NORD/ InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development

In a partnership with InfoReady, NORDP launched a New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) grant Initiative which began funding grants in 2018 that support the disciplinary field of Research Development. Eleven grants of up to $2500 each have been awarded to date. A new grant cycle will be announced in the Fall of 2021.   

Please keep an eye out for the call for proposals and/or visit the below link in the coming months to check for application details on the competition:

https://nordp.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1790746

Awardee Feature

Who: Susan Ferrari, Director of Corporate, Foundation & Government Relations  

Where: Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa

Proposal: Faculty Development and Institutional Grant Leadership at Small Liberal Arts Colleges

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project? 

Grinnell is a small school with about 1,700 students and 180 faculty FTEs. We have a number of institutional grants here, which are common at many smaller schools, and they cover areas of both research and pedagogy. At many schools, including Grinnell, these grants were historically run out of the Dean’s Office, but we’ve begun to shift to having more faculty members run the grants, particularly in cases where they have subject matter expertise that’s relevant to the grant. 

I had seen this phenomenon across the liberal arts sector and had been talking with my peers about what it means to have faculty run these programs effectively. I talked to faculty who have led successful institutional grants to learn what did and did not work and to determine what we can use from their experiences to enhance future programs to develop grant leaders. 

What is the status of the project now?

I have completed interviews with faculty at Grinnell and at Carleton College, a small liberal arts school in Northfield, Minnesota, which is similar to Grinnell. The next steps will be transcribing the interviews, analyzing the data, and writing a report. 

Do you have any suggestions for NORDP members considering submitting to the 2021 competition?

My first suggestion is to do it! This has been a great educational exercise for me. I have a background in life sciences research with a little experience in qualitative research. The feedback that I received through the application process was very beneficial. It was helpful in teaching me to be attentive to what I was putting forward and made it clear on how I needed to clarify the import of what I was trying to do. Kim Littlefield was one of my reviewers who spent a great deal of time with me shepherding the feedback to help me improve my project. 

What did you find the most challenging?

Figuring out how to make a case on the relevance of this work to RD professionals working in different institutional contexts was challenging, but having to do this really strengthened the project.

What did you find the most surprising?

The interviews have been both inspiring and depressing. I had not anticipated that this project would be therapeutic for the faculty who have led these institutional grants. Many of them had lingering frustration and pain, even when the grants were successful and many years prior. It made me think that it would make sense to build more opportunities for reflection into these programs that would allow faculty to process what they have learned and what the project has meant to them.  

I see these institutional grants as a blending of scholarship and service, and, at best, they provide faculty members with an opportunity to write their own legacy and leave their mark on campus. I will be using a modified version of the survey from this project for future exit interviews with faculty to gauge what is and what is not working. 

What would you say is your main takeaway from this experience?

I think faculty grant leaders would really benefit from a more developed community within and across institutions of other faculty who are leading similar efforts. It can be a challenge to lead a campus-wide initiative without any real authority. Faculty would really benefit from more interaction with others who have had similar experiences. Ultimately, people are just looking to talk to others who have been in their shoes.

What are your plans for sharing or disseminating what you learn in this project?

I plan to share my findings with leadership at both Grinnell and Carleton, and I hope to present at a future NORDP conference. I would also like to share it with other organizations I am involved with, such as the College of Liberal Arts Sponsored Programs group (CLASP) and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Ultimately, I would love to write about my findings in a professional journal as well. 

Has this experience changed how you approach your RD work?

When I started this job, I did not realize how much emotional labor is part of running a grants office. A big part of my role here is helping people deal with rejection and frustration as they wend their way through a research career. It also helped me think about how our role needs to continue to support and develop mid-career & senior faculty as well. In RD we focus a lot on early career folks, but we also can play a role in helping experienced faculty rise to new challenges, such as leading institutional projects. 

What are/will be the outcomes of your research?

My hope is that I can set up a system to best support faculty here who are leading institutional grants. I would like to be able to put together a multi-institutional network of faculty to share ideas and get real feedback in a supportive community of practice.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORD/ InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development

In a partnership with InfoReady, NORDP launched a New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) grant Initiative which began funding grants in 2018 that support the disciplinary field of Research Development. Eleven grants of up to $2500 each have been awarded to date. A new grant cycle will be announced in the Fall of 2021.   

