NORDP 2023: What to Know Before You Go

Greetings NORDP 2023 Attendees:

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Crystal City, VA for our first in-person conference since 2019! Get ready for inspiring keynotes, fantastic presentations, and plentiful opportunities to grow connections. We have put together the following guide that we hope will be helpful as you prepare for your arrival in Crystal City.

🙂  NORDP Conference Concierge 

The NORDP Conference Concierge (not to be confused with the Hyatt Concierge desk!) is located in the Regency Foyer of the Hyatt (2 floors below street level). It’s more than a location! It will be staffed by event management professionals and our wonderful NORDP member volunteers! It’s a place to go when you have a question or problem to be solved, are unsure, or just need a break. For those of you who are new(er) to NORDP, the NORDP Concierge Desk is a great place to learn about NORDP as an organization (e.g., what committees are available to join? Who is on the Board? How can I get involved?). 

Stop by the Conference Concierge Desk anytime during these hours: 

  • Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

In addition to the NORDP Concierge Desk, you can use the Whova App to directly message Conference Organizers. Find this feature under Community → Ask Organizers Anything.

🚙  Shuttle & Parking & Metro 

The Hyatt Regency Crystal City provides a courtesy airport shuttle to and from Reagan National Airport

  • The shuttle departs from the hotel front drive every 20 minutes on the hour from 4:20 a.m.–12:40 a.m. seven days a week.
  • Terminal 1 pickup location is outside the main doors. Follow signs for Hotel Shuttle Pickup. 
  • Terminal 2 pickup locations are outside of Doors 4 and 7 on the baggage claim level. Follow signs for Hotel Shuttle Pickup. 

If you are driving to the conference and need to park at the hotel, parking fees can be found on the hotel website

The Crystal City metro station is 4 blocks from the Hyatt Regency Crystal City—about a 14-minute walk. 

✅  Conference Check-In 

Conference Check-in is 12:00–6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at the NORDP Concierge Desk. If you are not arriving in that time frame, no worries. Simply come to the NORDP Conference Concierge on Monday morning (opens at 9 a.m.) to check in. 

To check-in:

  • Approach the NORDP Conference Concierge to find large QR codes printed for check-in.
  • Open the camera on your phone to scan the QR code. It will automatically direct you to the Whova app for check-in.  
  • Approach the staff and volunteers to collect your name badge and lapel pin. 
  • That’s it!

Note: if you are NOT using the Whova app, you can still access information about the conferencevia the Whova app website (

Please remember: There is no on-site registration this year! No exceptions.

📱  Need help with the Whova App?

We are so excited to offer the Whova App for our entire conference community! The platform is a resource for attendees, speakers, sponsors, and the planning committee. Activity on the app has been ramping up over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been so fun watching all of you engage! If you are not on the app yet, let us know and we can help. Just stop by the NORDP Conference Concierge in the Regency Foyer of the Hyatt. 

Note: if you are NOT using the Whova app, you can still access information about the conference via the Whova app website (

👋   Welcome Reception 

Join us on Sunday from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. for a Welcome Reception in the Regency Foyer. The Welcome Reception is sponsored by our platinum sponsor, Thorn Run Partners. We are so excited to welcome you to NORDP2023! Brief welcome remarks from NORDP leadership and Thorn Run Partners will be followed by a chance for us to meet each other in person for the first time since 2019!

🌟  NORDP Sponsors

Please make time to stop by our sponsor exhibits in the Regency Foyer to chat with them and find out what’s new in their businesses. Our sponsors make the conference happen! We will also be holding a Sponsor Expo on Monday May 8 from 1-2:30 p.m. Please take this opportunity to check out the sponsor booths! As you visit the sponsors, remember to collect a ‘stamp’ from each sponsor you visit for the Passport Contest. Attendees who collect 20 or more stamps will be entered into a raffle for prizes. 

