PEERD Review Reflection: University of Alabama

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The University of Alabama (UA), the first public university in the state, hosted NORDP PEERD experts for a PEERD review in 2018. Faculty success in research is enabled through the Office for Research and Economic Development (ORED), in partnership with the colleges, schools, and research institutes at UA. Specifically, the Office of Proposal Development (OPD), and the Office of Research Development (ORD), within the ORED, have been charged with identifying and delivering a suite of services to support faculty research, scholarly, and creative endeavors.

The Process

The two PEERD experts held a pre-review phone call with institutional representatives to learn of any background information needed prior to the review, help identify key stakeholders to include in the meetings, and plan out logistics. One PEERD expert traveled to Alabama, while the other joined virtually. The PEERD experts spent two business days meeting with key stakeholders and inquiring about the research and proposal services provided, as well as the overall effectiveness of the Office for Research and Economic Development. These were the primary foci of the review, as requested by UA. Each PEERD review is as unique and diverse as the host institutions, who identify the foci for the review. Within 10 business days following the on-site review, the PEERD experts provided a first draft of the PEERD report for the institutional representatives to review and provide their feedback. Once finalized, the PEERD report was provided to university leadership.

The Impact

The PEERD experts provided three overarching recommendations:

  1. Enable and empower faculty to achieve the overall university vision by defining a new vision for centralized Research Development services and support,
  2. Create meaningful connections between a centralized Research Development office and other units, and
  3. Build awareness for/messaging about Research Development services and support of university-wide success in research.

Within each recommendation are several best practices and insights into implementing them on campus. The PEERD experts recommended that research performance goals include both measures of quantity and quality for research and included some guidelines for identifying those measures and implementing a vision for research development. They also recommended instituting a regular schedule of meetings between staff and leadership in order to create a networked institutional knowledge base, allowing for more consistent and higher quality services. Other recommendations included developing a strategic plan for growing RD, increasing the number of RD staff as well as the services provided by RD staff, developing RD metrics and measures, and creating communications plans, including an “outreach tour”.

As a result of these recommendations, the Office for Research Development (ORD) was separated from the Office of Proposal Development (OPD) to better communicate to faculty where to go for specific assistance and support. ORD and OPD are now included in monthly meetings with the Associate Deans for Research. A member of the ORD noted that attending these regular meetings has resulted in an increased awareness of what the ORED is doing and planning and has allowed her to share her firsthand knowledge with faculty. Also, one of the PEERD experts provided the staff with marketing materials, including brochures and flyers, that were used as models to develop the materials that highlighted the different support services provided by the two offices.

The Opportunity

Take advantage of the experience and knowledge of PEERD experts to provide validation for your growing RD offices. Utilize PEERD results to expand RD efforts, improve upon services currently offered, and increase effectiveness. PEERD can assist you in seeing gaps in resources and provide strategic planning advice on how to fill those gaps to help increase competitiveness. To learn more about the services provided by PEERD, visit https://www.nordp.org/peerd-consulting-program or email PEERD@nordp.org

Introducing NORDP’s New PEERD Experts

NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) is proud to announce a new cadre of PEERD Experts who will serve from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2023. PEERD Experts provide an array of services to client organizations interested in valuable benchmarking tools, best practices, and guidance to enhance research development program activities and further the research enterprise at their institutions. In addition to its formal review program, PEERD will be offering virtual consultations, competitive analyses, as well as presentations and workshops. Learn more about PEERD here.

PEERD Experts, 2020-2023:

Jamie Burns

Jamie Burns is a Senior Research Analyst on the Competitive Intelligence (CI) team within Research Development at Arizona State University (ASU). In this role, she’s increased the diversity, capacity, and sophistication of the CI work at the university level. This work has contributed to improving strategic and actionable insights to assess institutional performance, defining and refining the competitive landscape in key areas, and growing research dollars via proposals to federal sponsors. Her CI work includes analysis and visualization of both internal and external data, comparison to competitor institutions, insights gained from human intelligence, and forward-looking recommendations with actionable insights and plans for implementation.

Camille Coley

As a Vice President for Government Relations at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Ms. Coley is responsible for overseeing the federal grants portfolio, international relations, and institution-wide strategic planning. She is actively involved with AMNH’s education programs and the broader impacts of the Museums scientist, as her primary goal is to grow the research enterprise and expand opportunities for large proposals. Before working at the Museum, she was the Associate Vice President for Research at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). During her tenure at FAU, she helped the Division of Research operationalize as a unit with functions from pre-award through post-award to commercialization. She was engaged in the University community as a member of the strategic planning committee and a co-chair of a University task force on meeting community needs and unique institutional responsibilities.