Please keep an eye out for the call for proposals and/or visit the below link in the coming months to check for application details on the competition:

https://nordp.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1790746

Awardee Feature

Who: Alicia Knoedler Ph.D., Vice President for Research & Innovation

Where: Miami University 

Proposal: Many Research Development (RD) professionals work with researchers to facilitate the development of teams to enable the pursuit of innovative research and the funding to support that research. In the context of research teams and team facilitation, researchers benefit from collaborations that result in publications, conference papers/presentations, sharing of new ideas, the potential to expand and scale research, attracting funding, and the like. Yet RD professionals are not typically authors on research team publications, papers, and presentations. RD professionals’ ideas may be instrumental in terms of the directions, scope, and scale that teams pursue but they are not usually credited nor are their ideas documented in a way that would appear on a CV or resume. RD professionals are not usually investigators or senior personnel on grant proposals although they may be the most knowledgeable team members regarding competitive ideas and processes for securing funding. As more funding agencies and organizations increasingly stress collaborative teams, it is important to be intentional about measuring the contributions of ALL contributors to research teams. For individuals within a team who are the facilitators, translators, and/or boundary spanners of the teams, their contributions often come in observing each team holistically, drawing connections, making suggestions for research directions and ideas, and providing the “connective tissue” within their team. For these “connectors”, it is challenging to identify and define metrics and measures related to their contributions in the course of team development, cultivation, and facilitation. For this project, we pursued the following research question: What are the behaviors that are catalytic within collaborative teams that lead to transformative work within these teams? To explore this question, we distributed a survey to RD professionals to identify and catalog areas of team facilitation, cultivation, and the like that connectors know to be catalytic in the course of team development, progress, and success. We then devised an activity to demonstrate these connector behaviors in the collaborative process.

This project was developed in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Oklahoma and Exaptive, Inc.

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project? 

We are exploring the “connector” or “translator” qualities that we believe many Research Development professionals possess. I think RD professionals have the ability to listen to information that is presented in a myopic way and then translate it into different contexts for multiple audiences. We are looking to define this “translator” quality and how to help RD professionals learn the skill. 

What is the status of the project now?

Data collection has happened, and we presented preliminary findings within the 2019 NORDP conference (The Measurable Contributions of Connectors in Research Teams), but the pandemic has put the second and third phases of data collection on hold. 

Do you have any suggestions for NORDP members considering submitting to the 2021 competition?

I would love to see future projects contribute to NORDP’s priorities outlined in our strategic plan in innovative ways. My hope is that NORDP members will propose ideas that benefit the broader RD community as opposed to individual institutions. I would encourage teams of NORDP members and non-NORDP members to explore ideas that could have transformational impact on approaches to research development.

What did you find the most challenging?

I began the project while working with a private company and management of the IRB process from outside of a university was quite a challenge. I realized how much I took for granted about working at an institution and being able to do research when I was outside of higher ed.

What did you find the most surprising?

I am fascinated by this translator concept and I am somewhat shocked that not everyone has the skill of being a translator. I think it is a skill that can be developed as well as a mindset that we should be open to exploring. 

What would you say is your main takeaway from this experience?

I am now back in a university setting and I can see who is and is not a translator from my interactions. I would love to continue exploring the translator concept in both my own research and the culture at my university. In my new role as VPR, I clearly see situations that would benefit from more translators. I will also continue to investigate why some people are not open to the idea, especially if they place significant value on deep rather than broad knowledge, as it remains a vexing question for me. 

What are your plans for sharing or disseminating what you learn in this project?

I wrote a blog (https://www.exaptive.com/blog/an-activity-to-improve-idea-generation-and-network-brokering) based on the exercise we conducted trying to help people connect with the skill of being a translator. Our experience reinforced the idea that people can be trained, but at this stage I do not know what that would involve. I think that this will become my perpetual project that I will continue to explore throughout my career and I am curious to see how far I can go with the idea.  

If anyone is curious about the translator concept and would like to discuss it further, I encourage you to contact me. 

Has this experience changed how you approach your RD work?

I was already exploring this idea in my prior work and the project was beneficial in providing me the data to test my pre-existing thinking. 

What are/will be the outcomes of your research?

