Mentoring — Make it yours

Byline: Susan Carter, Jan Abramson

During January, the Mentoring Committee leveraged National Mentoring Month to share information about the many ways to get involved with mentoring. As Mentoring Month comes to a close, Susan Carter and Jan Abramson, NORDP Fellows and the inaugural recipients of NORDP’s Mentoring Award, share some thoughts.

Mentoring broadens perspectives,; establishes connections, and grows relationships. It’s a way to meet new people, learn new skills, and refine your own. Mentoring opens doors, and takes you places you might never have imagined. And, it is fun!

Susan reflects, “When I look back on my career in research development, one of the best professional steps I ever took was to engage with the Mentoring Committee and to become a mentor, both formally through the NORDP Mentor Program, and informally to others in RD. The time I spend mentoring really is fun, but most importantly, I have learned much more than I ever imagined I would. One definitely gets back more than one gives, which has been a huge benefit of being involved in mentoring. There is always someone I can call on when I need a new perspective, advice, or even just a friendly voice or face on Zoom for a bit of venting. Moreover, many of my mentees have become wonderful collaborators as well as great friends: we’ve built new ideas and new programs together.”

Jan shares, “the Mentoring Committee was my first step into NORDP, and mentoring continues to be a foundation of my life. Although I have retired, my connections stay strong, and I continue to #PayItForward. My world is richer thanks to the many relationships I have formed over the years. My intent is to nurture and celebrate connections — new and established. I’m thankful for my mentors, my mentees, and those who are peer mentors. I am who I am, because you touched my life.”

The Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP members, and we encourage you to get involved. Join a Peer Mentoring Group (open year round), register to participate in the 1- on- 1 or cohort-based mentoring program (applications open annually in the spring), join the Mentoring Committee, and be open to mentoring opportunities.

Mentoring is what you make it… Make it yours.

#MentorOn and #PayItForward

NORDP’s Strategic Alliances Committee Supports Fulbright Specialist and Fulbright Scholar Opportunities

As you consider new RD opportunities this year, members of the Strategic Alliances Committee (SAC) offer their support for the Fulbright Specialist and Fulbright Scholar opportunities, such as the short-term International Education Administrators Award (IEAA).

The Fulbright Specialist program sends US academic professionals abroad to serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning, and related subjects at academic institutions for a period of two to six weeks. The Fulbright Scholar IEAAs are two-week seminars hosted by the Fulbright Commissions in particular countries for higher education professionals to exchange their professions’ best practices with their counterparts abroad.

SAC hosted a webinar on the Fulbright Specialist program in 2022 covering its applicability to RD professional development and its application and selection processes. Fulbright Specialist applications are reviewed every other month.

“If qualified, you’re added to a list, and interested countries can use that to select their chosen specialist,” Kotay explains. “To facilitate the process, it helps to identify the university you’re interested in visiting and research its needs. SAC members can help you with both the proposal development and how to establish connections. Then, when the university makes its application to host a Fulbright Specialist, it can name you, specifically.”

Kotay and Peggy Sundermeyer, Partner, ORG Transitions and a charter member of SAC, are willing to coach NORDP members who might want to explore these Fulbright opportunities. Sundermeyer says she’s motivated by the benefits that Fulbright can bring to the individual, their institution, their host institution, and the broader global research enterprise.

Selected in 2022 for the Fulbright Scholar IEAA in Germany, Kotay networked with German higher education administrators, shared best practices in RD, and learned about the German education system with a focus on the challenges of internationalization in times of crisis.

Fulbright IEAAs offer opportunities to RD professionals to enhance the internalization efforts of their work and share RD best practices that are often practiced differently outside the US.

“What one brings back to their institution is a stronger awareness of how to build partnerships for a variety of educational and research initiatives, plus the prestige of being a Fulbright Scholar,” Kotay says.

Led by the US government in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide, the broader Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.

“These Fulbright opportunities can facilitate global research, better understand resource allocation in other countries, and foster excellent career development opportunities,” Sundermeyer says.

A copy of  SAC’s Fulbright Specialist webinar is available in the members-only section of the NORDP website here.

More information about the Fulbright Specialist Program can be found here.

More information about the Fulbright Scholar International Education Administrators Award can be found here.

To explore Fulbright opportunities unique to your situation, send an email to and/or

New NSF Support Awarded As Six Additional Members Join the NORDP Consultant Program

The NORDP Consultant Program is dedicated to increasing the diversity of our national research ecosystem by providing research development services to minority-serving and emerging research institutions at no cost to the institution.

