Conference Cameo: Toyin Babarinde

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates.

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Who: Toyin Babarinde, PhD, Associate Director of Research Planning and Development
Where: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, particularly the ceiling

While I did not realize it at the time, in retrospect, I started in Research Development Staff portraitwhile working on my PhD at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Over the last 14 years, I have worked with a diverse group of talented investigators across various cancer types, including brain, breast, and head and neck cancer. During this period, I have contributed to the development of various research initiatives through research design and implementation, which led to the successful development of peer-reviewed manuscripts and federal and nonfederal funded grants.

In 2015, I transitioned into a “formalized” Research Development role at MD Anderson and have since advanced into my current position as Associate Director of Research Planning and Development. To date, my proudest achievement has been the co-development of the Cancer Research Administration and Management Certificate Program through the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a curriculum designed to train and develop outstanding Research Development Professionals. Throughout my career, I have served as a mentor and educator to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate trainees, as well as research administrators.

I was introduced to NORDP by Dr. Brooke Gowl during an SRA Conference in 2016. I immediately joined and attended my first NORDP conference in 2017.  What I loved most about my experience at NORDP were the people I connected with and the opportunity it provided to build meaningful relationships. The connection I made with Dr. Joanna Downer during NORDP directly impacted my role in the development of research programs within my department as a result of her excellent input.

Additionally, the content provided during the workshops has been most helpful in my own career path.  During the session on RD Strategies to Engage and Promote Faculty Flourishing, I took away several points including: 1) develop the ability to engage faculty by building relationships; 2) understand that specific groups of faculty have different needs and as such, it’s important to customize my approach for each group; and 3) it is important to identify and re-engage disconnected researchers. With a core responsibility of working with key stakeholders to expand the research portfolio of my department, I have taken what I learned during the 2017 NORDP conference to improve my engagement with program members, discuss funding opportunities with engaged and disconnected researchers, and provided guidance and support for proposal development.

This year, I look forward to reconnecting with colleagues, expanding my network, learning more about research development, and identifying how best to contribute to the growth of NORDP.  For those attending this year, remember that building relationships is more than introducing yourself to new people. Following up with them after the conference is over is when the true networking begins.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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: Martin Kirk

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. 
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Who: Dr. Martin Kirk, Operations Director (Research & Researchers)
Where: King’s College London
Number of years in research development: More than 20
Length of NORDP membership: 4 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A chemist

From an early age I was very interested in science. I always planned to study for a science degree and most likely work in research in industry. However, after spending 10 Kirk Photo 2019years in research, I realized that I enjoyed research administration and research development much more than doing actual research. I absolutely relish working with investigators and hearing about their research and helping them reach their goals.

I began my RD career at the University of Calgary where I realized that researchers could greatly benefit from help from an RD team. We started by supporting a specific research infrastructure program that had a novel grant proposal format that challenged researchers and was extremely impact-focused. The RD team/process led to great success and gained national attention because of the disproportionate success rates, etc. I had a fruitful 10 years in research admin and RD at the UofC.

In 2007, I was headhunted to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to lead their research administration and RD unit. Again, a strengthening of the RD unit led to more success. Another 10 years slipped by in a wink.

The headhunters came calling again in 2018, this time looking to fill a position at King’s College London leading the central research admin: awards management, contracts, technology transfer, core facilities, clinical trials, post-grad scholarships, compliance and of course RD.

While at UBC I heard about NORDP and attended my first conference. It was a revelation having a conference dedicated to RD and a program entirely focused around success in RD. I learned many techniques and systems. I was amazed at how much sharing of ideas happened at the conference. I met many fellow RD professionals and found the networking opportunity to be invaluable.

I am very much looking forward to catching up with my colleagues and learning new ideas. RD is a rapidly evolving profession and NORDP, a very exciting forum.

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For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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.

Upcoming Webinars for #NORDP2019

Mark your calendars! In the coming weeks, we will present three webinars to help members prepare for the annual Research Development Conference, April 29-May 1, in Providence, RI.

