NORDP 2019 Annual Research Development Conference

Conference Workshops

This year, you have the option to attend a two-hour or four-hour conference workshop for no additional charge. No reservation is required for the two-hour sessions. The four-hour workshops are currently full. You can add your name to a waitlist for one of them by emailing [email protected].


10:00am - 12:00pm • Two-Hour Workshops

NORDP Mentoring Program: An Overview of Onboarding Materials and Webinars Offered to Support Mentees and Mentors


Presenters: Rachael Voas, Iowa State University; Hilda McMackin, Vanderbilt University; David Widmer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Need some help? Some advice? Somebody who understands research development to talk with? The mentoring committee at NORDP is highly invested in helping you!  We focus on providing meaningful mentoring expertise to support the professional development of NORDP members. In this one-hour session, we distill insights from the 2018 mentoring webinars and present tip sheets, planning tools, and resources available to support mentee/mentor relationships. All NORDP members are invited --whether involved in the formal mentoring program or simply interested in using some fabulous resources. This session will demystify mentoring and empower participants to take control of their professional path.

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Hubs and Spokes: A Comparison of Central, Distributed and Hybrid RD Models


Presenters: M.S. (Peg) AtKisson, AtKisson Training Group; Alma Faust, University of Illinois at Chicago; Jeralyn Haraldsen, University of Vermont

Where to put research development? Central? Within a school or a center? Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages, and the answers depend on your institutional goals and capacity. We bring people with three distinct perspectives to this discussion: someone who set up central RD and interacted with school-based, someone who moved from department-based to central-based, and someone working within a school and interacting with central structures. Our goal in this session is to share a discussion of the impacts of the placement of RD services on faculty engagement and university priorities.

Understanding HBCUs, HSIs and PUIs and How to Collaborate with Them in Intervention and Research 


Presenters: Michael Preuss, West Texas A&M University; Anne Pascucci, Christopher Newport University; Paul Tuttle, North Carolina A&T State University

Collaborations with HBCUs, HSIs, and PUIs are a professional interest of investigators and research development professionals. Yet, most persons seeking to form these connections have not worked at a minority serving institution or been part of a collaboration with one. Thus, there is potential for uncertainty, misapprehension, and mistakes. This presentation will: (1) delineate the nature, variety, and characteristics of HBCUs, HSIs, and PUIs, (2) describe best-practice patterns for approaching and collaborating with them, and (3) facilitate discussion of collaboration scenarios based on several federal grant solicitations.


Maximizing Grant Proposal Writing for Success Using "The Baseline Logic Model"


Presenters: Kristen Kellems, Brigham Young University; Conrad Monson, Brigham Young University; Jaynie Mitchell, Brigham Young University

Research Development (RD) offices at many universities are tasked with improving faculty grant proposal writing through workshops and editing support. The goal of this panel presentation is to 1) give instruction on a successful proposal development tool, the “Baseline Logic Model”; 2) allow participants a chance to use this approach and peer share their writing; and 3) discuss how this approach may be tailored to their institutions.

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Moving to Large Scale


Presenters: Karin Scarpinato, Florida Atlantic University; Luis Perez, Florida Atlantic University; Stepan Mazokha, Florida Atlantic University; Jeanne Viviane, Florida Atlantic University

Research development officers are often challenged by researchers who do not see the value of having collaborations facilitated by administrators. In many cases, faculty believe they know who their collaborators should be. That can make putting teams together difficult — particularly when applying for large-scale funding.  We will start with a discussion on what particular challenges research development officers are facing when they are facilitating multi-disciplinary, team-based projects.  We will then demonstrate a mobile and web-based tool in development that allows the creation of teams around projects. Faculty can submit their profiles and tag themselves and projects with key words that link them to projects and funding opportunities throughout the tool. Students and faculty with similar tags are alerted on their smartphones when a potential collaboration or project of interest, funding opportunity or a colleague with similar interest is added. We will then provide some feedback from our experience with this homegrown tool. You will be given a chance to try it out yourself.  While phase one is in beta testing, phase two of the tool in in the planning stages. Phase two will assist in the management of grant applications for large-scale funding opportunities. In this session, facilitators will seek input from research development officers to inform the building of phase two so that it is tailored to their needs.  In addition to assistance with faculty team building, we are currently using this tool to connect faculty and students around research projects. Match-making of faculty and student researchers can be problematic Students with an interest in research can be hesitant to directly contact faculty. For them, it can be an intimidating process. Often, they don’t know where to start. And faculty can struggle to find qualified students truly interested in their research program. This can be a particular problem at PUI’s and institutions with strong undergraduate research programs.