🔘 ​​ Code of Conduct 

We have posted a NORDP2023 Conference Code of Conduct in the Whova App and on the conference website. In both platforms, it can be found under Logistics → Conference Code of Conduct. Please review it when you have time. If you witness any violations of the Code of Conduct during the conference, please report it using the reporting form linked in the Code of Conduct.

 👕  Attire ​​

Attire for the conference is business casual, and casual after hours. Be sure to bring workout clothes/shoes if you’re planning on taking part in morning exercise. The forecast is for seasonal temperatures, warm during the day (75-80℉) and cooler at night (50-60℉), with humidity running between 55-89%. 

The meeting spaces at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City can get a little chilly. Consider bringing a layer that makes you comfortable and feel good. 

🍽️  Meals 

Your registration fee covers the cost of breakfast and lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference. We have made every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions and requests. Please find one of the service staff if you have any questions. 

Dinners will be on your own—please check out the Whova App under Community → Meet-ups & Virtual Meets to find a Networking Dinner to sign up for, or grab dinner with a colleague or a friend. We have put together this map that provides multiple restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. 

🚰  Water bottle

In the interest of practicing sustainability, we ask that conference attendees bring their own water bottles to the conference. There will be water stations available at breakfast, breaks, lunch, and receptions to stay hydrated! 

🎒 Bring a backpack or tote

No swag bags will be given at check-in this year. If you like to carry things around the conference with you, consider bringing your own packable tote or backpack. 

🏙️ ​​ Optional Social and Fitness Activities

In true NORDP fashion, you all have stepped up to lead amazing social and fitness activities. From walking to local coffee roasters, to enjoying an evening meal around a discussion topic, to swimming laps — there are many options to add some fun to your agenda. Find current options in the Whova App under Community → Meet-ups & Virtual Meets. Don’t see something that you’d like to do? Feel free to post something for others to join!

🧰  Workshops

RSVP registration for the three workshops is now open in the conference app. 

  1. Strategies for incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during proposal development. (2 hours)
  2. Framework and tools for planning several kinds of workshops (4 hours)
  3. Building communicative and collaborative capacity for cross-disciplinary teams using the toolbox dialogue method. (2 hours)

You can find the workshops by navigating to the agenda section in the app and then searching for them on Tuesday morning or using the ‘workshop’ tag under the tracks function. Click on the session and then you should see a button that says “+RSVP”. We will not be accepting RSVPs via email—sign-up is only through the app (either the mobile app or web browser app). 

If you previously added a workshop to your personal agenda, you will still need to go into the app to RSVP (i.e., adding to your personal agenda did not save you a seat). As the workshops have limited capacity, please only sign up for a workshop if you plan to go. Whova will automatically create a waitlist and notify you if/when spots open. For these sessions, we will be scanning name badges at the room door. Please arrive on time for the workshop; we are providing a 5-minute grace period, after which we will notify individuals on the waitlist that a spot has opened. 

❤️  NORDP’s Got Heart 

This year’s conference committee wanted to make an impact in the community where we are convening. To do this, we are partnering with Carpenter’s Shelter, a local organization that supports individuals and families experiencing and at risk of homelessness to achieve sustainable independence through shelter and housing placement, guidance, education, and advocacy. We will be collecting items and monetary donations during the conference until 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Requested items, as a link for monetary donations, can be found on the Whova App and on the website under Logistics → NORDP’s Got Heart. 

Check out the ‘Meet-Ups’ section of the conference app, Whova. Members will be organizing morning walks to CVS or other stores to purchase items for donation. 

We will total both items and monetary donations and present all donations to a representative from Carpenter’s Shelter on Wednesday during our awards ceremony. 

​​🖼️  Presenting a poster

If you are presenting a poster, try to find a time between 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8 to hang your posters up on the display boards (located in room Independence B). Posters will be up for the majority of the conference in Independence B. Please take down your poster by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Any posters left after noon will be thrown away. 

