Virtual pilot short course for early career RD professionals

November 8, 2021 – December 17, 2021 • Seats are limited!


What is research development (RD)? How is it done? Even professionals who have worked extensively with funded research and researchers throughout their careers may feel like they only understand their specific jobs and responsibilities. Because RD roles in organizations and institutions vary (and units are often siloed), it can be hard to get a full picture of RD as a field and how it fits into the research enterprise. RD101 will help you understand the field, expand your existing skill set, and explore new ways to support research at your institution.

NORDP is once again offering a pilot virtual short course, RD 101, which introduces the field of RD. This 12.5-hour course (not including readings and other coursework) presents a framework for understanding who RD professionals are, the skills that make them effective in their roles, the hows and whys of what they do, and the resources they rely on.

There are no prerequisites for RD 101; it is intended for new RD professionals (those with fewer than two years of experience in RD) or those considering becoming RD professionals. The instructors are experienced RD professionals from a range of institutions (e.g., centralized and decentralized, R1s, PUIs) and have designed the course around the skills and information they wish they’d had when they first entered the profession.

Course topics include:

  • What is RD? Who is the RD Professional?
  • Components and Elements of the RD Process—Institutional and Professional Cultures and How They Affect the Work of RD
  • RFPs and Proposals: Requirements and Constraints
  • Helping Researchers Produce Effective Proposals

In addition to the weekly meetings, you will have additional activities to contextualize yourself and your position within the RD profession. The course will help you to develop a personal career development plan.

General sessions: Mondays 1:00pm – 2:30pm ET (November 8, 15, 29, December 6 & 13)

Breakout sessions (choose one per week):

  • Thursdays 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET (November 18, December 2, 9, & 16)
  • Fridays 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET (November 12*, 19, December 3, 10, & 17)

* Two break out rooms will be hosted on Friday, November 12 to accommodate the Veteran’s Day Holiday

This pilot will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please confirm that you will be able to attend ALL course meetings and one breakout session prior to registering. There will not be a waitlist. There is no charge for this pilot workshop, but registrants must be NORDP members. Future RD 101 offerings will have a registration fee. Future offerings will be announced in early 2022.

Registration is limited to 25 participants. Registration closes Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

For questions or more information, please contact or

Registration link HERE.


Paige Belisle, Harvard University – While pursuing a MFA in Writing at the University of New Hampshire, Paige Belisle discovered her career path by serving as a graduate student intern in UNH’s Research Development Office. Through NORDP, she met the members of Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Research Development Office and joined their team in 2016. She serves faculty members by identifying funding opportunities and providing proposal development support. Her current specialty is in providing Research Development outreach to new faculty members in the arts and humanities, as well as assembling monthly funding opportunities newsletters.

Katie Shoaf, Appalachian State University – Katie Shoaf is the Associate Director for Grants Resources and Services at Appalachian State University. She holds an M.A. and M.L.S. from Appalachian State. She has been a NORDP member since 2017 and serves on the Mentoring Committee and the Professional Development Committee. In the Office of Research at Appalachian, she administers limited submission competitions, internal competitions, and the internal peer review process. She is also charged with developing the international research process and opportunities for the Office of Research.

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.


Do you support research development (RD) at a predominately undergraduate institution (PUI) or other small, teaching-intensive institutional context?

Please help us to build knowledge about the ‘landscape’ of RD at PUIs by completing the NORDP PUI survey!

Findings from the survey, which should take approximately 15 minutes to complete, will help the research team (members of the NORDP PUI Affinity Group) to understand the context and needs of RD professionals at PUIs, and ultimately to develop supportive resources, programming, and advocacy tools. Participation in the survey is voluntary. No individuals or institutions will be publicly identified, and no identifying information will be released outside of the research team. 

Thank you in advance for contributing to the advancement of RD at PUIs! Questions may be directed via email to any of the research team members at the below addresses.

Best Regards,
PUI NORDP Survey Research Team

Jessica Bishop-Royce, DePaul University (
Dean Gerstein, Pomona College (
Jennifer Glass, Eastern Michigan University (
Kara Luckey, Seattle University (
Peggy Sundermeyer, ORG Transitions (

We want YOU for our focus group exploring research development certification!

