Developing Effective NORDP Workshop Applications

Are you interested in designing and presenting a workshop for the next NORDP conference in Rhode Island? Conference workshops are a unique opportunity for our community to explore a specialized topic in depth.

For 2019, we are hoping to increase the diversity of our workshop topics and facilitators. This webinar is designed to engage anyone interested in designing a workshop and ensure that applicants know how to prepare a winning application.

Past workshop presenters, Kathy Cataneo and Alan Paul, will share their stories, and we will review the current solicitation, which will be released September 17th.

It’s time for you to get excited about sharing your expertise and experience with the NORDP community! Register to attend this webinar on September 20, 2018; 10am PT/11am MT/12pm CT/1pm ET.

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.

The Transition from Postdoc to Research Development: Gaelle F. Kolb

The following is part of a limited blog series from the Strategic Alliances Committee highlighting NORDP members who have transitioned from postdoctoral positions to careers in research development.

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Gaelle F. Kolb, Proposal Development Manager, Office of Research Development, Division of Research, University of Maryland

Describe your work in research development (RD): I am currently a proposal development manager in the Office of Research Development within the Division of Research at the University of Maryland. I am responsible for managing multidisciplinary teams of scientists and leading them to submit highly prestigious, multi-million dollars grants to various sponsors. The teams vary with the open calls and so do the represented disciplines.

Describe your postdoc work: My scientific background is in infectious diseases. During my first postdoc, I investigated the role of a host protein in waking up Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 from latency in infected neurons. The work was seminal in demonstrating that, in fact, a host protein was indispensable for that event to start, and another postdoc demonstrated that it recruited a whole complex of proteins to re-activate the viral transcription. In a shorter second postdoc, I identified a Heat Shock protein as binding to Ebola Virus genome, and in a later publication on which I am a collaborative author, the team demonstrated that this protein was indispensable to viral replication, making it a potential drug target.

Describe your transition from your postdoc/research background to RD: I was very involved in professional and career development during my postdoc, helping other postdocs (and myself) find the career of their dream. I became the grants and training development specialist in one of the NIH institutes, which totally opened up my love for proposal development and helping others better write how much their science would impact our society.

Describe the benefits your postdoc work provided to your skill set related to RD: I was a restless postdoc, always getting involved in “other/administrative” internships. I became a great listener and talker as well.

What words of wisdom do you have for postdocs who might consider an RD career? As a postdoc, you have cultivated the passion for science. Now, keep the breadth and forget about the depth.

What has been your best experience, so far, with your work in RD? Moving to my current position has been the best experience in research development. Before that, I felt that I was only allowed to dabble, expressing other people’s way of doing. Now, I become part of the team every time I support a new proposal development. I am learning about their subject matter so I can provide critical feedback to their proposed research. I continue to read everything about science (I am member of the AAAS, reader of Science magazine, reader of Nature and The Scientist, in addition to NSF and NIH news).

Why do you think RD is a good career choice? Well, I like the fact that I don’t have to drill too deep into one subject anymore; instead, I can dream big with a team, and differently as I move on to the next team. I like the fast pace and flexible hours. I don’t mind taking on a few hours of work at night or on weekends provided that I can work flexibly otherwise.

What other insights might be relevant to postdocs considering an RD career? Be patient and nurture your professional network. Be professional and always give the best of yourself, which is why I feel I was offered my current position!

Save the Date(s)!

conference-2019The 2019 NORDP Annual Research Development Conference will take place on April 29-May 1, 2019, at the Omni in Providence, Rhode Island. Mark your calendar! Much, much more to come about our 11th annual conference in the coming weeks and months.

Conference Workshop Webinar

NORDP Community, have you imagined yourself as a workshop presenter at the 2019 NORDP? If so, it’s time to start thinking about your workshop proposal. Mark your calendar for 1 PM EST, Thursday, September 20, 2018, for a NORDP webinar timed to coincide with the release of this year’s call for workshop proposals. The webinar is designed to prepare anyone interested in designing a workshop and ensure that applicants know how to prepare a winning application. Stay tuned for more information about the RFP and webinar in the coming days!

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.

Help the National Science Foundation think outside the box; enter the NSF 2026 Idea Machine competition!

Message below from the National Science Foundation:

Dear Colleague,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces the launch of the NSF 2026 Idea Machine, a prize competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM education. Participants can earn cash prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by NSF. It’s an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF’s mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries that drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and advance knowledge to sustain the country’s global leadership in science and engineering.

