Update on NORDP 2022 Conference

Dear NORDP Community,

As you all have been planning and drafting abstracts, our conference co-chairs and leadership have been working busily behind the scenes to assess the feasibility of holding an in-person conference next spring and consulting with event planners on the best path forward.

After considering many variables, we have made the difficult decision to convert our planned event in Bellevue, WA, to a fully virtual conference; it will take place Monday-Thursday, April 25-28, 2022.

We know this decision will be met with mixed emotions–results of a recent survey showed a distinct split between members calling for an online event and those eager to get back to in-person conferences. We know that neither option is ideal for everyone, and the Executive Conference Committee will make recommendations to the Board for providing future options that accommodate our broad community.

Let me reiterate that our decision to move to a virtual conference this year was based on many factors, including the continued risk of COVID and safety of our members; the related financial struggles of some of our institutions (which have reduced professional development budgets for staff); institutional policies that continue to limit travel; the comfort level of members for convening in large groups; and the increased costs of venues paired with a likely decreased number of attendees (i.e., cost-effectiveness for members and the organization). 

Given the timing (this is the earliest we could make this announcement), our conference co-chairs have decided to extend the conference abstract deadline until Friday, November 26, 11:59 pm PST. We hope this provides an opportunity for members who wish to present at the conference, but who could not attend an in-person event.

I want to thank our 2022 conference co-chairs, Katie Shoaf and Becca Latimer, for their leadership, perseverance and flexibility under these uncertain circumstances, as well as our event planners at FirstPoint Management Resources for their hard work. We enjoyed a vibrant and engaging virtual conference in 2021, and we learned valuable lessons that will yield an even more successful 2022 event.

You may contact rdconf@nordp.org with questions.

With much gratitude during this Thanksgiving season,

Jill Jividen, NORDP President, 2021-22

To view the full competition and submit your abstract, click here: View competition

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 Annual Conference 2022 Call for Abstracts

We are pleased to announce the launch of the NORDP Annual Conference 2022 Call for Abstracts. Click HERE to access the full competition in InfoReady. Thank you!


  • Internal Submission Deadline: Friday, November 19, 2021
  • Award Cycle: NORDP 2022

Abstracts are now being accepted for the 14th Annual Research Development Conference, hosted by the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) the last week in April 2022.

Please note that the final format of the conference has yet to be finalized due to the evolving public health situation around COVID-19.

Several different conference session formats are available, as described below. Regardless of the session format, proposers should consider how their presentations and workshops will:

  • Demonstrate ways in which research development professionals support, encourage, and empower researchers to try new things—to create and mobilize knowledge, to respond to new funding mechanisms and pursue multi-disciplinary grants, or to participate in campus think-tanks or networking events.
  • Explore new approaches used in research development programs.
  • Explore creative resources for personal and career development.
  • Emphasize the innovative roles and value of research development within the broader research enterprise.
  • Contribute to strategic research planning at the institutional level.

Format Options

Workshops
FOUR HOURS / 2 to 4 presenters (recommended)
Allow participants to interactively explore a topic in-depth, led by teams of two to four facilitators (two is the minimum). Facilitators should use the long format to allow for more holistic discussion, to facilitate interactive activities, and/or to involve participants fully in the session. Audience size at these sessions is anticipated to be around 30 participants; however, facilitators can choose a size appropriate for their topic. Applicants should provide a clear rationale for the need to have four hours to accomplish the goals of the session; how they will provide intensive, interactive learning activities and/or professional development opportunities; and how they will deliver identified learning objectives and take-home materials. Preparatory and developmental coaching around adult learning will be available for all teams developing workshops, and a stipend will be provided for facilitators to compensate for the time spent developing a workshop. Applications require description of:

  1. Proposed learning objectives, workshop competencies, and/or tangible outcomes;
  2. Format, lesson plan, and curriculum overview;
  3. Learning environment and connection to inclusive excellence (i.e., description of how the facilitators will develop a positive learning environment and support NORDP’s inclusive excellence goals);
  4. Target audience(s), i.e., RD roles and positions, levels of knowledge/experience, academic disciplines, institution type;
  5. Facilitator expertise and qualifications (related to workshop content and delivering interactive sessions).

