Conference Cameo: Sherry Knighton-Schwandt

Who: Sherry Knighton-Schwandt, Assistant Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington and Executive Director for Research Development for IU
Where: Indiana University
Number of years in research development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: 5
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
How do you unwind? Gardening, bird watching, cooking, traveling, and spending time with my husband, friends, children and grandchildren. Truth be told, I also binge watch the BBC series, “Call the Midwife.”

My route to research development has been circuitous. After 12+ years of working in administration, student recruitment and public affairs for the IU School of Education at Bloomington, I found my way to the IU Office of the Vice President for Research as a lead for communications and special projects. That role quickly led to deepening engagement with IU Bloomington’s and IU’s internal and external funding competitions, and my research development career began.92

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to lead the development and creation of IU Bloomington’s Proposal Development Services group, which consults and collaborates with researchers to help plan, prepare, and manage applications for external funding. I also continuously oversee more than two-dozen campus research centers, institutes, and museums that often play a role in collaborating with faculty on grants.

I’ve also had the excitement of being involved in the inception and implementation of two large-scale grant programs that have generated myriad research development benefits (and challenges!) to the university: IU’s Grand Challenges program (three initiatives, a total of $200+ million in funding) and IU Bloomington’s Emerging Areas of Research program (five initiatives, ~$20 million in funding).

In 2019, my responsibilities in research development expanded to encompass all of IU’s seven campuses, and I am currently engaged in strengthening relationships among all of the IU staff involved in research development activities and collaborating with them to create a strategic plan that focuses on how IU can refine and expand our research development activities and the ways we support IU faculty. I have the utmost privilege of working with super smart and dedicated staff who work tirelessly to advance the university’s research goals. As with all successful endeavors, it takes a committed and enthusiastic team working towards the same goals.

As the concept of research development has emerged in recent years, in large part due to the work of NORDP, I’ve been pleased to attend several NORDP conferences. The information, education, and networking provided by the conferences has been invaluable. I’ve learned so much about how to build and strengthen our university’s research development resources, and I look forward to learning more this year! I’m also excited that in October 2020, IU Research Development will host the NORDP Great Lakes Regional Conference at IU Bloomington.

My NORDP tip is, if possible, bring colleagues with you to the conference. There is much to do and absorb. Strategize about who will attend what sessions, and make sure to compare notes. Above all, take advantage of the like-minded professionals gathered together, and enjoy yourself!

_____________________________________________________________________

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 http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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.

Soliciting Member Feedback on Simplifying NIH Review Criteria

NORDP is soliciting member feedback on simplifying NIH review criteria in an effort to answer Bruce Reed, Deputy Director at NIH’s question: How might review criteria be modified to obtain the best evaluations of scientific merit?

NORDP’s mission is to advance the global capacity for and impact of research by strengthening the practice and profession of research development. In an effort to do just that, NORDP, as an organization representing research development, will be responding to NIH’s call for input on simplifying NIH review criteria. You can read more about it here.

Please submit any feedback you might have to president@nordp.org by Friday, March 13th so that we can compile the responses and submit a group NORDP response to NIH.

Thank you,
Karen “Fletch” Fletcher
NORDP President

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.

Find Time To Mentor: Applications are now open for the NORDP Mentoring Program!

The Mentoring Program is an opportunity to enhance your skills by interacting with other research development professionals. Every year, there is a high need for mentors – and YOU have wisdom to share! Consider becoming a mentor (and, you can be a mentee as well). The Mentoring Committee has developed an OnBoarding Packet, Closure Tools, archived webinars, and a set of FAQs. A facilitator team available to support you, and will be in touch several times throughout the year. Mentors are never alone…. We support each other, as we support the profession.

Mentoring is an investment in yourself, and in the future of NORDP. AND mentoring takes time. Where and how do you add the time into an already busy schedule?

  1. Make the commitment: Why are you mentoring? Commit to your reason, rather than your mentee.
  2. Recognize that for every hour with your mentee, you might have 30 minutes of pre- or postmeeting work. Mentoring is active. Come prepared for meetings, follow up with anything you’ve committed to do.
  3. Set a specific time: Find a day and time that works for you and your mentee. Get it on the calendar, and be respectful of the time. Thirty to 45-minutes might be ideal.
  4. Define your goals: Mentors and mentees can have separate goals and there could be a goal for the mentoring relationship. Use SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.
  5. Be honest: If your commitment in the mentoring relationship is beginning to wane, there is a chance that you will push it farther down on your list of priorities. If this happens, reach out to a facilitator. They can help you figure out what changes can be made to ensure that the mentoring relationship remains a priority.
  6. Be realistic: Figure out what works. Meeting every other week might feel like too often; meeting once a month might be too long between meetings. Be fluid and flexible until you find a meeting schedule that is just right.

All NORDP members can apply here to be mentors, mentees, or join a Peer Mentoring Group. (or all three!) The deadline for applications is Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Individual Mentor/Mentee matches and Peer Mentor Groups will be notified prior to the 2020 NORDP Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas (May 17-20).