With the support of Eric and Wendy Schmidt via recommendation of the Schmidt Futures program, NORDP launched the NORDP Consultant Pilot Program in summer of 2021 to grow research capacity and competitiveness within HBCUs by increasing institutional capacity for research development. Camille Coley, Marta Collier-Youngblood, Jacob Levin, Mike Marcinkowski, LeKita Scott Dawkins, Michael Spires, Peggy Sundermeyer, Barbara Walker, and John Quyen Wickham comprise the group of NORDP Consultants working in the pilot program. 

In December 2022, the NSF Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate awarded NORDP, Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), and Spelman College resources to support the ideation and proposal development process for the Enabling Partnerships to Increase Innovation Capacity (EPIIC) program. Alongside these partners, NORDP Consultants will provide proposal development support and feedback on proposals being prepared in response to the solicitation.

At the same time, the NORDP Consultant Program added six new members to its ranks:

Michelle Collins

Michelle Collins: As the Director of Grant Process Operations for the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Michelle oversees the proposal submission and review processes for the Center’s grant programs and provides pre-award support to the applicant community. She has nearly 15 years of experience in research development, grant administration, and program management, including positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the Research Administrator for the Department of Surgery and the Managing Director for the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center. Michelle is also certified as a Research Administrator (CRA) and Pre-Award Research Administrator (CPRA) by the Research Administrators Certification Council.

Holly Hapke

Holly Hapke: Holly is a geographer and broadly trained interdisciplinary social scientist with over 25 years of experience in academic research, teaching, program and curriculum development, grants and research development, and higher education administration. She served as a tenured faculty member and Associate Dean at East Carolina University, and as Program Director at the NSF, where she co-managed multiple programs and worked on diversity initiatives. Currently, she is the inaugural Director of Research Development at the University of California Irvine, where she has supported the development and submission of over $100 million in grant proposals. She co-leads the NSF-funded California Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Social Science Advancement (CAHSSA) and is a founding member of INSciTS and NSF’s Growing Convergence Research College of Reviewers.

Dorota Huizinga

Dorota Huizinga: Dorota has over 14 years of experience in research administration and currently serves as the Associate Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). She is also a Principal Investigator on an NIH research capacity building grant (SPAD) awarded to CSUSB to help streamline the university’s sponsored programs infrastructure, support the Office of Research Development (ORD), and increase the diversity of faculty and students engaged in research. In her administrative positions, Dorota secured over $4.5M in capacity-building grants to support faculty and student success and various DEI initiatives. She has also established a new ORD and hired its first faculty director at multiple campuses and developed successful programs and supports to increase the number of faculty engaged in grant-seeking and the volume of sponsored programs.

Sobha Jaishankar

Sobha Jaishankar: Sobha has over 14 years of experience in research administration and currently oversees the functions of the Research Development division within UF Research. She established guidelines and SOPs for the different programs under the broad research development umbrella, including internal seed funding, limited submissions, faculty honorifics, large proposal development, faculty coaching, and the evaluation of centers and institutes. Sobha is also responsible for managing the Florida Space Institute’s Space Research Initiative at the University of Florida and the UF portion of the Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Grants Program. From FY 2014-FY 21, Research Development, under Sobha’s leadership, has assisted UF faculty in obtaining $142M in federal funding and provided assistance for another $529M in budget requests on unfunded proposals.

Don Takehara

Donald Takehara: Don is the Director for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering, where he supports faculty in establishing funded research and partnerships with government agencies, foundations, and corporations. He is also responsible for Faculty Development and is a certified coach assisting faculty in career and leadership development. Previously, Don was the Director of the Center for Research & Innovation and Associate Professor at Taylor University for 9 years, where he had responsibility for research development, sponsored programs, tech transfer, business incubation, and corporate sponsored research. He has a background in chemical reaction engineering and catalysis and has led the evaluation and development of process and product technology in silicone technology, biotechnology, and electronics. Don has a PhD and MS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

Jana Watson-Capps

Jana Watson-Capps: Jana is an independent consultant who helps companies, universities, and non-profits with research development, strategic planning, and coalition building within the interdisciplinary life sciences. She has experience and strengths in research development, process development, interdisciplinary science and education, academic-industry partnerships, strategic planning, large-team management, multi-stakeholder project leadership, communicating science, grant writing, grants coaching, fundraising, and building research communities. Jana has been working full-time as an independent consultant for the past four years, and previously spent over seven years at the University of Colorado BioFrontiers Institute as Associate Director, Chief of Staff, and Head of Strategy. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from Georgetown University and her B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