Oral Presentations
Intended for individual or group presentations, and are most effective when they address a significant overarching issue, problem, or hot topic in research development and/or showcase data, solutions, and programs from an array of institutions or perspectives. These sessions should be informational and may be accompanied by supplementary materials.

  • TWENTY-MINUTE sessions / up to 3 presenters (recommended)
  • ONE-HOUR sessions / up to 4 presenters (recommended)
  • NINETY-MINUTE sessions / up to 4 presenters (recommended). Ninety-minute sessions allow presenters to discuss a topic with more depth and interactively; proposals should therefore describe why ninety minutes are needed for the presentation.

Please avoid presenting case studies from a single institution or program; case studies are more appropriate for a poster or lightning talk.

Lightning Talks
FIVE-MINUTE presentations / 1 presenter (recommended)
A fun and fast-paced opportunity for individuals to share new and creative ideas for fostering research development. Based on Ignite (http://www.ignitetalks.io/), presentations are limited to five minutes and <20 slides. Please consider aligning with one of the following themes: Faculty Development; Interdisciplinary Research; Funding & Funders; RD Professional Development. If these do not apply, please indicate “Other.”

Lightning Storm
ONE-HOUR presentations / up 6 presenters total (recommended)
If you would like to propose a series of lightning talks (i.e., a “lightning storm”), please reach out to the conference organizers directly at rdconf@nordp.org.

Roundtables
ONE-HOUR sessions / up to 3 presenters (recommended)
A discussion focused on a specific RD issue. Roundtables encourage networking and sharing of individual experiences. Applicants should provide a description of the topic and its relevance to NORDP members and be willing to lead the discussion.

You may submit more than one abstract. Each submission should be for one type of session; if you are submitting separate/distinct abstracts, then multiple applications are required.

For each submission, please identify the audience for whom the content is targeted:

Fundamental: The session is aimed at providing knowledge and content fundamental to RD. Content may be appropriate for individuals interested in or new to RD, individuals already in RD but whose job responsibilities do not currently include the indicated topic, or those who want a refresher.

Intermediate: Content in these sessions is fundamental to RD but most relevant to individuals who have been involved in RD (or the given topic) for more than one year. This information can also be useful to individuals thinking about the next steps in their career or skills/responsibilities they want to gain.

Advanced: Content in these sessions is relevant to and aimed at individuals who already have significant skills in the given topic, who have or are working toward leadership roles in RD (including those who are “offices of one”), and/or who have an institutional leadership role or advise institutional leaders. This information can also be useful to experienced individuals thinking about their next career steps or skills/responsibilities they want to gain.

To view the full competition and submit your abstract, click here: View competition

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.

Nominations for 2022 NORDP Awards due Dec. 1

NORDP offers a number of member-nominated awards to shine a spotlight on the outstanding accomplishments of individuals making exemplary contributions to the organization as well as the profession and/or field of research development.

Each year, NORDP members are invited to submit nominations for the Innovation Award, Leadership Award, Rising Star Award, and NORDP Fellow designation. These awards honor NORDP member’s commitment to excellence and impact and recognize the contributions member-leaders make to the research development community. 

Consider nominating someone you know who is moving the needle on:

  • strategic research advancement;
  • communication of research and research opportunities;
  • enhancing research collaboration, team science, or research leadership capacity; or
  • proposal development. 

The deadline for submitting nominations for NORDP Awards to be given in 2022 is 8:00 p.m. EDT/5:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Nominations must be submitted via InfoReady.

An informational webinar about the NORDP Awards process featuring an overview of award types and the nomination preparation and review processes will be held on Friday, October 29, at 2:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. PDT.

Registration is required and may be completed here. For more information about member recognitions, visit the NORDP Awards website.

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.

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 NORDP.org 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.

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.