they need to make this year’s conference our best one yet! 

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 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 2021 Plenary: Mark Bayer

Mark Bayer, former Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives during a 20-year career working in Congress, will join NORDP 2021 for an afternoon plenary on Monday, May 3. This plenary is presented by Elsevier.

For more than 200 years, evidence-based public policies, rooted in facts and sound science, have been a cornerstone of our democracy. Consequently, the marginalization of scientific expertise ultimately affects policymaking; it warps our laws and regulations, enables harmful activities dangerous to public health and well-being, and erodes confidence in our systems of government. The impacts extend to society from there.

How can Research Development professionals push back against the ongoing assault on science? According to Bayer there are ways to change minds when alternative “facts” and misinformation take root in our organizations.

Join Mark Bayer and leave armed to lay a foundation for cooperation; how to detect alternative facts and artfully dispel them; how to use the power of “gilt by association” to defuse difficult situations; and how to use Emotional Intelligence tools to reduce friction, align interests and increase effectiveness. Please see a brief video from Mark below. To send an anonymous response to his video message, visit this link: https://bbemaildelivery.com/bbext/?p=video_land&id=6cab1b31-ad20-9463-ff96-58f58e76099f

Mark designs and delivers interactive, true-to-life training that gives scientists and engineers proven, powerful tools for effectively navigating the policy environment in Washington, DC. Mark teaches scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs the same methodology he used in Congress to rapidly distill complex policies, craft strategies to advance high-profile initiatives, and concisely explain them to Members of Congress and journalists from leading media outlets, including The New York TimesThe Washington PostUSA TodayThe Boston Globe, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, AP, and many others.

Mark has been touted in Politico for his “decades of superlative experience” serving as a Congressional staff member. His work on how to combat alternative facts has appeared in Science and The New Yorker. Mark has been featured in IEEE-USA’s “Lessons on Leadership” column, and he serves as a guest lecturer in the Science Policy Bootcamp course at Cornell University’s Meining School of Engineering. 

Host of the weekly podcast When Science Speaks, Mark explores communications, science policy, and career issues affecting grad students, PhDs, and Postdocs in engineering and the natural and social sciences. Mark is a magna cum laude graduate of Cornell University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his Master in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 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 2021 Plenary: Robert M. Sellers

Robert M. Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Michigan, will deliver a plenary presentation to NORDP discussing how Research Development professionals are uniquely situated to help dismantle racism in academia. 

The title of his talk, to be delivered from 11 a.m. – Noon EDT on Wednesday, May 5, is “How Research Development Professionals Can Be Change Agents for Promoting Anti-Racism within the Academy.”

Research Development staff serve as a bridge and key connection in the production of scholarly work at their institutions. Dr. Sellers’ presentation will look at how they can incorporate anti-racist strategies and help faculty, students and colleagues overcome racism that they encounter in their work or studies. He will share his experiences from his thirty plus years in higher education as a faculty member, department chair, and Chief Diversity Officer at Research 1 institutions to help demonstrate how Research Development professionals can be advocates in the academy and beyond.

Dr. Sellers also serves as the Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Professor of Education. His primary research has focused on the role of race in the psychological lives of African Americans, and he has developed a conceptual and empirical model of African American racial identity that is used by other researchers. 

He has conducted research on the life experiences of student athletes and is a co-founder of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context. The center serves a dual-purpose, conducting action-oriented research on the healthy development of African American youth, as well as a training ground for future researchers.

In his current role, Dr. Sellers is responsible for managing the University’s five-year strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion and serves as a principal adviser to the President.

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 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.

Featured NORDP 2021 Session: “Mindfulness” with Dr. Kelcey Stratton

Dr. Kelcey Stratton will join NORDP members for a mindfulness session during the NORDP 2021 conference on Monday, May 3rd at 1:45pm EDT. Her session will focus on skills to mindfully pause, improve presence, and cultivate gratitude, compassion, and positive emotions. Participants will have a chance to practice evidence-based strategies to manage moments of stress and support their well-being.

Dr. Stratton is a clinical psychologist and the Program Manager for Resilience and Well-Being Services in the Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience. In this role, she develops programs and strategies to enhance well-being for faculty and staff at Michigan Medicine. She has a particular interest in the areas of stress and resilience, trauma-informed care, mindfulness, and the use of narrative and reflective practices.

Prior to coming to University of Michigan, Dr. Stratton lived and worked in South Africa for several years, where she served as a mental health clinician and consultant to Peace Corps volunteers and medical providers in over 65 countries. She has also worked as a clinician and researcher in the VA health system, where she focused on post-traumatic stress concerns. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 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 2021 Plenary

NSF’s Sethuraman Panchanathan Builds New Partnerships to Drive Research

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan

For more than 70 years, the National Science Foundation has been powering discovery and innovation across the entire range of fundamental science and engineering research and education. As NSF’s 15th Director, Sethuraman Panchanathan sees extraordinary opportunities ahead for the research community to build on that legacy.

When he presents his plenary session, titled “Strengthening the Symbiosis of Exploratory and Translational Research @ Speed & Scale,” on Mon., May 3, from 11:00 a.m. to noon (EDT), he will share his insights on the future of research and the vital role for research development in that future.

“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.”

He notes that research development has sped up the pace of science and engineering, enabling researchers to make more discoveries and bigger breakthroughs faster than ever before.

“When I talk about my vision for strengthening the research enterprise at speed and scale, that’s also a strategic vision for expanding research development. Because our future success is going to depend on the investments we make in people, platforms, and partnerships. We need to strengthen the research community by reaching the tremendous talent that exists throughout this nation,” he says. He especially hopes to reach the “Missing Millions,” those with STEM capabilities from underrepresented communities who don’t yet see a pathway into science and engineering.