“I am excited to welcome our new NORDP Consultants and thrilled to be able to expand the NORDP Consultant Program with support from NSF,” said Dr. Kimberly Eck, NORDP Consultant Program Director, former NORDP President, and Associate Vice President at Emory University, “NORDP’s collaborations with the NSF TIP Directorate, ARIS, Spelman College, and Know Innovation on the EPIIC program is a new, experimental approach that has the potential to catalyze a paradigm shift in how institutions obtain federal funding.”

Recipe for Success on Mentoring

By the NORDP Mentoring Committee Leadership Team
Jan Abramson, Angela Jordan, Elizabeth Lathrop, Hilda McMackin, Kathy Partlow

January 2023 marks a new chapter in a super busy post-Covid time for research development professionals. Whether you are re-adjusting to in-person or hybrid norms, you can enjoy some of our favorite holiday recipes shared at the Mentoring Committee’s virtual holiday party held in December.

We also invite you to join the Mentoring Committee Open House Thursday, January 19 at 2 pm Eastern by emailing to receive a zoom link — everyone is welcome!

Illustrated image that shows three people adding vegetable ingredients to a giant cooking pot.

Recipe for Success on Mentoring


Desire to Connect
Shared RD Experience
Be Present to Lend Support
Active Listening
Protected Time
WisdomShare Learning Library Resources


  1. Begin your “dish” by signing up for the NORDP Mentoring Program in May.
  2. Select recipe options: the One-To-One Dyad or the Cohort Mentoring.
  3. Preheat the oven via the program kick-off and orientation in June.
  4. Regular check-ins with your Mentor/Mentee(s) is the secret sauce that makes learning palatable and delicious!
  5. Marinate the mentoring flavors by attending the regularly-scheduled McHuddles and connecting with other Mentors and Mentees.
  6. Generously sprinkle any and all spices from the Peer Mentoring Groups or PMGs brought to you by NORDP members and accessible anytime on the WisdomShare platform.
  7. Last but not the least, you can fine-tune your culinary skills by attending the NORDP Mentor Training Workshops — the Jan/Feb sessions are currently full but keep an eye out for additional offerings in 2023.

Best served with #ICARE and #PayItForward!

A New Year’s Resolution for Mentors: Register for CIMER Mentor Training for RD Professionals

by: Paula Carney

Mentor Training for Research Development Professionals – Registration Open for January/February 2023 Workshop Series;

Are you a mentor? A mentee? Do you find yourself formally or informally mentoring staff or faculty? Are you ready to explore mentoring competencies that can be utilized across the work of research development (RD)? This interactive webinar series covers the 9-module Entering Mentoring curriculum, initially developed for mentoring researchers and tailored for RD professionals. A recent webinar series attendee commented:

“EXCELLENT training! The ideas presented are very applicable both to mentoring both within the research development profession and elsewhere in the research enterprise — the things I have learned and practiced in this course are incredibly valuable to me as I provide mentoring to faculty, particularly early stage investigators and junior faculty, in the area of grantsmanship.”

recent participant

Using evidence-based strategies, participants will build upon competencies crucial to the success of the mentoring relationship and expand mentor training across the research enterprise. Participants who complete the entire curriculum will receive a certificate of completion. The curriculum results from an association between the NORDP Mentoring committee and the University of Wisconsin Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) in collaboration with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), organizations involved in developing and validating the original curriculum. RD professionals at all levels of mentoring will explore how mentoring (shown to improve career outcomes, impact employee engagement and retention, and lead to more inclusive work environments) can benefit mentors and mentees in RD.

This webinar series will be presented and facilitated by the NORDP Mentoring Committee. There are six certified CIMER Trained Facilitators, and two Trained Facilitators on the Mentoring Committee.

Webinar Schedule:

Two sessions are scheduled each week: Interactive Workshop Sessions will be held on 5 Tuesdays (January 31–February 28, 2023; (2-hours) 2–4 pm EST/11 am–1 pm PST) with an application and reflection session on Thursdays (February 2–March 2, 2023; (1-hour) 2–3 pm EST/11 am–1 pm PST.