😷  COVID-19 awareness at the conference

We encourage all conference attendees to practice good hygiene. Best practices for conferences include frequent handwashing, mask-wearing if you are at risk or concerned about exposure for any reason, and communication through the event if someone at the conference tests positive for COVID. We refer to the latest CDC Guidance for Travel

  • In Arlington County, Virginia, the community level is Low (as of 5/3/2023) Feel free to keep an eye on this website for the latest information.
  • Follow any prevention advice given to you by your healthcare provider. 
  • If wearing a mask is necessary and/or important to you, please bring the best mask for you. 
  • If you are interested in acquiring a mask or a COVID test while you are at the conference, there are several nearby places to purchase. (CVS Pharmacy, Target, 7-eleven, grocery stores)

NORDP 2023 Keynote: Mentors-of-the-Moment with Dr. Brad Johnson

NORDP 2023 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Brad Johnson

For Dr. Brad Johnson, it was a crucial conversation with a valued mentor early in his career that offered him the affirmation that he needed to pursue his professional goals. Johnson, at the time, was a brand new clinical psychologist serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. And despite the extensive training he had undertaken to become a practicing clinical psychologist, he was having some misgivings about his chosen profession. Johnson remembers working up the courage to share his thoughts with the senior psychologist who was serving as his supervisor and telling her, “You know, my happiest moment in the week is when a client cancels an appointment and I actually have time to do some writing. I love working on research articles and I love teaching, and I’m kind of thinking I don’t want to be a clinical psychologist in the traditional sense. I’d love to teach and be an academician.” His mentor’s response? As Johnson recalls, “She just looked at me and said, ‘Of course.’ like she’d known that all the time.” That pivotal conversation was a lightbulb moment for Johnson about the power of mentorship.

Dr. Johnson, now a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy and a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, will be delivering the closing keynote at the 2023 NORDP conference. His address, entitled  Mentors-of-the-Moment: Creating Mentoring-Rich Organizational Cultures, will focus on how to leverage developmental relationships and existing mentoring infrastructure to create cultures of mentoring within organizations.

When he began teaching and supervising students  in a clinical psychology doctoral program, Johnson’s initial research focused on the treatment of depression. But that started to shift when one of the doctoral students he was supervising became interested in researching mentoring. “He came to me and he said, ‘You know, I found this article on mentoring in graduate training, and I find it really interesting and I think I might want to do this for my dissertation.’” His decision to join his mentee in pursuing this new line of research was another pivotal moment for Johnson. “It absolutely shaped the whole arc of my career, focusing a bit less on clinical treatment and a lot more on developmental relationships.”

Johnson’s next career move brought him to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he has been a faculty member ever since. As far as his research was concerned, this move was, in Johnson’s view, “such a natural, seamless transition because mentoring is so important in the military.” One of Johnson’s initial projects at the Naval Academy was a large study focused on retired Navy Admirals and their experience with mentoring in the fleet. One of the most powerful findings from the study, in his view, concerned the longevity of these mentoring relationships. “One of the things we asked was, ‘Why did the relationship end?’ and by far the most common response was that the mentor had died. It turns out that these relationships were lifelong. And they continued, even up to the point where the mentor was no longer living.” This finding was reminiscent of Johnson’s own relationship with his mentor from his days in graduate school. “We don’t see each other as often, but if I ever have a major career decision to make, I always reach out to him, even now. The effect of really great mentoring often lingers, and in the best case, these relationships become lifelong friendships.”

Johnson is particularly excited to speak to NORDP conference attendees about actionable strategies for moving beyond mentoring programs to creating cultures of mentoring, both within NORDP itself and within attendees’ organizations. “We know that a lot of talented junior folks fall through the cracks because they don’t think it’s for them or that they’re entitled to mentoring. And senior people feel like mentoring programs can be a burden and don’t engage.” For Johnson, building a mentoring culture means becoming a mentor-of-the-moment, someone who shows interest in junior colleagues in the day-to-day interactions we have at work. “Being a mentor-of-the-moment might mean being the kind of person who will initiate a conversation with a colleague about something you admired about their work, offering affirmation, or just saying, ‘Hey, if you ever want to drop by and just chat about where you’d like to go in the organization, I’ve got an open door,” he says. “If you have that kind of culture, we find that retention goes way up, satisfaction and belonging go way up. And I think we need to spend a lot more time thinking about our culture, not just our formalized programs.” 