Need more information? Check out the NORDP Mentoring Committee webpages, or email: MentorProgram@nordp.org.

Hotel Options for NORDP 2020

The Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort has begun to fill up. Please check the Hyatt’s availability for the nights you’ll be spending in San Antonio to potentially take advantage of our special discounted conference rate. Book your room with the NORDP-specific hotel reservation link HEREThe discounted rates for the 2020 NORDP Conference are on a first-come, first-serve basis through April 24, 2020.

There are three hotels that are a two-minute drive from the Hyatt Regency listed below and on the NORDP website HERE. Call for rates and availability.

Hilton San Antonio Hill Country
9800 Westover Hills Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78251
Ph. 210.509.9800

TownePlace Suites by Marriott
10015 Westover Hills Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78521
Ph. 210.520.0441

Staybridge Suites San Antonio Sea World
10919 Town Center Drive
San Antonio, TX 78251
Ph. 210.767.1100

_____________________________________________________________________

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. For more information about the conference or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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.

Conference Cameo: Carlos Garcia

Who: Carlos Garcia, Director, Research Development & Infrastructure
Where: William Marsh Rice University
Number of years in research development: 9
Length of NORDP membership: 7
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 5
How do you unwind? Reading a good book

My work in research development started when I worked in the Rice University Smalley-Curl Institute, formerly known as the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. We started working with the DOD and other state universities to build a program in the State of Texas. The program was called Strategic Partnership In Nanotechnology (SPRING) and brought in over $30M in research equipment to Texas.

2019 O-Week FunThereafter, I moved to the Office of Research and settled into my new role as Director of Research, Development, and Infrastructure. In this role, I oversee the Interdisciplinary Research Support Office (IRSO), which is designed to support the development of proposals and the administration of large and strategic projects. IRSO partners with the Office of Proposal Development and other internal departments to submit complex interdisciplinary proposals. Through IRSO, I oversee a number of university centers and institutes. I work in consultation with faculty, department heads, deans, and research center and institute directors to determine the level of support necessary for each proposal or project. We provide strategic planning and administrative support beginning in the startup and continuing through the execution and sunset phase of interdisciplinary projects. We also offer comprehensive pre- and post-award support for these centers and institutes, and coordinate all of our support activities with research administrators and financial officers across campus, including those in Research Accounting, the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance, and the Controller’s Office. In addition to these responsibilities, I oversee the Rice Office of STEM Engagement, Evaluation and Assessment, the Shared Equipment Authority, the Research Support Shop, and the Animal Resource Facility.

When I started this new position, there were no guidelines or predecessors to ask about my duties. A year into my job, I discovered NORPD. It was a relief to know there were others like me!

Since my first meeting, I’ve been able to find support in the vast network NORDP provides. The Southwest local region has also been very beneficial. I would encourage you, if your time allows, to make sure you attend your local chapter. This is especially important if you are new in this profession. You will be surprised how eager and ready this group is to help you. At one of the NORDP meetings, we realized that there was an extraordinary number of members from Houston and from the Texas Medical Center in particular; we started getting together every couple of months for lunch to talk about our roles and challenges, and to offer suggestions to one another on how to meet those challenges.

_____________________________________________________________________

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 http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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.

A Message to NORDP 2020 Conference Attendees

Dear NORDP members,

We are excited about the NORDP 2020 Annual Research Development Conference in San Antonio, TX, May 17-20, 2020.

We want to assure you that we are closely following announcements about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

At this time, we do not expect the conference to be affected by this coronavirus, and the CDC has not issued guidance or precautions about traveling within the U.S. or limiting public gatherings anywhere in the country.

We will, of course, continue to monitor public health guidance, and we will be in touch promptly should developments occur that require further updates.

Sincerely,

Karen Fletcher

NORDP President

Conference Cameo: Carolyn Bernhardt

Who: Carolyn Bernhardt, editor/writer
Where: University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
Number of years in research development: I’m just starting out
Length of NORDP membership: New member
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2020 will be my first one!
How do you unwind? By staying active, especially on, in, or near water

So, I am actually not a research development professional. At least, not on paper. But isn’t everyone who works in higher education there because they believe in the power of research?OV6A0781F_sq

I have been in higher education communications for the last four years, but have more recently begun to focus much of my efforts toward helping our faculty and staff researchers feel confident and competent when interfacing with the media about their research. I also work to help our researchers take the next step into leveraging their media relations to drive more citations of their research, open up new networking and collaboration opportunities, entice new funding agencies, bolster relationships with existing funding partners, and recruit graduate student talent. I am so looking forward to my very first NORDP because I am interested in learning more about how the work I do lends itself to research development, and learning more about the field of research development as a whole.