Register TODAY for the webinar series (30 participant limit). Please register to receive login information for all workshop sessions.

Registration: National Organization of Research Development Professionals ( Training for Research Development Professionals

If this series doesn’t fit in your schedule, share your scheduling preferences to help us plan for future Mentor Training by completing a survey of your preferences.

Questions? Contact us at

January is National Mentoring Month

Written by the NORDP Mentoring Committee

The Mentoring Committee invites every NORDP member to celebrate National Mentoring Month January 1 – 31. 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 who have supported you along your path.

This images has a gradient background of yellows, soft pink and orange. A text heading says, "January is National Mentoring Month." There are hashtags near the bottom of the image meant to inspire readers to use and follow on social media. The hashtags include: #MentorOn, #Mentoring, #ResearchDevelopment, #PayItForward, #NORDPMentoringMatters, #MentoringAmplifies, and #MentoringMonth.

National Mentoring Month, in addition to the early summer months, is a time of year where engagement from NORDP members interested in becoming a mentor increases. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging you to go beyond digital engagement and become involved in real life. Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made, sustained, and invested in.

Watch social media and engage in conversation on mentoring (using #NORDPMentoringMatters and #MentoringMonth), take time to listen to a podcast or two (The Science of Mentorship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is a great listen), or explore the NORDP Wisdom Share Learning Library (register here if you don’t have an account in Wisdom Share). Here are some dates to make note of:

January 7 — I am a Mentor Day — own it!

January 17 — International Mentoring Day — #MentoringAmplifies support around the world

January 21 — Thank Your Mentor Day — share your story to inspire

Also explore some offerings from the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).

The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is an NIH grant-funded initiative whose entire purpose is to diversify the STEM workforce by providing researchers across all career stages in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences field with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming that emphasizes the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity, and culture. Their program achieves that through mentorship, networking, and professional development through their online networking platform, MyNRMN, which has over 21,000 mentors and mentees.

How to Leverage the NRMN Network Webinar Series (Monthly Series) – Jan. 17 at 11am CST. Register here:

The NORDP Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP Members. The Mentoring Committee strives to provide resources and support for all NORDP Members interested in mentorship. To do this, the committee leverages national partnership and engages in a variety of scholarly activities. Members supporting members as mentors, mentees, or as part of a peer mentoring or learning group, making NORDP and the profession of research development a stronger community!

Applications will open in the spring for the 1:1 or the Cohort Mentoring Program. Peer Mentoring Groups are also available to join any time, and we invite you to start 2023 by joining and exploring opportunities within the Mentoring Committee. For more information, email the Mentoring Committee and a member of the Leadership Team will respond!

Happy New Year!

Reflections: Cohort Mentoring Group

The 2022-23 Mentoring Program started in July, with a new pilot cohort mentoring program. The Cohort Mentoring Group consists of matching three mentees with similar interests with one shared mentor based on the WisdomShare matching algorithm. The Mentoring Committee caught up with a mentoring cohort and in this post, mentor Kate Bullard and her mentees, Kelsey Haasevoort, Josh Tychonievich, Hayley Bohall share their reflections. 

Dr. Kate Bullard, who serves as the mentor in the cohort, is a Senior Research Program Development Officer in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Lehigh University. She manages limited submissions, internal seed funding and research development for the University. Additionally, she works with the Vice Provost on strategic initiatives to improve the research environment at the University. 

Dr. Kelsey Hassevoort is a research development manager and leader of the Community-Academic Partnerships Core in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She facilitates new research initiatives and supports community-academic partnerships in health. She also works with Illinois Extension and other campus partners to develop and coordinate collaborations between undergraduate and graduate scholars and community organizations.

Hayley Bohall is the Assistant Director of Research Development within Knowledge Enterprise at Arizona State University.  Research Development (RD) works with research faculty, staff, and leaders to improve funding success and grow the research enterprise. RD seeks to empower and embolden every faculty, staff, and student member of ASU to increase their competitive edge in support of the expanding quality and quantity of the research enterprise. Hayley’s primary responsibility is to support and manage limited submissions, internal grant competitions, and nominations to various federal and non-federal agencies. She interacts with faculty and staff across disciplines to provide research development support and provides solutions to issues associated with sponsored projects. 

Josh Tychonievich is Research Development Program Director at the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame. Josh provides research development and project management support for the arts, humanities, and social sciences, with a primary focus on helping faculty in the College of Arts and Letters develop, fund, and realize their research agendas.