NORDP 2023 Keynote: Diversity in the Data with Dr. Christine Yifeng Chen

NORDP 2023 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Christine Yifeng Chen

From a young age, Christine Yifeng Chen had an affinity for the outdoors. Growing up in upstate New York, she spent many afternoons amusing herself in the local woods observing plants, rocks, and passing wildlife. When the sun was down or the weather was poor, she watched nature documentaries on public television and read books about historical expeditions and voyages, captivated by stories of field scientists working in far-flung places. Despite her enthusiasm, she never considered that outdoor field research was something she could ever do herself. After all, she had no camping or hiking experience, and hardly traveled outside of her hometown, as the costs of such activities were prohibitive.

That all changed when she “won the lottery,” as Chen puts it, by gaining admittance to Princeton University for her undergraduate studies with a full tuition financial aid package. Scanning the catalog of course offerings, she noticed that the earth science department offered classes with field trips, all expenses paid. Soon enough, in her first semester, she found herself in California, gazing at snow-capped mountains, climbing up sand dunes, and walking amongst ancient pine trees for the very first time. This formative experience set the stage for Chen’s future in field geology. “It was a complete culture shock,” Chen says. “Suddenly, I had access to all these resources at this school, to do all the things I’d always read about or seen on TV. It was nothing short of life changing.”

Chen understands first-hand the impact that access to social and material resources can have on one’s career. She will deliver the 2023 NORDP Conference opening keynote address, entitled “Racial disparities in research funding.” In her remarks, she will highlight results from a recent study she led showing systematic racial disparities in funding rates at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Using publicly available data, Chen and her colleagues showed that from 1999 to 2019, proposals by white researchers at NSF were funded at rates higher than most other non-white groups, and that these trends held regardless of scientific discipline and proposal type. Since similar patterns have been observed at the National institutes of Health, NASA, and other philanthropic funding organizations, they are likely widespread throughout the research funding ecosystem.

Despite countless of initiatives at colleges and universities to diversify the professoriate, data on faculty demographics indicate that higher education institutions appear to have little to show for it. Chen believes that the long-standing funding disparities have played a significant role in stymieing diversity goals: “Eliminating inequalities in STEM and academia will require a reorganization of what causes inequality in the first place: unequal access to social prestige and material resources.”

As a geologist and geochemist by training, Chen is very familiar with the lack of diversity amongst faculty. The geosciences are the least diverse field of all STEM disciplines in terms of race and ethnicity; less than 10% of geoscience PhD recipients are people of color, and little has changed in the last 40 years. And unlike other STEM disciplines, Asians are underrepresented amongst geoscience PhD recipients.

That statistic, along with the rise in anti-Asian sentiments during the pandemic, spurred Chen and two of her colleagues to start an affinity group, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Geosciences (AAPIiG), to build community for AAPIs in the discipline. It was through one of the early virtual AAPIiG community gatherings that Chen first learned from a senior academic about the “open secret” that Asian researchers have the lowest proposal success rates at the NSF. The rest is history.

Chen is eager to engage with the NORDP community about these widespread funding disparities and what we can do about them, both as individuals as well as a collective organization. She hopes that we might consider the funding data at our own institutions from both public and private funders with a critical eye. Chen also hopes that NORDP can mobilize a coordination action in response to these trends, given our unique vantage point as being embedded in the research community at multiple levels and sectors. “NORDP is ideally positioned to guide and catalyze action around this issue. If not you, who else?”

Chen is now at a national lab where she continues her geological and geochemistry research.

