12th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference

Workshops • Monday, May 18  

Below you'll find 15 different two-hour workshop selections spread across 3 time periods. These sessions are open to everyone.

You'll also find a full-day pilot of RD 101, and 5 different four-hour sessions that take place during the afternoon. Because of space limitations and/or activities planned, these programs require pre-registration and will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. Waitlist opportunities will be available once filled. 

10:00 am - 5:30 pm (pre-registration required - limit 35)

RD 101 (a Special 6-hour pilot offering in 2020)  

Presenters: Katie Howard, Appalachian State University; Aaron Kline, The University of Iowa; Kari Whittenberger-Keith, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

NOTE: This session is intended for individuals who have been NORDP members for less than two years. If you do not fit into that category, you will be asked to register for something else.

What is research development (RD) and how is it done? Even professionals who have worked extensively with funded research and researchers throughout their careers may feel like they only know the landscape of their specific jobs and responsibilities. Because RD roles in organizations and institutions can vary (and units are often siloed), it can be hard to get a full picture of RD as a field and how it fits into the research enterprise. RD101 will help you understand the field, expand your existing skill set, and explore new ways to support research at your institution.  

NORDP is offering a pilot short course, RD 101, which provides an introduction to the field of RD. This six-hour course provides a framework for understanding who RD professionals are, the skills that make them effective in their roles, the hows? and whys? of what they do, and the resources they use in their work.   

There are no prerequisites for RD 101; it is intended for new RD professionals (those with fewer than two years of experience in RD) or those considering becoming RD professionals. The developers and instructors are all experienced RD professionals from a range of institutions (e.g., centralized and decentralized, R1s, PUIs) and have designed the course around the skills and information they wish they’d had when they first entered the profession.

Course topics include:

  • What is RD? —defining RD within the research enterprise;
  • Context and Stages of the RD Process—institutional and professional cultures and how they affect the work of RD;
  • The Funding Universe—identifying and understanding funders and funding processes; and
  • Proposal Development—working with researchers to develop compelling, competitive proposals.

10:00 am - 12:00 pm (open to everyone)

 "Right Scoping" RD: reduce burn-out risk while maintaining satisfaction and effectiveness 

Fredericksburg ABC
Presenters: Maile Henson, Duke University; Joanna Downer, Duke University

Many research development (RD) professionals face heavy workload and deadline pressures, resulting in a high risk of burnout. To tackle these challenges, RD professionals can undertake a comprehensive “right-scoping” effort to strategically re-design their work. In this session, the presenters will share the data-driven process-improvement approach they used for a right-scoping effort within their office, and engage participants in a series of activities to start or continue their own journeys toward more sustainable RD work. 

Building a culture of research communication through targeted, highly-interactive media training workshops

Hill Country A
Presenters: Molly McCue, University of Minnesota; Carolyn Berhardt, University of Minnesota

The offices of Research and Communication in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine worked together to develop 5 highly interactive media training sessions for our researchers. Our overarching goals were to build a culture that proactively communicates research to various identified audiences, works proficiently with communications personnel, and increases research dissemination by providing support throughout the research lifecycle. In this session, we will review these workshops, their content, communication tools used, and faculty feedback. Session attendees will leave with the information and tools necessary to replicate or adapt these workshops at their home institutions. 

Collaborative Collision™: An innovative approach to interdisciplinary networking

Hill Country E
Presenters: Michael Mitchell, Florida State University; Beth Hodges, Florida State University; Rachel Goff-Albritton, Florida State University; Grace Adkison, Florida State University; Evangeline Ciupek, Florida State University

Are you looking for ways to foster faculty partnerships, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you know faculty in different fields working on similar things, but don’t know how to bring them together? We can help you! Join us for an interactive presentation where you will learn what Collaborative Collision™ is and how it can help build research partnerships at your institution. This session also includes participants in a mock event that shows how and why to organize a Collaborative Collision at your own institution. 

effective proposal review and editing: writing mechanics and beyond

Hill Country C
Presenter: Yulia Strekalova, University of Florida  

This session focuses on writing and editing support for research development. The workshop has two goals. First, to expose participants to the principles of clarity, continuity, coherence, and concision that can be used in the review and editing of proposals and other research documents. Second, the workshop will use a case study to show how thinking about a grant proposal as a story resulted in a formulation of a simple (but not simplistic) proposal idea. Participants will learn about a coaching approach that they can use to support faculty in their development of proposal storylines.

