Final Sessions of NORDP2020

All great things come to end, including NORDP2020. This month NORDP will host the final three NORDP2020 sessions on certifications/credentialing, peer review design and strategy, and mentoring. You can check out the programs and register to attend HERE. Details on each session are below.

Already, some members have been asking “what happens next after NORDP2020 ends?” That’s easy to answer! Once the final “live” session concludes, all the NORDP2020 content (videos, slides, transcripts, etc.) will be placed in one huge NORDP2020 conference package and made available to all members free of charge through NORDP’s LMS. So, if you missed a live session or two, no worries; everything will be available for viewing at your leisure by the end of October.

October 6, 1pm ET: NORDP2020: Research Development and Alphabet Soup – Making Sense of Certification and Credentialing in an Evolving Environment

We know there is no concise, satisfying, and all-inclusive definition for research development and as our community evolves, we now reflect a wide range of experiences. Indeed, qualifications and experiences of RD professionals vary significantly depending on our institution’s priorities and expectations. This means we often engage across a spectrum of activities, including research administration, communication facilitation and networking, project management, writing and editing, curriculum instruction and design, graphic design, and other niche work that compliments our terminal degrees. Examples may include, but may not be limited to: technical writing certificate; grant writing certificate, certified research administrator (CRA), editor of life sciences (ELS); proposal management (CF.APMP); and project management (PMI).

The goal of this session is to introduce some of the common certifications and credentials that RD professionals currently hold and explore the return on investment for earning them. Learning outcomes include a deeper appreciation of how augmenting and complementing existing skills with certification may strengthen an RD office, and greater knowledge of professional education resources (with or without certification and/or credentialing) that can contribute to increased productivity individually and within an RD office.

This session is relevant for emerging and established RD professionals looking for career development oppportunities, and for supervisors defining RD roles and hiring/managing RD professionals. Attendees should consider themselves advanced in their knowledge of RD responsibilities.

October 21, 2pm ET: NORDP2020: Peer Review Design and Strategy

For over 20 years the AAAS Research Competitiveness Program (RCP) has worked with State, Federal, international, and non-profit organizations in designing and implementing peer review systems for sceince and technology grant programs. The goal of the AAAS RCP-led roundtable is to share the program’s expertise in this realm, while stimulating peer-to-peer discussion on common challenges and strategic approaches to peer review.

Participants will exchange their experiences with and approaches to proposal peer review to gain insight on effective strategies to idenitfy and support the highest quality research, mitigate risk, streamline review and decision-making processes, and develop an insitutional culture of rigorous evalauation. The advantages and disadvantages of different peer review modeles and variables will be discussed including: revew panel structure; review criteria; and solicitation design. Through the topical roundtable participants will gain a better understanding of how other organizations manage peer review processes and present an opportunity for them to improve their own systems.

This session builds on a previous panel-based presentation from AAAS RCP at the 2018 SSTI conference, which focused on RCP’s work with state organizations to align review processes with the needs and priorities of the initiative and funding mechanism. The roundtable format presents an opportunity to to expand this discussion beyond state-based initiatives to other domestic organizations engageing in proposal review.

October 23, 2pm ET: NORDP2020: Mentoring Lightning Storm

This mentoring-focused series of talks will engage NORDP’s current and prospective mentors and mentees with topics geared toward foundational mentoring skills and experiences. Sessions will showcase best practices necessary to be successful in mentoring relations, as well as, provide insights into the program in a brief but interactive format. The talks will provide potential mentors and mentees additional resources to support NORDP or other future mentoring relationships. 

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.

Droegemeier Shares Insights and Tips for RD

141155_Drogemeier-in-articleDr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and former vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma (OU), who was scheduled to speak at the 2020 NORDP conference, instead joined more than 100 NORDP members via Zoom on July 9. NORDP president Kimberly Eck facilitated the Q&A session.

Droegemeier began by crediting Dr. Alicia Knoedler (NORDP president, 2013-14) for teaching him about the discipline of research development during their time together at OU, where she helped create a successful research development center. He says he continues to learn from her, and cited her strengths as a learner and a listener, a thought leader and partner making a difference.

He noted that he had previously presented to NORDP’s annual conference in 2014, and he has witnessed the rapid growth in the discipline, as evidenced by NORDP’s membership surpassing 1,000 members. While researchers don’t simply wake up knowing how to best pursue their research ideas, he says that RD professionals know how to present solid arguments, craft narratives, and contextualize scientific research. They can help researchers develop those necessary soft skills, he suggests.