Help us welcome her to the NORDP stage in May.

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2023 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.

2022 Leadership Award: Kathy Partlow

As part of the April 27, 2022 NORDP Awards session, NORDP Fellow Jan Abramson presented the 2022 NORDP Leadership Award with heartfelt emotion to her peer, colleague and friend — Kathy Partlow. The NORDP Leadership Award “honors a member, a group of members or team, an RD unit, or an organization that demonstrates exceptional leadership and/or a deep commitment to volunteerism in ways that advance the profession or field of RD.”

Jan began her recognition of Kathy with a quote from Peter Strople, former director of Dell Computer Corporation — “Legacy is not leaving something for people, it’s leaving something in people. The legacy of leadership begins at the first moment of impact.” Jan’s moment of impact with Kathy began when they worked together on the Mentoring Committee. Whether we know it or not, our NORDP experiences have been touched in some way by Kathy’s quiet, behind-the-scenes leadership. 

Jess Brassard from the Communications Working Group interviewed Kathy about her take on leadership. 

Who: Kathy Parlow

Where: Remote-working from Oklahoma. Note: Kathy participated in this interview in her personal capacity. 

Number of years in research development: 10

Length of NORDP membership: 10

What is leadership to you? 

KP: Formally, I am a co-chair of the Mentoring Committee and the lead for the Evaluation & Innovation team. Broadly, I believe leadership is noticing that one is in a position to to bring others up. This can happen from any title or position. Leadership also means having a big-picture, strategic mindset to guide a group of people toward the group’s mission.

How did you learn or develop your style of leadership? 

KP: My style of leadership is focused on others. I use the unit’s mission as a meter. My contributions started small and really grew as I became passionate about mentoring. Along the way, other leaders mentored me and helped me “settle in” to the style that best suits me. I was very much mentored into my servant leadership style.

How does your membership in NORDP develop your leadership style? 

KP: I came to a point in my career where there was no pathway to leadership in my job and had a mentor that encouraged me to think more broadly about where I could gain leadership experience. I chose to develop my leadership capabilities outside my “day job” through volunteering and community service. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP, and how have these relationships influenced your work? 

KP: I have connected to amazing colleagues and formed lasting friendships through mentee/mentor relationships and volunteer activities. Their guidance is infused through my work and career journey. I learned to be active and intentional about building relationships. Within the Mentoring Committee, I take it to heart. It’s the foundation of everything the Mentoring Committee does. 

What do you wish you would have known when you began your leadership journey within NORDP? 

KP: I wish I would have known earlier that leadership is a gentle pathway. It doesn’t need to be a switch that is flipped. I eased into the time commitment. The “rising co-chair model” of the Mentoring Committee and other NORDP committees helps with transitions. I appreciate the co-leadership and support this model enables. 

What have you found most rewarding, and most challenging, about leading within NORDP? In your CAREER? 

KP: As far as the most challenging — the Mentoring Committee leadership team saw the need to adapt to a growing NORDP. That meant large initiatives were needed to adapt and diversify the resources for mentoring (e.g. peer mentoring groups (PMGs) and implementing Wisdom Share mentoring software ). The reward from this hard work has been the feasibility of supporting record-breaking numbers of NORDP Mentoring Program participants. . 

By far, the most rewarding part of NORDP is the people. I love to recognize and celebrate with NORDP volunteers in these accomplishments (and all the mini-milestones throughout). 

What advice do you have for others within NORDP who are looking to develop as leaders? 

KP: My advice is to choose a measured path. Most NORDP leadership roles allow you to ease into them. Make small contributions at first. Share your time and skills in areas that interest you. Find reward in the volunteer work.

Congratulations to the 2022 NORDP Awardees!

NORDP is powered by the excellence and impact of its members. Each year, NORDP Awards celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of members making exemplary contributions to the organization, the profession, or the field, and external supporters of NORDP’s mission and the work of its members. NORDP Awards are given to celebrate the distinctive achievements and/or contributions of individuals, collaborative groups or work teams, programs or projects, and organizations. 