Q1: What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2022-23 NORDP Mentoring Program? Why did you choose the cohort mentoring model?

A: Mentor Kate: I hoped that I could share some of what I’ve learned over the years. I came to research development after doing other things so I hoped that some of that life experience could be useful. The cohort model wasn’t one I explicitly chose but I am enjoying it! 

A: Mentee Kelsey: I have participated in the NORDP mentoring program as a mentee for the last two years, but made the decision this year that I was ready to step into a mentor role. However, I was still looking for some support in the mentoring space so when I saw the cohort model, I thought it would be a perfect fit!

Q2: Have you participated in a 1:1 mentoring model before? How has this experience been different or similar?

A: Mentor Kate: I have participated in 1:1 mentoring before and in many ways it is similar. It is a chance for the mentee to take stock of where they are professionally and think through their goals. Obviously with a group there is less time for each mentee but there is also the chance to learn from each other. 

A: Mentee Josh: I convene the Communications Peer Mentoring Group for NORDP, but aside from that, this cohort is my first mentoring experience. I find that I benefit not only from the advice of the designated mentor but also from the perspectives of my fellow mentees.

Q3: What was your favorite part about this cohort mentoring model? 

A: Mentor Kate: It takes the pressure off of me! Seriously I’ve learned from the mentees in the cohort and they are absolutely learning from each other. It is a really good support group. 

A: Mentee Hayley: Multiple perspectives. One of the primary purposes of a mentoring program is to hear and learn from someone else’s experiences. In this cohort model, not only am I learning from and encouraged by my mentor but also my fellow mentees, who each bring their unique RD background.

Q4: How has participation in the Mentoring Program helped broaden your horizons about Research Development in general and/or affected your daily work in particular? 

A: Mentor Kate: I am more intentional about mentoring my direct report and encouraging her to seek out additional mentors.

A: Mentee Kelsey: Participating in the mentoring program has really broadened my network with NORDP and helped me think about how I want to navigate my career. Now that I’ve experienced being a mentor and a mentee, it’s clear that the learning goes both ways. One thing I love about the cohort mentoring model is that you get to learn not only from your mentor, but from your fellow mentees! Having those additional perspectives allows for a much richer conversation and I find I leave each meeting with actionable advice that informs the way I work.

Q5: What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?  

A: Mentor Kate: For me the preparation it takes for each meeting. I absolutely enjoy them but I also have to make sure to block a bit of time to prepare for each one. In part this is because I want to ensure each member of the cohort gets time and space in the hour a month. 

A: Mentee Josh: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how beneficial the mentoring program has been. I’ve already made good use of the suggestions offered by my mentor and fellow mentees. They’ve made me a more effective RD professional. I look forward to our meetings each month!

Q6: Any words of wisdom or encouragement for those wanting to apply next year? Any other thoughts you would like to share?  

A: Mentor Kate: As a mentor or mentee you will definitely benefit! It really is not a huge amount of time per month and it pays dividends well beyond the investment.

A: Mentee Hayley: Don’t hesitate to apply. The cohort model takes some of the pressure off the mentee and has allowed me to enjoy the time we spend together, and I look forward to our meetings. In these first few months, I have already seen my RD career from a new perspective.  

The 2022-23 NORDP Mentoring Program is now in full swing! Applications for the 2023-24 cycle will open in the spring, keep an eye out for emails from the NORDP listserv. Additional mentoring opportunities are available through the Peer Mentoring Groups that are open for participation throughout the year via the WisdomShare platform.

Investment in mentoring is an investment in you. As the new year approaches, we encourage everyone to resolve to invest in themselves next year!

NORDP Award Highlights Innovation

At the 2022 NORDP Annual Conference, a group of NORDP members were recognized with the 2022 NORDP Innovation Award for their contributions to the research development profession. Before 2022 comes to a close, we celebrate their work that resulted in a valuable resource for research development organizations and individuals: the NORDP Resource for Organizing and ADapting a Training Program toward Developing an RD career (NROAD to RD).

An image of an empty, straight roadway stretching forward. The road is bordered by deciduous trees lit by low, golden sunlight. Beyond the trees on both sides of the road are large, flat farm fields. The photo has.a sense of possibility, hope, and forward progress.
Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

NROAD to RD was designed to help RD professionals and offices develop internship and training programs to expand the RD community. It brought together representation from each NORDP committee and used crowd-sourcing to identify materials;

Easy to access at, the program provides a framework and growing library of resources. RD offices can access modules and add additional components to create a program relevant to their individual office and institution. While originally developed as an internship/training tool, NROAD to RD serves as an innovative tool that can be adapted for training or onboarding new RD members, or even for professional development. It has already been accessed and used by more than 150 members.

