NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: Engaging the Arts & Humanities in Extramural and Collaborative Research

Engaging the Arts & Humanities in Extramural and Collaborative Research

Presenters: Kim Patten, Assist. Director, Research Development Services (RDS), University of Arizona
Kim Nicolini, Assoc. for Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences, RDS, University of Arizona

Thanks to our session note-taker, Melinda Laroco Boehm!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • Frame your research into “fundable ideas.”
  • Help Social Science and Humanities faculty look beyond thinking about “their books” and “their tenure”. Help them take their comprehensive research ideas and apply for funding in “bite-sized chunks.”
  • When packaging Social Science and Humanities research in terms of extramural funding, “time to write your book” is not a fundable concept. Strategize with the faculty members to find fundable concepts within their books and help in deciphering the real life applications that can come from their research.
  • Start to think about museums as more than just places to go see exhibits. Connect Social Science and Humanities faculty to a broader spectrum, as there is not an entity on campus that could NOT use a museum for their research. Examples may include:
    • Example for Humanities? Meeting with the archivist
    • Example: refugee cities, poetry, children to use art for feelings, then art exhibit
    • Example: public engagement
  • Leverage your campus’ resources to be creative for funding in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Look for atypical sources for funding opportunities, e.g. International support office/study abroad office

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?          

Fun fact: their campus’ first NEA grant assisted by their RDS office was from the College of Medicine.

What resources did you discover at this presentation? Examples: a website, database or software tool. We’ll link to resources on the blog.          

AEHN: Arts Engagement Humanities Network

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member, and what was the presenter(s)’ response?          

Suggestion from the audience that discussed how to get Arts and Humanities to focus on their proposal getting trajectories: Ask them the gold watch question: “How do you want to be talked about when you retire? What do you want your legacy to be?” They will be able to tell you their path, and you can find funding that translates to what they want their legacy to be.

What else from this session should NORDP members know?        

Keep a spreadsheet of faculty and their areas of research, and take time to find the connections in an effort to form collaborative teams that go for the larger multi|inter|trans-disciplinary proposals.

GENERAL NOTES TAKEN DURING SESSION

  • Interactive session
  • They come from a large institution, so take the information and use accordingly
  • Centralized office: 3200 people
    • 500 faculty in 3 colleges that make up SS and Humanities
    • They have an Associate VP for Research in Arts, Humanities, and Society
    • Extended their seed funding for specific tracks
  • Added staff to support this college, institutions, and museums
    • One person coordinates these colleges (3) in SS and Humanities (new to this position, only 1.5 years old)
  • Fun fact: their first NEA grant RDS assisted with was from the College of Medicine

Early Career Researchers

  • Be creative in partnerships with Humanities folks
  • Frame research into fundable ideas
  • Ask them “what is your focus” and help them discern how funders will see them
    • Make their ideas relevant and exciting
    • Understand how do they craft a research proposal out of arts and humanities
      • Help them look beyond thinking of “their books” and “their tenure”
      • Help them take their work and apply in “bite-sized chunks” and break it up
        • Difficult with social sciences but can be done

Packaging the Humanities

  • “Time to write your book” is not a fundable concept
  • Find fundable parts within their book [sabbaticals and honorifics]
    • Real life applications
    • How will this impact the human population?
  • Multidisciplinary collaborations
  • External partners
  • Keep a spreadsheet and try to find the connections

Museums as places for “seeing”

  • Museums have to be more than just go see exhibits
    • How do you connect them to the broader spectrum?
    • There is not an entity on campus that could NOT use a museum for their research
      • Example for Humanities? Meeting with the archivist
      • Example: refugee cities, poetry, children to use art for feelings, then art exhibit
      • Example: public engagement
    • Cross the museum with faculty with student engagement à equals working together for a à fundable idea!
  • Ideas
    • Family Day and Meet a Scientist
    • Portal to the Public

Challenges

  • Breaking the tradition; it takes time
  • Understanding the traditional model for getting funding does not look the same anymore
  • Make it applicable
  • Translate their needs to fundable ideas
    • “I need light bulbs!” No, you need specific lighting in order to preserve the documents….etc.