getting to yes: submitting successful resubmissions

Hill Country B
Presenters: Camille Coley, American Museum of Natural History; Kayla Tindle, Texas Tech University; Jason Charland, University of Maine; Kelly Rose, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Working with PIs to resubmit declined grant proposals is a great way to increase your awards. This session offers participants an interactive experience to help understand why and how resubmissions are as important as your submission processes. Participants will be provided with tools to help with the decision-making that happens with resubmissions. The intended outcome of the session will be to increase grant resubmission competitiveness at your institution. In addition, this session will begin to develop a community of experts on the resubmission process.

one destination, multiple pathways: approaches for recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent in rd

Hill Country F
Presenters: Barbara Endemano Walker, University of California, Santa Barbara; Susan Carter, Santa Fe Institute; Nathan Meier, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Kim Patten, University of Arizona

The RD profession has seen a steady increase in job openings ranging from grant writers, to directors, to associate vice presidents. However, there is little understanding of how people enter the profession or the variety of sources of RD talent, whether from research administration, academic careers, or elsewhere. We will explore diverse paths into RD and recruitment and retention strategies at four distinct institutions. A facilitated conversation among attendees will develop a better understanding of potential sources of RD talent and new ways to bring attention to the RD profession in various promising arenas to expand the RD pipeline.


We went on a successful treasure hunt and you can have our map: how performing a comprehensive research infrastructure self-study can identify strategic growth opportunities and build institutional cohesion

Hill Country G
Presenters: Hilliary Creely, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Tracy Eisenhower, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Research Institute

Drawing from their experiences applying for an NIH Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) grant, the presenters will share what they learned about performing an institutional analysis of research infrastructure at a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI) and ways to leverage that information to improve research support.  Presenters will share a blueprint for self-assessment of institutional research infrastructure and ideas for how to use this assessment data to drive strategic change and enhance research development activities.


1:30 pm - 5:30 pm (pre-registration required; space limited)

Conducting Competitive Intelligence in a University Setting 

Fredericksburg AB | Limit of 40 participants
Presenters: Alba Clivati McIntyre, The Ohio State University; Karen Walker, Arizona State University; Jamie Burns, Arizona State University

Actionable intelligence – that is, information that provides guidance regarding decision making – allows university leaders to reduce risk in an uncertain environment and ultimately allow for sustainable growth of their organizations. As decision makers become increasingly reliant on informed intelligence, it is necessary to have a grasp on tools and techniques that can be used to provide meaningful analysis. Participants will hear how analysts at Arizona State University (ASU) and Ohio State University (OSU) gather and use intelligence in their work.

This session will provide attendees with an immersive dive into competitive intelligence (CI) in higher education and will focus on typical ways CI is used to facilitate better decision-making. Attendees will gain information on the following topics: (1) Defining CI, (2) Value of CI, (3) Evolution of CI Function, (4) Customer Engagement, (5) Collection and Analysis of Data, (6) Analyzing Your Institution, and (7) Program Analysis. In order to create an engaging learning environment, topics (4) and (5) will be covered while practicing real examples of topics (6) and (7). Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops and will be working in small groups under the supervision of the instructors in a rotation mode. A brief discussion of the results for each case will follow. Attendees will leave the workshop better able to evaluate and incorporate methods of CI as well as with hand-outs and frameworks they can refer to in their future work. Standardized information about the incorporation of CI in higher education is limited in literature and thus, best practices from professionals in the workforce will provide attendees invaluable knowledge.


Incorporating Societal Impacts into Proposal Development (ARIS) 

Fredericksburg D | Limit 60 participants
Presenters: Megan Heitmann, Iowa State University; Janice McDonnell, Rutgers University; Kevin Niemi, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This four-hour workshop will provide critical information for research development professionals on how they can help inform and advise on programs and proposals to multiple sponsored research entities that include public engagement components. Specifically, the workshop will provide a general overview of the broader impacts criterion at NSF, implications of broader impacts and societal impacts with other sponsored research organizations, and strategies for conceptualizing / developing / implementing / evaluating broader impacts activities. In this train-the-trainer workshop, participants will leave with a better understanding of how to support faculty and researchers at their institutions in developing a “broader impacts identity” as well as appropriately responding to the current (and developing) review criteria.

increase Capacity of rd professionals to Capture Meaningful "evidence" through research — or, evaluation: Using a navigational map and Front-end planning approach

Bandera | Limit 30 participants
Presenters: Etta Ward, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Jacqueline Singh, Qualitative Advantage, LLC