The effort was chaired by Samarpita (Samar) Sengupta, Assistant Professor and Director of Research at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies. She fondly recalls the teamwork that made NROAD to RD possible.

“This effort arose from my work as a Strategic Alliance Committee liaison to the National Postdoc Association, which identified a need for training related to research development for postdoctoral scholars. Working with Peggy Sundermeyer, the chair of SAC, we realized that a centralized approach wouldn’t work. So, we pulled together different perspectives, tapping expertise from NORDP’s various committees.”

The NROAD to RD team leveraged existing resources and created new tools to create an innovative resource will help grow the RD field and community. Their dedication of countless volunteer hours for brainstorming, creating, persevering, and was recognized with the 2022 NORDP Innovation Award. 

Phase 1 piloted in 2018, followed by Phase 2 work focused on implementation and dissemination. In early 2021, the Phase 2 team conducted a survey of users to determine return on investment and identify areas for improvement.

“As opposed to dropping into the storm without a parachute, now postdocs and others can learn about the RD profession and potentially join our growing field,” Sengupta says. “Previously, there was no way for RD offices to provide such information, no training or internship structure to utilize. We filled a gap that people didn’t even realize they had. Many NORDP members are also using this resource for onboarding new employees.”

In addition to Sengupta, NROAD to RD’s Phase I working group included Peggy Sundermeyer, Trinity University; Joanna Downer, Duke University; Page Sorensen, previously at the University of California San Francisco; Sharon Pound, University of Tennessee; Rebecca Latimer, University of Virginia; Nicole Frank, University of Utah; Beth Moser, previously at Maricopa County Community Colleges District; and Sarah Messbauer, University of California, Davis.

The NROAD to RD team now lives under the NORDP Professional Development committee. Phase II WG members include Joanna Downer, Rebecca Latimer, and Samarpita Sengupta from Phase I, with several new members: Danielle Matsushima, Columbia University; Elaine Lee, Boston University; Maile Henson, Duke University; and Alexis Nagel, Medical University of South Carolina. Peggy Sundermeyer; Jacob Levin, Levin Global Group; and Jeff Agnoli, the Ohio State University, provided consulting support as and when needed. 

A “living resource,” NROAD to RD is being continually modified to update materials and add items requested by users. The team is now a working group of the NORDP Professional Development Committee.

Once again, NORDP thanks these tireless RD professionals who made NROAD to RD possible. Visit the Professional Development Committee website to learn more and access this and other online RD resources.

Effective Mentoring Roles: Coach and Sponsor/Champion

by Kristin Boman, MPH & Paula Carney, PhD

The NORDP Mentoring Program continues to be an important member benefit, first matching Mentor-Mentee pairs in 2011, and growing to support the professional development of NORDP member Mentors and Mentees through effective programs, resources and tools. Mentors support a collaborative relationship designed to engage the Mentee in personal and professional growth and development. This practice helps acquire essential competencies needed for career success. One important component of the mentoring relationship identifies a mentor network that can serve Mentees. A second component identifies roles Mentors can fill as part of the relationship. Specifically, Mentors may serve as Coaches, and/or Sponsors/Champion at different times in a research development professional’s mentored career development. 

The NORDP Mentoring Committee designed the My MESHH Network (Mentorship, Expertise, Support, HelpingHands) which is part of the Mentor Program Onboarding Packet. Mentors and Mentees report that the tool is especially useful, and enables the Mentee to identify a mentor network as well as mentor roles that can serve the Mentee’s professional development. My MESHH Network is designed to be a dynamic tool that can help a Mentee identify and connect existing and prospective relationships to meet evolving professional goals, including the roles that may be needed to support the mentoring relationship.

A Mentee can identify the role(s) needed from a Mentor. For example, a career guidance Mentor may use coaching skills so the Mentee can identify values to inform career direction. A Mentee may then seek out a Mentor who can serve as a Sponsor for professional development related to these values. 

Although the NORDP Mentoring Program is designed for Mentors and Mentees who are at different institutions, the tools and mentoring roles could also be used in mentoring programs within an institution or in situations when a supervisor also has a mentoring role.  