When asked about his two terms serving on the National Science Board, which governs the National Science Foundation, Droegemeier encouraged RD professionals and the researchers they represent to discuss their ideas with NSF program officers, noting that these staff are extremely interested in new ideas and in helping researchers succeed. He advised individuals not to be reluctant to contact the NSF to explore new ideas and challenges.

Another tip he shared relates to the federal government’s budgeting process.  He explained that the process begins with the Office of Management and Budgeting (OMB) and OSTP publishing a joint research and development guidance memo for 26 research and development agencies. He expects that document for FY22 to be released soon, and suggested that the American Association for the Advancement of Science is a good source for information on this process. The guidance memo for FY21 can be found  here.

Droegemeier shared some of his thoughts on leadership, noting that RD professionals demonstrate leadership in their daily responsibilities, regardless of their title. He emphasized that leadership is more about what you do, such as empowering people, protecting people’s voice, providing resources and understanding the big picture.

His analogy likens RD work to planting a lawn – you plant the seeds, fertilize the ground, grow the grass, and then you mow. Without the grass, there’s nothing to mow.

Droegemeier concluded the Q&A session by encouraging RD professionals to stay positive. He described RD professionals as exceptional leaders, called to advance U.S. research. He encouraged everyone to look to the future and plan with positivity no matter what challenges they face. He called out NORDP members’ willingness to share knowledge, noting that research is not a zero-sum game. He encouraged NORDP members and researchers to contact him with ideas, noting that the only way to advance is to get ideas on the table.

Prior to conducting this Q&A session, Droegemeier recorded his plenary session, which is available to NORDP members here (members must log in).

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.

Conference Cameo: Sherry Knighton-Schwandt

Who: Sherry Knighton-Schwandt, Assistant Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington and Executive Director for Research Development for IU
Where: Indiana University
Number of years in research development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 5
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
How do you unwind? Gardening, bird watching, cooking, traveling, and spending time with my husband, friends, children and grandchildren. Truth be told, I also binge watch the BBC series, “Call the Midwife.”

My route to research development has been circuitous. After 12+ years of working in administration, student recruitment and public affairs for the IU School of Education at Bloomington, I found my way to the IU Office of the Vice President for Research as a lead for communications and special projects. That role quickly led to deepening engagement with IU Bloomington’s and IU’s internal and external funding competitions, and my research development career began.92

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead the development and creation of IU Bloomington’s Proposal Development Services group, which consults and collaborates with researchers to help plan, prepare, and manage applications for external funding. I also continuously oversee more than two-dozen campus research centers, institutes, and museums that often play a role in collaborating with faculty on grants.

I’ve also had the excitement of being involved in the inception and implementation of two large-scale grant programs that have generated myriad research development benefits (and challenges!) to the university: IU’s Grand Challenges program (three initiatives, a total of $200+ million in funding) and IU Bloomington’s Emerging Areas of Research program (five initiatives, ~$20 million in funding).

In 2019, my responsibilities in research development expanded to encompass all of IU’s seven campuses, and I am currently engaged in strengthening relationships among all of the IU staff involved in research development activities and collaborating with them to create a strategic plan that focuses on how IU can refine and expand our research development activities and the ways we support IU faculty. I have the utmost privilege of working with super smart and dedicated staff who work tirelessly to advance the university’s research goals. As with all successful endeavors, it takes a committed and enthusiastic team working towards the same goals.

As the concept of research development has emerged in recent years, in large part due to the work of NORDP, I’ve been pleased to attend several NORDP conferences. The information, education, and networking provided by the conferences has been invaluable. I’ve learned so much about how to build and strengthen our university’s research development resources, and I look forward to learning more this year! I’m also excited that in October 2020, IU Research Development will host the NORDP Great Lakes Regional Conference at IU Bloomington.

My NORDP tip is, if possible, bring colleagues with you to the conference. There is much to do and absorb. Strategize about who will attend what sessions, and make sure to compare notes. Above all, take advantage of the like-minded professionals gathered together, and enjoy yourself!

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. The conference room block can be accessed HERE

For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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.

Hotel Options for NORDP 2020

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort has begun to fill up. Please check the Hyatt’s availability for the nights you’ll be spending in San Antonio to potentially take advantage of our special discounted conference rate. Book your room with the NORDP-specific hotel reservation link HEREThe discounted rates for the 2020 NORDP Conference are on a first-come, first-serve basis through April 24, 2020.

There are three hotels that are a two-minute drive from the Hyatt Regency listed below and on the NORDP website HERE. Call for rates and availability.

Hilton San Antonio Hill Country
9800 Westover Hills Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78251
Ph. 210.509.9800

TownePlace Suites by Marriott
10015 Westover Hills Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78521
Ph. 210.520.0441

Staybridge Suites San Antonio Sea World
10919 Town Center Drive
San Antonio, TX 78251
Ph. 210.767.1100

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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.