Discussion Topic 1: Challenges

  • Independent brainstorm: Begin completing the challenges section (2 min)
    • Grant getting is so rare and overwhelming that when they do go for large grants, it deters them from trying again.
    • Grantsmanship is not being addressed/motivated by their deans and department chairs
    • From audience:
      • How could you work with large amounts of faculty? (Time management)
      • Working with Humanities faculty, funding rates are low and the grants are extremely What techniques are others using to increase the grant competitiveness?
      • Faculty tell RDs the “let me tell you how it works” in humanities
      • Faculty have no professional development in grantsmanship skills; it’s not what they do
      • Funding is not credited for tenure and promotion
        • No institutional incentive
      • “Us vs Them” mentality with humanities and sciences; they do not want to collaborate
    • Talk to one neighbor: unique, similar? (1 min)
    • Report out to group (6 min)

Discussion Topic 1: Solutions

  • Faculty engagement programs
    • Workshops
      • Homework-have them find funding in Pivot
      • Have them send their potential opps ahead of time, and RDS spends a day sitting down with them and their team to strategize (very successful for their university)
        • Successful consortiums have come out of this
      • Institute-focused programs
      • University initiatives
      • Outcomes: Engage faculty in funding; establish collaborative teams; grow research base and campus connectivity
      • Encourage them: get them applying for smaller ones to get the ball rolling and create momentum
      • Get faculty to cross-talk to other disciplines

Campus community interaction

  • Serve on strategic planning committees
  • Hiring committees
  • Internal funding review committees
  • Becoming part of the community

Leverage campus resources

  • International support office/study abroad office
  • Teaching support center
  • Scientists
    • from Arizona: Arts Engagement Humanities Network (AEHN)
  • Limited submissions
  • Foundation
  • Sponsored projects
  • If you show enthusiasm for them, they will become excited.

Discussion Topic 2: Solutions

  • Independent brainstorm: what are solutions that might work on your campus? (2 min)
  • Talk to your other neighbor (2 min)
  • Report to group (6 min)
  • If you show enthusiasm for them, they will become excited.

Discussion Topic 2: Solutions from group | Summary | Q & A

  • Culture of Research Excellence for Faculty Fellowships (competition)
    • Course release
    • Collaborations have arisen just for being in that fellowship
    • More senior faculty (old and crusties)
      • Have not been expected to go for funding
      • Ask them the gold watch question? How do you want to be talked about when you retire/your legacy?
        • They will be able to tell you their path, then you can go from there
        • Get funding that translates to what they want their legacy to be
      • Sponsored Research Fellows Program
        • Open to any discipline
        • They get paired with an internal mentor, they give them funding for an external reviewer, they get a course release, they work to submit a proposal (the cohort works independently but collaborations can come from that as well)
      • Introduced a Logic Model to the Arts and Sciences folks; it is new to them; it forced them to get clear about their idea (The Ohio State: Kristen Ward’s idea)

 

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In the aftermath of Harvey & Irma

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in obsessively checking for news about the hurricanes that recently ravaged south Texas (Harvey) and significant portions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida (Irma): many NORDP members have friends, family, and colleagues in the affected areas just as I do. I’m happy to report that all of my near and dear ones have reported in safe, although several of them are still without power and a few are looking at rebuilding or repairing major damage sustained in the storms.

The NORDP Board of Directors and I wanted to let our members and friends in the affected areas know that they are much in our thoughts these days – and if there’s anything concrete we can do to help as you and your institutions recover, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Some of the federal agencies are providing additional funding to institutions affected by these storms, and I wanted to highlight those programs here. If you know of any others that aren’t listed, please add them in comments, or feel free to post to the NORDP listserv if you have access.

  • NEH Chairman’s Emergency Grants. NEH plans to award up to $1 million in emergency grants ($30,000 per institution in the affected area) to preserve documents, books, photographs, art works, historical objects, sculptures, and structures damaged by the hurricane and subsequent flooding.
  • NSF has promised to provide assistance, and to be as flexible as possible in responding to the needs of institutions affected by Harvey (and I expect they’ll be doing the same for Irma before too long). They’ve set up a special email address, harvey@nsf.gov, for administrators, faculty, and students on NSF awards at affected institutions to use when making inquiries. They’re also accepting proposals related to the hurricane and its aftermath.
  • NIH has issued a guide notice related to Harvey (and, again, will probably do the same for Irma shortly) outlining the applicable policies and allowances for late submission of proposals, reports, etc., necessitated by the weather and any campus closures. In some circumstances, awardees may also be able to continue to pay salaries and wages on grants even if the work is unable to continue due to damage, depending on the terms and conditions of the grant(s) in question.