At this stage, I do not plan on a publication as my data are limited since I had to put my surveys on hold. I think the translator concept is one worth talking about with other RD professionals and I continue to do so through my NORDP interactions. We are actually planning to hire a new position in my office and one of the skill sets we are looking for is “translational capabilities.” I am truly committed to the translator idea and it is a part of everything I do. It is the magic ingredient in RD!

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in RD: Update from Stephanie McCombs

In a partnership with InfoReady, NORDP launched a New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) grant initiative, which began funding grants in 2018 to support the disciplinary field of Research Development. Eleven grants of up to $2500 each have been awarded to date. A new grant cycle will be announced in the Fall of 2021.   

Awardee Feature

Who: Stephanie McCombs

Where: Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS)

Proposal: Developing Best Practices for Evaluating the Outcomes, Success, Impact, and ROI of Internal Grant Programs

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project? Since institutional resources are often limited, leadership must be accountable for decisions to invest in internal grant programs and be able to show appropriate return on these types of investments. Associated with this is the evaluation of the outcomes, impact, and return on investment (ROI) of research funding expenditures. Measuring and evaluating the ROI and other objective and subjective outcomes of internal funding programs, especially those that can lead to determinations of success or impact, can be a key aspect to ensuring the institution’s internal grant funds are being used in the most beneficial manner. This research seeks to answer the questions:

  • How are the success, impact, and ROI of an internal grant mechanism truly defined?
  • What outcomes, metrics, and methodology should be used in order to accurately evaluate the above aspects of internal grant programs?

What is the status of the project now? This project was recently funded and is currently in the IRB submission stage.

Do you have any suggestions for NORDP members considering submitting to the 2021 competition? Start on your application early and reach out to potential team members as soon as possible to plan the submission. Everything always takes longer than expected.

What did you find the most challenging? I have never really done much with the IRB prior to this project and I was unfamiliar with many of the required processes.  Getting all documents completed was definitely a challenge!

What did you find the most surprising? I was definitely surprised by the length of time it took to do the preparatory steps. I had seen much of this from the administrative side, but it was enlightening to experience from the researcher side. This experience has given me a new appreciation for all of the work that goes into the pre & post award side of projects as well as all of the details and people you have to consult with to get a proposal ready.

What would you say is your main takeaway from this experience? I have gained a newfound appreciation for the work that our researchers do in writing, submitting, and managing awards.  The experience has given me a holistic view allowing me to see things from a different perspective.  I understand that not everything is under the PI’s control.  They are often dependent on other individuals or institutions.  I believe this awareness will make me better at my job and help me improve the management our internal grant processes here at EVMS.

What are your plans for sharing or disseminating what you learn in this project? I hope to be able to have enough good information to put together a manuscript for publication.  I plan to present to the EVMS community as a first step and I will likely present at the next NORDP conference in 2022. 

Has this experience changed how you approach your RD work? It has absolutely changed my approach.  As I mentioned above, I now see the grant process from the other side as a PI myself.  It has invoked a humanistic understanding side of me, and I am now coming to my RD work from a different vantage point.  The experience has also overlapped with the Doctor of Health Science program I am finishing up currently.  I have gained insight into the human side, become more understanding of PIs who may need more time due to personal lives, teaching & committee responsibilities, or maybe being stretched too thin overall.

What are/will be the outcomes of your research? The main driver of this project was to improve our processes here, but after reaching out to other NORDP members I learned that many people did not have measures in place.  Ultimately, I hope to help my RD colleagues be effective stewards of their resources with my project. I saw a need to develop a lexicon that the RD community can refer to with a standardized set of definitions.  For example, when I was putting together a roundtable for the 2021 NORDP conference the term “seed grant” was one that has different meanings at different institutions.  Is a better term “internal grant”?  I hope to be able to provide insight on defining terms and evaluating outcomes through this project and eventually look to evaluation best practices in the next stage.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell

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.

NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in RD: Update from Michael Pruess

In a partnership with InfoReady Review, NORDP launched a New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) grant Initiative which began funding grants in 2018 that support the disciplinary field of Research Development. Eleven grants of up to $2500 each have been awarded to date. A new grant cycle will be announced in the Fall of 2021.

Awardee Feature

Who: Michael Preuss, EdD

Where: Exquiri Consulting, LLC

Proposal: A focus group investigation of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes desired in Research Development (RD) directors and proposal specialists.