Karen Eck

Karen Eck, PhD, is Assistant Vice President for Research at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She interfaces with internal and external entities in support of research development and policy, research strategic planning and partnerships, and regional and other initiatives on behalf of the Office of Research. Dr. Eck has developed and presented faculty/stakeholder workshops on a myriad of topics including team science, the peer review process, foundation funding, and grant writing for DoD, NSF, NIH, the humanities, and large team grants. She has led successful large-scale initiatives, such as a $120.5 million HUD grant awarded to the City of Norfolk and Commonwealth of Virginia in 2016. Dr. Eck has contributed to four broad strategic planning processes: ODU University Strategic Planning Committee 2014-2019 & 2020-2025, ODU University Libraries Strategic Planning in 2014, and developing the first 5-year ODU Research Strategic Plan in 2015.

Sharon Franks

Sharon Franks, PhD is the Senior Director of the Research Proposal Development Service at the University of California San Diego, where she has worked since 1993. Dr. Franks also serves on the management teams of two large UC San Diego-led centers: an NSF Materials Science Research and Engineering Center and a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center. She has contributed to more than 300 proposals to public and private sponsors for which budgets totaled more than $2 billion, and to the success of proposals that have generated more than $700 million in extramural funding. Competitive intelligence, proposal development, and support for early- and mid-career investigators all feature prominently in Sharon’s current portfolio. Dr. Franks has served as a proposal reviewer and panelist for multiple NSF programs, and she is lead author of Education and Public Outreach: A Guide for Scientists, published by The Oceanography Society.

Alicia Knoedler

Across a 20-year career in research leadership and research development, Dr. Alicia J. Knoedler supports and encourages researchers to lead paths of growth and expansion of their research programs, diversify research perspectives, and seek new research directions and partnerships. Dr. Knoedler specializes in crafting, leading and implementing initiatives of strategic value to research across all disciplines and a diverse range of research organizations. She has worked with institutions to identify research areas as strategic priorities, design measures and metrics aligned with research performance and growth, and understand capacity and competitiveness for expanding and diversifying research and support for the research enterprise. Dr. Knoedler is a national leader in developing university-based research enterprises and talent. She has had substantial success in helping individuals craft career-long scholarship trajectories, has a strong record of supporting underserved disciplines like the arts and humanities, and has led efforts to diversify research leadership nationally. She currently serves as the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Miami University.

Jacob Levin

Jacob E. Levin, PhD is Director of Research Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Levin is also Founder and Principal of LGG Research Strategy & Funding Services, a boutique consultancy that has worked directly with researchers and University leadership at more than three dozen institutions worldwide. Previously, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California, Irvine, where he led a 10-member Research Development Office. Jacob is a AAAS Fellow, MIT startup founder, Founding Board Member and Past President of NORDP. He has helped secure over $1 Billion in research, training and infrastructure funding, and has spearheaded the establishment of successful research collaborations spanning all 7 continents.

Michael Spires

Mr. Spires is an academically well‐rounded scholar, a published author and seasoned presenter, and an experienced reviewer. He has been working in research development full‐time for nearly 14 years, mentored by one of the thought leaders in the field. He has done extensive service to the profession, including multiple leadership positions within NORDP. He has been a mentor, both formally and informally, to a number of research development professionals in his career. Oakland University is the fourth institution where he has either established or helped to establish an RD function where none existed before: two emerging research institutions in different states, an R1 in a third state, and a major non‐profit research institution.

Peggy Sundermeyer

Dr. Peggy Sundermeyer joined Trinity University in 2014 as the Director of Sponsored Research in the Office of Academic Affairs. Prior to relocating to Trinity University, Peggy worked at the University of Minnesota, holding a number of positions in the Office of the Vice President for Research. In 2004 she was asked by the VPR to establish an office of research development, the first of its kind at the UMN and one of the earliest in the United States. The Office of Research Advancement created multiple internal award programs, supported large interdisciplinary applications, and worked closely with Deans who shortly established their own collegiate RD operations with similar goals.

Jessica Venable

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in sponsored research, research development, and project management, Dr. Venable provides clients with strategic advice and support to develop relationships, build capacity, identify appropriate funding opportunities, and apply for funding from federal and private grantmakers. She specializes in funding opportunities for the STEM fields, particularly as they pertain to underserved and underrepresented individuals, institutions, and groups. She has served as Executive Director, Research Universities and Institutions Practice, McAllister & Quinn since 2016 where she assists clients with highest research activity to secure federal funding. Additionally, she has held research positions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Barbara Walker

As Director of Research Development for Social Sciences, Humanities, Fine Arts, and Education at University of California-Santa Barbara, Dr. Endemaño Walker is responsible for catalyzing research innovation and excellence through professional development and mentoring activities with faculty members, along with strategic planning for large interdisciplinary research programs and the broader campus research enterprise. Her other areas of expertise are team science, collective intelligence, and inclusive excellence. Dr. Endemaño Walker is co-author of the book, Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences: A Practical Guide to Grant and Fellowship Proposals. She also advises campus leadership on diversity and inclusion initiatives as the Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost.