Preparing Conference Presentations, Powerpoints, and Posters
Tuesday, April 2, 1 pm EST
Register here
For many of us, conference presentations cause worry and stress. Yet, presenting in public does not have to be scary and can be very rewarding…and even fun! The purpose of this webinar is to present best practices for preparing presentations, slides and posters, to facilitate useful and effective presentations and interactions, whatever the medium. Our presenters have extensive experience in public speaking, speechwriting and effective communication. Take advantage of this webinar to help make your presentations more effective, whether at the 2019 NORDP conference or in other venues.
Presenters: Jenna McGuire, MBA, The Ohio State University; Kari Whittenberger-Keith, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ambassador Program Orientation
Friday, April 5, 1 pm EST
Register here
In this 30-minute webinar, volunteers for the 2019 NORDP Ambassador Program will learn essential information about their role and responsibilities for this year’s conference. Topics will include: an introduction to the Ambassador program, an overview of NORDP’s structure, committees, and resources, a discussion on specific activities Ambassadors will complete, and a review of resources relevant to new members and first-time conference attendees. Time will be available at the end to address questions or concerns about the program.
Presenters: Sarah Messbauer, PhD, University of California, Davis; Samar Sengupta, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern; Kay Tindle, PhD, Texas Tech University

Getting Ready for #NORDP2019
Monday, April 8, 1 pm EST
Register here
Join us for the webinar version of “What to Know before You Go”!  Veteran NORDP conference-goers (and planners) will walk you through the logistics of the event, an overview of the conference program, and how to maximize your experience. We’ll describe all the ways you can engage with colleagues during the conference, and how to keep the excitement going afterward. And for those who want to explore Providence, a member of our local planning team will be on hand to discuss all the things to do in the area. Whether this is your first conference or your fifth, this is your chance to ask any questions you have about what to expect at #NORDP2019!
Presenters: Karen Fletcher, MBA, Appalachian State University; Jill Jividen, PhD, University of Michigan; Edel Minogue, PhD, Brown University

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For more information about #NORDP2019, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences.

Interested in sharing a room in Providence? More info here (requires member login).

Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

#NORDPMentoringMatters and Beyond

By David Widmer and Christina Howard

NORDP Board Member Etta Ward’s commitment to and passion for mentoring extends beyond NORDP, and she has been internationally recognized for her mentoring efforts and ideas. As the assistant Ward NORDP Photovice chancellor for research development in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Etta assisted in developing IUPUI’s first formal staff mentoring program, along with the EMPOWER program for tenure-track faculty, both of which have been successful and well-received. Etta has also helped develop a mentoring toolkit for the NORDP Mentoring Program and serves both on the Mentoring Committee and as Co-Chair for the Committee on Inclusive Excellence.

Etta traveled to France and Belgium in October 2018 as part of the prestigious Fulbright International Education Administrators Program. IUPUI published an article, “IUPUI leader attends Fulbright program, receives invitation to speak to Fulbright staff,” detailing her experiences. Here are a few highlights*:

Ward and 11 other American university administrators met with representatives of several universities, programs, and institutions during their Oct. 5-20, 2018, visits to Montpellier, Paris, and Brussels. One of Etta’s primary goals was to better understand how research is supported in universities abroad.

The Fulbright program also gave her an opportunity to talk with international administrators about one of her biggest passions–mentoring. “I wanted to get a broader and global perspective of what mentoring means for other universities, particularly in France,” Ward explained. “Mentoring is near and dear to my heart, more specifically, mentoring as a strategy to support women and minority faculty in higher education.”

During the program, Ward’s mentoring successes caught the attention of Fulbright staff members, and Etta was invited to the December 5th Fulbright Commission Staff Workshop in Washington, DC, to speak to Fulbright employees from across the globe about how best to use mentoring methods to ensure the success of minority students participating in a Fulbright exchange.

In February, Etta was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Indiana Chapter of the Fulbright Association’s Winter Banquet. At the banquet, several visiting Fulbright scholars asked how they might begin to build a mentoring culture at their home institutions, using some of the strategies Etta presented in her talk.

Since her Fulbright, Etta has also been invited to be one of three reviewers to select the next cohort for the International Education Administrators Program in France and Belgium.

Interested in how you can #PayItForward and bring mentoring-related ideas home to your institution? Check out the recent NORDP blog post about all of the opportunities and resources available for mentors and mentees at the upcoming Annual Conference!

*Article highlights compiled by David Widmer. For the full IUPUI article, click here: https://news.iu.edu/stories/2018/12/iupui/inside/12-iupui-leader-etta-ward-fulbright-global-mentoring.htm

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Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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: Sarah Messbauer

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. 