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NORDP Leadership Forum: Developing Industry Engagement Strategies (invitation only)


Presenters: Rachel Dresbeck, Oregon Health and Science University (NORDP); Gretchen L. Kiser, University of California, San Francisco (NORDP); Kerry Morris, Valdosta State University (NACRO and NORDP); Stavros Kalafatis, Texas A&M University (NACRO); Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Elsevier; David King, Exaptive; Megan Greenawalt, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC (NACRO Co-President); Adam Johnson, Michigan Technological University (NACRO Co-President)

Federal government agencies provide more than half of the US university research funding. However, in the past decade, universities themselves, foundations, and corporations have contributed an increasingly greater portion to university research funding. The university-corporate relationship is shifting. In the past, corporate relations staff at a university had a largely fundraising role. But corporate partnership has changed—it is less and less common for corporations to donate money directly to universities, even for funding research that may be of interest to a corporation. Instead, new models of relationship management are emerging—models that call for a role for research development. This new landscape raises a number of questions—and opportunities—for research leadership in general and research development in particular. Research development is critical for several aspects of effectively capitalizing on potential research support opportunities, while corporate relationship management is essential for a complementary set of activities. Led by representatives from both NORDP and the Network of Academic and Corporate Relations Officers (NACRO), this forum will explore practical strategies for research leaders to improve industry and foundation engagement at their institutions. We will evaluate the corporate engagement landscape at our individual institutions, discuss best practices in the new corporate engagement environment, and demonstrate how data can inform new partnerships. You will walk away with concrete strategies to expand and optimize corporate engagement activities through effective collaboration of corporate relations and research development professionals. The forum will include networking time over lunch as well.

Leading Without Authority


Presenter: Brian Ten Eyck, University of Arizona

How do you succeed in areas outside your recognized area of authority? Some people are content to - or believe they have to - operate strictly within their lanes of prescribed responsibility. Yet as research development professionals, we are often in situations that require assumed leadership on issues lacking clear responsibility or process ownership. To be successful, you will need credibility, executive presence, initiative and numerous alliances both within and outside of  your own chain of command. This session will explore why, when and how you can exercise leadership from wherever y fit into an organization chart, and how to recognize and employ both inclusion and diversity of thought in your leadership endeavors. You will leave feeling empowered to lead from whatever your position is, both today and in the future, and acquire a few tools that will enable you to lead without authority in specific instances. Join us for what must be a lively and interactive discussion!

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1:15pm - 3:15pm • Two-Hour Workshops

This is a Test: Adapting NRMN's Maintaining Effective Communication Module to the RD Profession


Presenters: Erica Severan-Webb, Xavier University of Louisiana; Paula Carney, University of Chicago; Kathryn Partlow, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Etta Ward, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) provides evidence-based mentor/facilitator and professional development training around six core competencies crucial to the success of a mentoring relationship. This interactive workshop pilots one mentor training module (Maintaining Effective Communication) from the NRMN curriculum that has been tailored for Research Development (RD) professionals. Participants will 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. Participants can also give real time feedback to enhance the development of an RD-focused NRMN curriculum.

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Understanding the Faculty Lifecycle


Presenter: Anne Windham, Brown University; Kimberly Mowry, Brown University Faculty; Judith Bender, Brown University Faculty; Erica Larschan, Brown University Faculty

How many times have you sent out a notice for a fantastic funding opportunity and received little or no response? Or spent weeks planning and promoting a research funding workshop, but feel like you've missed your target audience? Don't your faculty know that you're trying to help them?!

Faculty are subject to many competing demands. This is particularly true for junior faculty who have an eye on the tenure clock. The RD professional must think strategically about how and when to communicate and offer support and opportunities, keeping in mind that research funding is one important element in an academic's career.