My background is in editorial work. I received my BA in English literature and film studies from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. Then, I started my professional career in children’s’ books. I have written, edited, and fact checked numerous titles for the library/education market. It was through this work that I not only crammed my brain full of so much random information that I became a pub trivia champion many times over, but also came to believe that, since science impacts everyone, everyone deserves access to understanding even the most complex science. To this day, I remain passionate about effectively communicating complex earth, health, and animal science to the broadest audience possible. So much so that, in addition to my current day job, I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Science Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

Currently, I am the managing editor of our college’s donor and alumni magazine, Profiles. I have worked hard to weave research into the fabric of the stories we tell as much as possible because I think if our donors, alumni, and legislatures should be consistently reminded that our research is what sets us apart. Plus, I get paid to hear people tell me their story and I work with some of the most fascinating people on the planet — it’s a pretty sweet deal, as far as I am concerned. Some of the coolest things I have written about in my career include moose, Gila monsters, racehorses, owls… and the brilliant, passionate people who keep them healthy.

I am attending this year’s NORDP to learn how my efforts can work hand-in-hand with research development professionals to help support leading edge research and its impact on humans, animals, and the world we share. I am especially looking forward to meeting new people, seeing San Antonio, and gathering new ideas for communicating about research. Communications conferences can be full of great pointers and practices, but I want to more specifically explore the relationship between communications and research. I look forward to doing just that in a few short weeks!

_____________________________________________________________________

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 http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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.

Conference Cameo: Kathy Partlow

Who: Kathy Partlow, Senior Proposal Development Coordinator
Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Number of years in research development: 8
Length of NORDP membership: 8
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 8
How do you unwind? I enjoy escaping into a good book.

Given my love of books, I wanted to share my NORDP conference experience and advice with help from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.KCP2

“Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

If you’ve decided to go to the annual NORDP conference or are contemplating it, I can tell you that it is a great place to be! I heard about NORDP when I was exploring RD as a potential career path. I had the advantage of being a member of NORDP and attending the annual conferences from the very beginning. I discovered at my first conference and every conference since that the NORDP community is friendly, and extremely willing to give advice and share resources.

“When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”

Are you looking for a better or more efficient way to do an RD task? Have you exhausted your ideas? Are you feeling siloed or isolated? I give you the NORDP annual conference. There is no better way to get your creative juices flowing. I have always left the conference with so many ideas that the harder part is deciding which ones I have time to pursue. I find myself regularly referring to past conference presentations and materials when I discover myself in uncharted territories.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Two challenges I face at NORDP conferences are choosing the sessions to attend (there are so many!) and networking. I benefited last year from trying out each of the session types. Each offers different depths of content and different ways to receive and share information. For fellow introverts, I’ve found easy ways to meet people include introducing myself at a lunch table, conversing at a round table, asking a few people about their Idea Showcase posters, and attending a networking dinner. One of the most lasting benefits I’ve received from attending the NORDP conferences is developing relationships with colleagues from other institutions. You can also continue networking beyond the conference by getting involved with a NORDP committee (the very last meeting on Wednesday) or participating in other ongoing activities, like the Mentoring Program, Circles, and Peer Mentoring Groups.

“You’re off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”

My last advice as you prepare to get on your way is to protect the time you have at NORDP to invest in yourself. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

_____________________________________________________________________

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 http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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.

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 http://www.nordp.org/conferences. 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.

New NORDP Affinity Groups

Announcing two thematic Affinity Groups: the Academic Medicine/Affiliate Medical Center Group of NORDP (AMC NORDP) and the Predominately Undergraduate Institutions of NORDP (PUI NORDP)

NORDP is proud to provide ways for members to share ideas and support each other as Research Development professionals. One of these ways is through our thematic “Affinity” Groups.

The Academic Medicine/Affiliate Medical Center Group of NORDP – AMC NORDP is our newest such group to engage research development professionals and researchers from diverse institutions with a medical component. This group provides professional development opportunities unique for RD staff working with biomedical researchers, clinician-researchers, and clinician-educators in an academic medicine or affiliated medical center setting and facilitates collaboration among these RD professionals and researchers. Any Active NORDP Member who is interested in or works with/in an academic medicine or AMC is eligible to become an AMC NORDP member. To get involved, contact Heather McIntosh at heather-mcintosh@ouhsc.edu.

The Predominately Undergraduate Institutions of NORDPPUI NORDP supports the professional development of NORDP members from Predominately Undergraduate Institutions and other small, teaching-intensive institutions by fostering collaboration between and among NORDP PUI members and advancing the field of research development at PUIs and other similar institutional contexts.  Many RD professionals in small institutional settings are likely to fulfill many roles beyond RD and work in offices of one or few staff members. PUI NORDP aims to provide professional development support to members who may not have access to such opportunities at their institutions. Any active NORDP member interested in or working at or with a PUI or other small, teaching-intensive institution is eligible to become a PUI NORDP member. To get involved, contact Jennifer Glass at jglass5@emich.edu.

Cheers,

Karen, aka Fletch
NORDP President

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.