NORDP’s Peer Mentoring Groups: Building Support Networks

In May 2019, NORDP launched the Peer Mentoring Group (PMG) pilot program. So far, 89 members have engaged with the program, and the invitation remains for others to join.

To recap, the PMG program is structured around the six pillars of research development; the liaisons for each group are included:

  1. Career & Professional Development – Christina Howard
  2. Enhancing Collaboration & Team Science – Paula Carney
  3. Communication – Scott Balderson, Svetlana Pitts, Rachel Goff-Albritton
  4. Leadership & Management – Katie Howard
  5. Proposal Development – David Widmer
  6. Strategic Planning & Advancement – Samarpita Sengupta

Members were invited to select one or more of the PMGs in which they would like to participate, and NORDP’s Mentoring Committee initiated the first meeting of the six PMGs.

The effort was driven by Christina Howard and David Widmer, who are co-chairs of NORDP’s Mentoring Committee and are joined by Jan Abramson, Kathy Partlow, and Faye Farmer to form the committee’s leadership team.   The Mentoring Committee is made up of about two dozen other NORDP members to help facilitate the Mentoring program, which paired up 112 mentors/mentees this year.

David explains that the initial goal of the Peer Mentoring Group pilot was to help members build a network of support among members. “We are never really fully developed by a single mentor.  If you think about your broader network, it’s clear that you are being mentored by multiple people.”

“PMGs are an example of this committee in action,” Jan Abramson says. “One idea leads to another to another to another … and from a discussion about member needs, the importance of building a network of mentors, and making sure anyone who requests a member has one, the Mentoring Committee decided to launch the pilot.”

David, himself, is participating in three PMGs – the proposal development, enhancing collaboration & team science, and leadership & management groups.  He says this is yet one more time he’s been impressed by the willingness of NORDP members to share best practices. He invites other NORDP members to join in with the PMGs that interest them.

“These groups are coalescing, building closer relationships, and beginning to collaborate,” he says, explaining that one group, the Proposal Development PMG, has scheduled a monthly Zoom call and set up a Google folder to share resources.

“Everybody speaks and interacts on the calls.  As the hour comes to an end, it feels like we want to keep talking more,” he says, noting several members have continued conversations via emails in-between calls.

“Participating in PMG has been a great learning process,” Katie Howard, Mentoring Committee member and a part of the Leadership and Management PMG, says. “Our group has really gelled and enjoys coming together for lively conversation about our selected topic of the day – it’s a refreshing way to share best practices and learn from colleagues.” This group shares facilitation responsibility and rotates discussion leaders each month for the calls.

NORDP members who would like to join one of the PMGs should send an email to the Mentoring Committee at mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Submitted by Sharon Pound

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.

Doc1-b
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.

Doc2
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 via email to Dr. Samarpita Sengupta (samar.sg@gmail.com). 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.

Acknowledgements!

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.

Expert Finders Systems National Forum: February 2019 in Orlando, Florida

 

Jeff_Agnoli
Jeff Agnoli | The Ohio State University

The 2019 Expert Finders Systems Forum Report is now available.

Access presentations at http://expertfindersystems.org/Speakers.html

“Expert finder systems (EFS) have been serving universities, businesses, and the research community for more than two decades. However, there are still no formal venues for EFS stakeholders to network, learn from each other, and help steer the future of this dynamic field.” – EFS National Forum 2019

A group of ~5 NORDP members attended the EFS National Forum. Together with the more than 80 forum attendees, we explored:

  • the current administrative and research uses of these systems,
  • the need for new features and functions to support emerging uses,
  • best practices for building and managing expert finder systems and
  • strategies for enhancing stakeholder engagement.

We also discussed the economic development impacts of EFS on a regional, state and national level. The forum also explored the possibility of establishing a professional organization to provide leadership and develop ongoing events.

Attendees included many of the established and emerging vendors/partners in this space, librarians, researchers, informatics and social science faculty, research development, foundation and corporate relations professionals.

Robert McDonald, Dean of Libraries at UC Boulder, delivered a compelling keynote address. He provided a history of these tools citing their existence since the early 1990s, first in Europe and then spreading to other countries. He referenced an important study, see euroCRIS (Current Research Information Systems) Survey http://bit.ly/2TgQX1b, detailing “Practices and Patterns in Research Information Management: Findings from a Global Survey”, a 92-page report developed by OCLC, of Dublin, Ohio. He emphasized the role of the library as the system leader, “owner of the citation” and their responsibility to support and promote adoption of these tools. UC Boulder is training people in how to build their profiles and drive impact.

He introduced all of us to the made-up word “collabatition” which reminded me of “Team Science”, detailed the library as a trusted broker of data (or keep of the citation), the need to build a larger distributed network, and establish linked data as people move from institution. The EFS, at its core, is about the impact of our faculty member’s work.

Other presentations featured how these systems can educate early career researchers, identify potential collaborators, recruit individuals for peer review service, improve the status of the discipline, boost research through media/journalist relations, drive industry-sponsored research, and promote self/research activities. Presenters shared their success stories ranging from the number of visits/month to their site, to industry-sponsored research agreements, student research partnerships, and postdoc recruitment.

The EFS have three main audiences which include (1) Researchers, (2) Community Members/Industry, and (3) Managers/Research Administrators.

