While many of us were home unwinding during the holidays, NORDP quietly gained its one thousandth member.
Although the occasion wasn’t marked by cake or fireworks this is something to really celebrate! In just ten years we have grown from 212 members to over one thousand… and counting.
This rapid growth – the kind that leaves benchmarks in the dust – wasn’t driven by luck. The secret recipe to NORDP’s overwhelming success is you. Yes, you!
Thanks to your engagement, participation and commitment, NORDP is realizing our shared dream to advance the global capacity for and impact of research by strengthening the practice and profession of research development. And that makes NORDP an exciting place to be.
One year ago the Board sent members a Member Needs and Satisfaction Survey asking about the value, quality and usage of various NORDP programs. More than 88 percent of our members said NORDP programs met their needs well. Members rated NORDP’s value for their money 4.46 on a five-point scale where 5 is the highest rating, and the quality of what we do was rated even higher at 4.68.
And of course, there was our sold-out conference last year. What a great way to underscore that our collective efforts to meet professional needs are timely and on track!
So, as we start this new year with more members than ever before, and plans that will lead us even farther forward, let’s stop and celebrate for a minute. Congratulations to all of us for doing such an amazing job with our incredible organization!
I’m looking forward to celebrating with you at our conference in San Antonio this May. Look for registration announcements soon.
I am excited to share the NORDP 3-year Strategic Plan with you today.
Your Board of Directors put a lot of effort into sorting feedback from member surveys, Board members, and past leaders, to ensure that NORDP continues to be the ambitious, innovative, and progressive organization that meets member needs.
We have shortened and revised our mission statement in an effort to concisely align our strategic efforts with the organization our members want and need: The mission of NORDP is to advance the global capacity for and impact of research by strengthening the practice and profession of research development.
We identified seven common priority areas, or Key Result Areas (KRAs), that we will be focusing our attention, efforts, and resources on in the next three years:
career and professional development
diversity, inclusion, and equity
advancing the field of RD
You will be seeing more information in the coming months about mobilizing these seven areas. If you are interested in working with us, please reach out and get involved. You can find more details on the plan and who to contact to get involved by visiting the following link to view a video or read the transcript. https://nordp.memberclicks.net/member-updates
Thank you for your membership and for your involvement in NORDP. You make NORDP the organization it is and shape its future.
The NORDP Mentoring Committee wishes all NORDP members a Happy New Year as we enter January 2020 … and National Mentoring Month. This January is the 19th annual celebration of the power of mentoring. Originally developed as a campaign to expand quality mentoring opportunities for youth, the month-designation can be a catalyst to remember the mentors and mentees that have supported you along your path.
The NORDP Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP Members. Members supporting members as mentors, as mentees, or as part of a peer mentor group, make our organization, and the profession of Research Development stronger.
Applications for the 2020 mentoring program will open in February. Until that time, be thinking of all the mentors and mentees who have enriched your life over the years. And mark your calendars.
January 8, 2020: I Am a Mentor Day
Recognize yourself for all you do as a mentor. Mentors can have profound impacts on mentees. Take a moment to reflect on your legacy. Share your experience using the national hashtag #MentorIRL.
January 30, 2020: Thank Your Mentor Day
Take a moment to reflect on the mentors who have influenced you. Send them a note, a text or an email. Share your story on social media using #ThankYourMentor.
And, please, consider becoming a mentor in the NORDP Mentoring Program when applications open. The Mentoring Committee has numerous resources to support you. For those of you who have benefited from the mentoring program, remember the strength of the program is #PayItForward.
Please join NORDP President, Karen Fletcher, on Friday, January 10, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST for the announcement of the NORDP Strategic Plan that was approved by the NORDP Board of Directors. This announcement will be via Zoom and you can join the meeting by using the log-in information below. Information about the Strategic Plan will be disseminated after the meeting via the blog and website for those of you unable to attend January 10.
Topic: NORDP Strategic Plan Roll Out to Membership
Time: Jan 10, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
What exactly does the Member Services Committee do?