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project? This is the third step in a sequence of studies. The first considered more than 400 RD job announcements to understand how RD was defined and described. The second was a survey of active NORDP members to understand demographics, institution types and distribution, as well as roles and responsibilities of RD professionals. This final study involves focus group discussions of what distinguishes RD directors from proposal development specialists and what they have in common. This dichotomy was investigated, as there were statistically significant differences in the survey data (second step in the sequence) between the roles and responsibilities reported by these groups.

What is the status of the project now? The data gathering is complete. Focus groups were conducted at the Northeast Region meeting in 2019, at the Great Lakes Region meeting in 2020, and with a group of Research Development and Research Administration professionals in the University of New Mexico system. Two interviews were also conducted with notable RD professionals on the West Coast, and work is underway on an article to report the findings. It would the third in a series. The first two are (1) Describing Research Development: A First Step in Research, Management Review, volume 23, issue 1, published in in 2018, and (2) Research Development and Its Workforce: An Evidence-Based Compendium for Higher Education and Other Environments in the International Journal on Studies in Education ,volume 2, issue 1, published in 2020.

What suggestions do you have for NORDP members considering the 2021 competition? If you have not conducted an independent research project before, look for a mentor or a colleague with experience who will work with you. Seek to answer a specific and well-defined question that is based on, at a minimum, a good volume of experiential or anecdotal evidence. Be sure you know the standard for substantial or significant evidence for the research method you are proposing. Ask an RD professional you respect to comment on a draft of your proposal and prepare far enough in advance for them to be able to do so to the best of their ability. Anticipate that there will be challenges and competing priorities by keeping your project tightly focused and planning an appropriate but less-than-aggressive timeline.   

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.

Cycle 2 of NORD/InfoReady RD Grants Launches, Dec. 2 Deadline

The InfoReady Corporation and NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative has announced the 2019 Cycle 2 NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, December 2, 2019.

This initiative is designed to create knowledge and advance research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. Awards are expected to average $2,500 for projects lasting for one year, and three awards are expected.

The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, regardless of whether they are NORDP members. A list of topics, including nine priority research areas of interest to NORD, is presented in the online guidelines.

For research development (RD) to enhance the skills of its professionals, broaden recognition and understanding of its activities, and deepen its impact on the scientific enterprise, research is needed to define and standardize terms that identify skills and practices, as well as metrics to measure both activities and their outcomes. To develop a robust understanding of RD and its impacts, the initiative is interested in a wide range of projects, including empirical studies (e.g., surveys, interview studies, case studies, reviews), as well as theoretical, conceptual, and even purely descriptive or definitional studies.

The online application using the InfoReady platform provides additional details. Watch for more information about an upcoming webinar. For more information, contact David Stone at dstone@oakland.edu.

2019 NORD Initiative: NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development

NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative and InfoReady have launched the 2019 Cycle I competition for the NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. Our goal in sponsoring this effort is to begin to establish research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, whether or not they are also NORDP members. Cycle I proposals will be accepted until the application deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on June 30, 2019. Please view application details on the competition HERE. 

2017 Awardee FeatureDowner2

Who: Joanna Downer, Ph. D – Associate Dean for Research Development
Where: Duke University School of Medicine, Research Development Office
Proposal: Deep Dive into the Office of Research Development at the Duke School of Medicine to Improve RD Sustainability and Enable Continued and Faster Growth

What problem in Research Development are you looking to solve with your project?

The underlying project’s main goal is to see if we can re-engineer how we do things to improve our workload. At the Duke University School of Medicine, as at many other institutions, we have a large faculty who are highly motivated to apply for funding. While faculty members’ needs differ, the size of our staff limits how much assistance we can provide, and our current approach to adding staff to the office can result in a lengthy “apprenticeship-style” training period.

As the first step, last year we examined our processes and knowledge to see how we can redesign what we do to improve sustainability while maintaining satisfaction and effectiveness. We have examined the decision points and evaluation criteria used for taking on a project, whether we should approach certain activities differently, and can we adjust our decision making or default activities to improve sustainability while still keeping ourselves and others happy and to let us grow faster and more effectively.

While we are Research Development in a biomedical setting, we know that any RD office in any setting can have workload issues if demand exceeds capacity. So it’s my hope that our redesign efforts can be informative to NORDP members in any RD setting.