Conference Cameo: Carlos Garcia

Who: Carlos Garcia, Director, Research Development & Infrastructure
Where: William Marsh Rice University
Number of years in research development: 9
Length of NORDP membership: 7
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 5
How do you unwind? Reading a good book

My work in research development started when I worked in the Rice University Smalley-Curl Institute, formerly known as the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. We started working with the DOD and other state universities to build a program in the State of Texas. The program was called Strategic Partnership In Nanotechnology (SPRING) and brought in over $30M in research equipment to Texas.

2019 O-Week FunThereafter, I moved to the Office of Research and settled into my new role as Director of Research, Development, and Infrastructure. In this role, I oversee the Interdisciplinary Research Support Office (IRSO), which is designed to support the development of proposals and the administration of large and strategic projects. IRSO partners with the Office of Proposal Development and other internal departments to submit complex interdisciplinary proposals. Through IRSO, I oversee a number of university centers and institutes. I work in consultation with faculty, department heads, deans, and research center and institute directors to determine the level of support necessary for each proposal or project. We provide strategic planning and administrative support beginning in the startup and continuing through the execution and sunset phase of interdisciplinary projects. We also offer comprehensive pre- and post-award support for these centers and institutes, and coordinate all of our support activities with research administrators and financial officers across campus, including those in Research Accounting, the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance, and the Controller’s Office. In addition to these responsibilities, I oversee the Rice Office of STEM Engagement, Evaluation and Assessment, the Shared Equipment Authority, the Research Support Shop, and the Animal Resource Facility.

When I started this new position, there were no guidelines or predecessors to ask about my duties. A year into my job, I discovered NORPD. It was a relief to know there were others like me!

Since my first meeting, I’ve been able to find support in the vast network NORDP provides. The Southwest local region has also been very beneficial. I would encourage you, if your time allows, to make sure you attend your local chapter. This is especially important if you are new in this profession. You will be surprised how eager and ready this group is to help you. At one of the NORDP meetings, we realized that there was an extraordinary number of members from Houston and from the Texas Medical Center in particular; we started getting together every couple of months for lunch to talk about our roles and challenges, and to offer suggestions to one another on how to meet those challenges.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. The conference room block can be accessed HERE

For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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.

A Message to NORDP 2020 Conference Attendees

Dear NORDP members,

We are excited about the NORDP 2020 Annual Research Development Conference in San Antonio, TX, May 17-20, 2020.

We want to assure you that we are closely following announcements about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

At this time, we do not expect the conference to be affected by this coronavirus, and the CDC has not issued guidance or precautions about traveling within the U.S. or limiting public gatherings anywhere in the country.

We will, of course, continue to monitor public health guidance, and we will be in touch promptly should developments occur that require further updates.

Sincerely,

Karen Fletcher

NORDP President

Conference Cameo: Carolyn Bernhardt

Who: Carolyn Bernhardt, editor/writer
Where: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
Number of years in research development: I’m just starting out
Length of NORDP membership: New member
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2020 will be my first one!
How do you unwind? By staying active, especially on, in, or near water

So, I am actually not a research development professional. At least, not on paper. But isn’t everyone who works in higher education there because they believe in the power of research?OV6A0781F_sq

I have been in higher education communications for the last four years, but have more recently begun to focus much of my efforts toward helping our faculty and staff researchers feel confident and competent when interfacing with the media about their research. I also work to help our researchers take the next step into leveraging their media relations to drive more citations of their research, open up new networking and collaboration opportunities, entice new funding agencies, bolster relationships with existing funding partners, and recruit graduate student talent. I am so looking forward to my very first NORDP because I am interested in learning more about how the work I do lends itself to research development, and learning more about the field of research development as a whole.

My background is in editorial work. I received my BA in English literature and film studies from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. Then, I started my professional career in children’s’ books. I have written, edited, and fact checked numerous titles for the library/education market. It was through this work that I not only crammed my brain full of so much random information that I became a pub trivia champion many times over, but also came to believe that, since science impacts everyone, everyone deserves access to understanding even the most complex science. To this day, I remain passionate about effectively communicating complex earth, health, and animal science to the broadest audience possible. So much so that, in addition to my current day job, I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Science Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Currently, I am the managing editor of our college’s donor and alumni magazine, Profiles. I have worked hard to weave research into the fabric of the stories we tell as much as possible because I think if our donors, alumni, and legislatures should be consistently reminded that our research is what sets us apart. Plus, I get paid to hear people tell me their story and I work with some of the most fascinating people on the planet — it’s a pretty sweet deal, as far as I am concerned. Some of the coolest things I have written about in my career include moose, Gila monsters, racehorses, owls… and the brilliant, passionate people who keep them healthy.