In its most fundamental sense, the Member Services Committee (MSC) manages two important services for NORDP: the recruitment of new members, and the retention of existing ones.
On the recruitment side, the MSC recruits new members through our prospect list. Prospects are folks who have attended past conferences, regional meetings, and/or signed up for our listserv but never became an official NORDP member. Our regional representatives reach out with a personal email, highlighting the benefits of joining NORDP. The MSC is also developing a recruiting campaign focused on the upcoming conference in San Antonio, Texas.
As for retention, Member Services manages membership benefits for NORDP, developing and implementing programs to ensure all of our members feel that what they gain from NORDP is worth the price of membership.
This means that the MSC regularly develops and implements membership surveys (like the member needs and satisfaction survey, or the forthcoming salary survey) to ensure NORDP has a pulse on the types of resources needed to effectively support the membership at large.
It also means that the Committee is a main point of contact and support for regional and affinity groups, working groups for special projects like the recent addition of Trainee and Retiree member categories, and subcommittees like the MSC Conference Activities group, which manages the Conference Ambassadors program
Wow, that sounds like a busy group. Who’s currently in charge?
The MSC is steered by a collaborative group consisting of a Chair and two co-Chairs:
Dr. Kay Tindle is an Assistant Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University and serves as the NORDP MSC Chair.
Dr. Sarah Messbauer is a Research Development Analyst at the University of California, Davis and is an MSC Co-Chair.
Dr. Brooke Gowl is currently Research Liaison Officer at the University of Houston, and as of January 13, 2020, will be Associate Director for Research Development in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University; she is also a MSC Co-Chair.
How did each of you get involved with this committee?
Kay blames Peggy Sundermeyer and Terri Soelberg for her initial involvement in MSC. Peggy recruited her to be the SW Region Representative and Terri brought all of the regional reps into the MSC.
Sarah has no one to blame but herself; less than two months into her first job in RD at the 2018 NORDP conference in D.C., Sarah attended the MSC business meeting with a list of suggestions for how to improve the conference experience for new members and first time attendees… only to be immediately dubbed the “New Member Liaison to Member Services” by the inimitable Kathy Cataneo.
Brooke received an email from Kay via the Southwest Region listserv asking if anyone was interested in being the Southwest Region’s Regional Representative. She responded that she was interested, and before she could blink, she was listed on the website as Regional Rep and a MSC member.
Now that you’re in charge, what goals do you have for Member Services? What would you like to accomplish as a committee in the near future?
Enhance responsiveness to member needs by soliciting regular feedback from members, taking action on that feedback, and anticipating and creating appropriate programming/actions for new members. Create a welcoming environment for new members.
That sounds like an ambitious set of goals… especially given that you’re doing this on top of your day jobs! Which begs the question: what are the benefits of volunteering your time to a committee like Member Services? What’s in it for you?
For Kay, serving as the MSC chair is an opportunity for her to give back to the organization that has given so much to her in her professional development journey. Sarah enjoys the many opportunities to develop her professional skillset and grow her network of friends and colleagues across the world. Brooke enjoys helping to continue NORDP’s development as an organization and ensuring that new and longtime members know that they are valued and have much to contribute to and receive from NORDP.
And last but not least, what would you say to encourage people to volunteer their time on the Member Services Committee?
Are you interested in learning more about the resources NORDP provides? Are you looking for ways to get more connected with NORDP? Ask the MSC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee
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.
As we close out the 2019 year, I want to thank you for your membership. NORDP’s strength is in our membership and your willingness to volunteer and share information. You make this organization one of the best gifts of the year.
Looking back on 2019, it has been a big year. Because of member volunteer efforts, we’ve hosted webinars, matched mentor and mentee pairs, strengthened alliances, provided diversity, equity, and inclusion training to leadership, awarded NORD grants, increased our membership to nearly 1000 members, and hosted our first-ever sold-out conference! And there are even more endeavors that have been accomplished that are too numerous to recount here. Congratulations to all of you on a successful year!