NORDP launched the Certification Taskforce in Fall 2020 to explore the potential of certification for our organization. We have completed several brainstorming sessions, which resulted in a path forward for our work and requires your help. 

Fall 2021 will launch focus group discussions in parallel with examining the path to certification for other similarly situated organizations as a comparison. The focus group will inform the design of a member survey to explore overall interest in pursuit of certification for Research Development. 

We are holding four focus group sessions based on key demographics of our members:

  1. Transitioning to RD + Early Career (interested in career in RD but not in RD; currently working in RD <=3 years)
  2. Experienced (working in RD for >3 and <=10 years)
  3. Advanced (working in RD for >10 years, but not at an executive level)
  4. Executive (VP, Sr. Director)

These focus groups will be meeting during fall 2021. Participants will be asked to work with our facilitators for one 90-minute session. *Sessions will be recorded.* 

We are interested in hearing from RD professionals from all levels of experience as well as from all institutional designations and RD unit types.  Whether you are a leader in RD planning your personnel’s budget for professional development or an entry level RD professional seeking to gain knowledge and skills to take your career to the next level, we would love to hear from you!   

If you have interest in and ability to participate and identify with one of the above groups, please complete the interest form here: LINK. We ask that you submit your information on or before Aug 30, 2021. We will follow up with invitations throughout September for sessions in October. 

Thank you for your interest in supporting this work in support of NORDP’s KRA 3.4 – Career and Professional Development–Explore potential for formal certification of RD.

We Want YOU for Research Development 101!

As part of the organizational commitment to make Research Development (RD) 101 the signature offering of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP), we have been investing in the professionalization of the course. As part of that work, we are interested in creating a sustainability plan for facilitators for the course. We are asking for expressions of interest via a Google form: 

Request is open until: The positions are open on an ongoing basis. 

Remuneration: This is a volunteer position. 

What you will do: You will be working with the two lead facilitators and a small team of board champions to deliver established curriculum and contribute to improvement of that curriculum over time. You may be asked to train others once you are proficient. If you have interest other than facilitating, please consider adding your name to the list as well. 

What you will need to bring to the role: A passion for sharing what Research Development is. 

How often will you be asked to participate: The lead facilitators will reach out to individuals as needed to determine interest and availability. If you’re interested now or later, sign up now. They will work with your schedule and keep the list alive. 

How long will you volunteer: The frequency and duration of RD 101 is evolving as it improves, but we hope to offer it up to three times per year. Facilitators can do one or more courses. 

Sign up today! We would appreciate a robust list of interested individuals to approach during the coming year. 

Questions? Email Joanna Downer at or Faye Farmer at

Upcoming Career Stories: Fireside Chats

You are invited to attend the next Career Stories: Fireside Chats, a collaboration of NORDP LEAD, and the Professional Development and Member Services Committees on Thursday, February 18 at 1:00 pm EST / 10 am PST.

This conversational series, developed in response to member requests, will highlight the professional trajectories of NORDP members. The series will showcase the multiple ways NORDP members ended up in research development and the many paths available for career growth and advancement.

The February speaker will be Susan Carter, Research Development Director at Santa Fe Institute (New Mexico). Susan is a founding board member of NORDP and has over 20 years’ experience in research and faculty development, diversity and team science, and as a research funding program officer and administrator. Susan will share her journey in research development, and the ways in which involvement in NORDP has supported her professional development. 

Register for the Thursday, February 18 conversation HERE.

Mark your calendar for next month’s Fireside Chat. Mark Milutinovich, Director of Large Center Development at the University of New Hampshire will be sharing his research development pathway on Wednesday, March 10 at 2:00 pm EST / 11:00 am PST.

You can register for Mark’s conversation HERE.

Career Stories: Fireside Chats are designed to be 30-minute listen and learn sessions, with time for follow-up questions. The sessions are being archived and made available for later viewing via the NORDP LMS. If you are interested in sharing YOUR RD story, please contact Jan Abramson.

NROAD is on the NORDP website!

Submitted by Samarpita Sengupta 

Thank you NORDP community for your interest in the NROAD to RD resource. This resource can be used to create training programs to train people interested in a career in RD or it can be used to onboard new team members. Accessing NROAD to RD is now easier than ever because the resource is now on the NORDP website behind the membership firewall. Step by step instructions on accessing the resource are below:

Step1: Login to NORDP using your username and password.