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Who: Sarah Messbauer, Coordinator, Grantsmanship Programs
Where: University of California, Davis
Number of years in research development: 1
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Citadelle Laferrière, near Okap, Haiti

I’m quite new to NORDP and the RD world, having started my first position with the fine folks at UC Davis less than a year ago (in fact, it’s the one-year anniversary of my doctoralMessbauerHeadshot defense as I write this – woo hoo!). But like many people in our field, I’d been doing research development work for some time before my first “official” RD role.

My undergraduate background was in STEM (biochemistry and neuroscience), but my doctoral degree is in ethnomusicology (anthropology and music). That interdisciplinarity helped push me toward doctoral research on grant institutions, and I ended up serving as an unofficial grants consultant for folks at my university. My educational path was a bit unusual, to put it mildly, and I often found that people just… didn’t quite know what to do with me. That is, until I met the Director of our RD unit, Sheryl Soucy-Lubell. She knew exactly what to do: she hired me!

In my current role, I wear many hats:  I run proposal development services for small and medium grants, develop campus-wide grantsmanship trainings, provide professional development support for decentralized RD staff, and contribute to special projects in consultation with our Strategic Initiatives team. I enjoy the challenge of balancing so many different projects and the opportunity to work directly with faculty, staff, and senior campus leadership to advance the mission of our institution.

Fundamentally, what I enjoy most about RD is that it caters to the role I love to play, which is that of the primary support person. I don’t have to manage research projects myself, but I play a vital role in making sure they happen by providing whatever a PI needs to do the work. Essentially, I get to be everyone’s “second banana,” their strong right hand. It’s a job that depends on quality teamwork, and I love being part of that process.

NORDP is an excellent reflection of the interdisciplinarity and teamwork that define our field, and I was so excited by the community-driven mission of the group that I immediately started volunteering. I attended last year’s D.C. conference just over a month after I was hired, and ended up having great discussions with the Member Services Committee about support for new NORDP members. This year, I’m co-facilitating a four-hour workshop, co-managing the Ambassador Program, co-running my regional meeting (go Pacific!), co-developing a “Networking Marathon” activity, co-writing a proposal for expanded resources on the NORDP website, and co-hosting a networking dinner for new members.

As you can tell, it’s no co-incidence (terrible pun intended) that NORDP members so frequently cite relationship-building as the number one benefit of membership. And as I’ve learned first-hand, there’s no better way to build those relationships by jumping right into the deep end of the pool and getting involved. So whether you’re brand-new or a seasoned vet, I encourage you to consider volunteering with us this year. Jump on in! The water is fine.

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For more information about the conference program, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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.

Do You Like M&Ms? Meet the Mentoring Committee at #NORDP2019

Actual M&Ms will feature prominently at the multiple venues where you can engage with the enthusiastic Mentoring Committee!

Members of NORDP Mentoring have been working over the past few months to ensure that anyone with an interest in pursuing mentoring, being mentored, exploring peer mentoring, or in other facets of collaborating with others around professional development, will find a conference replete with diverse opportunities to delve into those topics.

Even before #NORDP2019 officially begins, the Mentoring Committee will host a Mentor/Mentee (M&Ms, get it?) Meet-up on Sunday, April 28, from 4:30-5:30 PM in the South County room, so newly matched Mentor/Mentee pairs can meet in person to get their mentoring relationship off to a solid start.  Past Mentor/Mentee pairs are also invited.

There will be chocolate, fun, and a game with prizes!

Throughout the conference, please join us at any of the following Mentoring Committee events, sessions and areas where we will have information, M&Ms, and Mentoring Committee members available:

Monday, April 29

Workshop:  An Overview of Onboarding Materials and Webinars Offered to Support Mentees and Mentors, 10:00 AM – Noon
An overview for all, from the mentoring curious to the veteran, of the complete set of tools available to assist NORDP members in mentoring, regardless of participation in the NORDP Mentoring Program

Workshop: Adapting the National Research Mentoring Network’s “Maintaining Effective Communication” Module to the RD Professional, 1:15 – 3:15 PM
Participants will use an NRMN training module tailored to RD to build upon their communication skills across diverse dimensions including various backgrounds, disciplines, generations, ethnicities, and power structures using evidence-based strategies. Case studies, group exercises, self-assessment, and rich reflective dialogue will reinforce concepts.