The organization also embarked on a formal strategic planning process that started with a membership survey we asked all of you to participate in in January (thank you for your participation). We followed up with member polls and conducted surveys with current and past leadership. Your Board of Directors met in September for two days and worked to create a strategic plan for the next three years. Since then we’ve been finalizing the plan and working on a budget that can operationalize the plan.
I am excited to announce that on Friday, January 10, 2020, from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST we will be announcing the outcome of the strategic planning session and the three-year strategic plan! We are really excited about it and looking forward to announcing it through a Zoom conference where we will be live and you can ask any questions. So, save the date! Call-in information will be sent out early that week. If you cannot attend, no worries! We will be recording it and posting more information on the website.
Thank you for your support and your trust in this Board as we embark on this journey together. I appreciate all of you as members, volunteers, past and current leaders, and research development professionals. I am excited to support all the great plans for 2020 and can’t wait to work with you all.
Karen, aka Fletch
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.
Annual Meeting Report: Special News Related to NIH Early Stage Investigators
Inês Tomás Pereira, Research Development and Support Specialist at Brown University’s Carney Institute for Brain Science, serves as a NORDP liaison to the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she has been a member for 15 years. She recently attended the SfN Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, and offers the following summary.
The SfN annual meeting typically gathers almost 30,000 people for a five-day conference covering all aspects of neuroscience, with hundreds of concurrent lectures, symposia, minisymposia, nanosymposia, posters sessions, and professional development workshops. This year’s conference was special because the Director of Pereira’s institute, Diane Lipscombe, was also the President of SfN.
The session most relevant for NORDP members was entitled “Optimize Your Grant Application: News You Can Use From the NIH.” This session was targeted at Early Stage Investigators (ESI) and included information that was useful broadly to all grant applicants and research development professionals. The first presentation included advice from a representative from the NIH Center for Scientific Review, explaining the review process at NIH generally.
A senior member of NIMH provided statistics for NIMH funding for FY19 ($1.87B for FY19) and stated that the institute expects a relative increase in appropriations for next year. The R61/R33 program was highlighted as a mechanism that is being used to fund novel interventions. In regard to funding priorities for the NIMH, suicide prevention continues to be a topic of interest. In addition, RD professionals can find upcoming concept clearances from NIMH Council meetings for RFAs, Pas, and RFPs here. Specifically for ESI, the institute highlighted their NIMH BRAINS initiative, which is similar to the NIH DP2 and DP5 awards.
NINDS staff presented next. This is the largest of the neuroscience-related NIH institutes, with a budget of $2.27B in FY19 (~60% R01, ~10% BRAIN Initiative). The institute has reported a decrease in funding of basic research, and their analysis indicates that there is a comparable decrease in applications in that area. They would like to see those numbers increase and strongly stated that NINDS research does not need to be disease related. The main special initiatives at the Institute continue to be the BRAIN Initiative, efforts in Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias research (partnering with NIA), and the new HEAL Initiative (with NIDA) to enhance pain management and improve treatments for opioid misuse and addiction. The strongest message to ESI was that the institute has a payline boost for ESI only for R01 mechanisms, not R21, R03 or U01 (or multi-PI proposals with a non-ESI PI). NINDS encourages early career researchers to apply through R01 mechanisms, highlighting that alignment with large initiatives may further help their funding chances.
The session continued with a presentation from the NIA. Their main focus in the neurosciences space is predictably in Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias. The NIA general payline is 20%-23% depending on funding mechanism, but it is 28%-31% for AD/ADRD topics. These have temporarily been reduced due to the continuing resolution that the NIH is operating under. The NIA then highlighted three new R03 small research grant calls in AD/ADRD: PAS-19-391, PAS-19-392, and PAS-19-393. Their strong message to ESI was to utilize all resources available. The NIH generally encourages researchers to contact institute personnel to ask questions about funding mechanisms and the fit of their research to the different Institutes.