The panel will explore these issues and offer ideas for optimizing your engagement with faculty and maximizing the RD professional/faculty relationship.

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Enhancing Research Development Success with Effective Project Management: A Hands-On Approach


Presenters: Anne Maglia, University of Massachusetts-Lowell; Sharon Pound, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

This session will introduce the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, discuss benefits of becoming a certified PMP, and provide examples of how the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) can be applied to research development and administration. We’ll share our experiences as certified PMPs in applying industry best practices, tools, and techniques to research development and administration through three use cases: building and restructuring a centralized research development and administration office; catalyzing team science and interdisciplinary proposals; and planning (and managing) a realistic project schedule. We'll include hands-on activities to give participants project management tools they can apply immediately.

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Writing and Editing for Impact


Presenter: Joanna Downer, Duke University; Rachel Dresbeck, Oregon Health Sciences University

Research Development professionals can significantly improve the competitiveness of applications by making our writing more effective. This two-hour, hands-on workshop will define effective writing and presentation and identify ways to achieve it during the initial writing phase or while editing and guiding our clients. In Part 1, we use hands-on exercises to explore the impact of word choice, word placement, sentence structure, and story structure on writing effectiveness. In Part 2, we diagnose common writing pitfalls that reduce effectiveness and develop solutions that suit your abilities and audience. What you learn will be relevant to all written communications.



3:30pm - 5:30 pm • Two-Hour Workshops

Meaningful Engagement (ME) and My Tribe: Creating and Cultivating Your Professional Network


Presenters: Vanity Campbell, University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Melinda Boehm, University of California-Merced

Engaging in strategic relationship-building is integral to successful collaboration, team-building, and professional growth. For the Research Development (RD) professional, there is a real and present need to have the skills and confidence to create and sustain collaborative relationships in our increasingly interdependent funding world. 
This session presents a holistic approach to cultivating a professional network that utilizes key communication tools to facilitate “tribe” building for both personal and professional development. Participants will explore the application of each tool in RD settings, and interview a seasoned RD professional who will demonstrate the "real-world" value of the approach.

Strategies for Successful Broader Impacts


Presenters: Suzanne Iacono, National Science Foundation; Amy Carroll, Brown University

Led by Suzi Iacono, NSF’s Director of the Office of Integrative Activities. Dr. Iacono will describe results from analysis of successful broader impacts sections of NSF proposals. She’ll describe trends in broader impacts activities, creative ideas for broader impacts work, and pitfalls to avoid in proposals. Following her presentation, participants will take a sample research project and break into small groups to develop a broader impacts proposal for the research project. Facilitators from Brown University’s Engaged Scholarship and Broader Impacts Committee will assist, and Dr. Iacono will provide feedback on the proposals.

Developing the Research Enterprise: International Perspectives and Experience


Presenters: Stefania Grotti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Dominique Michaud, Concordia University, Canada; Shin-ichi Yamamoto, National Institute for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE) and Research University Consortium, Japan. Moderator: Karen Eck, President, NORDP

Previous NORDP conferences have largely focused on research development (RD) and collaboration as it is practiced in the United States, with a few notable exceptions. The need for RD professionals grew due to the increasing complexity and competitiveness of U.S. federal funding opportunities, and the evolution of academic research from a single investigator model to a team science approach. Since successful RD strategies must account for the institution - its mission, culture and structure - how much of RD strategy is also culturally based writ large? In this session an international panel from Canada, Italy and Japan will discuss how research is funded in their country and the role of the faculty researcher and the university in a national strategy to support research. How is success measured for researchers and universities? What are the challenges for public research in their countries? What are the opportunities to work across country boundaries? 

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Building a Model of Research Collaboration Between Historically Black and Historically White Universities


Presenter: Julie Williams, University of New Hampshire; Linda Hayden, Elizabeth City State University

Research in a wide range of fields and disciplines demonstrates that the inclusion of underrepresented and racially diverse individuals on work teams, in business and leadership environments, or juries, on research teams and in higher education classrooms enhances innovation, research productivity, provokes novel thinking and enhances the accuracy of decision making. Phillips' (2014) Scientific American article titled Diversity Makes Us Smarter points to research demonstrating these positive effects. Yet, given these realities and the evidence, in some higher education/research environments we continue to struggle and have not fully actualized the advantages and assets that the inclusion of more racially diverse people can bring. Predominately white institutions at times may also lack the requisite knowledge of how to effectively build long-term partnerships to collaborate with more diverse institutions.