Everybody stay safe, and I’m sure we all hope that things will get back to something a little closer to normal in the affected areas soon.

Michael Spires
NORDP President

NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: Bringing NORDP Home: Building a Community of Research Development Professionals

Bringing NORDP Home: Building a Community of Research Development Professionals

Presenters:
Beth LaPensee, Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, University of Michigan
Jill Jividen, Office of Research, University of Michigan Medical School

Thanks to our session note-taker!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • The University of Michigan is a large, decentralized research university. Research development functions are housed in some of the university’s 19 schools and colleges rather than in a central office.
  • Beth and Jill’s interest in sharing research development resources and strategies was sparked at a NORDP dinner. They created a group to share best practices and resources, bring exposure to research development resources and efforts, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, foster faculty research, and increase the quantity and quality of proposals submitted. Central university research leadership was not interested in supporting the group, so they switched to a grassroots approach.
  • They brought together a Research Development Core Team of 16 members representing 12 UM units and a variety of job classifications. It was a challenge at times to identify people who were engaging in research development activities, as well as to convince them that what they were doing was actually research development.
  • The Core Team hosted a free half-day “mini-NORDP” conference in spring 2016, attended by 52 people from 33 different units. Evaluations were good, and proved to be a source of ideas for maintaining momentum throughout the year.
  • Since spring 2016, the group has also hosted a workshop on library involvement in research development, created a moderated listserv, and are collecting university-wide resources and contacts. Over 100 people are now part of the e-mail list for research development news and events.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?

I was a bit surprised that the mini-conferences featured keynote speakers from outside the university. This makes sense, however – as the saying goes, you are never an expert in your own backyard!

What resources did you discover at this presentation?

I liked the idea of looking to conference and event evaluations as a source of ideas for activities for the coming year.

What was the most interesting question asked by an audience member, and what was the presenters’ response?

A question came up about how to involve research administration staff in research development without losing the distinction between the two in the eyes of high-level leadership. Jill Jividen replied that she often presented research administration and research development as two parts of a Venn diagram. The overlapping center section is faculty success.

What else from this session should NORDP members know?

This is a good model for larger universities with decentralized research development functions.

NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: Better Together – Joining Forces to Maximize Success

Better Together: Joining Forces to Maximize Success

Presenters:
Brent Burns
Peggy Sundermeyer
Kerry Morris
Eileen Murphy

Thanks to our session note-taker!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • What National Association of Corporate Relations Organization (NACRO) is and how Research Development staff participation with NACRO can benefit the entire institution.
  • What Corporate Relations can add to Research Development
    1. Work together in a holistic model.
    2. Share resources, co-locate, share administrative support
    3. Companies are spending more money in research & development
    4. Federal funding is decreasing
    5. If we work together, this will move the institution forward
  • How to develop strategies and portfolios for faculty
  • How to bring CR staff to the table at institutions of various sizes
  • Effective ways to share faculty research interests.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you?
Resource sharing is not the norm.  Although we criticize departments and the faculty who operate in silos, administrative offices within the same institution are territorial and operate in silos too.

What resources did you discover at this presentation?
NACROnacrocon.org
The Network of Academic Corporate Relations Officers brings together U.S. and international academic corporate relations professionals who are dedicated to providing professional development opportunities and sharing best practices that enable members to develop and advance comprehensive, mutually beneficial relationships with industry and establish common language and metrics for peer comparison. Founded in 2007, NACRO has grown to more than 500 individual members.

CASE – www.case.org/
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

Profile databases used by CR and RD offices:
SalesForce
Raisers Edge (used by development offices)
Financial Edge

Interesting questions:

Q. How do we guide faculty as to who will get the IP credit when faculty and corporations collaborate?

A:  Break the barriers between the Technology Transfer/IP office and the faculty.

The IP office does the negotiations for the faculty.  Faculty should not be negotiating the IP because they tend to give away more than they should.  The IP offices are trained attorneys, and can speak on behalf of the faculty member’s research.