Entries will be accepted through October 26, 2018. For more information, including entry instructions, eligibility, rules, and judging criteria, please visit the NSF 2026 Idea Machine website.

The Transition from Postdoc to Research Development: Miquella Chavez Rose

The following is part of a limited blog series from the Strategic Alliances Committee highlighting NORDP members who have transitioned from postdoctoral positions to careers in research development.

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Miquella Chavez Rose, Executive Director, Research Triangle MRSEC

Describe your work in research development (RD): I’ve been engaged for about six months now, first as helping coordinate a NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) resubmission, then other various NSF center applications coming from the former faculty from our current MRSEC.

Describe your postdoc work: My postdoc was focused on trying to grow teeth. More specifically, we were using the ever-growing mouse incisor stem cells and trying to create a 3D biomaterial platform to control the homeostasis and differentiation of these cells into enamel producing ameloblasts.

Describe your transition from your postdoc/research background to RD: I transitioned from my postdoc into my current position as Executive Director of the Research Triangle MRSEC, and found that the proposal development and team building aspect of the resubmission was something I very much enjoyed and wanted to pursue.

Describe the benefits your postdoc work provides to your skill set related to RD: Being able to think of the science “big picture” is something really necessary for a good postdoc, and those skills come in handy in research development, as well as the independent nature of the postdoc translates well into research development.

What words of wisdom do you have for postdocs who might consider an RD career? Volunteer to be part of the grant writing process in any form in your current lab (helping write sections for you PI, or submitting your own) will help you in the long run. Also, reach out to your RD office on campus; you may be able to shadow or volunteer with their group to see if you really would enjoy the day to day experience of a RD professional.

What has been your best experience, so far, with your work in RD? Of course, it is great when you hear something you worked on was funded, but sometimes it is a simple as getting the proposal out the door, knowing you helped make it the best it could be.

Why do you think RD is a good career choice? I really like the collaborative nature of the work; when you work with a really good team, it is really fun and exciting. The work is deadline driven and can be long hours during grant season, but as a postdoc we are used to the long hours, and it’s actually less hours than a typical postdoc, and the deadline is actually a nice change from bench work, in which there is always that “next experiment.”

What other insights might be relevant to postdocs considering an RD career? The NORDP group is really a great group of people that are super friendly and helpful, so if you are thinking of this type of career, just keep in contact with the representative and they will help you get connected!

Posted on behalf of the Strategic Alliances Committee committee

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

NORDP-logo_lockup-PEERD[1]

NORDP Liaison Notes: The 2018 NIH Regional Seminar

Conference Attendee: Jennifer Webster, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Conference: The NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration
Date and Location: May 2-4 2018, in Washington, DC

nih-logo-large.pngConference Description from NIH: “These seminars are intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminars serve the NIH mission of providing education and training for the next generation of biomedical and behavioral scientist. NIH policy, grants management, review and program staff provide a broad array of expertise and encourage personal interaction between themselves and seminar participants. The seminars are appropriate for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students.”

The purpose of my attendance was threefold:

  1. Meet with program officers to build relationships and clarify questions of specific interest to my faculty and institution;
  2. Represent NORDP in my capacity as NIH Liaison from the Strategic Alliances Committee; and
  3. Attend seminar sessions to maintain my general knowledge about the sponsor.

This is my fourth year (in a row!) attending the NIH Regional Seminar. For the first three years, I organized faculty travel to the event to provided them with a baseline understanding of NIH and to prepare them to meet one-on-one with program officers. This year, I didn’t take any faculty, and I split my time between meeting with program officers and attending sessions of interest.

The sessions this year didn’t reveal any new information about pending initiatives or major changes at NIH, but my time meeting with program officers, even with very loose agendas, was quite productive. I met with program officials in areas of specific interest to my institution and those conversations clarified questions and provided additional information that we have already used to realign some of our ongoing work with faculty and to push forward into new areas. My conversations also revealed awareness of research development (and NORDP) that ranged from puzzled to enthusiastic, which confirmed that there’s a lot more outreach to be done!

I highly recommend the NIH Regional Seminar to NORDP members, especially for the opportunities to meet one-on-one with many program officers from most institutes and centers.

Submitted by Jennifer Webster