This redesign project was the foundation for our application to the first cycle of NORD, in which we proposed to have a researcher in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business guide translation of our redesign work into an academic project and manuscript suitable for the management literature. Our faculty partner, an expert in team science and organizational behavior, understands our office and the relevant management research and literature, and so is uniquely suited to help us. I see this academic project supported by NORDP as opening a door to robust research in Research Development settings by experts who really do study the kinds of things we do. Fortunately, the bulk of the team science analysis is funded through Duke’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), so the NORD funding is targeted to turning our collective findings into a paper.

What is the status of the project now?

Last year we completed our internal process capture and have prioritized knowledge to capture in new tools and resources for grant managers and faculty to use with minimal input from us. Some of these new resources are available now, and others will come online in the next month or two. In addition, our team science partners are currently completing their analyses of our office data – 10 full years of information on the grants we’ve supported, what services we provided to each, and what the outcomes were – to see whether specific services or attributes correlate with outcome. By mid-June, we’ll meet to discuss the results and design the next step – a CTSA-funded study of two different approaches for support of complex research grant development. All of this work together will be the basis of the paper that the NORD award is supporting.

Do you have any suggestions for NORDP members considering submitting to the 2019 competition?

As for any application, it’s important to keep the sponsor’s vision in mind – NORD envisions making RD a research setting – and making sure your proposal will help accomplish that vision. To enhance what you can accomplish with a potential NORD award, consider how you can leverage institutional resources, potentially including what you have to do or want to do as part of your daily work.

For example, our redesign effort is something we need to do to prevent burnout, and the institution supports it – so we don’t need any external funding to accomplish that. Thanks to my involvement in preparing the Team Science part of Duke’s CTSA renewal, our business school partner was already familiar with us, and the NORD funding will compensate him for his guidance in preparing a robust manuscript at the project’s conclusion. Thus the project makes the most of InfoReady’s financial commitment and really aligns with NORD’s vision.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell – Member Services Committee

NORD Initiative 2018: Cycle II Funding

The 2018 NORD Initiative (Cycle II) competition is now open. Please feel free to distribute this information to any / all who may interested in this opportunity.

Submission Deadline: Monday, November 12, 2018

Award Cycle: 2018 NORD Award 12/1/2018 – 11/30/2019

Discipline/Subject Area: NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development

Funding Available: 4,500.00

NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative and InfoReady  announce the 2018 Cycle II competition for the NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. Our goal in sponsoring this effort is to begin to establish research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, whether or not they are also NORDP members. Cycle II proposals will be accepted until the application deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, November 2, 2018. A non-exhaustive list of topics and research areas of interest to NORD are addressed in the program announcement. NORD expects to award 3 projects in Cycle II.

We thank the InfoReady Corporation for sponsoring these awards.

View the competition.

Announcing 2018 NORD Initiative

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 NORD Initiative (Cycle 1) competition. Please feel free to distribute this information to any / all who may interested in this opportunity.

  • Internal Submission Deadline: Monday, March 12, 2018
  • Award Cycle: 2018 NORD Award 4/1/2018 – 3/31/2019
  • Discipline/Subject Area: NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development
  • Funding Available: 4,500.00
  • Description: NORDP’s New Opportunities in Research Development (NORD) Initiative and InfoReady are pleased to announce the inaugural competition for the NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development. Our goal in sponsoring this effort is to begin to establish research development as a field of scholarly inquiry. The NORD/InfoReady Research Grants in Research Development Program is open to all interested researchers, whether or not they are also NORDP members. Cycle 1 proposals will be accepted until the application deadline of 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, March 12, 2018. A non-exhaustive list of topics and research areas of interest to NORD are addressed in the program guidelines: 2018 NORD RFP. NORD expects to award 3 projects per cycle in 2018 (cycle 2 will have a November 2018 deadline, see the program guidelines).

We thank the InfoReady Corporation for sponsoring these awards.

View competition

Researching Research Development

A project responding to David Stone’s call for “empirical research into what [research developers] do” was approved by the NORDP Board in the fall of 2016. Its long-range goal is to provide information that will “improve our performance as professionals and…connect what we do to constituent groups and institutions to whom we bring value.” The investigation will address “type, scope, [and] scale” questions and seek to identify knowledge, skills, and aptitudes essential in research development. This project will be undertaken to help formalize research development in its structures, functions, and definitions–and this in turn will in turn address one of the major goals of the research effort, which is, as Stone notes, to “provide a standardized basis from which to create benchmarks, develop quality improvement guidance (and programming), devise assessment mechanisms, and establish best or promising practices within the profession.”