The session closed with a presentation from a NIDA senior staff member. NIDA currently has a $1.4B budget, of which ~$264M is dedicated to AIDS research and ~$250M to opioid-related research. New institute interests focus on the effect of cannabis on the most vulnerable populations: prenatal, adolescents, and older adults. NIDA highlighted that different NIH institutes may fund different aspects of cannabis studies, so it is crucial to check with each agency to ensure that the proposal fits their mandates. Their opioid funding efforts are aggregated under the HEAL Initiative. Finally, NIDA highlighted the ABCD Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development program and emphasized that this is an open science effort, so data is available for further studies.
If anyone has any questions regarding SfN, the recent annual meeting, or if you are also a member of SfN and would like to connect Ines, send an email to email@example.com.
For NORDP’s Pacific Region VII, October 2019 marked the first regional conference occurring outside of the national annual conference. The event was hosted by the University of California, Davis on October 24th and 25th. The opportunity to meet regionally drew 75 participants from varied and diverse organizations of higher education, national laboratories, medical centers, research institutes, industry, and independent consultancies across the Western region.
The conference theme was “Leveraging Strengths in the West: Diversity, Excellence, and Partnership.” The Planning Subcommittee developed a two-day agenda focused on extending professional networks, establishing new partnerships, and sharing knowledge of best practices, processes, strategies within the research development (RD) field. Review session descriptions and contributing presenters within the event’s full agenda.
Keynote speaker, Mark Lagrimini, Vice Provost of Research and Extension, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, opened the meeting by embarking on a conversation highlighting the current federal funding trend, and how institutions in higher-education can position themselves to advance research efforts by making institutional investments into research enhancing activities, such as RD. A panel discussion, “Responding to Change: Sustaining Research Development in the Current and Future Funding Environment,” continued this conversation by looking at how research development can position institutions to respond to changing funding environments, and how RD offices implement sustainability best practices to help meet long-term operational goals. Day 1 also offered engaging presentation sessions on strategies for developing complex proposals, gathering competitive intelligence, professional development tactics to consider at each career stage, and strategies for coordinating large center grants. The day concluded with a tour of the UC Davis Manetti Shrem Museum and networking dinners setup around the presentation and breakout session topics planned for Day 2.
On Day 2, an opening panel session, “Seizing the Road Less Traveled: A Panel Discussion on Alternative Career Paths in Research Development,” introduced several alternative career paths for RD work outside the university setting. The panel was followed by interactive presentations, roundtables, or breakout sessions covering strategies for fostering research collaborations, cross-campus partnerships, creating a culture of grantsmanship at predominantly undergraduate and teaching institutions, creating workshops ideas for faculty and trainee proposal writers, building faculty and RD professional resilience, and using Airtable as a project management tool.
The agenda also included knowledge-sharing and networking beyond the meeting sessions. A lunch activity solicited insight from attendees on the best resources (books, websites, tools) used to facilitate RD work and build multidisciplinary teams. The event also allowed time for participants to engage and network with organizations actively recruiting during a Career Opportunities activity.
The conference closed with an open forum on how NORDP can continue to promote regional engagement throughout the year as well as capturing reflection thoughts on the conference’s timing, frequency, format, and setting. There is excitement to continue holding regional meetings, find other ways to connect, and begin planning what the region may want to build towards in the future.
The meeting’s regional setting introduced NORDP to 36 newcomers, nearly half of the attendees. The conference was an excellent venue for showcasing the benefits of NORDP while also giving face to names for those serving together on committees through NORDP. Sharon Franks, Senior Director, Research Proposal Development Service at University of California, San Diego commented, “It was a pleasure to hear from and meet so many new folks, as well as to reconnect with those who’d previously attended NORDP conferences.”
NORDP and the Pacific Region thanks all who attended the conference, and contributed to planning and delivering amazing sessions on both days. Thank you also to the members of the Planning Subcommittee, which consists of Crystal Botham, Stanford University; Vanity Campbell, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources; Susan Emerson, Oregon State University; Mike Gallo, University of California, Irvine; Sarah Messbauer, University of California, Davis; Monica Vidal, Stanford University.