Tuesday, April 30

Mentoring Lightning Storm, 8:30 – 9:30 AM (Concurrent Session 1):  Ten 5-minute lightning talks on discrete topics in mentoring, ranging from “Transitioning from mentee to mentor” to “The mentor/mentee match algorithm/process revealed”

Idea Showcase mentoring program poster, 4:30 – 6:30 PM:  Get a quick overview of the NORDP mentoring program while noshing and making new friends!

Wednesday, May 1

Mentoring Roundtable, 9:30 – 10:30 AM (Concurrent Session 5):  An interactive forum that will give participants an intimate setting and a chance to guide the conversation about three mentoring topics in depth: Peer Mentoring, Transitioning from Mentee to Mentor, and The Value of Diversity and Inclusion in Mentoring

Informal Mentoring opportunities throughout the conference:

  • Mentoring Networking Dinners – On Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30, at 6:30 PM, hosts will introduce you to great restaurants for fine food with a side of mentoring conversation.
  • Research on the Rocks – informally hosted nightly (Sunday, April 28 – Wednesday, May 1) by Mentoring Committee co-chair David Widmer in the Omni bar, ROTR will give anyone who wants a chance to unwind, socialize AND/OR talk even more about the benefits of mentoring.  Stop by after the networking dinners or, on Wednesday, after the Conference concludes, for some libation (cash bar) and information.
  • Career Center Mentoring Table – throughout the Conference, the Mentoring Program will have information available at a table in the new NORDP Career Center. Drop in, learn something about mentoring, and you might even be able to win a prize!
  • Talk to Us – Look for blue (or “marine,” if you need a mnemonic) Mentoring Committee ribbons during the Conference if you have a question or just want to make a conference buddy; we’re a friendly group!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at NORDP 2019! #MentoringMatters (M&Ms)

Conference Cameo: Kimberly Cannady

Early Bird registration and the NORDP online store close THIS FRIDAY, March 15!

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. 

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Who: Kimberly Cannady, PhD, Lead Advisor, Research Training & Outreach Initiatives
Where: Medical University of South Carolina
Number of years in research development: 1
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? I visited a friend who lives in Turkey and we traveled to various cities within the country for two weeks.

After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, I realized that I no longer wanted to stay on the academic career path. I wanted to find an opportunity that fulfilled my passion for strengthening education and research through targeted engagement and collaborative initiatives via service. For three years I served as the Community Health Educator for Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina where I established and facilitated statewide community partnerships and traveled across South Carolina to teach medically underserved communities about cancer treatment options and prevention. In addition, I managed and coordinated summer research training programs for undergraduate students. In order to sustain these outreach endeavors, I assisted with proposal development and submission. It was through these efforts that I became exposed to Research Development.

Cannady,KimWhen a position became available within the Office of Research Development in 2018, I jumped at the opportunity. As Lead Advisor for Research Training & Outreach Initiatives, I am responsible for sustaining and enhancing MUSC’s training grants, with a specific emphasis on educating the research community about best practices for grant applications. In addition, I coordinate and manage professional development workshops and webinars and provide funding consultations for investigators focusing on training and career development awards. My experiences as someone who was supported by both individual and institutional training grants, in addition to managing training programs at MUSC and having an understanding of the statewide needs and the patient population that MUSC serves, has proved invaluable in the development of training programs designed to shift the training landscape here on campus.

I joined NORDP and attended my first conference in 2018. Initially, I felt like a fish out of water because I was so new to this field. However, the conference was very impactful and helped me gain better insight into Research Development. There was such a welcoming and friendly environment at NORDP as compared to other conferences that I have attended. Moreover, I greatly appreciated the openness of the presenters whom were willing to share their ideas and experiences to help ignite and/or advance activities at our respective universities. I returned to MUSC more knowledgeable about Research Development and full of ideas that we have begun to implement.

This year I am looking forward to interacting with and learning more from my colleagues. I am also excited that the conference was extended to three days. I encourage attendees to look at the agenda and create a schedule for the sessions they want to attend. More importantly, make sure to arrive to the room early because last year some of the rooms quickly reached capacity and were standing room only.

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We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 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.