To accomplish these purposes, two gaps in the research development corpus will be addressed: the characterization of activity in the field and the delineation of knowledge, skills, and aptitudes believed to be necessary for entry into and advancement within research development. This material will be developed through analysis of job descriptions and survey and focus group investigation. Interpretation of the results will be informed by work already completed by the NORDP Special Programs Working Group in 2013 and by the existing descriptions of research development.

A team of four research development professionals who are all NORDP members will complete the study in 2017 and 2018. Reports of findings will be made at NORDP and other conferences as well as through publication.

Arriving at an evidence-based understanding of the purposes, practices, and key characteristics of research development has broad application relevant to current and future practitioners, institutional structures, organization of knowledge, and acceptance and advancement of the field. As Stone noted regarding practitioners, “Such work could…help us better understand what kinds of individuals, with what kinds of training, skills, and abilities, are best suited for various roles within research development, as well as what their professional trajectories are like. Findings in these areas might improve our capacity to recruit, retain, and provide succession planning and longer-term career paths for individuals in research development.” The research team and NORDP Board are pleased to announce that these goals will be pursued beginning this year.

All NORDP members will be invited to participate in this project, so stay tuned for more information.

Who said July and August were slow months? An update from NORDP President Gretchen Kiser

by Gretchen Kiser

I had wanted to dedicate some substantive time to writing my first post to you all, my valued colleagues in research development, to say something prophetic and inspiring for my first blog post.  Alas, I must tell you, at the risk of revealing too much, that my “The first month or so” blog post has now become “Who said July and August were slow months?” blog post.  This is the life of a research development professional.

I hope you will forgive this delay, especially as I tell you that your Board has not been at all idle. Here’s some of the things we’ve been working on over July and part of August:

  • On-boarding Keith Osterhage, our new Executive Director, who is an enthusiastic advocate for our goals, and has already been diving right in to help with several important tasks!
  • Working with our event planners, Designing Events, and our Executive Director to vet and select our conference venue in the DC area for 2018. We’re close to making a decision.
  • Goal-setting and planning. Board member Terri Soelberg and her university Boise State University generously hosted our Board leadership meeting at the end of August. In preparing for this meeting, I had the privilege of speaking individually with each Board member and will just say that NORDP is well-served by a diverse set of insightful and dedicated professionals.  As a means of understanding the strengths of ourselves as a Board and how to best work with each other, we utilized the StrengthsFinder tool to assess our individual professional strengths.  Not surprisingly, collectively we have a lot of strength in the tool categories of Learner, Strategic, Relator, and Achiever.

We tackled quite a few topics in our 2 days in Boise and I look forward to working together to execute our ambitious strategies to: realize our academic RD research arm (aka NORD), enhance and expand our professional development offerings, including into leadership development (LDRD), drive new sources of revenue, further engage critical partners outside of NORDP, thus expanding our sphere of influence and bringing new and valuable resources to our membership, work to implement more effective communication methods, develop a framework for regional and other affinity groups within NORDP, and define ways to help increase diversity in research development.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll focus a set of communications on a few of the topics that we discussed at the leadership retreat and hope to then give you all a good understanding of the direction that we’d like to take NORDP this year.

Let me start with some of the changes that we’re planning for the Effective Practices and Professional Development (EPPD) Committee.  Three very important programs have been nurtured under the EPPD umbrella: Online Professional Development, Mentoring and Pre-Conference Workshops.  As we pivot to further expand our professional development resources, we are going to pull ‘professional development’ into its own committee.  The new Program Development Committee will be focused on online as well as other professional development resources, and now including Leadership Development in Research Development (LDRD) content as well. Kari Whittenberger-Keith and Ioannis Konstantinidis will be the Board co-chairs of this committee.  The newly stand-alone Mentoring Committee will continue the fantastic work they have been doing now with Karen Fletcher serving as the Board representative for that committee.  Finally, the Pre-Conference Workshop group (still led by Kari Whittenberger-Keith) will slide over to sit under the Conference Committee, headed this year by Michael Spires.

I’m so excited about working together to meet the challenges and potentials for NORDP over the next year –  setting-up NORDP for organizational success and providing our membership with valuable resources for career development and doing their jobs more effectively.