Many NORDP members report finding our ‘tribe’ of likeminded individuals when we attend our first NORDP conference. This October, members of the NORDP Mentoring Committee found their second home at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Mentoring Institute’s Annual Conference. With the support of our home institutions, Kathy Partlow, Jan Abramson, and Etta Ward traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 21-25 and joined over 500 attendees that were similarly passionate about mentoring and the role it plays in our professional and personal development.
In a strategic effort to be part of and contribute to the national conversation around effective mentorship in higher education and other industries, several NORDP Mentoring Committee members (Partlow, Abramson, Ward, Scott Balderson, and Paula Carney) authored a peer-reviewed article that was accepted for publication in The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching  and presented at UNM’s Annual Mentoring Conference. The aim of the conference is to host a broad constituency, including divisions of higher education, academic researchers, educators, community leaders, administrators, non-profit partners, government agencies, and other professionals around best practices in mentorship and other related topics. The theme of this year’s conference was “towards the science of mentoring.” The conference provided an opportunity not only to showcase NORDP’s work on developing and evaluating Mentoring Program OnBoarding resources, but also to receive critical feedback from evaluation and assessment experts in this space.
From keynote speakers to the hundred plus presentations given by researchers, practitioners, and teachers from across the world, there were a number of trends and common themes throughout the weeklong conference. The Mentoring Committee, through the collective perspectives of over 30 committee members, was already intuitively pursuing these topics on behalf of the NORDP membership.
Mentoring Institute Theme
Related On-going NORDP Mentoring Committee Activity
Mentor across differences
Mentoring Committee (MC) members hosted a roundtable topic at last year’s NORDP conference on “The Value of Diversity and Inclusion in Mentoring.” The MC is collecting data from Mentoring Program participants to help identify the similarities and differences that contribute to a good match.
Develop a network of mentors
The MESHH Network tool in the OnBoarding Packet can help you identify your mentoring network, an important component of our professional development.
Move towards group mentoring
In 2019, the MC used the application survey to pilot our first cohort of Peer Mentor Groups (PMGs), supporting the concept of mentoring networks. The MC is developing resources to support the unique needs of these groups.
Mentees that have benefited from the Mentoring Program are encouraged to pay-it-forward. Are YOU ready to mentor? Check out this lighting talk from the 2019 conference on making the transition from mentee to mentor.
Use evaluation and assessment to “spiral up”
The MC uses surveys of NORDP Mentoring Program participants to enable continual improvement. Many of the MC priorities, activities, and resources developed come from participant feedback. The UNM Mentoring Conference presentation summarizes the evaluation of NORDP Mentoring Program OnBoarding resources.
The MC’s first peer-reviewed paper (pre-print version here) on “Evaluating Professional Society Mentoring Resources Designed to MESHH Matched Pairs” will be published in The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching.
Leave time for reflection
The MC is developing a new resource for the end of the program year (an ‘OffBoarding’ Packet) to help pairs reflect on the experience. This resource will be shared in Spring 2020.
Build a culture of mentoring
The MC’s vision is “as a leading research development organization, NORDP is recognized for a dynamic, sustainable culture of mentorship,” where collectively mentoring each other raises up the quality of us all.
Overall, the NORDP members in attendance at the Annual Mentoring Conference gained information, resources, and approaches that will be invaluable in strengthening mentoring programs and services for NORDP and at our own institutions. At the same time, it was reaffirming to see how well the NORDP Mentoring Committee activities align with common themes and emerging trends as UNM’s Mentoring Institute works to move the field “towards the science of mentoring.”
Have thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with the Mentoring Committee? Interested in becoming involved? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Partlow, K., Abramson, J., Balderson, C.S., Carney, P. & Ward, E (2019). Evaluating Professional Society Mentoring Resources Designed to MESHH Matched Pairs. In Dominguez, N., Neder, C.M., & Zaman, S. (Eds.). 12th annual mentoring conference proceedings (2nd ed.): Towards the science of mentoring [Special Issue 12]. The Chronicle of Mentoring and Coaching, 2(2).