A highlight of the Forum for me was the presentation from Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University. His team has leveraged these systems and social science research to develop “Team Recommender Systems” which will influence the future of work at Northwestern University and beyond.

Noshir shared what has to be one of the best workshop titles: “Why Netflix thinks I am gay and Amazon thinks I am pregnant.” His message illustrates the limitations of analytics and the challenge of consuming data from multiple sources. As any of us in RD know, simply knowing our faculty members’ keywords is not enough to build a cohesive team; the process is much more nuanced. His description of “traditional teams as hierarchical versus self-assembled and more organic” speaks directly to the need for RD professionals to leverage creative collaborations and provide a high-touch vs a high-tech solution. Our sponsors desire authentic, transdisciplinary collaborations to solve the most challenging questions of our time.

Another high point was the concierge engagement model developed by New York State’s FuzeHub. They are leveraging the power of a Salesforce-like platform to capture leads, engage with industry through regular education/outreach, and drive industry-sponsored research. It is an exceptional and highly successful example of entrepreneurship and higher education. As a member of the core team leading to the implementation of the Ohio Innovation Exchange, launched in Novemeber of 2018, we are eager to adopt some of these practices to promote our site.

The EFS Steering Committee will continue to meet and discuss the meeting evaluation/feedback and chart a course for the future. For example, EFS could collaborate with NORDP and plan a joint conference, become an affinity group, or establish themselves as a new professional association. Stay tuned.

Submitted by Jeff Agnoli, The Ohio State University. My attendance at this forum was co-sponsored by NORDP’s Strategic Alliances Committee. Thank you.

Conference Cameo: Paula Carney

Early Bird registration and the NORDP online store close THIS FRIDAY, March 15!

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. 

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Who: Paula Carney, PhD, Associate Director, Research Development
Where: University of Chicago
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 1.5 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Nigeria. I helped develop a university research over 5 years.

Like most RDs, my route to the profession was circuitous.  My eclectic academic preparation (nutrition/food science, statistics, educational research) led me to research interests at the boundaries of disciplines, and I found myself connecting people from PaulaCarney_headshotdifferent disciplines, organizations and communities to engage in research and address public health needs. I realized that I was far more effective facilitating research than working in a lab as a faculty member and joined a start-up that provided online learning to health systems. That experience was invaluable as I learned to identify opportunities, innovate products and services, and develop collaborative relationships.

The start-up was acquired, and I joined the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. As Director of Education and Training, our unit identified faculty and staff needs, sought resources, and created programs to advance the research enterprise. I worked with Institute colleagues (including Holly Falk-Krzesinski) and others across campus on RD initiatives and was involved in early mentor training initiatives. I also worked with the NU Center for Global Health to advance research development initiatives internationally. A colleague and I conducted focus groups and created a series of videos, posted on YouTube, to trigger discussion of research misconduct issues in sub-Saharan Africa. I also supported universities in Africa and Central America as they created strategies, programs and administrative infrastructure for faculty research initiatives.

I then joined the Provost’s Office at a small state university with the goal of enhancing graduate academic and research programs through policy and program development. I continued involvement with international programs and research, including research compliance and the IRB.  I sustained essential programs and services during the multi-year Illinois budget impasse when student enrollment plummeted and many faculty and staff left the institution.

Since 2017, I have been with the University of Chicago as a member of the Research Development Support Team.  I enjoy working with faculty and staff and using my previous experiences to support research development initiatives.

I joined NORDP in 2017 and attended the 2018 meeting in D.C.  I became involved with several groups (RDs who share best practices for limited submission research opportunities and the collaborative funding list committee); I was also welcomed by the Mentoring Committee, am a member of the MESHH subcommittee, mentor an RD through the mentoring program, and chair the National Research Mentoring Network subcommittee.  The amazing members of this subcommittee are adapting mentor training materials for use with RDs and we are establishing relationships with research mentor training groups to include RDs.

I look forward to presenting our 2-hour workshop on mentor training (shameless plug!), to connecting with RDs and expanding my RD network, and to learning all that I can from others in Providence, RI.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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.

Former NORDP President Gretchen Kiser Published in Nature

Dr. Gretchen Kiser, Executive Director of the Research Development Office at the University of California San Francisco and former NORDP President, has an article published in Nature about equity in publication attribution. You can check it out here: No more first authors, no more last authors.

Congrats, Gretchen!

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.

Webinar: Developing a Strong Abstract for the 2019 NORDP Conference

The deadline for proposals for 1-hour or 2-hour presentations, roundtable discussions, posters, and lightning talks is November 25, 11:59 pm PST. You can submit your abstract HERE. See the webinar below for tips on developing a strong abstract.

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.

NSF 18-102: Dear Colleague Letter: Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity

This is a great opportunity for RD offices that have NSF funding, and for other NSF funded PIs and their graduate students at your institutions!

DCL 18-102 provides up to $55,000 per student in funding for up to six months to allow recipients to participate in research-based internships in STEM or STEM education research fields in non-academic settings. The goal is to enable students to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that prepare them for entry into non-academic careers.

This opportunity is open to PIs who are supporting graduate students through any active NSF award. To be eligible, a graduate student must have completed at least one academic year in their graduate (master’s or doctoral) program and be making satisfactory progress towards degree completion.

For a description of the activities supported, visit the announcement page, then contact your program officer to discuss your proposal.