Step 2: Click on the Resources tab.


Step 3: Click on the NORDP Professional Development and Webinars tab on the next page.


Step 4: Under NORDP professional development, the first option is NROAD.


Step 5: Once you fill out a brief survey, so we can track usage and follow up for feedback, you will be emailed a PDF copy of NROAD to RD.


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.


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 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.

It’s Here! NORDP Resource Creates Inroads into RD Careers: NROAD to RD

Why formal RD training?

Research Development (RD) is a career of strategists, planners and figure-it-outers. Most of us “fell into” the role and realized later that what we do is RD. We’ve figured out and honed our skills along the way.

However, the field is growing (if the first-ever sold-out NORDP conference is any indication!), and so a considerable need exists to shorten and ease that learning curve. Similarly, people looking at RD as a potential career may feel unsure about how to get started, or how to “test the waters” given the variability across RD offices.

With this in mind, NORDP launched a working group in June 2018 under the Strategic Alliances Committee to create a resource to help RD offices develop training programs relevant to their own needs. Indeed, the “NROAD to RD” training program framework is based on the idea that some RD-relevant skills and knowledge can be taught – and it offers a menu of options from which to choose.

The NROAD to RD, or the NORDP Resource for Organizing and ADapting a Training Program toward Developing an RD career, is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by the working group (with input from each of NORDP’s standing committees), a beta test at Duke University’s School of Medicine, and a soft launch at the 11th Annual NORDP conference in 2019.

How does NROAD to RD work?

The goals of NROAD to RD are to “provide RD offices with a framework to (1) develop their own training/apprenticeship/internship programs, and (2) employ that framework to introduce, recruit, and train individuals interested in a RD careers.” RD offices can choose among the suggested components and add additional components as necessary to ensure relevance to their individual office and institution’s missions.

The resource provides a guide for decision-making in designing an appropriate training program (Fig 1). Each decision affects the others, collectively defining parameters for the training program.

Figure 1: Decisions to be made while designing an NROAD-based RD training program.

NROAD to RD also offers curriculum modes, or training delivery methods, from which to choose (Fig 2). Most programs will likely include a range of delivery methods, from self-study to shadowing to live or simulated work projects, as suits their goals and mentoring capacity.

Figure 2: NROAD’s recommended curriculum modules

Curriculum suggestions include RD basics; navigating large grants, individual grants, and limited submissions; project management; team science; diversity and inclusion; and other institutional/research-related/career related topics. The curriculum module section is further broken down into sub-categories with recommended reading resources and suggested assignments for each.

Finally, NROAD to RD offers suggestions for program and trainee evaluation to ensure refinement and success.

Interested in NROAD to RD?

The NROAD to RD framework is available to all NORDP members and may be requested HERE. In the coming months, the “Phase II” working group under the auspices of the NORDP Professional Development Committee will create additional resources (e.g., case studies and job simulations), navigate the logistics of hosting these resources on the NORDP website, and evaluate resource usage.


The Phase I working group was chaired by Samarpita Sengupta, and consisted of the following members: Peggy Sundermeyer, Trinity University; Joanna Downer, Duke University; Page Sorensen, then at the University of California San Francisco; Sharon Pound, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Rebecca Latimer, University of Virginia; Nicole Frank, University of Utah; Beth Moser, Maricopa County Community Colleges District; and Sarah Messbauer, University of California, Davis.

NROAD to RD was developed initially using resources generously shared by UT Southwestern Medical Center’s NeAT program (Samarpita Sengupta), University of California San Francisco’s Internship program (Page Sorensen), The University of Tennessee, Office of Research & Engagement’s Onboarding Resources (Jennifer Webster), and University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Onboarding Resources (Kathryn Partlow).

Current Phase II WG members are Joanna Downer, Rebecca Latimer, and Samar Sengupta with several new members: Danielle Matsushima at Columbia University; Elaine Lee, Boston University; Maile Henson, Duke University; Alexis Nagel, Medical University of South Carolina, and Dawn McArthur, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Peggy Sundermeyer remains on the WG as a consultant with supplementary assistance from Jacob Levin, MIT.

Submitted by Samarpita Sengupta

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.