Quyen Wickham

Mr. Wickham has over 10 years of experience in research development (RD) from two nationally ranked high research universities working at the both central and center level. During this time, he has had the opportunity to develop an understanding of proposal writing, project evaluation, project management, and proposal management. His experience in higher education administration, team science facilitation, and faculty-focused strategy sessions has resulted in a deep appreciation for how research is accomplished by research development professionals. He has applied his training in USAID and the Shipley Associates proposal development process to effectively managing $150 million in full proposals, netting over $35 million in awards in his first 15 months at Arizona State University. He continues to lead presentations on high value solicitations, manage multiple color team reviews to strengthen proposals, and is a regular presenter at university-wide RD professional development trainings.

PEERD Review Reflection: Arizona State University

Arizona State University (ASU) hosted the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) peer review team in January 2020. As a previous PEERD reviewer, I deeply understood the power of the process and was excited to bring it to my campus.

Why become a reviewer?

When I applied to become a PEERD reviewer, my sole objective was to increase my exposure to other Research Development offices across the country. I wanted to learn what was out there. I was conscious that I had grown my office in the ways that worked best for my institution’s culture, the reach of our research enterprise, the motivation of my leadership, and the priorities we knew we could deliver on. I wondered; would my experience be transferable to a research development function at another institution?

Serving as a reviewer and a reviewee has led to a much deeper understanding of what research development is and could be. Critically listening to my colleagues at other institutions facilitated an introspection on improving my own office.

Why host a PEERD review?

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ASU President Michael M. Crow and the PEERD Review Team

In my role as institutional contact, I was responsible for connecting the PEERD reviewers with an adequate number of voices and experiences, inclusive of the many different perspectives of research at the university. To do this within the duration was challenging. The reviewers were to spend three full days in one room as individuals and teams paraded in and out. Then, I had to take that list and someone had to schedule them! I was extremely lucky to have that completed by our RD event manager, Laura “L.J.” Hernandez. I had to be sure to brief all the invitees. This ensured that interviewees knew the overall context of the visit and what was expected of them. Once we had an agenda, I met with the review team and they aptly pointed out that I had missed general faculty members. Yes, my professional focus is also my blind spot! I quickly assembled a diverse group of faculty with research experience; those I knew and didn’t know and invited them to a discussion with the reviewers.

As I was setting up the review, I took the opportunity to explain NORDP to those I was inviting to participate. While ASU has several members of NORDP, it is a very large enterprise. I found joy in describing a professional organization filled to the brim with individuals devoted to research success. This also laid the groundwork for understanding the importance of the report I would eventually distribute.

What is PEERD’s impact?

I briefed the PEERD report to our Associate Deans of Research. As they participated in the interviews, it gave them an opportunity to see how an external group viewed their work. I prepared summary slides for the verbal review. These slides were helpful in future conversations because I had distilled the recommendations essentially to infographics. In fact, these slides continue to be used as reference for other projects.

The report has been requested again and again over the past several months, but initial conversations indicate that the report impacted schools and units via the Associate Deans of Research.

The PEERD reviewers told us that our research portfolio could be featured more prominently. That resulted in us redesigning our website. Now, faculty and external partners can more easily view and navigate our research projects. We’re proud of our faculty research and we needed the push to think about how we featured the unique nature of our work.”

— Sandy Stauffer, Senior Associate Dean of Research and Theo Eckhardt, Assistant Director Research Advancement, Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts, Arizona State University.

Requesting a PEERD review

Institutions need to feel confident that the substantial investment in a review will be worthwhile. This is difficult to quantify because each institution will have very different goals for the review. In my case, Dr. Panchanathan (“Dr. Panch”), ASU’s Executive Vice President of Research, was nominated and then confirmed as the director of the National Science Foundation in the first six months of 2020. As an office that was generously supported by him over the past decade, I wanted confirmation that my office was having the reach I expected. I also hoped that the reviewers could provide creative ways forward for increasing our impact. PEERD allows us to think critically about how Research Development is continuously evolving on campus at the college, unit, and department level. Finally, I sought an internal benchmarking and set of recommendations that could serve as a roadmap as ASU’s research strategy at the university and college level was moving forward.