Definitions of Coach and Sponsor/Champion roles as well as scenarios of how each role may contribute to the mentoring relationship follow:


Definition: Coaching is a method that enables the Mentee to develop and succeed in their jobs and lives. One definition of coaching is “…partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. Two main tools used in coaching are asking powerful questions and exploring values, so the Mentee identifies goals and strengths, overcomes limiting beliefs, emotions, and obstacles, and improves well-being, life satisfaction and performance.

Example Scenario: A Mentee expresses interest in changing their career – from grant writing within a PI-led small research institute to a broader office of research role. They accept a school-level research administration position with an opportunity to build research development services within the school. The hiring manager soon left and so did the research development opportunity; the Mentee is now unhappy in the role. As their Mentor, asking powerful questions (open-ended questions that send Mentees in search of discovery, such as “Look ahead one year; standing there, what decisions would you make today?”) and supporting the Mentee’s identification of values (What is important to you? What do you want?) are two coaching skills that can support the Mentee’s journey.  


Definition: A Mentor can sponsor a Mentee by putting them in the “right place at the right time” for a specific opportunity by serving as an advocate and using their network and influence. A Mentor can also champion a Mentee for broader career advancement in an organization or profession.

Example Scenario: A Research Development Professional identifies that they want to develop expertise in the Science of Team Science (SciTS) and seek a professional role that provides an opportunity to attain a leadership role in this area. The primary Mentor and Mentee together identify a NORDP member for their My MESHH Network who can be an advocate and guide and who also has a voice at the SciTS table to serve in the Sponsor/Champion role. The Mentor, who is active in SciTS organizations, introduces the Mentee to members in the organization’s special interest group to champion their involvement. Several years later, the Mentor identifies a team science position and serves as a Sponsor for the Mentee as they apply for the job opportunity.


Awareness of approaches that support Mentor/Mentee interactions can lead to meaningful relationships. Learn more about the NORDP Mentor Program and its resources here


Hewlett, S.A. (2014, January 21). Are you ready for a sponsor? Harvard Business Review.

ICF. (2021). ICF, the gold standard in coaching: Read about ICF. https://coaching 

Yacobucci, M. (2021, June 22). How to be a strong sponsor and advocate for faculty. National Center for Faculty Development [webinar].

Tools ‘n Tips: Making Presentations that Stick

Presented by Melanie Bauer

Many of our workshops to faculty contain some pretty dry information. How do you keep them engaged for the entire presentation? You need to give out “nuggets of wisdom” (takeaways that apply to them). These “a-ha” moments better stick when they directly benefit them.

Examples of workshop topics and how to turn them into a “nugget of wisdom”
  1. Timeline
    • From – Create a detailed timeline for your proposal writing journey
    • To – Planning to write takes longer than you think
  2. Sections
    • From – Learn about the sections of a grant proposal and how to tell a compelling story
    • To – Be a storyteller and entrepreneur
  3. Pitfalls
    • From – Understand common pitfalls for first-time and experienced grant writers
    • To – Find your fits and reach out & All the pieces matter
  4. Tips
    • From – Find out tips for making your proposal stand out
    • To – Get graphic & Grant writing is like applying for a job
Additional “takeaway” examples
  • Follow the money
  • Don’t be a square
  • Know how funders walk and talk
  • Funder priorities are the sprinkles
  • Win friends and influence reviewers
  • Third time’s a charm
  • Level up or move along
  • How to design & teach workshops that work every time by Robert Fitzpatrick & Devin Hunt (
  • Prezi (there is a free version) –
  • This TNT presentation was recorded and can be viewed HERE.
Past TNT recordings can be found on the NORDP Learning Management System (LMS).
  • Past TNT recordings can be found on the NORDP website.
  • Log into your NORDP account (
  • Look for the “Quick Links” menu (blue)
  • Select “NORDP LMS”
  • Make sure you are seeing “All Courses” – scroll down to the bottom and select “SHOW ALL COURSES”
  • Search for “TnT”
  • Select the “TnT (Tools and Tips) Talks”
The next TNT presentation will be Tuesday, December 6th at 12:00pm (eastern).
  • TNT: Writing for a Lay Audience – Presented by Susan Elkins
  • Register HERE.

Do you have a great Tool or Tip you would be willing to share? If so, please contact Dawn McArthur or Emily Devereux. We would love to hear any requests and we’ll see if we can’t find a presenter!