I am attending this year’s NORDP to learn how my efforts can work hand-in-hand with research development professionals to help support leading edge research and its impact on humans, animals, and the world we share. I am especially looking forward to meeting new people, seeing San Antonio, and gathering new ideas for communicating about research. Communications conferences can be full of great pointers and practices, but I want to more specifically explore the relationship between communications and research. I look forward to doing just that in a few short weeks!

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. The conference room block can be accessed HERE

For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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.

Conference Cameo: Kathy Partlow

Who: Kathy Partlow, Senior Proposal Development Coordinator
Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Number of years in research development: 8
Length of NORDP membership: 8
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 8
How do you unwind? I enjoy escaping into a good book.

Given my love of books, I wanted to share my NORDP conference experience and advice with help from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.KCP2

“Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

If you’ve decided to go to the annual NORDP conference or are contemplating it, I can tell you that it is a great place to be! I heard about NORDP when I was exploring RD as a potential career path. I had the advantage of being a member of NORDP and attending the annual conferences from the very beginning. I discovered at my first conference and every conference since that the NORDP community is friendly, and extremely willing to give advice and share resources.

“When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”

Are you looking for a better or more efficient way to do an RD task? Have you exhausted your ideas? Are you feeling siloed or isolated? I give you the NORDP annual conference. There is no better way to get your creative juices flowing. I have always left the conference with so many ideas that the harder part is deciding which ones I have time to pursue. I find myself regularly referring to past conference presentations and materials when I discover myself in uncharted territories.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Two challenges I face at NORDP conferences are choosing the sessions to attend (there are so many!) and networking. I benefited last year from trying out each of the session types. Each offers different depths of content and different ways to receive and share information. For fellow introverts, I’ve found easy ways to meet people include introducing myself at a lunch table, conversing at a round table, asking a few people about their Idea Showcase posters, and attending a networking dinner. One of the most lasting benefits I’ve received from attending the NORDP conferences is developing relationships with colleagues from other institutions. You can also continue networking beyond the conference by getting involved with a NORDP committee (the very last meeting on Wednesday) or participating in other ongoing activities, like the Mentoring Program, Circles, and Peer Mentoring Groups.

“You’re off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”

My last advice as you prepare to get on your way is to protect the time you have at NORDP to invest in yourself. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. The conference room block can be accessed HERE

For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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 Conference Educational Program Available Online, Easy to Download

To explore the 12th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference lineup, you now have easy access to a downloadable PDF version of the complete NORDP 2020 Educational Program.  Click here to find the link to the PDF file, “Download a PDF of Educational Programming.”

The 30-page document describes more than 100 workshops, concurrent sessions, roundtables, and lightning talks along with room assignments and instructor/facilitator names. Please note that room assignments are subject to change (an app will keep conference attendees informed on a daily basis). To see the full program, including keynote and plenary speakers, the Ideas Showcase, social events, committee and regional meetings, and education programming, click here. A link to the Educational Programming PDF is also available there.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. The conference room block can be accessed HERE

For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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 2020 Conference Travel Award Applications Open

NORDP is now accepting applications for Conference Attendance Awards for the 12th Annual Research Development Conference in San Antonio, TX, for those in need of financial support beyond what their institutions or organizations will provide. Applicants may request a registration waiver and/or up to 3 nights hotel accommodation.

Conference Attendance Awards are not available to current and prior NORDP Board of Directors members, Affiliate Members or consultants. Anyone who has received travel support from NORDP in the last three years (2017-2019) is not eligible in 2020. PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE UNTIL YOU ARE NOTIFIED OF THE STATUS OF YOUR ATTENDANCE AWARD. We will contact applications with decisions before the early-bird registration window closes.

These awards support NORDP’s mission to enhance the diversity of our membership and member institutions. Members who are new to NORDP, attending their first NORDP conference, identify as part of a group that they believe to be underrepresented in NORDP, or represent Minority-Serving Institutions are strongly encouraged to apply.NORDP 2020 email signature v2

Conference Attendance Grants do not fully cover the costs of attending the annual conference. Efforts must be made by applicants to secure some funding either through their institutions or personally, to cover a significant portion of conference attendance costs.

Grant recipients are expected to volunteer at the conference in May and serve on a NORDP committee or subcommittee following the 2020 Conference.

Apply HERE by February 24, 2020. If you are a first-time user of NORDP’s InfoReady Review site, please create your account by clicking “register” in the upper right corner (the site is not linked to NORDP member logins).

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We hope to see you at the conference, which will be held May 17-20, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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