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is a Research 1, land, sea and space grant university with approximately 16,500 students and 1050 faculty. UNH, located in New England where racial diversity is low, began to develop a model of collaboration focused on earth system science with Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) more than a decade ago. Located in coastal North Carolina, ECSU is a historically black university classified as a baccalaureate, community-engaged university with diverse fields. ECSU serves approximately 1675 students - about 70 percent are African American. Learning from this model and the opportunities and challenges of the present day has helped to expand our knowledge about how to develop more diverse research partnerships.

This workshop will describe the critically important elements of the UNH-ECSU model, provide examples of jointly funded projects, discuss how we approached federal agencies and share what we have learned and the challenges we continue to face as we seek to expand the inclusive excellence of our research and education outreach efforts.

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1:15pm - 5:30pm • Four-Hour Workshops

Please note that space in the four-hour workshops require preregistration and workshop space is now limited to waitlists. To add your name to a waitlist for one of the programs email [email protected] and you will be notified if space becomes available.

Designing Effective Proposals: The Skills You Need to Design Proposals People Want to Read


Facilitators: Tobin Spratte, Arizona State University; Michael Northrop, Arizona State University; Jessica Brassard, Michigan Technological University

This workshop offers interactive training for creating distinctive, attractive proposals and other documents that are more likely to be read and remembered by twenty-first-century audiences. Attendees will learn basic visual design principles—regardless of their skill level or available software—for creating figures, illustrations, and diagrams. Throughout the workshop, participants will cycle through active conversation, creation, editing, and review activities. Presenters will also cover advanced document formatting including tasteful margins, whitespace, image borders, distance between lines (leading), and typeface. Participants should plan on BYOD (bringing your own device) for this hands-on workshop.

PD for RD: Career Planning from Start to Finish


Facilitators: Beth Moser, Maricopa Community Colleges District; Sarah Messbauer, University of California, Davis; Kay Tindle, Texas Tech University; M.S. (Peg) AtKisson, ATG Consulting

This workshop will provide participants with a theory-based, action-oriented, and personally immersive look at how to advance their careers in the Research Development field, designed for those with at least two years of experience. Upon completion, participants will have a personalized action plan for how they can (a) identify key skills in their target position; (b) determine what gaps exist between this ideal skill set and their current skills; and (c) identify strategies to close these skills gaps with the aim of advancing to the next stages of their career. A new Professional Development NORDP Circle will be created to promote a community forum for participants to discuss their development goals.

Strategic Doing and the Research Development Professional


Facilitators: Ed Morrison, Purdue University's Agile Strategy Lab, Jeffrey T. Agnoli, The Ohio State University; Melanie Steiner-Sherwood, University of Utah; Sabrina W. Horton, The Ohio State University

Research Development (RD) professionals routinely collaborate with individuals on research proposals or facilitate multidisciplinary teams and other types of groups. Are you interested in improving your facilitating skills? Would you like to learn how to use your convening power to build action-oriented collaborations that lead to accountability and measurable outcomes?

Join us for this hands-on, professional development workshop. Strategic Doing™ is a new strategy discipline – a set of simple rules – that creates deep collaborations and builds innovation in today’s network-based organizations. Unlike strategic planning, which primarily guides activity in hierarchical organizations, Strategic Doing partnerships build trust through social networks. Learn how to link and leverage a team’s agility and desire for experimentation. This new framework is ideal for situations in which nobody can tell anybody else what to do, a common challenge for the RD professional!

Our team of facilitators will guide participants through a series of experiential Strategic Doing exercises, discuss how they relate to the practice of RD, and how to implement Strategic Doing in the context of a research development/foundation relations office. Participants will also learn how these concepts apply to proposal development and when working with diverse faculty teams.

Strategic Doing was developed by Ed Morrison of the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab and is now offered through a national network of universities. More information is available at