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.

NORDP 2021 Schedule at a Glance Posted


The NORDP 2021 schedule at a glance is now available HERE. You can find other information about our 13th Annual Research Development Conference on the conference home page.

Our plenary speakers include NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, NIH Deputy Director Mike Lauer, and University of Michigan Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Rob Sellers.

Registration will open in early March, with early-bird pricing at $149 for members, $249 for nonmembers. NORDP 2021 registration includes 3.5 days of live events, more than 8 hours of pre-recorded content, access to session recordings post-conference and fun activities (trivia night, happy hours) to engage our attendees. Stay tuned!

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.

Announcing NORDP 2021 Plenary Speakers

The NORDP 2021 Conference Planning Committee is thrilled to announce plenary speakers for the 13th Annual NORDP Conference. Our main events will take place May 3-5, with additional conference content offered throughout the month and into summer. 

The opening keynote on Monday, May 3 will feature Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation, to discuss “NSF Strategy into the Future.” In the afternoon NORDP will welcome science communications expert Mark Bayer for a talk titled “Alternative Facts in the Academy: The Art of Pushing Back and Persuading when Data Aren’t Enough.”

Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, will kick off Tuesday morning with “Extramural Research in the Era of COVID-19: An NIH Perspective.” On Wednesday, NORDP’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence presents Dr. Robert Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Michigan, to discuss institutional DEI and anti-racism efforts.

The full program will be posted soon, with registration opening later this winter. Conference updates will be coming to your inbox and the blog soon! You can also follow #NORDP2021 on twitter.

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.

Call for Abstracts Now Open for NORDP 2021

Call for Abstracts Now Open! 
NORDP 2021 
May 2021 • Online

The 13th annual NORDP Research Development Conference will be held ONLINE in May 2021.

Abstracts are now being accepted for NORDP 2021. All abstracts must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Monday, December 14th, 2020. 

Submissions for abstracts for ALL sessions can be made here (these include workshops, 60 and 90 minute presentations, pre-recorded oral presentations, lightning talks, roundtables, and posters). Please take a few moments to read the instructions before logging in and submitting your abstract. A PDF version of these instructions can also be downloaded.


Stay Connected! 

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2021 updates, including featured speaker confirmations, exciting topics to be discussed, and more. 

Conference Email Contact: rdconf@nordp.org

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.