“We’ve built up tremendous research capacity over the past 70 years, and that is a launch pad not only for big science and engineering accomplishments, but for building even greater capacity for discovery and innovation,” Panchanathan continues. “My vision relies on partnerships, not just how NSF can create partnerships, but how we can foster environments where collaboration and multidisciplinary work thrives. Innovative, collaborative ecosystems are powerful tools for scaling up research progress.”

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.

Early Bird Registration Rates for NORDP 2021 Close Next Week

The Early Bird Member Registration price for NORDP 2021 is $149; Early Bird Nonmember pricing is $249. Early bird rates close March 31st – register soon to save! Registration is open on our registration page HERE.

The full schedule and registration are now available. The schedule at a glance and a downloadable PDF of the detailed schedule can be found HERE.

NORDP 2021 features over three full days of content delivered virtually. Registrants will have access to all recorded sessions from conference week.

The bulk of the conference content will take place May 3-6. In addition,
Pre-conference events start April 26 and feature more than 7 hours of pre-recorded 20-minute oral sessions. Post-conference events, starting May 10, feature more roundtables. Note: Pre-conference roundtable registration has already filled and the currently available post-conference roundtables will be full very soon.

We hope to see you at NORDP 2021!

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 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 2021 Plenary

NIH’s Mike Lauer Shares Multiple Perspectives at the Intersection of NIH and RD

Mike Lauer, Deputy Director
for Extramural Research, NIH

When Mike Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research for the National Institutes of Health, delivers his plenary presentation to NORDP, he’ll address research development from a variety of perspectives.

The title of his talk, to be delivered from 11:00 a.m. to noon on Tues., May 4, is “Extramural Research in the Era of COVID-19: An NIH Perspective.” In this context, he says, with three vaccines and effective treatments available, the perspective is that “in some respects science working exceedingly well.”

Lauer uses a sports analogy to stress the importance of diverse teams in research development, both in terms of the science and in terms of the institutional support provided to a team. “A team of quarterbacks, for example, would serve no one well,” he says.

While the term research development is a relatively new one to Lauer, he says he has been a fan of the concept for decades. He recalls a multidisciplinary proposal to NIH in the early 2000s that combined his talents as a practicing cardiologist with a special interest in epidemiology with that of a surgeon, a mathematician, and a statistician.

“We all looked at the world in very different ways, using different terms to say the same thing,” he recalls, noting that he found the mathematician’s perspective especially intriguing.

“We also had help from a colleague, a semi-retired scientist who gave us terrific suggestions. She helped us turn in a very good proposal that got a great score. She helped articulate the story, and provided great feedback on our writing.”

Today, Lauer notes that research development professionals can help researchers being better collaborators, which results in more competitive proposals coming into NIH. He calls this a blessing and a curse.

“Because we get better proposals, we can fund higher quality work that is likely to be productive,” he says. “At the same time, while a tremendous amount of work is funded, much is left on the table,” he adds, noting that the success rate hovers around 20-22 percent, down from a high of around 35% in the 1990’s, and up from a few years ago when it was round 16-17%.

Teamwork is the key to solving major challenges, Lauer says, noting that NIH grants are given to institutions, not individual scientists. Even the smaller R01 funding mechanism, he says, supports a team that usually includes principal investigators, co-investigators, postdocs, grad students, staff scientists, technicians, and others. Beyond that, teams of teams are often brought together for various consortium grants.

“Research development professionals help foster the idea with organizational and institutional support. It’s a team effort, all around,” he says. “The days of the individual scientist, brilliant and alone, is not the way the business is conducted now.”

Lauer’s presentation at NORDP 2021 will offer additional insights from his role at NIH, along with tips to help RD professionals best serve the researchers and teams they support.

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 2021 Schedule and Registration Available

The full schedule and registration are now available for the 13th Annual NORDP
Research Development Conference. The schedule at a glance and a downloadable PDF of the detailed schedule can be found HERE.

Registration is open on our registration page HERE. The Early Bird Member Registration price is $149; Early Bird Nonmember pricing is $249. Early bird rates close at the end of March – register soon to save!

NORDP 2021 features over three full days of content delivered virtually.

The bulk of the conference content will take place May 3-6. In addition,
Pre-conference events start April 26 and feature more than 7 hours of pre-recorded 20-minute oral sessions along with a number of roundtables. Post-conference events, starting May 10, feature even more roundtables. Registrants will have access to all the sessions from conference week.

We hope to see you at NORDP 2021!

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 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 2021 Conference Scholarships Available; Apply by March 15, 2021

NORDP Conference Scholarships (known as “Attendance Awards” when we meet in person) are intended to help members offset the cost of conference registration. These scholarships are intended for those who need financial support beyond what their institutions or organizations will provide. NORDP 2021 awards will fund the cost of one (1) conference registration per award at the early-bird member rate.

These awards support NORDP’s mission to enhance the diversity of our membership and member institutions. Members who are new to NORDP, are attending their first NORDP conference, identify as belonging to a group that is underrepresented in NORDP, or represent Minority-Serving Institutions, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Scholarship recipients are expected to volunteer at the conference and serve on a NORDP committee or subcommittee following the 2021 conference.

Eligibility: These awards are not available to current and prior NORDP Board of Directors members, Affiliate Members or consultants. Anyone who has received conference/travel support from NORDP in the previous three onsite conference years (2017, 2018 or 2019 conferences) is not eligible in 2021.

To Apply: Visit https://nordp.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1836162. (If this is your first time using NORDP’s InfoReady site, please select “Register” in the upper right-hand corner to create a login for this site.)

PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE UNTIL YOU ARE NOTIFIED OF THE STATUS OF YOUR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION. We will contact applicants with decisions before the Early Bird registration window closes.