In a time of budget constraints, it may be difficult to find the time and funding to invest in a review or becoming a reviewer. Maybe it is easier to reframe this into a professional development opportunity (for both you and your institution). Similar to webinars and other continuing education opportunities that increase our experience and understanding of a topic, sponsoring a PEERD review or becoming a reviewer can bring value to an individual, an office, and an organization. Research isn’t going away. Research development isn’t going away. Now is your chance to be prepared to launch a new “you,” more powerful and with more impact than before.

PEERD Expert Application Forms, along with a C.V./resume, are due to PEERD@nordp.org by August 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Applicants must strictly adhere to all word limits. The PEERD review committee decisions will be made by mid-September 2020. Any inquiries should be directed to PEERD@nordp.org.

 

 

 

Reminder: Call for PEERD Expert Applications Open until August 31, 2020

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NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) is excited to announce a call for PEERD experts. NORDP PEERD experts will serve a three-year term, beginning October 1, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2023. NORDP PEERD experts will be called on to provide the following services:

Job Function Details Expert’s Payment
PEERD Review Conduct an onsite review of an institution’s research development office and/or programming. Provide a PEERD report with recommendations for the institution. $4,200 per expert + travel
PEERD Presentation Provide a 1- or 2-hour presentation on a research development topic requested by the institution. Also offered virtually. 1hr = $300 + travel

2hr = $600 + travel

PEERD Workshop Conduct an onsite (4hr) workshop on research development (including its overlapping mission but distinct activities from research administration). Small groups will work through various RD scenarios, including but not limited to the following: proposal development, strategic research advancement, enhancement of collaboration and team science, research communication and knowledge mobilization, among others. $1,200 + travel
PEERD Virtual Consultation Provide a PEERD virtual consultation packet, including an institutional survey for institutions to administer on their campus. Analyze survey results and provide a virtual consultation, including a report on next steps for the institution. $2,400
PEERD Competitive Analysis Work with the institution to identify peers and aspirational peers, a goal/focus for the analysis, and interview questions. Conduct data analysis and provide results, along with recommendations to institution. $3,600
PEERD Informational Briefs Working in teams, develop informational briefs on topics of importance to the NORDP membership (as identified in the member needs survey). No remuneration; part of expert responsibilities
PEERD Resources Develop the PEERD consultation packet, as well as other resources beneficial to PEERD experts. No remuneration; part of expert responsibilities

PEERD Expert Application Forms, along with a C.V./resume, are due to PEERD@nordp.org by August 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Applicants must strictly adhere to all word limits. The PEERD review committee decisions will be made by mid-September 2020. Any inquiries should be directed to PEERD@nordp.org.

Call for PEERD Expert Applications

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NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) is excited to announce a call for PEERD experts. NORDP PEERD experts will serve a three-year term, beginning October 1, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2023. NORDP PEERD experts will be called on to provide the following services:

Job Function Details Expert’s Payment
PEERD Review Conduct an onsite review of an institution’s research development office and/or programming. Provide a PEERD report with recommendations for the institution. $4,200 per expert + travel
PEERD Presentation Provide a 1- or 2-hour presentation on a research development topic requested by the institution. Also offered virtually. 1hr = $300 + travel

2hr = $600 + travel

PEERD Workshop Conduct an onsite (4hr) workshop on research development (including its overlapping mission but distinct activities from research administration). Small groups will work through various RD scenarios, including but not limited to the following: proposal development, strategic research advancement, enhancement of collaboration and team science, research communication and knowledge mobilization, among others. $1,200 + travel
PEERD Virtual Consultation Provide a PEERD virtual consultation packet, including an institutional survey for institutions to administer on their campus. Analyze survey results and provide a virtual consultation, including a report on next steps for the institution. $2,400
PEERD Competitive Analysis Work with the institution to identify peers and aspirational peers, a goal/focus for the analysis, and interview questions. Conduct data analysis and provide results, along with recommendations to institution. $3,600
PEERD Informational Briefs Working in teams, develop informational briefs on topics of importance to the NORDP membership (as identified in the member needs survey). No remuneration; part of expert responsibilities
PEERD Resources Develop the PEERD consultation packet, as well as other resources beneficial to PEERD experts. No remuneration; part of expert responsibilities

PEERD Expert Application Forms, along with a C.V./resume, are due to PEERD@nordp.org by August 31, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Applicants must strictly adhere to all word limits. The PEERD review committee decisions will be made by mid-September 2020. Any inquiries should be directed to PEERD@nordp.org.