Q: There are many entities within our institution that reach out to corporations, and we are all unaware these contacts are being made. It appears (rightly so) that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing within the same institution. What do your institutions do to communicate across your institutions of the activity being conducted with corporations?

A:  Michigan Tech Corporate Relations creates an engagement summary and provides this to faculty or leadership who plan to contact corporations.

A: Corporate Relations and Research Development offices need to follow a holistic model – co-locate, share resources and administrative support(especially in decentralized institutions.) There is a slide within the presenters slide deck with details on what the holistic model entails.

 

New Member Cameo: Chasmine Stoddart

Chasmine Stoddart, Johns Hopkins University

Welcome to NORDP: Chasmine Stoddardt!

Where: Johns Hopkins University

Number of years in research development: 2

Joined NORDP in June 2017

What is your RD work?
I am the Manager of the Research Development Team, a new initiative within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.  It’s very much a start-up environment as we build and launch the services to the University.  Our goal is to encourage collaborative research across disciplines, schools and institutions. Once those relationships are formed, we aim to be the one-stop shop to facilitate the proposal preparation process.  

What is your professional background?
In 2008 I started out in Physics & Astronomy at JHU, learning the basics of research administration.  My first real hands-on experience was reconciling a portfolio of accounts for one of the grants administrators.  I have also worked in a variety of settings at JHU over the years in departments in the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Arts & Sciences as well as the central ORA.  In 2015, I joined the Research Development Services team at Georgetown, but ended up returning to Hopkins in 2016.

What attracted you to NORDP?
Sue Porterfield and Julie Messersmith, colleagues at JHU, introduced me to NORDP and encouraged me to join.  The opportunity to connect and form relationships with research development professionals across the country was definitely a draw.

How will your NORDP membership enhance your own career?
I have already joined the listserv and am very impressed by the responsiveness and community-type feel of the organization.  The topics that are discussed provide insight to how our peers operate at their institutions and opens the doors to true collaboration.  I look forward to the relationships that will form through my NORDP membership and to meeting everyone at next year’s conference in Washington D.C.

Written by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP Membership Continues to Grow

How does our garden grow? Thanks for asking! NORDP’s Member Services Committee is delighted to report that our goal to increase the net number of NORDP members by 100 this year has not only been achieved, but exceeded. NORDP’s active members now total 779, an increase of 138 since NORDP’s fiscal year began on October 1, 2016.  Thank you to Member Services Committee members and to all other NORDP members who have worked so tirelessly on this year’s member recruitment and retention campaign.   Kudos!!

Kathy Cataneo, Member Services Committee 

Regional Groups Met at NORDP 2017 Conference

During the 2017 NORDP Conference all seven regions held meetings with over 220 members attending. Common themes included affinity groups, annual conference location, listservs, and shared challenges.

Highlights of each region’s discussion are listed below. For full reports, click here.

I – Northeast

NORDP Northeast plans to apply for affinity group status. NE is open to piloting programs to roll out at NORDP national, and is considering slight increases to its meeting registration fees that could provide for travel awards to the NORDP annual conference for regional members with financial need.

 II – Atlantic

The Atlantic region is looking into holding a monthly conference call or online meeting to share best practices & challenges. Rotating annual in-person meetings and creation of a regional membership directory were also discussed.

III – Southeast

The Southeast region is very interested in becoming an affinity group with the intent to plan meaningful activities for members of the region. Kimberly Eck offered to lead the application process and plans to put together a working subcommittee to draft a proposal and give all SE members a chance to contribute.

IV – Great Lakes

The Great Lakes region had a great discussion about holding a regional meeting. As a result they are planning their 1st Regional Meeting which will be hosted by Jeff Agnoli at Ohio State University in October.

V – Mid-West & Mountain

The Midwest & Mountain region members discussed using their new listserv to assist in organizing their regional efforts as well as exchanging ideas about funding opportunities specific to the regional members.

VI – Southwest

The Southwest region members discussed the new formalized process for creation of affinity groups and explored some of the background on why the process has been put into place. Kay Tindle offered to lead the affinity group initiative and plans to organize a conference call to discuss the effort.

VII – Pacific

The Pacific region discussed the active use of their active listserv, which they plan to continue to use. Members voted in favor of moving forward with identifying Region VII as an official region through the affinity group mechanism.

Summary prepared by Dan Campbell, Member Services Committee.