Evaluation can be confusing—and, rightly so. Much like a kaleidoscope, evaluation is colored with aspects of research, assessment, performance measurement, return on investment (ROI), and other modes of inquiry. It shares common designs, approaches, and methods used to answer stakeholders’ questions and captures “evidence” needed for decision-making. Evaluation is a way of thinking. It should be considered and planned “before” launching any program/project, or intervention, as multiple activities occur simultaneously throughout. Indeed, requisite competencies needed to write a clear and cogent evaluation plan are valuable and valued—especially, in times of increased competition for external grant funding. As such, the purpose of this workshop is to raise awareness and begin to build capacity of research and/or faculty development professionals, researchers, program/project coordinators, partners, administrators, etc. to be able to use basic front-end planning tools in their work. Through hands-on activities, participants will learn about front-end planning and its practical utility for new and/or existing programs/projects, and innovations using purposeful approaches to: a) be more explicit; b) clarify expectations and perceptions; c) focus alignment between program/project components, goals, and objectives; d) identify assumptions; e) develop conceptual models, f) articulate purposeful and meaningful questions; g) not conflate varying modes of inquiry, and h) collect “evidence” in a strategic way for decision-making. Although not required, participants are encouraged to bring documents and/or resources that describe an existing program/project to the session to facilitate their engagement in hands-on activities. Grant seekers and individuals (all career stages) who implement interventions and/or have responsibility for evaluation will benefit from this workshop.

Mentor Training for research Development Professionals: expanding NRMN/CIMER's Mentor training curriculum for the rd profession

Fredericksburg EF | Limit 48 participants
Presenters: Paula Carney, Loyola University Chicago; Jan Abramson, University of Utah; Kathy Partlow, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Erica Severan-Webb, Xavier University of Louisiana

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 workshop covers 3 of the 9-module Entering Mentoring curriculum, initially developed for mentoring researchers, and tailored for RD professionals. Participants will build upon competencies crucial to the success of the mentoring relationship. Using evidence-based, interactive strategies, participants will expand mentor training across the research enterprise. Remaining modules will be delivered online following the NORDP 2020 Conference and 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 are invited to register and explore how mentoring, which has been shown to improve career outcomes, impact employee engagement and retention, and lead to more inclusive work environments, can benefit mentors and mentees in RD.

team science takeoff: tools to support new scientific collaboration

Brady  | Limit 40 participants
Presenters: Betsy Rolland, University of Wisconsin-Madison Carbone Cancer Center and Institute for Clinical and Research Translation; David Widmer, Memorial Sloan Kettering; Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Elsevier and Northwestern University

Team science initiatives are characterized by cross-disciplinary collaboration focused on complex problem, project, or product-oriented research. Academia has generated an upsurge in team science initiatives, while funding agencies in the United States and around the globe have made more collaborative and team-based science funding opportunities available. As the size and scope of such initiatives continues to grow, researchers are increasingly looking for support from their institutions to build and lead high-impact, breakthrough teams. Yet, outside of the NIH-supported CTSAs, few universities have resources specifically devoted to fostering and facilitating interdisciplinary research teams. This gap provides an opportunity for research development professionals to expand existing services or develop new services to provide this support.   

In this workshop, three seasoned research development professionals experienced in team science development will introduce you to the burgeoning field of the Science of Team Science (SciTS), then provide interactive training in a collection of evidence-informed tools and approaches available for supporting teams through the team-building and formation, proposal development, and collaboration start-up phases of collaborative research. The goal is for participants to become leaders in implementing effective practices in team science, thus enabling a stronger praxis of team science at their institutions.

1:30 - 3:30 pm (open to everyone)


creating a simple, effective proposal video (Interactive)

Hill Country A
Presenters: Darcy Gentleman, DJG Communications; Michael Northrop, Arizona State University; Quyen Wickham, Arizona State University

Our presentation on video production will contain an interactive component where attendees will participate in a video production. After a quick explanation of the video creation process outlining types of cameras, shooting locations, lighting considerations, proper framing and how to add titles and graphics, our group will stage an actual video shoot, move the recording to a digital editor and produce a finished video which will be made available to all attendees.

how and why to make your rd services more accessible to people with disabilities

Hill Country C
Presenters: Sarah Messbauer, University of California, Davis; Kate Duggan, Brown University; Carmel Lee, Cornell University

As in many professions throughout higher education, the push to make research development as accessible as possible to peers and clients with disabilities is stronger than ever. But what, exactly, are we talking about when we talk about “accessibility”? And how, as RD professionals, can we take the steps necessary to incorporate accessibility into our work?
This session goes “back to basics,” reviewing the history of researchers with disabilities in higher education before introducing a new toolkit designed to facilitate the (re)development of accessible RD services at participants’ home institutions.