Calling all volunteers

Farmer
Faye Farmer

If you’re like me, you are busy. All. The. Time. I have to take care of (check all that apply: ___ myself, ___ family, __parents, __ pets, ___ plants, ___ hobbies, ___ work). But sometimes, I have a free hour or two and want to do something different. What if I could find a way to do something I’m good at for my professional organization? Now is the time!

Welcome to NORDP’s 2020 strategic plan Key Results Area (KRA) 4.1.b Create ways to leverage the strengths & experience of the community. My name is Faye and I’ll be your KRA CHAMPION going forward. (Read on while you hum the Queen song under your breath.)  My role as champion is to work across the organization to advance the work of the KRA. First order of business: I’m renaming this KRA “Bright Lights of NORDP Talent”!

My January activity, with approval from the NORDP Board of Directors, is to advance you–the Bright Lights of NORDP Talent–by launching a trial process that formalizes and publicly posts volunteer requests across the organization. You will have the ability to post a variety of opportunities (e.g., paid and unpaid, specialist and generalist, short term and long). In fact, our KRA’s will be using this mechanism to seek support for their work.

I hope this process and a regular format can increase transparency into the work that we need assistance with as an organization. I also hope that the new format is flexible enough to adjust to high demand times, incorporate the varied skills sets, and meet our different individual availability across the community.

Starting this week and continuing until June 1, 2020, the membership (committees and members) can draft a volunteer form and post it to the listserve. This form should also be sent to (or cc’d to) jobs@nordp.org. Forms will be posted on the jobs board and archived regularly. The starting point for this improved process is a request for volunteer help promoting our PEERD program. You can download the form here: 2020 NORDP Call for Volunteers

I invite you and your committees to seek volunteers for NORDP activities (like creating a database, processing data, completing blog posts, completing small tasks) and let our collective talent shine!

I will ask for feedback at the end of the trial and adjust accordingly. In the meantime, if you want to work with me to find innovative ways of engaging our members in the work of the organization (a.k.a., the Bright Lights Team) send me an email.
Faye Farmer
faye.farmer@asu.edu

Okay, carry on with taking care of business!!

New Year – New You?

January 1st is an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and make a change in your life. Unfortunately, we humans lack the resolve to stick with our New Year’s resolutions and are caught buying a jumbo-sized box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day and conveniently forgetting about our gym membership. What are your New Year’s resolutions for your RD office and how can NORDP help you be successful? Do you desire to set new strategic directions? Upgrade to RD Office 2.0? Help your institution achieve its goals for 2020?

NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) can help your institution follow through with its New Year’s resolutions, implementing and effecting impactful change in 2019. Whether your office has clear goals identified or needs assistance in identifying a long-term strategy, NORDP’s PEERD consulting program can serve as your guide.

For a no-obligation cost estimate, contact PEERD@nordp.org. More information can be found at https://www.nordp.org/peerd-consulting-program

Don’t Just Sit There!

On the campus of Texas Tech (my institution) is a bronze sculpture of Will Rogers on his horse, Soapsuds. A vaudeville performer, stage and motion picture actor, radio personality, and newspaper columnist, Will Rogers was first and foremost a great American Cowboy. He was also known for his aphorisms, which served as a humorous social commentary. One aphorism relevant to Research Development (RD) offices is “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Are you moving forward or are you sitting still?  Does your RD office need a jumpstart?  NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) can be the spark to get your RD office in forward motion. PEERD provided my institution, Texas Tech, with best practices and ideas for improvement and expansion that are propelling us on the right track.

Don’t just sit there! Contact PEERD@nordp.org for a no-obligation cost estimate. More information can be found at https://www.nordp.org/peerd-consulting-program

Submitted on behalf of Kayla Tindle

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Do You Know Where You are Going?

One of the greatest catchers in baseball history, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was also known for his “Yogi-isms.” My favorite “Yogi-ism” is, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” While this ism is appropriate for all professional fields, I believe it to be especially true for research development. As an RD professional, do you know where your office is going?

Being in a relatively nascent field, we in RD are pioneers, developing new innovations and ideas as needs arise at our institutions. This is fantastic and exciting. But, we need to know where we are going, or we will never get there. We need a long-term strategy.

NORDP’s Program for External Evaluation of Research Development (PEERD) can help your RD office determine its long-term strategy. Whether your office is new, looking to expand, or well established, NORDP’s PEERD consulting program can help you set strategic directions.

For a no-obligation cost estimate, contact PEERD@nordp.org. More information can be found at https://www.nordp.org/peerd-consulting-program.

Submitted on behalf of Kayla Tindle

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