Recipients of the 2022 NORDP Awards were recognized during the annual NORDP Research Development Conference in April, and over the next month we will be featuring interviews with these awardees on the NORDP blog. Congratulations to all of the awardees for your service to our organization!

Research Development Champion Award: Susan Renoe, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research, Extension, and Engagement, University of Missouri

Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski Service Award: Karen Fletcher, Director of Grants Resources & Services, Appalachian State University

Rising Star Award

  • Daniel Arriaga, Assistant Director for Research Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Kelsey Hassevoort, Research Development Manager, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Becca Latimer, Research Program Director, University of Virginia Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Kim Patten, Assistant Vice President, Research Development, University of Arizona
  • Josh Roney, Associate Director, Research Development, University of Central Florida

Innovation Award (Individual): Karen Walker, Associate Director, Research Development, Arizona State University

Innovation Award (Team): NROAD-to-RD Team

  • Samarpita Sengupta (Chair), Director of Research & Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Joanna Downer, Associate Dean for Research Development, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Nicole Frank, Associate Director, Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease Initiative, University of Utah Health
  • Maile Henson, Research Development Associate, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Becca Latimer, Research Program Director, University of Virginia Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Elaine Lee, Assistant Professor and Grant Strategist, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Danielle Matsushima, Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives, Columbia University
  • Sarah Messbauer, Senior Research Development Analyst, University of California, Davis
  • Beth Moser, Organizational Development Consultant, Arizona State University
  • Alexis Nagel, Principal, Lexicon Grants
  • Sharon Pound,  Research Development Manager,  University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Paige Sorenson, Product Lead, Invitae
  • Peggy Sundermeyer, Partner, Academic Affairs, ORGTransitions

Leadership Award: Kathy Partlow, Senior Proposal Development Coordinator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mentoring Award:

  • Susan Carter, Director of Research Development, Santa Fe Institute
  • Jan Abramson, Principal Consultant, Penultimate Advantage

NORDP Fellow: Rachel Dresbeck, Senior Director, Research Development, Oregon Health and Science University

Volunteer of the Year Award: Katie Shoaf, Associate Director, Grants Resources & Services, Appalachian State

NORDP 2022 Keynote: Dr. Susan Renoe Champions Impact

Susan Renoe, NORDP April 25 Keynote Speaker

“Impact” is a word that has come to define Dr. Susan Renoe’s career. Currently the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Extension, & Engagement at the University of Missouri, Renoe also serves as the Executive Director of the NSF-funded Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS). In fact, Renoe has been working in the impact space since before she even realized that what she was doing was broader impacts work. “When I tell people that I’ve been doing broader impacts for more than 20 years, it’s because I was doing it as a graduate student, recalls Renoe. “I just didn’t know that’s what it was.” 

Renoe will deliver the 2022 NORDP Conference keynote address, entitled Broader Impacts: A Strategy for Research Development. In her remarks, she will provide a brief overview of ARIS, highlight the ARIS-NORDP partnership that began in fall 2021, and explore the ways in which universities are using broader impacts to support proposal development and enhance societal impact. 

While a partnership between NORDP and ARIS was formalized last fall, Renoe notes that the two organizations share a connection that goes back much farther – all the way to the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI), the predecessor to ARIS. As a founding member of NABI, Renoe recalls, “NORDP was the model for NABI. When we first got together to write the grant and to think about our approach to building a network, we met with NORDP leadership to really think about what made sense organizationally. Those conversations were instrumental in helping us get off the ground.” 

Throughout her career, Renoe has witnessed firsthand the connections between research development and research impact. “For me, broader impacts and research development are inextricably linked. I came to research development through broader impacts. On our own campus, our broader impacts work has been championed, in part, because it fits the research development mission. Being able to connect communities and researchers together really strengthens a proposal and increases its chance of getting funding. All agencies have some funding mechanisms that support what we think of as broader impacts, whether it’s training grants, K-12 outreach, or broadening participation. I see it as an additional revenue stream to grow research expenditures. In that way, it really is underpinning a lot of what we do in research development.” 