implementing institution-driven multidisciplinary research initiatives

Hill Country E
Presenters: Eva Allen, Indiana University; Tim Schroeder, University of New Mexico; Mary Jo Daniel, University of New Mexico; Jennifer Lyon Gardner, The University of Texas at Austin; Jason Charland, University of Maine; Benjamin Mull, University of Houston; Cassie Rauser, University of California, Los Angeles; Amy Spellacy, The Ohio State University; Jessica Svendsen, OSF Healthcare

This session will help participants develop practical strategies for implementing institution-driven, multidisciplinary research initiatives, defined here as initiatives championed by executive leadership (President/Provost/VPR), e.g., grand challenges or strategic research plans. Through group discussions, participants will explore strategies related to: preparing faculty members to lead such initiatives; effectively communicating the initiative’s purpose, importance and progress; leveraging the initiative for educational purposes; and overcoming bureaucratic and political hurdles. Participants will learn of common challenges facing large institutional research initiatives, and gain a better understanding of how to anticipate, forestall or solve those challenges. Participants will also expand their peer-support networks.

TAking the Lead: Lessons Learned from industry

Hill Country B
Presenter: Edel Minogue, Brown University; Crystal Morrison, EverRise

This workshop will be geared toward senior research development professionals who work closely with senior administrative and academic leaders at their home institutions. It will center around leadership skills we can learn from industry experts and implement while working with academic leaders at all levels. Some of the topics to be covered include:

• Advising senior leaders
• Molding future leaders (junior faculty)
• Developing faculty for leadership roles
• Diversity and inclusion for innovation
• The research portfolio as a small business

All participants will leave with new perspectives and ideas on how to build leadership and culture in their organizations.


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm  (open to everyone)


Bouncing forward: how we can help ourselves - and pi's - be more resilient

Hill Country C
Presenters: Sharon Franks, University of California, San Diego; Wendy Groves, University of California, San Diego; Crystal Botham, Stanford University; Sheryl Soucy-Loubell, University of California, Davis; Andrea Stith, University of California, Santa Barbara

“We regret to inform you that your proposal…” What follows is unlikely to be good news. Unfortunately, “regrets” are far more common than notifications that begin, “Congratulations!” The cumulative impact of such rejection – and other disappointments common in the domain of RD – can take a heavy toll on RD professionals, and on PIs. This session will engage participants in experimenting with ways to counteract the harmful effects of chronic, (figurative) pummeling. Bouncing back – or even better, forward – from disappointment can enable RD professionals and faculty to persevere and grow even more effective in our professional endeavors.

Sharing project management insights to strengthen proposals

Hill Country A
Presenters: Sharon Pound, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Anne, Maglia, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

For many years, large federally funded infrastructure proposals have required project execution/management plans (PEP/PMPs). Now, smaller funding mechanisms are also demanding a professional approach to project management in proposal documents. In this session, research development professionals will learn project management standards and best practices based on the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), and how they can be applied to create strong proposals. Hands-on activities will demonstrate how RD professionals can help PIs formulate project management strategies and how they can also apply project management best practices to maximize their own proposal development processes.


Hill Country B
Presenters: Jenna McGuire, The Ohio State University; Joanna Downer, Duke University; Paula Kueter, Angelo State University

RD professionals are responsible for helping their institutions advance research and innovation. But despite our skills in helping others craft compelling arguments to get what they want and need, we may be reluctant to use those same skills to help ourselves negotiate for higher salaries, titles, or other incentives. In this two-hour session, we’ll explore negotiation success stories in RDs, deconstruct what makes success more likely, understand the landscape of negotiation, and practice developing individual stories that will resonate back home.


wait, we only get one? How to use limited submissions to maximize your research strategy

Hill Country E
Presenters: Hayley Bohall, Arizona State University; Leigh Botner, University of Delaware; Lynsey Fitzpatrick, University of California, San Diego; Daniel Moseke, University of Arizona; Brittanii Rogers, University of Texas, San Antonio

This quick-flowing session will begin with an overview of tips for common challenges (finding funding, corralling reviewers), then transition to a presentation on planning and developmental strategies. The session will also highlight the national community of practice for limited-submission managers and engage participants in a crowdsourcing exercise. Representing institutions coast to coast, the presenters will compare and contrast efforts to maximize strategic success. In part one, attendees will learn tips for streamlining operations and freeing time for strategic activities. Then, panelists will share efforts they’re piloting to expand the reach of limited submissions and cover the full submission lifecycle.