Renoe describes ARIS as a big-tent organization. “The types of people who are involved in ARIS are very broad, and we keep it that way on purpose.” she noted. “We cast a wide net for ARIS because we recognize that the path for broader impacts support is very wide and includes a lot of different people, and we want people to be able to see themselves in areas but also to contribute to the conversation.” As the partnership between NORDP and ARIS develops, Renoe hopes that members will see themselves and their work reflected within both organizations. “What we want is for people to be able to seamlessly move between these two worlds and get what they need, and feel like, ‘I’m at home within NORDP, but I’m also at home within ARIS.’” 

When it comes to institutional alignment of research development and research impact, Renoe is excited about what the future holds. “We’re seeing more and more offices of research and innovation, research impact, and research and engagement. And I think that’s encouraging. I also see just working with new faculty that our early career faculty are coming in wanting to be more engaged. They want to have work that is meaningful. They want to have do research that has an impact on communities.” 

NORDP 2022 Plenary: Estrada Focuses on Kindness-Affirming Inclusion

Mica Estrada, NORDP April 28 Plenary Speaker

When someone is kind, they support the dignity of another person. When mentors are kind, they convey a sense of safety, which is good for learning, retention, and attention. NORDP conference attendees will learn more about the benefits of kindness and tips to bring new perspectives on kindness to our work.

“Kindness affirms inclusion,” says Dr. Mica Estrada, Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California at San Francisco’s School of Nursing. She will be the NORDP 2022 conference plenary speaker at 11:00 a.m. eastern time on Thurs., Apr. 28, discussing “Why Kindness Is Important when Mentoring in an Interconnected World.”

As a social psychologist, Estrada studies how people integrate into their field. “We look at how quality mentorship helps students feel they can do the science, develop their identity as scientists, and how they share community values,” she explains.

Estrada says kindness has always been at the forefront of her scholarship. “At about four years old, my first memory was when a US ship went into Chinese water. I remember thinking, will there be a war, why do we hurt each other?” She continues thinking about that later question in her research, and chooses to focus on how people connect to each other, and specifically on kindness as the solution.

She compares her passion for kindness in mentoring to tending a garden. “Instead of spending time pulling weeds, I decided to put effort into growing what we want to reduce the space for the things we don’t want to grow,” she says.

Estrada will share findings from her years of research with NORDP conference attendees, highlighting results that are relevant to mentoring students and faculty or working with other research development colleagues.

“We’ll be talking about ‘quality mentorship’,” she says. The first focus is on instrumental support, or the “nuts and bolts” activities, such as how to access physical spaces or scholarly journals. This will differ in each situation. The second focus is on psycho-social support, such as empathy, listening, and emotional presence. Again, the details will differ based on the relationship, but the concept is important.

Estrada’s research is well funded by the NSH, NIH, and HHMI. She says she finds grantwriting to be a creative, labor-intensive challenge as she explains what she wants to explore while being concrete and persuasive. She draws upon past experiences with non-profit groups and work with development officers. She is also engaged in community-service roles, serving on the National Research Council Committee’s Roundtable on the Future of STEM Education; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus study on Advancing Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Organizations; and a NASA Minority University Research and Education Programs advisory committee.

Estrada focuses her research and time on understanding how to increase inclusion and equity in our education system.  Her research methods identify educational interventions that facilitate integration into a community and increased engagement in the normative behaviors of that community for all students. She encourages us all to amplify what we want within our academic and professional environment, and she sees ample opportunity to do this.

“We’re at an interesting time in history,” she suggests. “COVID has shaken up the way we work. There’s an opportunity to not go back, but to go forward in a way that serves us as human beings.”

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2022 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 2022: Early Registration Closes Next Week

Early-bird registration for the fully virtual 14th Annual Research Development Conference, #NORDP2022,  closes next week.  Registration through March 31 is $179 for members and $279 for nonmembers, but after March 31 prices will increase $40 until registration closes April 20. 

Just a reminder that anyone participating in the Conference program (speakers, sponsors) will need to register in order to access the platform.  If you need assistance or have any questions, please email the NORDP office.   

After registering, get ready for #NORDP2022 with swag. You voted on your favorite mug mottos — now you can purchase your favorite designs on a real mug! Check out the volunteer-run shop and make your purchases before the conference to be ready for the morning coffee chats.

See you next month! 

The NORDP 2022 Conference Planning Committee

NORDP 2022 Plenary: Dyhia Belhabib: Diversity Matters Now

Dyhia Belhabib, NORDP 2022 Conference Tuesday Plenary Speaker

Diversity in research is much more than a good idea; it can be the key to survival, says Dyhia Belhabib, Principal Investigator at Ecotrust Canada.

“Diversity matters; otherwise it can be deadly,” she says. “We’re in the midst of the climate crisis. It’s happening now. We need solutions and strategies to become more resilient now.” She suggests some of the best solutions will be brought by diversity.

“People often ask me how I got into this field, and I tell them I understand what it stems from. I don’t look like most others who study the ocean,” Belhabib explains her passion for diversity in STEM fields.

For example, as a child growing up in Tazmalt, Algeria, she and her family dealt with droughts for decades. “I’ve carried water from the well. I know how to be resilient, how to save water,” she says.

Belhabib will be the NORDP 2022 conference plenary speaker at 1:00 p.m. on Tues., Apr. 26, discussing minorities and equity in STEM research. She will share experiences working at the intersection of sustainability and ocean criminality.  A highly published scholar and devoted advocate for social justice in conservation, elimination of illegal fishing, inclusive science, and empowering minorities in research, she founded, an online platform for monitoring illegal fishing worldwide, and Poplar and Ivy, a magazine that supports underrepresented voices in science and conservation.

She shared a recent experience consulting with an academic institution on diversity issues. “We were shut down the moment we asked for diversity of perspectives,” she recalls the moment when she was first introduced to an all-white panel. “I wasn’t surprised to see such a panel, but I was shocked at the reaction.”

To her, diversity represents a matter of life and death. “Lack of diversity can be deadly,” she says. For example, death can arise when doctors don’t understand what measles look like on a black person’s skin. She emphasizes the importance of bringing diversity to science and learning how to open STEM careers to minorities.

“We all have biases we need to uncover,” she says as she turns her attention to her NORDP plenary presentation. “It’s very important to be aware. We tend to export what we perceive to be the best solution, regardless of the situation and context. Perhaps we need to be a bit more creative, to circumvent the political climate and accepted narratives to pursue effective change.”

Research development professionals have tended to be colonial, what Belhabib equates to hindering local expertise and supporting ill-adapted solutions in areas where minorities prevail. In other words, from Belhabib’s perspective, RD has tended to support established researchers and pre-existing solutions.

“Research development professionals might consider how they transfer bias from individuals to the system, essentially preventing people from getting into the system. It’s a matter of strategy,” she suggests.

The reward can be great: diverse perspectives and diverse thoughts challenge scientific research, which needs to be challenged, Belhabib says. “As a result, those proposals have more meaningful outcomes.”

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2022 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 2022 Conference Scholarships Available

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 2022 awards will fund the cost of one (1) conference registration per award at the early-bird member rate.

These awards, funded by AtKisson Training Group, 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.

Special thanks to AtKisson Training Group for these Scholarship Awards.

Scholarship recipients are expected to volunteer at the conference and serve on a NORDP committee or subcommittee following the 2022 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 conference years (2019, 2020 or 2021 conferences) is not eligible in 2022.

To Apply: Visit Applications are due March 15, 2022 by 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. (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 on March 31.